How I Learned to Embrace Aging and Other Lessons I Learned at 30
Growing up, I was never too afraid of aging. I’ve just never given too much thought to wrinkles, or gray hairs, or even feeling old. But this year as I turned 30, everyone around me was making a big deal about it and asking me how I feel. I sat and thought for a bit - realizing that my life hasn’t at all been linear and I’m definitely not where I always would have imagined I would be at 30 - and that’s okay. So many things in my life would be completely different if I had taken a different path - but the friends I’ve made, the skills I’ve learned at various jobs, and my current businesses are incredible and I never would have landed here if I hadn’t fallen down a few times along the way.
1. Some achievements don’t really mean much.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel proud of them - but keep perspective that hitting certain benchmarks in life is not a guarantee. For example - a degree does not guarantee a job and a job does not guarantee financial stability, and neither of those things necessarily equals satisfaction or happiness.
2. My skin and body are not the enemy.
I can’t avoid wrinkles or gray hairs forever - and I don’t feel the need to! Since having kids my body has changed and that’s okay. At this point in my life how I look isn’t nearly as important as how I feel. I’ve been focusing on treating body and skin with care and dressing myself in a way that makes me feel confident. (The Barcelona Mini is my go-to for days at home, date nights, or work meetings. And nothing makes my skin feel as amazing as oshan essentials.)
3. Life is not linear.
What looks like a setback may just be a change of path. Give yourself grace if life doesn’t pan out the way you’ve always imagined. Look for the silver lining, for the opportunities, and be open to other ways to do life.
4. Your goals and priorities will change as life changes.
It’s okay to adjust to that and change your mind about things you “always wanted” or dreamed of. Find the balance between being rigid and determined enough to get where you want to go, and the flexibility to change course when needed.
5. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
At the end of the day it’s your life and you have to be able to sleep at night. You don’t have to justify your decisions to anyone, no matter what judgement or pressure you may feel. Be firm in your convictions and loving in your boundaries.
6. Take risks.
Sometimes you just need to begin before you're ready. Take that idea in your head and just begin! Don't wait for the perfect conditions or to be fully "prepared." Often, you'll find you never quite feel ready or prepared - so why wait? When you take a risk, you may find so many new doors open. Or sometimes it won't work out - but what you learn from that risk can be so valuable the next time around.
7. It’s never too late for a fresh start.
A long time ago I watched a documentary that followed a group of people from age 1 until they were well into their 50’s. The filmmakers checked in on them every few years with interviews. It was amazing how many of them felt so unsatisfied by the path they thought they were supposed to take - completely starting over with a new career in their late 30’s or 40’s. Many of them felt they didn’t truly discover their life’s passion and source of happiness until their 50’s! It was a powerful lesson that it is never too late to begin again.
8. Age is just a number - doesn’t really mean anything.
While I’m all for respecting our elders and their experiences, at the end of the day, age is just a number. There are people younger with me who have traveled to way more countries, who make much more money, who have more children, who have a more beautiful home, who have a more successful career - whatever! Their age doesn’t define them in any of those things - rather they’ve taken action with whatever they have and that’s where it has led them.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as I approached 30 was just to go with the flow -and that’s my encouragement to any of you. Make plans, but be flexible. Focus more on small moments each day and small steps. How old are you? What the most important thing you’ve learned in your life so far?
And if you're looking to tune into your personal style as part of your aging and growth, check out our style quiz to find the perfect YIREH fit for you!