30 Things I’ve Learned Before 30 – It’s My Birthday!

Hi friends! As the title indicates, TODAY’S MY BIRTHDAY! I turn the big 3-0 and I’m spending it hanging with my best friend doing the things I enjoy.

Turning 30 is kind of scary and I’m not saying that because aging sucks physiologically (it does) or for superficial reasons. It’s scary because of time. Time seems to be moving so quickly and I’m afraid of missed opportunities and regrets. I’m afraid my dreams will slip away.

Growing up, I never quite pictured what my life would look like at 30. The only thing I dreamed of was freedom to make my own choices and naps during lunch break (I really love napping). I didn’t aspire to be like anyone because I didn’t have that. I’ve just been figuring it out as I go and hoping it all works out. So, I’m kind of approaching this decade similarly.

To reflect on turning 30, I started compiling a list of things I’ve learned back in June. Now I can finally share that list with all of you. I’ve always done my best to keep it real on this blog so this post is no exception. It’s honest and transparent. I hope what I’ve learned encourages you in some small way.


1. Be yourself and don’t try to mold yourself into who you think other people want you to be.

It took me 27 years to get to that point, but when I did, I felt liberated. I was such a people pleaser.

2. Surround yourself with a few friends you trust wholeheartedly and be transparent with them.

It’s not possible to go deep with everyone, but it helps a ton to have someone you can fully be yourself with and someone who knows the good, the bad, and the ugly. It also helps to have someone who will call you out when you are in the wrong because they know you so well.

3. College is a scam.

Not really. But it’s quite expensive and definitely not for everyone. *whispers* and it’s also a scam

4. It’s okay to be where you are in life.

A few years ago, I had a breakdown in a grocery parking lot because I was unhappy with where I was in my life. That breakdown was brought on because I hated my job, but also because I compared my life to my friends. They went off to grad school right after undergrad while I took time off. Trust me, don’t compare your life and your accomplishments to other people.

5. Self-care is important.

I’m not talking about self-care where you spend money on lavish things like massages, manicures, or retail therapy. Those activities are great and I encourage everyone to do the things they love like reading a book, listening to music, journaling, etc. What I’m really talking about here is saying no when you feel you’ve stretched yourself too thin, sleeping for 8 hours, exercising, removing unhealthy people from your life. It’s difficult at first, but the people who love you will understand. If they don’t, you need to examine that relationship.

6. Google is free. Please please please use it. Research every single thing you don’t know and even the things you think you know.

7. Pay attention to the relationships that drain you.

It’s important to make note of this. Because sometimes your mental health will depend on it because giving 100% of yourself to someone can be draining.

8. Therapy is helpful (and it should be free). It’ll take time to find the right therapist though.

9. Don’t compromise your values or feel like you have to settle for someone to avoid loneliness

10. Laugh. Laugh. Laugh.

β€œAnd that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.” – Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor

11. Life is short. Don’t read books you don’t enjoy.

12. There’s so much going on in the world and it can be overwhelming to think about.

Find the causes that move you and passionately support them with your time and money.

13. If you haven’t used it, worn it, or picked it up in a year, you probably won’t. Donate it.

14. Don’t be afraid to be direct and firm.

Women get a bad rap (especially black women) for being assertive, but don’t let that stop you from being firm when the situation calls for it.

15. You can’t be all things to all people.

16. Your family’s “crisis” (the ones brought on by poor decision-making) is not your crisis.

It took 29 years for me to learn that I can’t drop everything for my family.

17. Apologize

Learn how to genuinely apologize and get comfortable doing that because you won’t always be right.

18. Friendship break-ups happen. 

Sometimes it’s your fault. Sometimes, it’s the other person’s. Other times, it’s just two people naturally growing apart. Regardless, you will get through it.

19. I’ll probably spend the rest of my life recovering from my childhood.

I didn’t realize how much my upbringing made me into this fearful, timid person who doesn’t trust easily and suppresses emotions until a few years ago. I’m still working through that.

20. Learn to say no.

21. There’s a difference between being nice and being kind. Be kind.

22. If at all possible, invest in a quality bedding.

23. Natural hair is a lot of work.

24. Be kind to yourself.

25. Don’t take great friendships for granted.

Great friendships require work so be ready to put in the work.

26. Celebrate the small victories.

This is something that I often remind my best friend. Life is fucking hard, we have to celebrate the small victories.

27. At some point, one or both of your parents will disappoint you.

28. Your voice matters.

Don’t let anyone silence your voice and don’t be afraid to speak up. Use your voice to advocate for yourself and others.

29. Don’t wait for a new month or new year to start working on your goals.

30. Wings without fries is incomplete. Always get fries.


That’s all for now, friends. Hope you have a wonderful time bringing in the new year. Thanks for reading!

27 thoughts on “30 Things I’ve Learned Before 30 – It’s My Birthday!

  1. Thank you for sharing this. #19 spoke to me. A year and a half ago I had a childhood blast from the past that has really wrecked me and I’m not the same person. I was at a point in my life where I was finally going to be happy and out of nowhere life threw me a curve ball and my depression over certain aspects of growing up resurged. Anyway, long story story, I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I felt like I should have healed but the wound has been ripped back open and I’m in my late twenties. It’s been hard.
    Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. You are a gem of a human being and I’m glad you exist πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!! Sometimes, it feels like a fresh thing from my childhood pops up just when I think I’m ready to move on. I don’t know if I’ll ever fully recover. I’m glad to know that I’m not alone as well. I wish us both a healthy recovery in 2019.


  2. I absolutely loved these. I so agree with all. I should just print your list out and put it on my wall or something so i can be reminded every day, because i tend to forget some of it occasionally.
    Getting rid of toxic /negative people is so liberating! I now have 3 close friends and i don’t even miss the rest.
    I still fall into the trap of comapring myself to others from time to time, and it’s annoying.
    Therapy is something i think everyone could benefit from. Some people don’t need to see someone for a long time, but even so, it really helps. I think i was lucky when i found my therapist. He was actually the first one i tried and i think it was a good match πŸ™‚

    And yes, fries please πŸ˜€ I prefer sweet potato fries tho, but whenever my friend and i go for our usual friday lunch, i always get some πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every time I turn down fries, I end up regretting it πŸ˜‚ I tend to forgot most of these things. Putting this list together was a reminder for me because I still fall trap to comparing myself sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Birthday!!! I’m 41 and ever since turning 40 it’s like ‘mid-life crisis time’. Getting gray hairs, body breaking down, etc. Then I talked to my aunt in her late 60’s and she’s like ‘oh honey you have your whole life ahead’ and puts things in perspective lol! Getting older can be stressful though for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my god! Happy late birthday !!
    I love this list sososo much ! Thank you! (though i’m 5years younger than you ahah still a while before I hit 30) — I’ve also wrote a post about it, college IS a scam. Though for me it was the “after” experience that broke me and needed to go to therapy for a whole 9months but… still.

    Following that.. I had my breakdown too because I hated where I was, all my former bosses were crap… and I collapsed. No.4 is so very true and unfortunately .. I learned it the hard way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!! I learned No.4 the hard way too. I struggled with that for years before I learned to be okay with where I am. I quit my job because that contributed so much to breakdown and found something else that I truly enjoy. I hope you have a wonderful year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely love this i turned 24 in December but i am striving to improve myself every single day. saying no is a big problem for me, i find myself feeling guilty when i say no. Also Natural hair is so much work (how do them youtubers make it look so easy) but i love it. I pray you have a wonderful year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have belated birthday!!! Ugh, natural hair is so much work and I can never get my hair to come out the same way twice when I twist it or try a new style. Lol. Have a wonderful year too!


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