Turning 30 | 30 Things I Have Learned Over the Years

Today I am saying goodbye to my 20s and hello to my 30s! If you had asked me ten years ago how I would feel about turning thirty I would have been hesitant and probably a little horrified at the thought of turning 3-0. Back then 30 felt so…old. I had no idea where I thought I would be when I turned 30 and, honestly, I probably didn’t want to think about it. Now those early years of my 20s feel like a distant memory and I am so excited to see what my 30s has in store for me.Birthdays always tend to evoke a bit of reflection for me. I enjoy reflecting on the hardships, the accomplishments & all the things that got me to where I am today. As I enter a new decade, I can’t help but think about the last decade which has included starting my website, graduating college, marrying the love of my life, buying our first home, adding two fur babies, and finding out we were expecting our first child. Although there were many great accomplishments, there were hardships along the way, too. Today I am celebrating my 30th birthday and, although it’s not how I envisioned celebrating thanks to COVID, I am welcoming 30 with open arms! To celebrate I wanted to share 30 things I have learned in 30 years with you all! 

30 Things I have learned in 30 years

1. It’s ok to say no. And it’s also ok if saying “no” disappoints someone else. I used to think saying “yes” to everything made me a better person. I would say yes to drinks with friends, yes to campaigns, yes to things knowing it would push my limits. And I learned that saying “yes” doesn’t make me a better person, in fact, it takes away from me being my best self. 

2. Some friendships are lifelong & others are “situationships.” There are friends that you know are for life & there’s friends that come into your life during a season. There’s nothing wrong with either type of friendship, but it’s important to know that not every friendship is forever and it’s ok to let certain ones go. 

3. Learn to apologize when you’re wrong. And learn to forgive others. I’ll admit, I can be stubborn and hold a grudge, but over the years I have learned it’s easier to apologize and forgive than it is to hold on to those unwanted feelings. Life is too short for that. Now I’m quick to apologize and more eager to forgive. 

4. It’s ok to grow, evolve & change. No one is ever going to remain the same. It’s human nature to grow, change & evolve in life. Experiences, people, and situations change us. I’m not the same person I was five, ten, or fifteen years ago – and that’s a good thing. 

5. Making mistakes is normal… and they’re only mistakes if you don’t learn from them. There have been times that I have felt like a complete failure when I made a mistake, no matter how big or small. Those mistakes and feelings have been debilitating and prevented me from picking myself back up. I learned that it’s ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them along the way. It happens to everyone. 

6. Value your time & your worth. This is something that I have learned over the years, especially while running a small business. My time is valuable, not free. I know my strengths and those are worth something. 

7. Not everyone is going to like you…and that’s ok. I think it’s human nature to want to be well liked and it can be hurtful when others don’t like you. But it’s ok if they don’t. Focus on those people that do like you and want to be in your presence. 

8. You can always ask for help, even when it’s hard. I am a very independent person and it’s very hard for me to ask for help. There have been a few situations that I have gotten myself into that could have easily been alleviated had I just asked for help when I needed it. You live and you learn. 

9. Social media can be toxic. Take a break when you need it. My job relies on social media, but it can be a toxic place of comparison and trying to keep up with the Joneses. I always try to remind myself that social media is everyone’s highlight reel. I know I don’t share my darkest days with my followers and other people don’t either! Take a break when you need to – it’ll be good for your mental health, I promise. 

10. Quality over quantity. This goes for basically everything in life. But seriously, it does. 

11. Pick your battles. Not everything has to turn into a thing. Let some things roll off your back!

12. You can’t set a timeline for your life. Growing up I had this “ideal” timeline in my head of how I thought my life was going to play out. All I can say is thank god that’s not how it happened. Life has unfolded exactly how it should, when it should. 

13. It’s ok to open up and be vulnerable, you don’t always have to hide that part of you. It can be intimidating to let your guard down and open up, but do it with those you trust. It will bring a better bond and a better understanding of each other. 

14. Don’t let others opinions of you diminish your shine. It’s easy to take the words of others and believe them – even if you know they aren’t true. Don’t do that – letting their words in only diminishes your shine.  

15. Always date your spouse. Plan those date nights, know each other’s love language & always carve out special time for one another. It will only make your relationship stronger. 

16. It’s ok to not have it all figured out. I mean does anyone!? Enough said. 

17. Take a risk, what’s scary is often worthwhile. Looking back, some of the biggest risks have provided the biggest rewards. 

18. True friends will celebrate your success & support you in your failures. Hold those friends close to you, you need each other more than you know! 

19. Some days just suck & it’s ok to wallow in it sometimes. It’s ok to acknowledge the bad days and reflect on those feelings. But don’t wallow too much because it can put you in a dark place. Allow yourself to feel the emotions and then move on when you can!

20. Don’t underestimate yourself, even when others do. You are a gem & you are capable of many things. Remember that!

21. Be present. Don’t let memories fall to the wayside because you were too busy behind your phone or computer screen. 

22. Stop trying to impress others. It never works out well. Ever. Be yourself and the people who love you for who you are. 

23. Worrying never helps the situation. Ever. I am the type of person who worries about everything and always has a “worst case scenario” worked out in my head. Does it help? Heck no! Is the situation ever worst case? Hardly ever. Stop worrying and work through it instead!

24. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Allow yourself grace. Talk yourself up. Be on your own team. You don’t always have to be so hard on yourself.

25. Family is everything. Hold them close and let them know how much you love and appreciate them. Cultivate great, lasting relationships with your family members. 

26. Get outside of your comfort zone. It’s not as scary as you think. It usually proves to be worth it! You never know until you try. 

27. Don’t speak or act when you’re angry or emotional. Nothing good ever comes from acting on emotions. Give the situation time to diffuse itself. Decide when to speak or act once you have had a moment to reflect thoughtfully on the situation. Nine times out of ten the situation isn’t as bad as you thought when you were emotional.

28. Do what makes you happy. But also, be smart about it. It’s simple as that. You can be happy, but you also need to think things through!

29. Never stop learning. Everyone has a story that you can learn from. You’re never too old to learn from someone else. People aren’t always what they seem, take the time to listen to someone’s story.

30. Invest in yourself. Part of being your best self is making sure that you are investing in yourself. Take those moments of self care, do what you enjoy & invest in making you an even better version of yourself. it will make a big difference, I promise. 

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  1. Amanda Maynard wrote:

    These are all so true! Valuing yourself and your time will take you so far.

    Posted 4.10.20 Reply
  2. Lizzie wrote:

    Aww happy birthday!! These are all such great lessons. I agree with all of them!


    Posted 4.10.20 Reply
  3. Rach wrote:

    100% learned the same things! Happy 30th birthday!

    Posted 4.10.20 Reply
  4. this is such an amazing post!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I am 32 and so far I have LOVED my 30s. Things are a little crazy right now but we’ll all get thru it and end up better for it.

    xx rebecca // thecrystalpress.com

    Posted 4.10.20 Reply
  5. Kileen wrote:

    These are such awesome things to know! I think the one about not speaking when you’re angry is a golden one!

    cute & little

    Posted 4.11.20 Reply
  6. Happy birthday, Emily! Love all of these lessons that you shared!

    xx Chelsea

    Posted 4.11.20 Reply
  7. I can totally relate to some of these…some great takeaways! Happy Birthday! xoxo, Sarah

    Posted 4.13.20 Reply
  8. Laura Leigh wrote:

    Happy Birthday lady! So exciting!!! You definitely have a better outlook on turning 30 then I did. I was stressed and not wanting to believe it haha. But feeling more comfortable now six months in. 30s are definitely a spot you feel more comfortable in yourself and know what you want. It’s a good feeling!

    Definitely agree with so many of the things you listed! Especially investing in yourself! Such a good, important one!

    xo Laura Leigh

    Posted 4.13.20 Reply
  9. One of my favorite blog posts of yours! All of these lessons learned are so true and I can totally relate to practically all of them. Especially learning to say no!

    Posted 4.13.20 Reply
  10. Greta wrote:

    Happy 30th birthday! I hope this is the best year yet for you.

    Posted 4.13.20 Reply
  11. Caitlin wrote:

    These are such great life lessons – esp the situationship part!

    Posted 4.14.20 Reply

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