Get Inspired: 30 Life Lessons for Your 30s

30 Life Lessons for Your 30sThis year I turned 30, and that got me thinkin’ – thinkin’ a lot about what a different person I am (in a good way!) at 30 than I was throughout my 20s – especially in those painfully wisdom-less, self-esteem scarce early years. And then I thought who doesn’t love a good I-can-relate-to-that list?

So tell me. How many of these lessons can you relate to, or are still learning? Take this 30-layer trip with me, and let me know in the comments. And if you have a new lesson to share, please give it to me!

Now let’s get to it.

30 life lessons for your 30s #1: You can settle for less or you can wait for more. It’s up to you.

30 life lessons for your 30s #2: Where you come from doesn’t have to define where you go.

30 life lessons for your 30s #3: People make time for the things they care about. Excuses are just that. Excuses.

30 life lessons for your 30s #4: You can learn to derive joy from the smallest things – practice really makes perfect.

30 life lessons for your 30s #5: Being single is not a death sentence – it can actually be a blessing in many ways. Stop beating yourself up about it!

30 life lessons for your 30s #6: Loving yourself is the most important thing you can do for anybody else – you cannot give what you don’t have.

30 life lessons for your 30s #7: You will never feel like you have enough money – it’s OK!

30 life lessons for your 30s #8: There are no expiration dates on dreams – I’ve shared that one before, but it’s such a good one!

30 life lessons for your 30s #9: True love still very much exists. It’s just not as common or as easily attainable as people would like to believe.

30 life lessons for your 30s #10: Emotional abuse, no matter how big or small, is still abuse. And it’s absolutely not better or worse than physical abuse. It’s simply abuse. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

30 life lessons for your 30s #11: You CAN build the life you want – but you have to put in the effort.

30 life lessons for your 30s #12: Life is hard but life is also beautiful – focus a little more on the beautiful.

30 life lessons for your 30s #13: Inspiration is all around you – just open yourself up to seeing it.

30 life lessons for your 30s #14: There is extreme power in positivity, and there is extreme loss in negativity.

30 life lessons for your 30s #15: Being yourself is a whole lot less trouble than pretending to be otherwise. Fight for your right to be you no matter how many times that is questioned.

30 life lessons for your 30s #16: Friendship is one of life’s greatest gifts – nurture it.

30 life lessons for your 30s #17: Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.

30 life lessons for your 30s #18: You have to actively choose life. It will not just come to your doorstep.

30 life lessons for your 30s #19: Your struggles don’t have to win. Not unless you stop fighting.

30 life lessons for your 30s #20: A man or a woman cannot complete you. They can only compliment you. Strive to be complimented not completed.

30 life lessons for your 30s #21: There is always a positive way to say things – even the most negative things can be delivered with a positive twist.

30 life lessons for your 30s #22: A bad day, a bad week, a bad month or even a bad year does not equal a bad life.

30 life lessons for your 30s #23: If you’re always comfortable, you’re never growing. Get a little uncomfortable, will ya?

30 life lessons for your 30s #24: Your instincts are your body’s way of giving you important information about your surroundings. Pay attention!

30 life lessons for your 30s #25: Someone somewhere will always disagree with your choices, no matter what they are, so you might as well choose for you and try to be happy.

30 life lessons for your 30s #26: You will never be perfect, but you will always be special.

30 life lessons for your 30s #27: Be a light to others whenever possible – and watch a little more light come your way too.

30 life lessons for your 30s #28: Bullying doesn’t end in the playground. Be prepared to stand up to bullies throughout your life.

30 life lessons for your 30s #29: Struggle builds character – when you can’t seem to find any other light in your strife, focus on that.

30 life lessons for your 30s #30: Showing emotion isn’t a sign of weakness – it takes incredible strength to be vulnerable. Let yourself feel. The only weakness is in hiding.

Photo Credit © 72soul | Dreamstime.comSchool Life Concept. Photo

Reaching 30: Growth Hurts Before it Heals

After the ending of my latest pseudo relationship, I swear I feel like I’ve just been through a war. Good news is, I survived and I’m much, much better for the experience. During 10, long, often bitterly unhappy months (I still managed to ride that sucker out kicking and screaming with my positivity and commitment to the big, HAPPY fight :)), I learned an immense amount about myself, the issues I still need to work through, what I want in a partner and what I am willing to accept, and in-turn, what is absolutely unacceptable to me in the realm of love and relationships, and well, in life.

I also learned that I am considerably stronger than I might think at times, and I bet if you dig a little, you will find that you are too. Sure, that situation bordered on emotionally abusive or perhaps it really was, but I walked away from it, and that is all that counts. I might have stuck around for longer than any of it ever deserved, but the whole time I continued to fight. The real problem was that the biggest battle existed between my heart and my logic. But in the end, and thank goodness, my logic won.

Now I’m in the process of straying away from beating myself up for participating in the whole crazy thing in the first place, and instead, focusing on all the lessons and renewed strength it has given me. You see, that is the thing about growth; it hurts like hell before it heals.

As more and more days go by since that last encounter, I’m beginning to feel more like myself than I have in months. My energy is up, my smile is making more frequent appearances on the Sonia show, and my heart feels about a billion pounds lighter. I find myself laughing more, breathing deeper, finding more things that I love to do, and doing them. Most importantly, I know now more than ever that I am not in fact desperate, and that I still do have hope that I will someday find the healthy, passionate, understanding, lasting love I crave and deserve, with the right person at the right time. Always focus on the outcomes, and not so much on what got you there. Pain often provides great revelations for us and our lives.

And, at times, as we get older, we wish we could be as carefree and consequence-free as we were or thought we were in our teenage years and early 20s. At least I do. But, as I sit here turning down the less-than-thrilling advances I’d gladly welcome just a few years ago, demanding more respect, nurturing my own needs, wants and dreams, and more and more frequently standing up for Sonia, I realize I’ll gladly leave my youth at the door. Because this place, where you know who you are and who you wish to become, where you rather have nothing than accept scraps, where instant gratification has been replaced by the hope in the bigger picture that awaits  – that is a much better place to be.

To everyone out there reaching their 30s as I am (it can be quite a transition I’m finding), when you think you used to be more fun, wilder, or more adventurous, you’re not by any means boring now, you’ve simply experienced growth. And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Breathe it in deep, and thank it for hurting so much in return for inner calm, peace of mind, and a stronger sense of self.

Sonia, Word Share Junkie