I debated for almost half a year on whether I should write this blog post series. Honestly, I wasn’t too thrilled about turning 30 back in February and that’s mostly because I felt like that age marked the “getting older” stage of life. After further reflection I see now that’s not the case. Everyone gets older, but it is your actions, habits, and thought patterns that will “age” you.
Here are my first five lessons of my “30 Lessons I Learned Before Turning 30”! Please feel free to comment with your thoughts if you agree, have something to add, or even disagree. I love the conversation!
1. Everyone shows love and receives love in different ways.
Okay, I’ve never read the book “The Five Love Languages”. But, from what I hear about it, I can tell I would enjoy it or at least agree with the content in the book. I truly do believe people show love in different ways and they have preferences for how they receive love. How do you prefer to accept love? How do you show love? It took me a while to realize it, but having this conversation with your significant other can save you from some hurt feelings!
For example, let’s say you show love and best receive love by spending quality time with your significant other. And, they may be on a whole different page by preferring to show their love through acts of service like mowing your lawn and fixing your car. If you aren’t aware of how they show love, you may get upset if all you can see is they’re not spending time with you while they’re outside mowing the lawn and fixing the car. But, in their mind, they’re showing the most love by providing acts of service.
It’s definitely worth it to get to know how your significant other prefers to show their love!
2. You don’t have to be blood related to love someone like family.
Find your “people” and cherish them. And, know that someone does not have to be a blood relative to love them like family. This is a lesson I learned in my early twenties when I met some of my closest friends. No one gets to choose who they are related to, but “friends are the family we choose for ourselves” (Buchanan, Edna).
3. “If it costs you peace, it’s too expensive.”
This was a hard lesson for me to learn. And, to be honest, it is a skill I haven’t completely mastered yet. I have a people-pleasing tendency. I’ve always wanted to be agreeable and flexible even if it meant sacrificing my inner peace for someone else’s comfort.
I have to remind myself almost daily that it is okay to say “no” if too much is being asked of me. It’s okay to let others know your boundaries and, I have found, most people are very understanding. They’re understanding because they also have boundaries and limits.
And remember, “The only people who get upset about you setting boundaries are the ones who were benefiting from you having none.”
4. Over apologizing is toxic to your well being.
I’m not saying don’t ever say you’re “sorry”. If you wronged someone, own up to it and be genuine. Apologize once and mean it wholeheartedly. Then, show them you meant your apology by taking the necessary steps to change your actions. After that, it’s up to them to forgive and see that you meant your apology. But, there’s no need to continue apologizing for something you’ve already acknowledged and said “sorry” for.
And, apologizing too much for something not worth an apology in the first place or over apologizing for a small insignificant infraction isn’t fair to yourself. There is such a thing as apologizing so much that you begin to kill your self worth. Making a habit of over apologizing also gives others the impression and expectation for you always to be this sorry mousy person.
There’s quite a bit to read about women and our tendency to apologize too much and way more than men. If you are interested, I would start with this article by Forbes.
Remember, this doesn’t mean I’m wanting women to never apologize or to be “sorry”. I’m advocating for us to be more mindful of what we’re actually apologizing for and to stay fair to ourselves.
5. People Change.
You are meant to change and evolve. You are supposed to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and make personal changes accordingly. We’re not meant to stay exactly the same forever. This is a good thing!
This means you don’t have to be the same person you were a year ago. Heck, you don’t even have to be the same person you were yesterday if you don’t want to be! Actions or beliefs you once thought or did could now be ones you advocate against today. And that’s okay!
What are some lessons you’ve learned during your journey? I want to hear them!