Last week, I turned thirty.  Here are some things I’ve learned over the last thirty years.

  1. When in doubt, turn it off and back on again.
  2. Most events in life can be summed up with a reference to Friends or Seinfeld. Moo. Moops.
  3. Hair is hair, and it will grow back. Chop it off at least once in your life.
  4. Some people aren’t meant to be in your life forever. It’s sad, but sometimes people suck, and it’s not your fault.
  5. People will underestimate what you’re capable of doing. Use that to your advantage.
  6. “It will get better before you’re married.”  (Once you hit your thirties, is there a new way of phrasing this? It will get better before you retire?)
  7. You’re going to piss people off just by being yourself. Other people will love you for exactly who you are.
  8. You can’t please everyone.
  9. If you feel unwell most days, go to the doctor. If they can’t help you, go to another one. Find out what’s wrong and get well.
  10. Run (or do some other activity that you love and gets your body moving).
  11. You’re important to someone whether you know it or not, and they’ll show you how important you are to them when you least expect it.
  12. Having a job that you hate is probably the worst thing you can do in your life. Do what you love.
  13. It doesn’t matter what you did when you were 15 or 20 or 25. You can be whoever you want to be right now.
  14. Other people are going to tell you who you are, but you have to realize that this is either who they want you to be or who they think you are. You are who you want to be. Their opinion is just that.
  15. Other people’s life choices don’t affect your life. You can disagree with their choices, but the choices are theirs to make.
  16. Gluten is evil. Just “one bite” isn’t worth it. Ever.
  17. Even if you’re apprehensive about strangers touching you, massages are worth the initial anxiety … and the never having a migraine ever again.
  18. Sometimes things stop being awesome, and, when they stop being awesome, it’s time to move on.
  19. You can do more than you think you are capable of doing … and then a little more.
  20. Eat real food. Prepackaged crap is crap.
  21. Learning how to cook is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself.
  22. Unfortunately, sometimes, women are treated differently for being women. Luckily, we know how to put douche bags in their place.
  23. Emergency surgery is scary, but living without pain trumps that.
  24. It’s OK to be emotional, but there’s no crying in baseball.
  25. If you put it on the Internet, remember that privacy is relative. I know this, and I wish other people would learn this.
  26. Some of the best friends you have will be people that you may never meet in person.
  27. It’s OK to fail. Actually, you’re supposed to fail. If you don’t fail a few times, you’ll never know what success is.
  28. You never know what is going to happen, so make sure to do what you want to do, and make it count.
  29. The most important thing in life, above all things, is to be happy. If you’re not happy, you’re not living your life the way you’re supposed to be living it.
  30. Never settle.

Who Is Driving?

Sometimes I forget that I am a (nearly) thirty-year-old adult. I forget that while I make all the decisions about my own life, that the decisions are truly my own to make.

I tend to make major life decisions based upon what negative feedback I think am going to get. I worry that the decisions I make are going to be “wrong.” I worry that I am still a 12-year-old kid that is going to be scolded or grounded. It doesn’t matter if the decision is personal or professional. It doesn’t matter if I have my best interests in mind. For every major decision, I weigh it against what people close to me will say or think. I weigh it against how it will affect their opinion of me.

Codependent, much?

Before the holidays, I worked with Tara from A Life Changing Journey to gain some perspective on making big changes in my life. Going into the whole life coaching thing was new for me. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get out of it, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to be willing to discuss. We talked about a lot of things, but the big thing I got out of our sessions together was that I am the one in charge of my life. I am driving.

For as independent and together as I try to be, there are certain aspects of my life where I let other people’s opinions and feelings rule my decisions. For example, I want a tattoo. I know I want a tattoo. I’m certain of the content and the placement, yet I am hesitating. The hesitation is not because I’m afraid of the actual process of getting the tattoo. Sure, the permanence is a little scary, but the procedure is not. (I had a thyroid biopsy. I can do anything.) What keeps getting into my head is that I’m going to disappoint someone. Someone close to me may not like tattoos, and they may think that my having one in such a visible location is wrong, stupid, etc.

Why does it matter?

This is how a lot of my decisions are made. I worry about how my decisions about things I want to do are going to affect other people’s opinions of me. I’m not worried about superficial things, like if the clothes I’m wearing are in style or if I’m up-to-date on pop culture, but I worry about the very personal, important decisions about my life.

This needs to stop.

What I choose to do with my life is my choice. I am in the driver’s seat. I am driving.

Everything Will Be OK

While I can’t say much at the moment, I can say that right now is ROUGH. Things aren’t going my way, and things haven’t been going my way for quite some time. However, I believe that everything is going to be OK.

I can’t talk about what’s going on, but I can say that every choice I make from here on out will be an intentional one. Every choice will have a purpose. It has taken me a year of ups and downs throughout all aspects of my life to realize that some days, some weeks, some months, and some years are not yours to conquer. Sometimes the hits just keep coming, but how you deal with each one is up to you.

It could be worse. No one died, and no one is dying. (Knock on wood.)

It’s taken this year of crap (ineloquent but true) for me to realize that I wll be OK. Never before have I ever doubted my “okayness” until I went through this last year, but now I know that I can and will be OK no matter what. Life happens. It’s how you deal with it that determines how you will proceed.

These next few weeks and months will be a challenge, but I will get through them. If anything, my challenges in this past year have taught me that I have a support system, as non-traditional as it may be. I have people that love me. I have people that worry about me. I have people that will kick me in the ass when I need it. I have people that will not let me forget what good things I have in my life and what things I am capable of doing.

Last year, I was sad and uncertain about the future. Today, I have a plan, and I am hopeful.

One Day at a Time

“One day at a time–this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”

– Ida Scott Taylor