This is 31

I’m officially IN my 30’s now. At least this year I didn’t ring in the new decade with virtual Jury Duty – talk about adulting at it’s finest.

I try to post X amount of things with each birthday to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime age experience, with the goal of looking back at them as a sort of time capsule meets flashback. What I’m finding to be important to share this year at 31 might mean diddly-squat in the upcoming years as I get older, but I know I’ll love seeing the shift in priorities and appreciate the journey.

This blog has served me in so many ways outside of the platform it’s designed to be — it’s allowed for growth, motivation, encouragement and a safe place to keep memories since 2013. As the years have gone and continue to go by, my blog has remained to be a direct reflection of who I’m becoming simultaneously and I’m so grateful for it.

As always, I’m eternally grateful for YOU – the person reading this post today & for the audience in this tiny corner of the Internet that I’ll forever treasure. I couldn’t have ever imagined doing this for a living without the undying support of both new & old visitors choosing to watch the story of my life unfold. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything & more.

Here’s to 31 & the things I’ve learned up to this point!

Procrastination results in more stress as you get older. Plan ahead and keep lists to track personal preparation
Disconnect from your phone once a week for an hour or two, it does WONDERS for your mental health
Place all your expectations on the table – in relationships or anything/anyone you find yourself involved in. Transparency will ALWAYS prevail
There’s always room for new friends & opportunities, don’t shut out the possibilities that seem uncomfortable at first
If you make plans with someone, follow through with them. You’re too mature for flighty behavior now

If you’re still thinking about that special item/treat/present for yourself after 2 days, get it!
You cannot control the weather, traffic or someone’s actions towards you. You can only control your reaction & how you choose to move forward with the cards that have been dealt to you
Do one attainable thing every day that makes you happy or gives you the most enjoyment – whether it’s that morning cup of coffee or evening glass of wine, a daily walk, a skincare routine, watching the sunset – anything as long as it’s for YOU
Normalize not looking or feeling like you have it all together every day, but absolutely embrace the hell out of it when you do – spritz the fancy perfume on your loungewear!
When in a quarrel or disagreement, acknowledge your involvement and apologize for how you made someone feel, regardless of what started the situation or who’s truly at fault. Recognizing the emotions of another stands stronger than proving a point

Owning a pet is the absolute BEST thing you can do for your mental health – the unconditional love and purpose provided to you exceeds all else
ALWAYS test drive the car before you buy it… literally & figuratively-speaking
Treat your parents or family members that raised you to a meal, a trip, etc. Remember to actively attempt to return the favor, even if it’s in small doses
Set boundaries & make it known the moment you feel them being crossed. Passive aggressiveness should be left in your 20’s
Take as many photos & videos as you can, even in the everyday hours – these are our home videos. Document & treasure them, also invest in a hard drive ASAP

It’s ok and normal to outgrow relationships/friendships, even if they’ve been present since childhood. No one is the same person they were back then anymore
When someone doubts you or lacks support of your endeavors, switch your mindset to an “I’ll show you” attitude – don’t give up on something you want to pursue just because the person negating your efforts is too timid to try for themselves
If you don’t believe in Bad Karma, it’ll soon show itself to you – remember that when you think about writing a cruel (not critical) negative review or taking up two parking spaces
Do to other’s what you wish for in return, but don’t expect it to come full circle each time. Good Karma will reward your efforts, always
Purge your belongings every season, donate what you can and don’t feel about bad selling items that hold value – you’re doing the best of both for others, emotionally, and for yourself, financially

Listen to your gut – it’s the #1 red flag detector that money can’t buy!
ALWAYS be kind – you never know what that could bring or mean to someone at any given moment
Don’t be afraid to spend time with yourself, whether it’s for a lunch date or traveling outside your comfort zone. You get to know yourself better this way than you’d ever imagine and it’s the best thing you can do for your confidence
Try to embrace the bad days because they always give a stronger appreciation for the better ones
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses allows for better recognition of potential burnout – take care of what you expect of yourself

It’s never too late to pick up a new hobby or passion project, even if its short-lived at least you can say you tried
Practice tuning out the intrusive thoughts, especially when it comes to comparison. Every body’s journey is different for a reason
There’s nothing more neutral-standing than staying in your own lane
Be open to opinions ONLY if you ask for them, and be sure to communicate that right from the start
What’s best for you is not necessarily best for others, remember that often

The mistakes you made yesterday led to the person you are today – forgive yourself and be thankful for the lessons learned

1 Comment

  • Reply jess jannenga July 3, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    Happy Birthday Tllden,
    I hope you had a wonderful birthday and I love that you write about what you have learned at different milestones. I totally agree with having a pet! I have 2 shih tzus as you know and they mean the world to me! Purging belongings and clearing out your closet can be a great way to donate to someone else in need.
    Thank you for linking1
    jess xx
    http://www.elegantlydresdsedandstylish.com

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