30 things I’ve learned in 30 years

30 things I've learned in 30 years from XOSarah.com

Turning 30 is weird. I can’t believe I’m 30 and I totally can. Half of me feels like I’ve been past my 20s for a few years now and half of me wonders if I’m really old enough to be in the 30-something club.

I’m excited though. I’m one of those weirdos looking forward to being 40 and 50 and being wise and bad ass and a little nutty. (All those years of watching Oprah, I tell ya!)

SO, on the morning of my 30th, here are 30 things I’ve learned in 30 years…

1. Don’t waste time falling in love with dudes who don’t think you’re the most smart, beautiful and fun person on earth AND make space in their life for you, because someone will. Go out, have fun, but don’t spend years hanging out with jerks – have patience!

2. Get a dog – you’ll always have someone to hangout with and they will always be extremely excited to see you.

3. You don’t have to respond to everything immediately. It can wait a few hours or a few days sometimes.

4. “No” is a complete sentence.

5. People cannot read your mind.

6. Everyone doesn’t have to like you. It’s a giant waste of time worrying about it or trying to change it.

7. My mother will always be right.

8. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

9. Don’t keep a tally of mistakes or hold grudges (especially in romantic relationships). Voice your opinion on whatever is pissing you off and then let it go. Harping on things makes the other person feel like crap, but it does not make them change.

10. Always give your full attention to whomever is in front of you.

11. If you’re angry/hurt/severely annoyed, don’t hit send. Write the email and sleep on it.

12. In college, when in doubt, get a business degree. I’m damn good with AP Style, but I’d trade my journalism degree for business any day of the week.

13. Get in the habit of working out. After a few weeks your body will crave it.

14. Ignore the small stuff. The person did not leave the light on/show up late/forget that thing you reminded them 100 times to bring to piss you off. Give them a break.

15. Just do your best. Show up, give 100% of what you can give that day (even if you’re tired and sick and 100% turns out to be not much).

16. Tell people you appreciate them and are grateful for things they do.

17. Don’t be flaky – follow through on the things you say you’ll do. If you can’t or don’t want to do something, just say so.

18. Don’t worry about picking a job to last a lifetime. I’m in a completely different place than I was at 22. I chose a job that was perfect for me and then I grew out of it.

19. Don’t assume you know anything about anyone. People rarely tell the whole story, especially when they are in a bad place. Being judgy makes you look bad, not them.

20. Don’t take things personally. People do things because of them, not you.

21. Putting one foot in front of the other will help you survive the most difficult of times.

22. Use your 20s to learn. Don’t worry so much about nailing down the perfect job or the perfect man.

23. Be selfish sometimes. Do what you want, take care of yourself.

24. Ask for help when you need it.

25. It’s OK to freakout/panic/lose it/totally doubt yourself/question everything every once in a while.

26. Just get started even if you don’t really know what you’re doing.

27. Don’t waste time worrying about people who aren’t going to spend time worrying about you.

28. Don’t buy things you won’t use on a regular basis. I’ve donated way to much crap in the past few years that I could have skipped buying altogether.

29. If you are not happy with your life, your relationship, your job, don’t complain, do something about it.

30. Be brave and take risks. You will not regret the things you did, but those you did not do.

Here are a few more lists of life lessons from Leo Babauta, Joy the Baker, Sheryl Kraft, Susannah Conway, Ryan Nicodemus, Marc Chernoff

And to celebrate, use the code 30YEARS to get 30% off items in my Etsy shop, my ebook and all sponsor spots!

(Good through Sunday at midnight)

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  1. says

    Happy birthday and welcome to the 30s-club! :) I love your attitude about getting older. 30 was kind of a strange milestone for me, but I’m learning to embrace it. I never really was “young” in my 20s anyway. Great list too.

  2. says

    YES to all of these, especially #4 and #12. I’d trade my journalism degree for a business degree in a heartbeat, too.

    And YAY Happy Birthday! Can’t wait to have a lady date celebration soon :)

  3. says

    My birthday is the 18th and I will be turning 33. So I feel you!

    Happy birthday Sarah!!! May it be a wonderful one with lots and lots of cake and candy and presents!

  4. says

    Happy Birthday! I couple of weeks I will join in the 30-something club! A lot of mixed feelings there even though I like the idea of being a witty old insane granny one day. Haha. xx Kaisa // kaisaphoto.com

  5. says

    Happy Birthday to you! I turned 57 last week and I’m laughing at your comment about being wise when you’re older. You already ARE very wise!! That was awesome advice you just gave…I love your attitude about everything;)
    I’m also really enjoying your blog. You’ve got some great tips here.
    Have a super day!

  6. says

    Happy Birthday! This is a great list and I pretty agree with all of them. Especially #4! Thanks for the discount code, I may have to gobble up some themes.

  7. says

    Happy birthday! This is a great list, especially #8… I feel like I spent way too much energy in my early 20s comparing myself to other people, when the fact is that you’re only ever going to be you so you should be the best you that you can (or something).

  8. says

    Excellent list – this is the best birthday list of this kind that i’ve read. It says a lot about you – and i mean that as a compliment!

    And happy birthday, girl!

  9. says

    Happy birthday! I’m also almost 30 years old, and I agree.
    Part of me doesn’t feel almost 30, but the other part feels already passed 30. Very strange.


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