As you may or may not have heard, I turned 30 this past week (and walking down the street with these balloons is the equivalent of shouting it from the rooftops). A lot of people have been asking me if it feels any different. At first, I said no, because the differences between being 30 and 29 years and 364 days old is non-existent. But thinking about 30 year old me versus 20 year old me makes me feel like I’m a completely different person. Keep reading for some of the lessons that I learned in my twenties and how I hope it will help me to be 30.
Be outdoors as much as possible. This is kind of an easy one to check off the list during the summer time, but it wasn’t until I got myself over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park to watch the sunset a few weekends ago that I realized I need to get myself outside more often, ASAP. I especially love taking in views of New York from all kinds of different perspectives. And even though it’s hot and humid AF outside right now, those days picnicking in the park or watching the sunset along the river are going to be more memorable than that time I watched Netflix on my couch.
Never stop being curious. I recently saw a Facebook status of mine from 2012, right before I took the New York Bar Exam and proclaimed, “Here’s to the last time I ever have to study for anything.” While it’s true that I never plan on taking a standardized test again, there are still things I want to learn and try. I listen to podcasts on the ways things work, try to read at least one educational/informational story every day, and am definitely not one to shy away from a good Wikipedia binge fest. Keeping that curiosity alive means you’ll never stop growing.
Social media is NOT everything. This one’s a rough pill to swallow, considering that it’s a major part of what I do for the blog. My heart still does a cartwheel every time I get a new follower or thumps compulsively until I get that perfect downward food shot at brunch, but there will be days where I just need to put the phone down. There are times when life is more important than likes and as long as you can remember that, you’re doing better than most.
Keep saying yes. When I moved to NYC (four years ago next month!), I said yes to just about everything. Blogger dates, drinks with friends of friends and even a “I’m new to the city” kind of meetup group (another story for another time). Once I found my groove though, I started saying no to a lot of things and in a way, closed the door in some potentially unforgettable experiences. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the routine, but it’s important to keep putting yourself out there. To seizing opportunities when they arise. And to keep saying yes. Always.
Prioritize experiences, not possessions. Since we started dating over a decade ago, James and I have made it a tradition to save up for experiences, instead of gifts around birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Sure, I’d love a new designer it-bag as much as the next girl, but the satisfaction of the purchase comes and goes – experiences are so much more everlasting. As we embark on our thirties (James turned earlier this spring), I’m most excited about the adventures that await. We have a growing list of places that we’d love to visit (I’m thinking Spain, Ireland, the English countryside, South of France, Australia, Philippines) and then there are the experiences to be had in our own NYC playground. I don’t know how much longer we’ll be on the East Coast for, but I know that I want to soak up every second of it before it’s on to the next adventure.