13 Things I’ve Learned Before 30

30th

It’s here. The day has finally come…well, it’s coming tomorrow.

I’m turning 30!

It has hit me in different ways on different days, but overall I’m looking forward to this new decade of life. It’s hard to believe all that has happened in the past 10 years (the usuals: graduated college, worked a few jobs and finally found a job I love, got married, moved, bought a house). Still waiting on the get a pet and have kids thing.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to recap 13 lessons (my bday is on the 13th after all) I’ve learned over the years that I hope to take through my thirties and beyond:

1. Be confident and assertive

I feel like I’ve really learned to come out of my shell in different ways over the past decade. I remember when I studied abroad in England and had to learn to be assertive at the pub bar to get my order in. With life, I’ve learned that it’s OK to stand up for yourself and others and let your voice be heard.

2. Good communication = good relationships

Even though I work in communications (as a marketing writer), I’m always working on my communication skills. With all of the friendships and marriage conversations that I’ve had in the past few years, I’ve realized that good communication is key…to a lot of things. Be honest instead of holding frustrations inside. Communicate straight with the source, instead of gossiping. Over-communicate rather than under. It will serve you well in your relationships and the work world.

3. Career isn’t everything

This was a hard lesson to learn in my mid- to late-twenties, but it was also an important one for me. I’ve always been more of a high achiever, and it was difficult for me to be at jobs for years that didn’t put me exactly where I wanted to be in my career. It wasn’t until God helped me learn that career isn’t everything that I could let go of trying to prove that to others. And then I found a killer job, so that worked out in time. Work is important and a great way to connect with others and use your God-given skills, but there is much more to life (relationships, family, community, volunteering, etc.). I’ve benefited greatly from putting my faith and trust in something bigger than my career.

4. Friends come and go, but true ones stay

This may sound sad, but it’s a good lesson. Friendships are wonderful, but it’s likely by the time you reach your late twenties that you have a small but core group of friends. I really enjoy having friends from my childhood, college, past workplaces, current work and church. There were times when I wondered why I didn’t have lots of people inviting me to their homes every week, but I value the infrequent time I spend with true friends. With the good ones, you can always pick up where you left off, no matter how long it’s been.

5. Sleep on it

This is a huge lesson I hope to take with me into my thirties. When you wonder if you should do something, talk to someone, publish something, argue with a coworker, cry about something, etc., you should sleep on it. You will make much better decisions (and not do rash things you will regret), if you give yourself some time to cool off and chill out. Trust me on this one!

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