Here it is. October 12th. Another year older and wiser. I’ve never been a birthday person, but my 30’s have been good so far (only been here a year), so I wanted to dedicate this week’s blogpost to celebrating 7 things I’ve learned in my 30’s.
Tell people how much you love and appreciate them. Recently, I’ve made it my duty to tell people how much they mean to me. And at first, it feels silly. I took a minute to tell my boss that the way she ran a meeting made me feel so supported and I really appreciated that. I made a point to tell husband how happy he makes me and how much I notice and appreciate the little things. The response might be “why are you being weird?” But people get used to it and it makes them happy too.
Celebrate the things you love instead of bashing what you hate. Guys, here are some of the things I like. Cows, mango, wildflowers, dog memes, queer eye and jonathan van ness, laughing really hard, dancing in my living room, disney movie soundtracks even if I’ve never seen them, musical soundtracks even if I’ve never seen them, house renovations, demo, soy candles from milkhouse candle company, having nothing to do, ginger, ginger and lemon, short hair, photography, being creative, walks with my dog, handwritten letters, raw emotions. I could go on. Celebrate the things you love and you may just find you have less things on the list of hate.
Find your voice and don’t be afraid to use it. Throughout the past year, I’ve become more and more interested in politics. From a young age, I’ve always felt a call to stand up to those who are facing an injustice. When I was in 4th grade I took out The Diary of Anne Frank which then prompted me to learn more about human injustices throughout history. I then read all the books on slavery that my local library could offer. In college, I was lucky enough to visit the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam - an experience that has resonated within me that I often look to when evaluating our current political climate. During these experiences, I would often ask “how could this happen?” and when actual Nazi’s were hatefully marching around in Charlottesville last year, I was done being passive. I am using my voice, my vote and my activism because it allows me to feel like I have more control in a situation that often seems out of control. Regardless of what political party you support, get informed and find out how to fight for the things that are important to you. It feels good. And hopefully it makes the world a better place. Get loud people.
Go for it. In my 20’s, I would have great ideas or goals. I was a good dreamer, but my follow through needed work. My first photo session was for my aunt and her kids. After posting the pictures, I had a few people who reached out asking if they could hire me. I made a facebook page, created a watermark and thought about the possibility of starting a small photo business. Then, I convinced myself I wasn’t good enough, deleting the page along with my dream. It just seemed too big and too scary. I little bit of confidence, a little bit of wisdom, a new last name and a few years later, I went for it. And I couldn’t be happier. Life is busy right now balancing two jobs, but I’m grateful.
Stand up for yourself. THIS ONE. I had such a hard time being assertive since I’m a people pleaser by nature. I wanted everyone I encountered to feel happy and comfortable at all times, which meant sacrificing my own happiness and comfort in certain situations. How many times I’ve laughed alongside someone and then got in my car and thought about all the things I could’ve or should’ve said...I can barely count. With each passing year, I’ve learned to toughen up. And I keep learning how to do that, getting stronger each time.
Take time to get to know yourself. It makes your relationships stronger when you understand your relationship with yourself. Find out more about who you are, your hopes and dreams, your spirit animal (I’m a cow...I know…), your personality type - anything that gives you more insight into you!
Make time to adventure and explore. After closing on our house, my husband and I feared we would have to put our travel dreams on hold. We lasted about 7 months before booking a mini trip to the Adirondacks and then a muchhhh bigger trip to Iceland in April. Traveling just revives my soul. I can’t sacrifice it no matter how much I try. So I’ve made it a point to budget for travel because it’s important to this 31 year old.
Hoping your next birthday has you feeling all sorts of empowered and energized. Here’s to 31! Here is our most recent trip to Lake George as a mini vacation celebration.