Thirty Things

Tomorrow I’m entering a new decade of my life. It feels like I was 19 only a day ago, and it also feels like I’ve been 30 for about five years. It’s a very odd duality inside my head at the moment.

Since I’m a blogger, and since I have in fact learned a lot in my short time on this planet I figured it was time to put those things into writing and reflect back on the last 30 years of my life.

So without further ado, here are 30 things I’ve learned.

  1. Not all eyebrow waxes are created equally. The major difference between a good one and a bad one is trimming. Also, if you’re overseas, beware! Sometimes it’s best to embrace the unibrow to preserve the hair you’ve got.
  2. There’s a significant difference between real friendships and “situationships.” Making friends as an adult is hard, and though I’ve met hundreds of people since leaving Wisconsin, many of those relationships don’t materialize into real friendships. Those that have are amazing.
  3. Take the trip. If you can go, go. Even if it’s for three days. Even if it’s five weeks since your last long trip and three days before you fly to America again. More on that in a few weeks.
  4. It’s ok to cut people out of your life. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known someone, if that relationship doesn’t serve you, let it go.
  5. Skincare is important. At 25, my skin decided to revert to its teenage self, and I’ve been struggling with acne all over again. It’s highly annoying. Do your research. Not all cleansers are created equally. Sometimes it’s worth investing in higher quality products if they make a difference.
  6. Nail-biting is self-harm. The moment I made this decision in my head is the moment I truly gave up destroying my hands with my teeth. My collection of 150+ nail polishes doesn’t hurt either.
  7. On that note, a good top coat and base coat make all the difference in a home manicure. Just, trust me on this one, ok?
  8. Vegetables are delicious. Don’t think so? Try roasting them. It’s a start. Plus, you’ll feel so much better.
  9. No one is really thinking about you as much as you think. I remember being a kid, and my mom would be upset about something totally unrelated, and I would automatically assume it was about me. Exasperated, she would tell me, “Kristen, sometimes it’s not about you.” And really, it usually isn’t.
  10. Marry your best friend. I don’t like it when people say this is a bad thing. Take your wrong opinions somewhere else, please, and thank you. Sean and I have been in situations where we literally only have each other, and I’m always so glad he’s the one by my side.
  11. Five animals are too many, but they are the best. I don’t recommend collecting two cats and three dogs in five years, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Even when they pee on my carpet or scream at us for dinner.
  12. Always order something different than your partner at a restaurant. I don’t think this warrants much of an explanation. More food, more choices.
  13. Quality beds are important. Of all my possessions I miss when we are in the middle of a PCS and our household goods have yet to arrive, my bed is number one. It remains my favorite large purchase.
  14. I’d rather be mentally stimulated than comfortable. I’d rather work for less money doing something intellectually stimulating than earning more money being bored. Boredom does not serve me.
  15. Red lipstick is power. Obviously.
  16. My parents were right. And they are pretty cool. I’m glad they parented me when I was a kid, so I grew up to be a functioning adult. Now we can all be friends.
  17. Millennials are pretty cool. I’m done with people trying to gaslight our entire generation. We will be fine, guys. We like avocado toast and hate fabric softener. It will be FINE.
  18. Minimalism is key, except for souvenirs. I’m continually decluttering my house, but I’ve never regretted a souvenir from our travels.
  19. The right size of clothing makes all the difference. I used to wear clothing that was 1-3 sizes larger than I needed. Not because of any body image issues, but because I genuinely thought I was that size. More fabric makes you look larger, not smaller. Size down girl.
  20. Neck pillows really make a difference on those long haul flight. As much as it annoys me to be “that” traveler.
  21. We are all figuring out this “adulting” thing. I don’t know if I’ll ever truly feel like an adult, but I don’t think any of us really will.
  22. Respect is to be commanded, not demanded. I’ve struggled to figure out why I have issues with some authority figures, and I’m totally fine with others. What I’ve discovered is the ones who demand my respect will never have it. You must earn it.
  23. Drink water. Seriously. Just do it.
  24. Gray hair is inevitable, but hair dye helps. I’ve had gray hairs since I was 24, and now at 30, they are coming in full force. I got highlights when I was home last month, and they bother me way less these days.
  25. A full night’s sleep is essential. Duh.
  26. Saying “I miss you” is powerful. I’m constantly missing people, but I don’t always allow myself to express that. When I actually let them know, I feel amazing.
  27. If you tell me I “should” do something, I won’t do it. What can I say, I’m stubborn.
  28. Solitude is powerful. As much as I love being around people, I need to be alone with my thoughts every so often. It helps to re-center everything.
  29. Astrology is fun. I don’t base my whole personality around being a Libra sun, Virgo moon, and Aries rising, but it’s a fun way to look at yourself.
  30. Aging is a privilege. Not everyone gets to grow up or grow old. So yes, gray hair and wrinkles may not be the most fun thing ever, but I’m glad I get to live long enough to begin experiencing them.

Here’s to being – to paraphrase an excellent movie – thirty, flirty, and thriving!

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