I just celebrated my 30th birthday (whoop whoop!), and in honour I’m sharing my ’30 Lessons by 30′ list!
I’ve always loved celebrating birthdays; be it my own or other peoples’. I know that some people dread their birthdays, but for me it’s always a cause to party. Every birthday you get to celebrate means another loop around the sun, and that’s pretty awesome, right?!
In honour of turning thirty, I want to share 30 lessons I’ve learnt over the past three decades. Some are mantras, and others are little quirks which just make me happy.
I hope you enjoy reading my roundup!
I’d love to know of any you’d add in!
30 Lessons I’ve Learnt by 30
1 – “Don’t lose a diamond while chasing glitter”
I came across this quote on Rosie’s Instagram Stories, and it really resonated with me. When Oli and I first started dating I was eighteen and he was twenty-two. There were times in the early years of our relationship when we were both scared that we were comitting to one another when we were too young, but I am SO glad that we stuck to our guns. Turns out . . . we ended up getting married! I wrote a piece for my friend Amanda’s site about what it’s like to be in a long-term relationship when you’re young a few years back, and having re-read it again I stick by everything. Including:
“I truly believe that, cheesy though it sounds, love grows indefinitely with the right person.
Also, I think Oli’s growing hotter with age . . . so that helps!”
It really does, ha!
What I know is this: if you’ve found your ‘diamond’ early on, hang on!
Diamonds are a much better investment than glitter ????!
2 – “Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of someone else”
I was introduced to this Judy Garland quote by Camille Styles, and it rang so true for me.
Being the absolute best version of yourself, is the only pursuit worth taking on. There’s only one of you!
Dive into your passions (whatever they may be), follow the things which light you up. You can absolutely be a first-rate version of yourself, but you’ll always be a ‘so so’ impression of someone else.
In the age of comparison, I remind myself of this all the time.
3 – If you order a flavoured Starbucks coffee, ask for just ‘one pump’ of syrup
You get all the flavoured goodness, but you dodge the overly-sweet taste. You’re welcome ????
4 – A lot of things can be sorted with a good night’s sleep
A tonic to almost everything.
5 – Balancing your hormones is one of the best things you can do for your health and wellbeing
One of the most important things I’ve done for myself as an adult is learn about my hormones. When I was suffering with hormonal acne and mood dips around my period, I got geeky about my own cycle.
I found Alissa Vitti’s work and ended up taking supplements recommended by her. I cut out cow’s milk and most dairy from my diet, and generally started paying attention to how I was feeling month in month out.
Since investing the time and energy in understanding my own hormones better, my skin has cleared up, my moods are SO much better, and my energy levels are much more even throughout the month.
6 – The Time Energy Money Matrix is everything
“Is this worth my time, energy and money?” – the question I ask myself about just about everything!
7 – Also: does this make me feel relieved, or stressed out?
Your 6th sense is there for a reason.
Whenever I’m caught in-between a decision, I think about if I’ll feel ‘relieved’ or ‘stressed out’ making my mind up either way. If I can, I always go the route which makes me feel most content.
8 – It’s cool to be kind
9 – Being by the sea is meditative
I’ve always loved being by the sea, and over the past few years I’ve spent as much time along the UK coastline as possible. Oli’s family have a holiday home in Bracklesham and whenever we’re there the pace of everything changes. I love the air, the sound of the water and the laid-back vibe.
Whenever I need a break, some time by the sea is the answer.
10 – There’s a lot of power in telling the truth
Maybe it’s because I’m a rubbish liar, but I’m always inclined to tell the truth, even if it’s hard to do so. The same is true of other people, I’d always rather someone owns up to something than dodges the truth. I feel like as long as you know where you stand, you’ve got a solid foundation to move forwards from.
11 – There’s a lot of power in forgiving people, and also yourself.
Forgiveness is an amazing tool. If the Hallmark Channel has taught me anything (haha!), it’s that forgiveness is for you, not the other person.
Forgiving someone counteracts anger, and releasing anger is so cathartic.
The same goes for forgiving yourself.
12 – Travelling feeds my soul and spurs on my creativity
I love to explore!
I’ve realised that it’s a real creative driver for me, and so it will always be a priority. I have the US on my mind this year. *Oli, hint hint!*
13 – Celebrate your successes often
It’s so easy to forget to pause and celebrate, but without doing so milestones and achievements can pass you by.
I’m a BIG fan of celebrating often, whether it’s to honour a small win, or a big one. Or even if it’s a case of celebrating your efforts day in day out.
Make sure you acknowledge your hard work.
It spurs you on for the future, and helps to recognise your efforts as you go along.
14 – When you work from home, routine is your friend and so is fresh air!
I’ve worked from home for the past nine years, and over that almost-decade I’ve learnt a LOT about how to be productive, and how to stay sane.
First up, a routine. It’s so important to have some kind of routine in your day, be that the time you wake up, the time you take lunch . . . whatever. There needs to be some structure.
The second thing? It’s ESSENTIAL to get outside, and breathe in fresh air every day. Better still, exercise every day. But if you can’t do that, at least get outside.
15 – Friendships should feel effortless, but you still have to make an effort
I feel so lucky to have an amazing group of friends, who truly fill my heart up. With friendship, spending time together should feel totally effortless, and the hours should run away before you know it.
That being said, as everyone grows and leads their own lives, it’s super important to stay in touch and make an effort.
Send texts, cards, emails, whatever . . . but make sure that you tell each other often how important your friendship is to one another.
And, when you can, get together! There’s nothing like making new memories!
16 – Flowers make me happy
I love love love flowers. Always have, and I’m guessing I always will. In springtime my eyes are on stalks ogling the blooms out and about, and whenever I can I have fresh flowers in our home too.
17 – Double cleansing will make your skin clearer
I will forever be grateful to my friend Fera for introducing me to double-cleansing. It’s cleared up my skin SO much, and as I’m now thirty (officially!), I’m even more invested in my skincare regime, ha!
18 – When you find a hair colour and cut that suits you, you’ve won at life
When you find a hair colour and cut that you love, that suits you and makes you feel fancy, it’s a HUGE win!
Of course you may want to change things up from time to time (I’m all for it!), but finding a hairdresser/colourist that gets you is major.
I lucked out with marrying my hairdresser (hey Ols!), but I’ve also been seeing Alex at LORD in Winchester for my colour recently and I looooooove what he does!
19 – Living a good lifestyle leads to a generally good life
If you break it down, your ‘lifestyle’ is literally your ‘style of life’.
As in, how you choose to spend your days.
Think carefully about how you spend your days, since that ultimately adds up to how you spend your life.
*’scuse the bra flash ????!*
20 – My family is awesome
They just are! I love them!
21 – It helps to know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert
When I learnt that I was an introvert it helped me to understand how I recharge my batteries.
Nowadays I’m conscious of having a frequent buffer of time to myself, so that I can be a better human ????
22 – Don’t lick salt when you drink tequila, it tastes better without it!
No salt, just lime. And maybe a chaser of pineapple juice! Sounds weird, tastes GREAT!
23 – The way people act is a reflection of how they feel
Have you ever been in a situation when someone ‘acts out’? Or doesn’t react how you’re expecting them to? People act in-line with how they’re feeling. Knowing this doesn’t mean that you can change their behaviour, but it’s helpful to know if you ever come up against a confrontation.
If someone comes across as angry, or in a poor mood, I try to put myself in their shoes and understand what could be causing them to act that way. Once I understand that it’s likely that they’re unhappy or in a difficult position, I have compassion and try to send them good vibes. See: No.8.
24 – The Philips handheld steamer is one of the best things I own
Absolute. Game. Changer. I use it almost every day.
25 – Your job is not your career. Your career, (with all its twists and turns) is your career.
Your career will have ebbs and flows, so if you’re not happy in your ‘job’ don’t worry! You can always change it up.
It’s never too late to shift, to learn a new skill, to take on a side hustle . . . whatever. You will spend a lot of your life working, so it’s worth doing something you truly enjoy.
26 – It’s 100% OK to ‘let go’ from time to time
Running my own business, and generally being a ‘cautious’ person, sometimes I find it hard to just relax and let go. But whenever I do, I’m reminded of how FUN and restorative it is!
It’s OK from time to time to let responsiblities fall to the wayside, and enjoy a random afternoon of fun! Or an extra glass of wine! Go wild ????
27 – A positive morning routine will align you for your day
Years ago I got super invested in my morning routine, and since I’ve got into a groove which works for me I’ve felt generally much happier, more productive and energised. The routine changes depending on the time of year, but generally I take around one – two hours to myself in the morning before doing any work, or logging on to any form of social media.
By doing this I’m genuinely excited to get out of bed in the morning, I’ve given myself the gift of some ‘me’ time and I’m ready to really start work when I head into my office.
28 – Buy the jeans that can barely do up – they’ll stretch!
I learnt this when I worked for a denim brand in my years of interning. If your jeans have a % of elastane, they’ll stretch. As long as they do up (even if they feel super tight!), they’ll stretch, so make sure to buy the pair which is almost ‘too tight’ because soon enough they’ll be a perfect fit ????
29 – Health. Home. Hustle. is still my mantra
Do you remember my first Health. Home. Hustle. post from 2017? Since I found myself structuring my priorities in this order: health first, home second and hustle third, I’ve not looked back!
Keeping this order in mind ALL the time really really helps me to get (and keep!) my sh*t together.
If I’m ever feeling like I’m drifting, I go back to this routine: health, home, hustle.
30 – I’m just really happy to be 30!
I know that lots of people lament leaving their twenties, but I’ve always been excited to turn 30! Perhaps it’s because in every interview I’ve read with women in their 30s, they say how happy they are in this decade. Or maybe it’s because all my friends who are 30+ look hotter than ever ????
Whatever it is, I’m so so glad to be entering this decade, and I hope that it comes with the confidence, peace and happiness that so many people have told me it will.
What’s Your Take?
So that was fun to write! I think I used about five tenses in those lessons, ha!
Are you 30, or are you turning 30 soon too?! Do the lessons I’ve shared with you resonate, and if so, which one(s)?!
I’d love to hear from you!
Love, Monica x
Photography by Charlotter Bryer-Ash