18 Nov 30 Lessons From A 30-Year-Old
If someone told me in my twenties I’d be single and living with my cat at age 30, I would’ve told them they were crazy.
If someone told me as a kid I’d be wearing sweatpants to work every day, I would’ve told them they were crazy.
If someone told me a year ago I’d be writing my 600th blog at 10,000 feet elevation, I would’ve told them they were crazy.
If someone told me last week I’d be writing this blog on my 30th birthday in snowboard pants and thermal underwear, I would’ve told them they were crazy.
And if someone told me on this special day that I’m old, I would’ve told them they were crazy.
Now that my 20s are over, I feel more alive and vibrant than ever before.
Looking back, it was a decade that was young, fun and full of exuberance. From having 5am late-night pizza feasts, to singing Miley Cyrus Party In The USA at parties, to having deep conversations in the bathroom stall with my soccer girls, to sneaking onto the Johns Hopkins library rooftop to stargaze, there was never a dull moment. <— Oh, and don’t tell the school Dean, please.
While I was full of life, stupidity and boldness, I was also full of fear, anxiety and uncertainty.
In my 20s, there were plenty of “oh shoot!” moments and detours that jostled my soul.
There were plenty of disorienting times that left me pondering the big, stomach churning question: ‘what the hell am I doing with my life?’
There were plenty of heart stabbing breakups that forced me to get comfortable with being with myself.
There were plenty of trolls that made me question blogging and content creating and spreading an authentic message altogether.
There were plenty of pay cuts and pay raises that enlightened me to the real value of money.
There were plenty of panic attacks and faint spells that forced me to be less of a work-a-holic and take more time off to rest.
Of course, this list of events could go on and on. And while I could complain about the volatility of my 20s, I am thankful for the lessons I learned, and optimistic about the action steps I will be taking into my 30s.
Truthfully, I’m pumped for 30. For the first time, I feel I am oozing my authenticity, living my purpose, and spreading an inspiring message. And for the first time, I feel so incredibly independent, and like I can brave this world with my cat by my side.
Before I dive in, the lessons I learned at 30 can apply to all humans.
So wherever you are in your life – married with kids, single with a cat, divorced, broke, lost, confused, isolated – I hope you can take these treasures and sparkle them into your own life.
Let’s do this.
1. Connection is important.
This much I know: humans need each other.
And the older we get, the harder it is to make new friends.
Marriage, kids, careers, phDs, and job re-locations are all valid concerns to not connect with friends as much, but that does not mean you need to be a closed-off recluse the rest of your life.
I’ve learned that friendship is all there is, and the more I isolate myself and get too comfortable staring at my computer screen at home by myself, with the NFL as the backdrop, I need to get out and stay connected with people.
Friendship is important.
It shines light in dark times. It makes us feel connected. It brings emotional value to our lives. It provides us with support when we are unhealthy and dying.
Even if you’re busy and have a lot on your plate, investing in your friends goes a long way for your emotional, mental health, and physical health.
2. Don’t follow your passion.
Okay, this is tricky, but hear me out: instead of following your passion, follow your purpose.
You can fall in love with a plethora of things, yet you aren’t meant to share them with the world and make a living off of them.
As an example, I’m passionate about researching fashion week and new designers’ collections, learning Elvish, and snowboarding, but I don’t feel I can follow these as vocations.
To that end, I feel my purpose on this planet is to teach, coach and write because I spent my entire life mastering as well as getting recognized for these.
So follow your purpose because you are talented at it and recognized for it. This is much more sustainable as a career.
3. It’s okay to be negative.
I’ll be honest: the “good vibes only” crowd bothers me.
The truth is, with life’s oscillations, it’s impossible to exude positivity and happiness all the time.
And for anyone who exclaims, “just be grateful and connect to the Source!” you are undermining the human condition of feeling feelings.
First off, what the hell does connect to the Source even mean? Second off, am I not allowed to be a deeply intense and emotional human being?
Life isn’t always going to be rainbows and cream puffs, and sometimes, you just have to let out your negativity. Take it from a woman who just had a two-week crying marathon, it felt downright liberating to let my feelings out.
If I would’ve repressed these dark feelings to boil further, it would have led to lingering resentment, with no actionable solutions.
So I give you permission to lean into bad vibes, and more importantly, express them to loved ones to help you reframe your thoughts and regain perspective.
It flabbergasts me that people forget to drink water. To deny water, is to deny life.
So nourish yourself with the one element that keeps this planet alive.
5. It’s okay to rest.
If there’s anything profound you get from this piece it’s you don’t get a trophy at the end of your life for being a work-a-holic.
Yes, we all have a job to do every day. Yes, we have to make a living. Yes, we have to support ourselves and our family.
But in quiet and stillness, is when the magic happens.
Creativity births to the surface. Innovation glitters out of your soul. Money flows through you. Passion for what you do returns.
Take time to rest.
And be gracious with yourself when you do.
6. …But there will be times when you have to grind.
Contrary to the previous point, yes, rest is critical if we want to level up in our careers.
But sometimes, we have to accept there will be seasons when we have to grind harder than normal.
Be aware of when this happens and prepare yourself accordingly.
7. Scorpio season is the best season.
I had to drop ya’ll with the astrological woo-woo stuff. I’m a proud Scorpio. That is all.
8. Taking care of yourself is paramount.
Hydrating, nourishing your body, strength training, cuddling a life size bear, walking, and doing things that make you smile improve your health.
And you know what? I attribute my glowing look at age 30 to self care.
Take care of yourself.
9. Pull-ups are empowering.
Do them often.
10. Anything is possible.
This year, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show got cancelled for the first time in 23 years. Anything is possible.
Rihanna had a vision that pushed the envelope way more than the Victoria’s Secret brand ever did.
Her lingerie line Savage X Fenty celebrates women of difference races, body types, backgrounds, and sexual orientations. And the brand’s fashion week show sent an empowering message of fearlessness, confidence and inclusivity that forced the CEO of Victoria’s Secret to cancel his show and re-brand.
With a little vision, powerful message, and radical action like Rihanna, you can make your dreams come into fruition, too.
Anything is possible.
11. If you have a lot to say, create something of your own.
This one is for the trolls, Twitter lurkers, and aggressive Facebook commenters: if you have something to say, go say it on your own platform.
As my favorite rapper Logic says, “I don’t know how people can hate because I’m not a hater myself.”
As much as I could end this blog right here, I won’t.
If you’re one of those people who ferociously taps away at your keyboard because you disagree with someone’s political views, in-season deadlift set and rep schemes, or the tattoos they have on their body, go write your own blog.
It’s much harder to be in the arena, creating content and sharing your message with the world, than it is to leave a petty comment.
Go write a 5,000 word blog if you disagree with someone and outline your points with eloquence.
I dare you.
12. …Or write a book.
Have a lot to say? A book is another alternative that garners reach and respect.
Total Youth Soccer Fitness was the jumpstart to international inspiration and connection, and I’m so grateful I was able to share my work with the world.
I’m so pumped to release the second version beginning of 2020.
13. Being a business owner is the world’s best personal development program.
Owning a business has its way of exposing you to your triggers, insecurities and past traumas.
You’re forced to pivot when crap hits the fan. You’re forced to dig yourself out of creative ruts. You’re forced to strengthen your weaknesses. You’re forced educate yourself in areas you’re less competent. You’re forced to take heart pounding risks.
Everything you go through as an entrepreneur, amazing and disastrous, helps you to evolve as a human.
Strap in and enjoy the ride.
14. No one knows what the hell they’re doing.
We can find solace in knowing we are all uncertain of what our future holds. Life is a deep mystery to unfold one hour at a time.
15. Life is better with less Facebook.
For some reason, Facebook attracts a lot of political angst. I’m over the noise. Oh, and screw politics.
Twitter seems to have much more professionalism and positivity.
Also, it has been nice to own just one platform and narrow my focus. This has saved me the precious energy and mental space I need to be a great and engaging coach to young kids.
16. Life is also better without SnapChat.
A year ago, I made the executive decision to delete my SnapChat. Not only was I tired of seeing my friend’s wine and cheese spreads, and perfectly staged selfies, it became too much to keep up with.
Again, my mental energy is precious and needs to be used wisely.
17. Your rut will pass.
If you feel like the world is crashing down, just know this sha’ll pass.
So wallow in your sorrow for a bit, binge watch Stranger Things, zone out and isolate yourself. But then eventually, the rut will pass once you start to take action in a new, empowered direction.
18. If you’re going through anxiety…
Know you aren’t alone.
Know you’re not crazy.
Know you’re human.
Oh, and watch this video:
19. We are here to create.
I’ve said this before and will repeat it again: creativity makes the world go round.
Since the beginning of time, new ideas and inventions have allowed us to enjoy this planet to the fullest. The Phoenician language. The invention of the airplane. The construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. The discovery of electricity.
Humans are here to create, so go do something magical that will serve us all.
20. You’re never too old to train with intensity.
As we age, fast twitch muscle fibers decline and muscle mass is lost.
Unless…you continue to train with intensity.
Now, this doesn’t mean sign up for a CrossFit membership and do 100 kipping pull-ups and power cleans a day. Intensity can mean different things for different people.
Perhaps you do medicine ball work and other forms of explosive training that are meant for your body mechanics.
Perhaps you do plyometrics once a week, then build up to twice a week.
Perhaps you do a deadlift with a kettlebell, then progress to more weight on the hex bar.
Whatever level you are, it’s possible to continue to train with intensity that is safe and effective.
21. If you’re in the online space, meet people in person.
I was so grateful this year to be able to meet several of my colleagues who I have connected with online.
Nothing beats the energy and explosion of ideas you share with someone in-person.
This year, I’m going to challenge my introvert-self to get out more and meet amazing colleagues.
22. Money doesn’t mean happiness.
I have seen both ends: scraping by and struggling to pay rent, and dining at Michelin Star restaurants and eating scallops wrapped in bacon.
Admittedly, I preferred the former. When I was barely making a living, life was simpler and had less drama. It was weird, yo.
But now, I’ve been able to find a balance between the material and spiritual world, and have realized I don’t need that much to be happy.
23. If ya ain’t Dutch, ya ain’t much.
All I’m going to say is we should’ve won the World Cup, but we will be back for more in the Olympics.
24. Strength training is still the number one thing I choose for physical and mental health.
The science is there.
Strength training improves body composition, increases metabolism and decreases body fat.
And looking to the mental side, strength training has been said to help with depression and anxiety.
Only amazing benefits come from strength training, so start sprinkling it into your life.
25. Soccer saved my life.
Speaking of mental health, I have soccer to thank for saving me from going down a dangerous path.
All through high school, it kept me away from the “bad” crowd and brought me back into alignment with myself and a higher power.
26. When someone fails you, practice forgiveness.
We’re all imperfect.
Friends, family and loved ones will inevitably fall short and do things we don’t approve.
It’s up to us to communicate our needs, meet with understanding, talk it out like adults, and practice forgiveness.
27. Qdoba is still better than Chipotle.
Way better queso.
That is all.
28. Ego is the enemy.
After reading Ryan Holiday’s book Ego Is The Enemy, my identity was rattled.
It’s a triggering book that will challenge you to stop being an egotistical, self-centered freak. Enjoy.
29. Learning new hobbies has challenged my brain in the best way.
Five years ago, I learned how to snowboard. While it was frustrating and left me in tears because I totally sucked on that first day, it was a new challenge I needed to grow.
And for something that was difficult at first, it now is something that fills me with pure joy.
To that end, we don’t evolve without novelty and adversity.
30. I’m a boss at writing.
How do I know? You made it to this 30th point.
And I’m so grateful you did, and appreciate you sticking with my words for this article, or perhaps even, all these years.
Writing has given me the gift of healing myself, while healing others, and I can’t wait to continue to spit prose in this new decade.
Cheers to being 30-years-old.