31 Things I Learned in 31 Years

I was really stressed about turning 30, I even started this post before my 30th birthday and couldn’t finish – Then I looked back at how much I had truly grown. This last year was the hardest year of my life, my year of 30 taught me more about myself and the world than many of the years prior combined. These are some of the toughest lessons (and some really fun things) I had to learn to get to the place I am today, so here’s to turning 31 and continuing to learn, grow and kick ass.

1. Learn to have thick skin.

Being able to accept constructive criticism is pivotal in growing, personally and professionally.

2. In time of social injustice – It is unacceptable to just keep your mouth shut.

I said what I said. It would be different if you avoided talking about politics or religion, because those can get a little hairy.. But this is about humanity and equality. Enough is enough – I will die on this hill.

3. Turning on “Do Not Disturb” when you go to bed is crucial.

You can’t be worried about that “buzz, buzz” that you feel obligated to check even though you’re in bed at all hours of the night if you don’t hear it. Sometimes, you have to allow yourself to unplug, even if it’s only from 11pm-6am or whatever hours you choose. It’s necessary for your mental health.

4. When is the “right” time to apologize?

My entire life, I have used “I’m sorry,” as a sentence filler because for whatever reason I felt guilty or bad about something in some way – I genuinely have no idea why this is a thing? I have worked hard to differentiate when I’m just saying sorry, and when I am ACTUALLY sorry – and only saying so out loud if something warrants an apology.

5. It’s okay to change your career well into adulthood.

I felt stuck – I was miserable, working to pay bills to keep working. I had finally had enough and took control of my career and took a risk for our future. Best decision I ever made. 

6. Ask for help when you need it.

7. Not every holiday needs to be spent with your family.

I know, this might sound a little harsh but at some point, especially now that we’re married and have our own life – we had to make time for ourselves. My work is crazy busy through the summer and fall (and with the current state of the real estate market, that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon – which I’m perfectly fine with), Ryan coaches football and is gone all summer and fall it feels like – So we made Thanksgiving “our” holiday. We pick a place within driving distance, find a cabin, pack up the dogs and all we need for a Thanksgiving feast and disappear for a few days – Worth. It.

8. Unfollow people on social media that make you feel bad about yourself.

That may sound petty, but honestly – Looking at people that irritate you or make you feel bad about the person you are shouldn’t be welcome in your space. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, who build you up and who don’t let you feel like you’re less of a person for who you are, what you do or what you look like.

9. Everyone needs a dog.

How could you not love having someone that is excited every single time they see you? Open the door and “boom!” wiggly butts all around – I would be lost without ours.

10. Take the trip.

We have traveled quite a bit over the last few years and have so many plans to continue our adventures across the globe (except this year when Rona hijacked 2020, but that’s not the point). If you want to go somewhere or see some part of the world – DO IT. You will not regret it, ever.

11. It’s okay to choose yourself sometimes.

12. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy, can commit to, and stick with.

Man, I got so many mixed reviews from people when I made a Facebook post (holy crap people are bold) asking what people thought about it – But the joining the Peloton community is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself (and ultimately, my health).

13. Own it when you make a mistake.

This goes back to #4, but honestly, own it when you screw up. In real estate and in life, I have made my fair share of mistakes – some have cost me some money, but you bet your ass I won’t make those mistakes again! Own it, grow from it and DO NOT dwell on it or feel sorry for yourself. You’re human, we mess things up sometimes – It’s not the end of the world if you learn from it.

14. Get a credit card with solid rewards.

Not to just use willy nilly, obviously, make sure that you’ve gotten your debt situation figured out  – We use ours for big purchases and for all of our auto withdraw bills (streaming services, gym memberships, cell phone bill, etc) and just pay it off every month. Our next vacation will be very close to, if not, free thanks to those points. Shoutout to the Capital One Venture card – it is the bees knees.

15. The annoying guy from MHS basketball games in the ridiculous leisure suits actually turned out to be an incredible husband.

There was this dude who always stood in the front of the student section, wearing these suits that looked to be made of old couch cushions, during basketball games, heckling people and he was just incredibly obnoxious.. Well I married him many years later. So I guess those crazy guys from high school actually DO grow up (for the most part) and this one makes an amazing teammate, partner and husband.

16. No matter how long it takes, find the perfect pair of comfortable jeans.

I used to hate wearing jeans.. I felt like I looked frumpy and weird because I have such a strangely shaped body and short torso.. until I found jeans that catered to my body type – Now I wear jeans almost daily, which is good because I realized that in adult life you shouldn’t live in leggings and athletic style leggings (yaknow.. the kind with pockets) don’t look good with chiffon tops and leather flats. Its fine, everything is fine.

17. Learn to love natural things about yourself.

Stop putting tons of heat and product on your hair, take care of your skin and stop covering it with mounds of makeup (but when you do PLEASE make sure your face powder blends into your neck and isn’t forty shades off) – I promise people don’t really notice when you choose not to wear mascara. Stop hiding the qualities about yourself that make you “you.”

18. stop wasting money on “meal plans” and find proper nutrition

Self proclaimed Queen of Yo-Yo Dieting! Diet pill extraordinaire! I have spent more than I will ever admit on meal plans from online trainers and fitness gurus who gave me a meal plan full of sweet potatoes, rice and ground turkey with some Greek yogurt sprinkled in and basically sent me on my way – and I failed EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Thankfully, in the midst of year 30 – I met an incredible woman named Saxon who knew her shit in nutrition and she is MAGICAL. I’m learning how to tell what works for my body, what doesn’t and all in the same I’m losing weight and I feel INCREDIBLE, all thanks to her ability to listen and her knowledge in nutrition as a whole. 10/10 would recommend my girl.

19. Invest.

Whether its in real estate (shameless plug – but yaknow, I can help with this), stocks – something. Create a plan for your future. 

20. People in your life do not always owe you an explanation for leaving.

I lost one of my closest friends and to this day I still don’t know or understand why – BUT I have realized that she doesn’t owe me an explanation and I have come to terms with that (even though it has taken me literal years and dozens of unanswered messages to finally “get” it). I respect the decision – We have a limited amount of “space” for people in our lives and if someone is taking up too much space or they aren’t being for you what you need them to be, then it’s time to move on.. because if someone isn’t meant to have a space in my life, I would do the same thing.

21. You are responsible for your own emotions.

22. Forgiveness isn’t always accompanied by an apology.

Sometimes, you need to forgive people for the good of your own mental health, and not because they were actually sorry. Holding onto things causes more distress than the initial problem itself – let it go. You’ll thank yourself later.

23. i will not give up my skinny jeans or my side part.

24. do a boudoir shoot – for yourself.

My best friend is an amazing photographer who took the time out of her day to do a shoot with me and I felt like the most beautiful woman in the world. Best experience ever, and the confidence I found in mere hours will forever be unmatched. Do it for yourself, you won’t regret it.

25. Don’t let people invite themselves into your finances.

“Oh my god, that is expensive!” or “How much did you pay for that?” So.. yeah, I don’t take kindly to these comments, I think this is so rude lol. Ryan and I have worked very hard for the things we have, and truthfully it isn’t anyone’s business. *shrug.*

26. grief is hard, and there is no roadmap.

As many people know, I lost my little brother September 10th, 2020. I have been ALL over the place – wasn’t ready for therapy, wasn’t ready to talk about it; and then I forced myself to get help. My brother wouldn’t want to see me trying to drink myself to death or miserable and pushing the people who love me away. I still have my bad days and no, things will never be the same, but I know that I’m on my own path for grief and for anyone who is in pain – Know that you’re not alone and know that you will get through this.

27. time to ditch toxic positivity.

28. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Wherever my dad is, if he’s reading this, he has his glasses pulled down to the end of his nose and he probably rolled his eyes. “I tried to tell you this for years, child.”

29. Boundaries are important – in all aspects of your life.

30. Stop giving your energy and effort to people who do not reciprocate it.

This is about to be my entire focus for year 31. I owe that to myself, and so do you, to stop giving and giving and giving to only be disappointed. Much like #20, I don’t owe anyone an explanation for deciding that while they were a part of my past, they aren’t going to be a part of my present or my future – and like Marshawn Lynch said.. “Ya gotta take care of your mentals.”

31. When in doubt, breathe.