I just celebrated my 30th birthday this past week. How do I feel? Honestly, I feel lucky.
I feel lucky that I got to start this new year in my life with a few of my closest friends who flew out from the Bay Area, my Dad who visited from Santa Monica, the new friends I’ve met here in Colorado, and my incredible boyfriend who is simply amazing.
I feel fortunate to be surrounded by such smart and inspiring people, who make me want to be better everyday.
But life hasn’t always felt lucky, glowing, or balanced. I’ve faced my fair share of challenges, insecurities, and inner turmoil. And I went through a long, uncomfortable quarter-life crisis.
To be honest though, I truly think that all of these challenges played an important part in creating the person I am today, and I’m pretty happy with how I’ve turned out so far.
Thoughts On Turning 30
Do I feel old?
No. I feel young, healthy, and strong.
I’ll be honest, prioritizing a healthy lifestyle throughout a lot of my life has absolutely helped that. Since childhood, I’ve always been active. In high school, I decided to cut out junk food and eat healthier. And in my 20s, I realized the value of using sunscreen and moisturizer everyday. Also, I’ve never been good at staying up late and require a good 8 hours of sleep to function.
Your lifestyle has a huge impact on how young you look and feel, and it’s never too late to implement some of these healthier habits.
Do I have it all figured out?
Definitely not. But I have a greater sense of confidence and direction now than I did when I was in my 20s.
I’ve stopped working out in ways I don’t enjoy, because doing exercise that’s fun is way more gratifying. I’m more relaxed about a lot of things now than I was in college and my 20s, and I know what I want to learn to further my career.
Better yet, I’ve picked up some valuable life lessons along the way.
Top 5 Lessons Up To Now
Along my journey to age 30, I’ve gathered some incredible tidbits of advice from friends, family, and myself. Here are the five most influential lessons I’ve learned.
1. Connect with your state of static happiness.
While I haven’t experimented with psychedelics, a number of my friends have. And through those experiences, they’ve come away with some incredible insights.
The first time one of my best friends tried MDMA, she was at a music festival where she danced the night away. But as the drug began to wear off, she was overwhelmed with a feeling of loss. She was deeply saddened by the fact that she couldn’t hold on to that feeling of ecstatic happiness.
While grappling with her emotions, she turned to her friend and asked, “Why can’t I always be this happy?” He replied by telling her that life has its ups and downs. Some days you’re incredibly happy, and others you’re in a funk. Our emotions fluctuate, but through those fluctuations there is a state of static happiness.
We all have a foundation of static happiness upon which our emotions peak and valley. If you can connect with that grounded static place, the lows won’t feel as low and the highs won’t feel as fleeting.
Find your state of static happiness, and connect with a deep sense of peace.
2. Have at least three hobbies.
One night while staying with a friend in Brooklyn during a week-long trip to NYC, we landed on the topic of life.
This guy had two primary focuses – his job, and the nightlife. If you wanted to know the best bars, parties, or underground scenes, he had the answers.
But a conversation with an older gentleman caused my friend to have a small existential crisis. What did this older man say? By the time you’re 25, you should have at least three hobbies – one intellectual, one creative, and one physical. That is how you keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy throughout your life.
At that time, my friend only had one “hobby”, and saw the expiration date on that pastime. This advice forced him to think about other activities that he might enjoy doing.
For me, the advice validated a lot of my personal choices. I’ve always been active in more than one way (physical), I enjoy writing articles and poems (creative), and I like to read (intellectual).
What are your three hobbies?
3. Choose something, and stick with it.
My father has always been a wealth of wisdom, and while he might not think that I listened to his words, I’ve always taken his advice to heart.
When I graduated from college, I was a personal trainer and fitness instructor. I dedicatedly worked in the healthy & fitness industry for 6 years before I reached a crux. I didn’t want to move forward towards a career in Physical Therapy or Chiropractic, and I didn’t want to step back into a personal training role. The health & fitness industry wasn’t making me happy, and I craved a new challenge.
At the time, I was living in the Bay Area. And through previous jobs, I had some experience as an editor, a social media manager, and an administrative assistant. The tech industry seemed like the most intuitive option.
While facing a potential career pivot and discussing my options with my dad, he said, “Kristin, at some point you just have to choose something and stick with it.” So I did. I pivoted out of the health & fitness industry, and fully into the tech industry. And I plan on staying in this realm for the foreseeable future.
It’s important to note that choosing something and sticking with it doesn’t mean that you have to stay there forever. But staying in one industry or career path for awhile helps you build valuable skills to scale, build your reputation, and more easily pivot in the future.
Find a career path that interests and challenges you, and stick with it.
4. Never let go of your inner child.
Although my mom is in her 60’s, she is still so young, healthy, and creative. My mom can hike 9 miles through the hills in Norway, regularly practices yoga, and in the last 10 years has learned how to paint impressively well. She has a wandering spirit and an open heart, and meets people everywhere she goes.
How is my mom so vibrant and open? By staying curious and playful. Curiosity and play are what keep life fun and help you continue to learn. Through play, you can learn a new skill, craft, game, or exercise format. Curiosity helps you discover new ways of doing things, and play makes the learning process fun rather than stressful.
Whenever I see my mom, she asks me if I’ve payed attention to my inner child. It’s your inner child that keeps you young. Don’t take life so seriously, and never stop playing.
Play helps you learn new skills and maintain an enduring youthfulness.
5. Understand that life is about shared experiences.
While sitting on a plane to NYC for my brother’s 30th birthday, I found myself contemplating the meaning of life. What are we doing here on this planet?
And in that moment, I realized that life is about shared experiences. It’s about creating unforgettable memories with new and old friends, family, and sometimes even strangers.
As I was sitting on that plane with this revelation on the forefront of my mind, I made a resolution to let go of any insecurities holding me back. I decided to shed any unnecessary habits, beliefs, and thought patterns that could prevent me from fulling immersing myself in the incredible experiences that life has to offer.
That weekend, I had one of the best weekends I’ve ever had in NYC with my family, old friends, and acquaintances.
Insecurities stand in the way of you being and showing who you truly are. Unnecessary habits and beliefs can stop you from taking opportunities to have amazing experiences with the people you love. By letting these things go, you can unabashedly become the person you know you are inside.
Shared experiences with the people you love give meaning to your existence.
Goals After Turning 30
I have a few goals that I’d like to accomplish in the coming year, and years. Some are short-term, and some are longer-term. Here are a few short-term goals that I’m going to make happen this year.
1. Be alcohol-free for 30 days.
Once in awhile, it’s good to give your body a break from drinking. Now, I’m not an excessive drinker by any means. Usually, I’ll have 1-2 glasses of wine every one or two weeks. But even in moderation, alcohol is a toxin and I’d like to give my body some time to detox.
2. Get back into a regular yoga practice by going at least once per week.
Yoga is a fantastic way to keep your body limber and strong. Since moving to Denver, I’ve fallen out of my routine, but I’m going to make it a priority again starting now.
3. Spend more time adventuring and camping.
Being immersed in nature is such a fantastic way to reset your mind, nourish your body, and take a tech break. The outdoors is where I can explore, play, and connect with myself. Plus, there’s so much to see in this world, and I’d like to wander around more of it.
If you’re not 30 yet, you will be someday. And I think you have a lot to look forward to when that time comes around.