Oh yeah, I’m that girl except I had FOUR cakes because let’s face it, I’m extra AF. I celebrated my birthday ALL month long, had two big dinners with my friends and family, definitely multiple outfits throughout the month and I had a holiday included in my celebrations as well, because I’m that bitch that decided to get married on Halloween so now I forever get to celebrate two major things in October along with my birthday. Halloween is my favorite holiday too if that wasn’t the cherry on top.
Growing up I used to actually dread turning 30. I told myself that I would commit seppuku before then because I considered 30 the equivalent of being a fossil. I’m not really sure why. Society just exaggerates things to make you feel old but as you get older, you learn that you only feel as old as you allow yourself to feel. One of my coworkers is in his 60s and still running full marathons every year. He’s insane at how disciplined he is too. So as time went on, I started to become okay with turning 30 and getting older. Besides, I can tell you now I don’t feel any different since I’ve turned. I still do the same dumb things I did before.
There are a lot of things I’ve learned by now as I settle into my 30s and come to accept that I’m growing older. These are some of them.
Again, you’re only as old as you allow yourself to feel. I still do the same things I love to do when I was younger simply because I still love them. Just because you reach a certain age doesn’t mean you have to stop believing in fantasy, in magic, in dreams and having fun. You only grow old because you stop playing. And I, for one, am nowhere near ready to give that up. I have responsibilities, an adult job and bills to pay but it doesn’t and shouldn’t stop me from living my life the way I want. There’s no rule that says by a certain age you have to do x, y, z and give up a, b, c. As long as it makes you happy and doesn’t hurt anyone else, what does it matter what other people think?
And what’s the fun in growing up anyway?
I’ve also learned that life is too short to live for anyone but yourself. Do not compare yourself to anyone else and never ever play the game of keeping up with the Jones’s. You waste a lot of time, money and life that you can’t get back that way. And you only learn that you’re still unhappy because someone else’s dreams may not necessarily coincide with your own. A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms. Don’t think that you’re not great just because you’re not on par with this “timeline” in your head or the timeline that society deems you should be on, or the timeline of your peers. Everyone is on a different path. Grow at your own pace and make sure the only person you’re comparing yourself to is yourself. It should only be yourself. You should look back and ask yourself if you’re doing better than you were yesterday. And if not, guess what? You’re in luck. The beauty of being human is you get a fresh start every day. There is no better time to reinvent yourself. To implement new changes. We’re allowed to change who we want to be and we’re constantly going through a metamorphosis of a better version of ourselves. And you’re also allowed to take your time getting there so long as you’re actively working on getting there. Don’t lose sight of yourself. Let people judge you. Misunderstand you. Gossip about you. Their problems with you are not your problem. It usually speaks more about their unhappiness with themselves, which is also not your problem.
I’ve admitted earlier that I was unhappy with my weight and where I looked like I was heading and so I buckled down and forced myself to make some changes this year. It took a lot of hard work, sacrifices, discipline but I finally got to my goal. I lost all the weight and then some and I’m really proud of all the moves I made this entire year to get there. And on top of that, I learned to adopt lifestyle changes to put in place to prevent myself from getting caught spiraling back down that rabbit hole. I learned to eat healthier, to control my cravings, to not eat my feelings just because I’m having a hard time at work or whatever, and to persevere through even when my days seem tough. I also picked up weight lifting and learned that I actually enjoy it a lot! I hate cardio so it was really great to pick up something that was more enjoyable and gave me the results I was looking for. I learned what a lot of girls learn too when weight lifting. A lot of us avoid it for the longest time because we fear getting ‘big’ and ‘bulky.’ I don’t want to achieve that muscular body building look and that was one of my worries. But I learned it actually helps to tone and define my body to the shape and look I want more than cardio ever did. There are different ways to achieve the look you want through different moves and different regimens of weight lifting. You have to eat a lot of protein before you’ll look that buff so I’m no longer worried about looking too muscular.
Along with my weight loss/exercise journey, I did learn a lot of things and gained a lot of things. Funny thing to note real quick though, despite going to the gym for a year now, I still am NOT a morning person. I still struggle and fight and have to push and motivate myself to get out of bed in the morning. Never have I been able to turn off my alarm and head straight out of bed. Ask my husband. He’s had to endure every morning of me snoozing through 6 alarms before finally getting up, only to yet again be late for my appointment with my trainer. He slowly had to wean me from 11am to 10am to 9am to 8:30am workouts. I’m still late, hahaha. BUT! In my defense, this is still a big improvement from my old night owl ways. I used to go to bed at 4am and not get up till about 1pm, right before work. Last year when I joined the gym and my husband got a new job working days, I forced myself to change my schedule so that we would both go to bed at the same time. I had to work out in the mornings instead of late at night. It was a big change for me after being nocturnal for so long. I learned that if I want something bad enough, I would push myself through it.
And along with working out and eating right, I’ve noticed in 2018 compared to previous years that I’ve gained a more positive outlook on life and have actively been much happier than I’ve been before. And in turn, it helps to turn my day around. The euphoria I get from working out every day helps to ricochet everything that gets thrown at me during the day. Things used to eat at me, make me upset, and I’d have a bad day. Now I don’t let the little things get to me. It’s a good day to have a good day. Of course I get stressed about my bills and deadlines and responsibilities, but I no longer let it run my life. Now I’m too busy living to worry about it. I also spent a lot more time with my friends and family this year than I have in previous years, which I believe in turn have helped add to that happiness. Happiness is a choice, and I want to choose everyday to be happy and live a good and beautiful life, even if it’s doing something simple as making dinner for the boy. You don’t need a lot of money, a fancy destination or anything crazy to be happy. You just need to choose it and do the simple things you already love.
And you glow different when you’re doing better. I learned this from all the changes I went through this year. People notice it. You radiate it and it’s contagious. There is just something amazing about your energy when you’re doing better and everyone can feel it in the room. You light it up. Surround yourself with people that lift you up, to glow even farther.
I also learned to not be afraid to ask for help when you really need it. You don’t have to do it alone. If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. The people who truly care about you will make time for you. They will make you a priority. If they don’t, find new people to invite into your life. A strong support system is really important. I learned this when I was feeling really down about myself during the beginning stages of my weight loss journey. Some days, you really have to rely on yourself but it’s okay to reach out and ask someone for help. I’m really grateful for all my friends, families and followers who reached out to me during my down days. Sometimes you just gotta let it all out. It feels really good to let it all out there and have someone listen.
In the end, remember, this is YOUR life. Make it count. I had an awesome month ringing in the beginning of my 30s and I’m excited to see what the next decade will bring me. Looking back at my 20s, I regret nothing because they were all experiences that shaped me into where I am today. Without them, I wouldn’t learn to do or be better. And I can’t say I didn’t have a good time because a lot of great things did happen in those years, even if it wasn’t without struggle. But hey, you have to drown a little to learn to swim. Speaking of, maybe I’ll finally learn to swim in my 30s.