Melinda Gale

Real Life In Raleigh

Three Cheers for 30 Years

Yesterday, I turned 30.

What once was a dreaded age is now celebrated. If I am completely honest, I have welcomed the change. I have this philosophy that I am sure other share which is that your 20's are filled with hardships that make you learn how to be an adult. In your 30's, you've already been through a ton of bullshit and are equipped to handle most of life's challenges. 

Turning 30 can be weird, however. I don't have that white picket fence life with two kids, a dog, and an amazing husband, with our SUV's filled with car seats that I always thought I would. Instead, I chose a more unconventional path and I don't regret it whatsoever. I have vastly different life experiences than many and a part of me still has to reckon with that.

Now that I am old and wise, I just wanted to take the time to write down a few things that I have learned in these glorious 30 years and maybe they will resonate a little with you, too! 

  • Don't make excuses. Don't make them for yourself or to yourself. Own your shit. Don't make excuses at work. The more honest you are, the better. Furthermore, don't make excuses for other people. 
  • Wake up early. Waking up at 5AM blows but it means you will have plenty of time to read, workout, meditate, shower, do whatever you have to do before you go to work. The most successful people wake up early so you should too. Also, it means you have a legit excuse to go to bed early which always rules.
  • It's okay not to have 1000 friends. Having a shit ton of "friends" is overrated. You'll find those core group of friends that you can go to for anything and it will be so special. But also remember that everything has a season so it's okay if your group of friends is rotating. 
  • People will show you who they truly are. Trust your gut on this. Get out as soon as you start seeing red flags. But on the reverse, if someone is showing you that they care about you, they probably really do so don't push them away. 
  • Be vulnerable. For the first maybe 28 years of my life, I was terrified to show vulnerability. After worshiping at the alter of the vulnerability queen herself, Brene Brown, I realized it's okay to be vulnerable. This kind of goes back to the "don't make excuses" point but I learned that it's so much easier to just tell exactly how you are feeling. If the outcome isn't what you ultimately wanted, it's okay because at least you said exactly what you wanted to say. 
  • Self care is important. Taking time for yourself to just be still makes a world of difference. This is one of the reasons why I wake up so early. Doing things for ME helps me regroup and focus. I have a stressful job and am already a high anxiety person so taking time out to do things for myself really helps a lot. Even if it's just one of my daily "stress walks" at work. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else. Think of it as the whole airplane safety instructions thing - you put on your breathing mask before helping someone else put on theirs. 
  • If you want to go somewhere, damnit just go. This is something I still struggle with but I've learned that if i want to go somewhere, be it a concert, a vacation or just to Target, I need to go. Even if that means going alone, if I want to go, I need to go. I have a hard time letting myself take vacations and the thought of going alone is extremely depressing to me but if I want to go on a trip and I have the money, I need to just do it. Life's too short and I am already 30 years in. Times a' wastin'!