20 Lessons from a Former 20-Something

Okay, so I’m 30 now. I’m entering into the fourth decade of my life . . . and I’m pretty pumped about it. If I’m being totally honest, 30 sounds still sounds strange. I was really good at being a twenty something; it gave me a great excuse to act like I knew everything while I was convinced that I actually barely had the skills required to brush my own teeth. Thirty is different though; I can no longer hide behind my youth to excuse my faults. I’m pretty okay with that though. See, my twenties were rough. They were filled with some serious highlights like graduating college, getting a masters, and marrying Joe. But there were way too many doctor’s appointments and hospital stays, surgeries and procedures for me to pretend that it was all one big party. So, here I am- a crazy, chronic 30 year old, sharing with you the little bit of knowledge I gleaned from my twenties that I think will make navigating my thirties slightly less painful.

1.Life isn’t a to do list. Success isn’t measured by who checks off the most things (weddings, degrees, having kids).

2. People will come in and out of your life. Enjoy them while they’re there. If they’re gone, it’s not necessarily personal. Life just happens.

3. Any food that comes with microwave directions is probably not healthy.

4. There are worse things in the world than not having anything to do on a Friday night. (And sometimes the worst feeling in the world is realizing you have to do something on a Friday night!)

5. Sometimes you do everything right, and things still go horribly wrong. It’s not your fault.

6. It doesn’t matter if you hit your perfect “goal weight.” You’ll find something else to be insecure about.

7. Dating is fun but shouldn’t be taken too seriously. When the “right guy” walks into your life everything just happens naturally.

8. Doctors are human. Yes, they’re highly educated and very intelligent, but sometimes (just like the rest of us) they are insensitive, or grumpy, or poorly informed.

9. Energy isn’t necessarily a renewable resource. If you have the energy to do something now- Do it now! Life and circumstances can change in a heartbeat.

10. The first year of marriage isn’t as terrible as everyone told me it would be. Basically it’s like having a slumber party with your best friend that never ends- except, you know, there’s work and bills and cleaning to do.

11. Acting dumb is never cute. (It just isn’t, and I’m so embarrassed that I didn’t always know this.)

12. Life is hilarious. Things just keep happening, and you have to laugh or you’ll lose your mind!

13. Mom was right. I look better when I wear lipstick. (I say those first 3 words far more than I care to admit.)

14. Your health is a gift that you don’t fully appreciate until it becomes more unpredictable. (Even then, appreciate the good days.)

15. When you’re feeling desperate and you have absolutely no idea how to help yourself, help someone else. There’s power in meeting someone else’s needs.

16. No one will ever understand exactly how you feel, and that’s totally okay. The people that matter will be there for you regardless.

17. The people you love the most will say insensitive things that break your heart . . ., and they won’t even realize it. Give them a break.

18. Some days the only prayer you can muster is, “Please Lord, help me be nice.”

19. Sometimes foods that aren’t healthy for your body are healthy for your soul (but that doesn’t mean I should live on a steady diet of my Mom’s chicken and dumplings).

20. Be kind to everyone. You will never meet a person who isn’t worthy of kindness. Conversely, when you are treated poorly, it isn’t reflective of your worth. You deserve kindness as well. 🙂

Okay, 20 seems like an appropriate place to stop. I learned a lot from my twenties. I learned more than I could have ever imagined I would. I had educational and professional victories. I landed my dream job and married the man of my dreams. I also spent months almost  completely bedridden and relied on a wheel chair to visit my favorite stores in the mall. I feel like it’s time to start a new decade. I am ready to learn the lessons that my 30s will inevitably teach me, and I’m ready to leave some of the traumas and dramas of my 20s behind.

Peace, love, and health friends. 🙂


3 thoughts on “20 Lessons from a Former 20-Something

  1. Olivia (Liv) Thompson

    I am only 21 and I have so much to learn. It feels like everything’s the end of the world at my age, so it’s nice to see that someone else feels like it’s all not a race. Everyone puts so much pressure on people in their 20’s. They expect so much and we’re all only just human.


    1. tiffanyrearly Post author

      I used to think something was wrong with me because I didn’t get married when my friends did or because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life when I was 20. I realize now that it’s a journey and definitely not a race. It doesn’t feel that way when everyone around you is changing so quickly though.



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