Lessons from my Early Thirties

Last Thursday was my 33rd birthday and it was truly a memorable one – actually one of the best I’ve had in a long time and I am including my birthday weekend in that summation (everyone celebrates their birthday through the weekend right?!).

Apparently, the number 33 is a “Master Number,” which carries quite a bit of weight.  You’re meant to expand your consciousness and to live to a greater ideal.  With that said, every year does have me wondering aka expanding my consciousness and looking for more meaning in my life.   And since I am so wise at the ripe age of 33 (ha!), I thought I would expound upon some lessons from my early thirties.

lessons from my early thirties

lessons from my early thirties

Lessons from my early thirties

Lessons from my early thirties

lessons from my early thirties

{Photos by Sandy Leshner}

Having it all is a figment of the imagination

Having it all is a fallacy.  How can you ever have it all, ever?  There will always be something that creates a state of inequality in your life.  However, as I continue in my thirties, I’ve discovered there are ways to kind of have it all and I truly believe it comes from your mindset.  I have had plenty of days that I’ve felt down on myself, not motivated to blog or work, to try something new or to even be inspired to get out and enjoy the day.  When I worked in NYC, even though I had a job that kept my days busy and often had dinner plans with s friends or blogging events to go to, I often complained (because as humans, we’re conditioned to complain: right?) that I didn’t have enough free time.  But, when I wasn’t complaining or looking at everything negatively (for a brief moment!) I would begin to think how lucky I was to have a job and live in the most fantastic city in the world.  In that moment: I did have it all. So now, after trading in the Big Apple for LA and gaving up certain pieces of my life, I reaized that I gained other pieces that weren’t there.  That’s having it all in its own way!

Success shows itself in different forms

I’ve discovered that many people believe that success is measured by how much money you make and a certain lifestyle – which I suppose does have its value.  However, I choose not to let myself think like that entirely.  Success can truly be valued by the type of person you are, the people you surround yourself with, the work you choose to do.  I often find myself feeling unsuccessful and I have had friends challenge me on that.  Even when it comes to my blog – at times, I don’t feel what I’m doing on this little space on the internet is important and most of the time I feel like my mom and my boyfriend are the only two people people who read it (Hi Guys!). But I continue to post and write because I enjoy it and I’ve maintained it for five years now – and that feels like a success all on its own.

I’m not old but I’m not young

Ok, so I am still young, in the grand scheme of life.  But you start to think a little bit differently in your 30’s and by 33 you’re starting to formulate the type of person you might become.  But at 33, I still have a lot of life to live and to experience.  To be quite transparent, I’m just experiencing a lot of what life has to offer right now, which excites me and scares me all at the same time.  I’m in my first serious relationship in about 15 years (after years of dubiously dating) I finally met my match and more importantly someone who’s willing to be in a relationship with me (gasp!).  I must say, I don’t entirely blame my inability to find a relationship on the men I was dating, I take responsibility and know that I was perhaps dismissive of certain relationships – especially in my early twenties.  Anyways, even though I sometimes, feel “old” I have to remind myself that every decade offers new experiences that bring you to perhaps a more mature level of life.  All of it kind of makes me feel young but old at the same time.

It’s never too late

I often have to remind myself that it’s never too late to pick up a hobby or start a new career or try a new city.  By 33 (and probably earlier) you start to convince yourself that you’re too old to change careers, to up and move to another city, or that you have to settle down and have kids soon (I actually just had this conversation the other day with a friend).  Well, after living in San Francisco, NYC (twice) and now LA by the age of 33 I can honestly say: it’s never too late to do all the above things I’ve mentioned. Hopefully all the life experiences you’re supposed to do will happen on the right timeline for you.

Hold on to people in your life

Since moving back to LA, I’ve been thinking about this one a lot.  When I left LA, ten years ago, I never thought I would live here again – but life is funny like that, isn’t it?  Coming back to a place where I already had friends has really helped to remind me why it’s so important to hold on to people in your life.  I think the people you’ve had meaningful experiences with: like studying abroad, childhood friends, college friends, colleagues, are ones you’re going to know for a lifetime.  Of course, people lose touch and life takes turns but as you go, it’s always important to stay in touch every now and again because you never know where your life where lead or where you’ll need a friend.  In a similar vein, I’d say it’s always good to continue to meet new friends along the way – and to bring those relationships into the next phases of your life.

What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life so far?  Tell me in the comments!

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