There are so many things we can only learn by growing older. I have learned so much in the past decade about myself, and I have to say, being in my thirties was tough. Today I want to talk about what I think your 20s, 30s, and 40s are all about. I’m also going to include the things I learned by the time I was 40, because I think some of these things just happen with life experience and growth.
Being in Your 20s
This is a decade of discovery. But on a very surface level. In your twenties, you can either focused on uni and career or you are a wandering soul, lost and unsure. You can also be both, flipping between an ambition and extreme uncertainty as you try to figure out, what do I want do with my life? This is also a decade where we are really focused on relationships–find our soul mate and possibly beginning to think about marriage and children. Or, if we want marriage and children. I remember being in my twenties and thinking I had it all figured out–until I hit 28 and realized I didn’t. I was 28 and suddenly realizing, I had no idea about life at all. But I had figured out a few things. I had figured out that I needed to focus on what I wanted, and not what I thought others wanted for me. I had figured out that if I was going to be a teacher, I wasn’t going to be a high school teacher because the age group intimidated me and the approaches were too dry for me. I had some things figured out.
Suggested for You: 10 Unique Self Care Ideas for Women in their 40s
Being in Your 30s
Your thirties is all about independence. Like, real independence away from mom and dad and their ideas, and exploring the life you want. You begin to assert yourself in ways you wouldn’t have before, voicing opinions more. And then worrying about voicing those opinions. You start to really think about what you want in a partner, and maybe even re-think what you want in marriage and family. You also start living more for yourself. You don’t go places just because your friends want to, or because they are going. You are finding out more about what you like and value. My thirties were a decade of anxiety as I struggled with being financially independent and worried about my job security and what everyone thought of me. It was a hard decade, and I was lucky enough that early in my thirties I found my life partner, my husband, who supported me through a year of chronic pain, through years of anxiety and worry, and helped me grow into who I really am. Could I have done it without him? I think so, because I did all the hard work. But I am glad he was there. I’m also glad my thirties are behind me. I really figured out who I was through all of this, and what I wanted, so it was also a decade of discovery.
What I’ve Learned Now that I’m 41
Here are just some of things I’ve learned by the time I was 40, and I promise you, if you haven’t figured these out yet, you will.
- how to really not give a f**k what people think
- how to be more authentic
- what is really important to me, not just what I think is
- how to speak my mind
- to know when not to speak my mind
- how to be more gentle with myself
- that pleasing others isn’t always best
- that life isn’t about having it all figured out–you never will
- to embrace my dreams, it’s never too late to do the “impossible” stuff
- to judge less and consider more
- that who I am is enough
- that trying to be something I’m not is soul crushing
- that who I am is the only person I should try to be
- that how I feel is valid, even if others think it’s not
- to trust myself
These are some of the things I learned by the time I was 40. Many of these I thought I had conquered earlier in my life, but the truth is, I hadn’t. Maybe I personally needed more time but I also think that there is a certain wisdom, if you will, that comes with growing older that you just can’t embrace fully when you are younger.
What did you learn by the time you were 40? Or what do you want to learn? Share in the comments below.