30 Things I Learned Before Thirty
I’ve decided to start a new series of blog posts based on thing I’ve learned on my short time on Earth. I turn thirty (holy guacamole) in about 9 months and I keep finding tidbits that I’ve either learned recently or things I wish I would have learned sooner. It’d probably safe to say that most of these things are pretty specific to me, or at least the examples are. I hope to maybe impart something new to you or something you think someone else might need to hear. I’ll do 2-3 a month depending on how many weeks are in the month but I’m planning on having 30 posts before next June. When I finally turn thirty. I’m not freaking out at all about that sentence. Nope, not at all.
I think that some of these things may be self-indulgent or seem like no brainers but I think the no brainers are the most missed by the over thinkers. I also think that everything I say should probably be taken with a grain of salt. I’m not a psychiatrist or psychologist, but I’ve lived an interesting life and think that I can utilize that to help others. Also like I’ve said before a lot of this might be very specific for me, so if you don’t agree then that’s okay too.
I think sometimes being stubborn can be really empowering. We’re sticking to our guns and not letting someone else’s opinion color our own. But I can give you very specific examples in my life where my stubbornness was an absolute waste of my own time. I don’t say this regretfully; there are very few things in my life that I actually regret. I say this more reflectively than anything else.
When I started college, everyone would tell me that only a small percentage of students actually graduated with the major that they started out with. I thought that was silly, how could you not know your own interests? How could you not have dreams and aspirations towards something? How could you not have an unwavering passion for something? Clearly I was a little closed-minded at the time. So guess what? I never changed my major.
There were plenty of opportunities for me to as well. There was even some major set backs that should have (and now are) major red flags for me. So am I unhappy with my degree? No. Am I still working in the field that my degree is in? Yes. So what’s my point? I realized my senior year of college that I wasn’t as passionate as I was when I first stepped on campus. I was riding the bus back to my apartment and I had a mini heart to heart with myself. What literally brings me the most joy that I wish I could do day in and day out. Read.
That honestly should have been a no brainer but when I went to college, reading was something I only did to study. I wasn’t reading fiction. Kindles/ereaders were not a thing, and I didn’t even have I city library card for the town I was living in. Struggled with depression in college, which I think is incredibly common, but usually when I’m depressed I push away everything that brings me any sort of happiness. I don’t read, I don’t write, I don’t watch movies or listen to podcasts. Usually I just work and Internet surf. I think in the end if I would have changed my major to English or had a business degree of some sort that it would have made that time of my life more enjoyable.
So why did I tell you this semi depressing story? After college, even though I realized that I wanted to write and read and maybe become a librarian I didn’t really take any steps in order to do those things. I took a few writing classes but wasn’t keeping a consistent writing schedule and was just trying to get by with what I was doing then. Obviously I have moved up in my career, but am actively trying to pursue writing on an even greater scale. The morale of this story is not to waste your own time.
I think that we allow people and activities that aren’t helping us, hold us back. So then why are wealso holding ourselves back? I think step one is realizing that its happening, step two is figuring out how to not waste more time back tracking. Do I wish I had realized earlier that I was just being stubborn and changed my major? Of course, but I also think that I wouldn’t have experienced some of the things that I KNOW are going to make me a better writer during that time.
But it’s probably safe to say that that would have been a different reality for me. If I would have changed majors, I might have been happier in college and wouldn’t have struggled with depression for so long. I might have a different degree. I may not be living in Nebraska or have met my boyfriend or have had the capabilities to get my own apartment or have my cats. It’s all could have would have should haves.
So what I learned was that sometimes stubbornness can be very powerful but to also think those stubborn thoughts through. Is this something that could potentially be wasting my time? Pros and cons lists are really beneficial in breaking down questions like that, especially if they can be life changing. That sounds a bit dramatic and I’m sure I didn’t feel like it was all that important in college but it truly was.