When I turned 30, I knew there was something special about this age. Called the dirty or flirty thirties, a certain kind of confidence comes from getting older. From what I have gathered from reading articles written by older women, this confidence only grows and seems to continue, the older you get.
I work with women all day every day, and I can tell you that there are two schools of thought. Most of my younger clients and friends freak out about getting older. The older ones don’t stress at all, because they know that it’s FREAKING AWESOME! The reason for the anxiety around turning 30 is that suddenly your carefree 20’s are gone, and now you’re supposed to be a responsible adult who has life figured out. But what if you haven’t made as much money as you wanted to by time you were 30? Do you wonder if you are too old to have one too many cocktails and stay up until the sun comes up? And if you haven’t met Mr Right, what now? If I could talk to my younger self, here is what I’d say …
You have enough time
The more that I obsessed about the fact that I hadn’t come far enough in my 34 years, the more articles I came across explaining that society puts pressure on us and tells us that by 30 we should have things “figured out” — our career situation, our dating/marriage situation, our financial situation and so on. But this isn’t true! Most adults are just winging it. Thirty doesn’t have to mean that you’re married, that you already have kids or are even thinking about kids. It doesn’t mean you’re in a relationship, even. It could mean that you’ve taken some time to work on yourself and are still looking for Mr. Right. It could mean that you’re focusing on yourself and your career right now.What if you haven’t figured your dream career out? What if you are too old to have children? What if, what if, what if? Don’t worry. You will get there, wherever ‘there’ is for you. There is still enough time. You are a beautiful, dynamic woman and you can have whatever you want. Which brings me to my next point.
We are all walking our own unique path
You have a unique journey that you will take, and no one can take it for you. Sure, Amanda’s journey looks much more appealing, because she has a wonderful husband, 2 kids and a beautiful home and Ashleigh’s life looks way more exciting because she has a rockstar career and travels the world, but you would be surprised at just how much ‘stuff’ everyone goes through. Remember that all is never as it seems and more especially …
Everyone is on their own path, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Everyone wishes they had something that someone else has. Comparing yourself to others is a vicious, never-ending cycle and it negates both things you are comparing. Stop wishing you had someone else’s body or job or boyfriend, and start loving all of the amazing things that you do have. Just bloom, darling.
Respect and love your body
When your 30’s roll around, you’ll find that you can’t stay up all night and then recover like you used to, that you can’t lose weight as easily and that your skin starts to change (hello fine lines and wrinkles). So, treat your body right. Firstly, make sure that you eat right. Get rid of the things that make you feel bad. For me, this is anything made from processed wheat. Oh how I love cake and all things crumbly and delicious. But you know what? It’s just not worth it. Any hint of processed wheat makes me bloat, which in turn makes me feel and look horrible, and then I feel even worse. So once a week (maybe) I’ll have something ‘naughty’, and even then, it’ll be half a piece of delicious gluten free apple pie or a piece of red velvet or rainbow cake (from Belle’s Patisserie of course!) shared with a friend. For the rest of the time, I stick to unprocessed natural food, and I feel better for it! Secondly, exercise. Find whatever works for you and do it. I find cardio intensely mundane, so I switch it up with a yoga class, a pilates class or some circuit/weight training. Find your zen. Lastly, invest in skin products. Find the right cleanser, exfoliator, serum (try Lancome’s exquisite Genfique serum), moisturiser, face mask and eye cream for your skin type. Most people want to hold onto their youth. The more gracefully you age, the better you’ll feel about yourself.
Love your Loved Ones
The people you love are the most important things in your life. It it can be easy to isolate yourself, especially when things gets hectic or times are tough. But the relationships that you have with others can help get you through anything. So keep up those friendships, call your parents, and tell your besties how much you love them regularly. They are the ones that will help you through the bad times, and party with you when there’s something to celebrate.
Foster a relationship with yourself
One of the most important relationships you’ll have in your life is the one you have with yourself. Journal. Treat yourself kindly. Be gentle with yourself. If you have no clue where to start, treat yourself how you would want to be treated by a special someone. Buy yourself flowers, take yourself for a massage, go for coffee and read your favourite glossy, or have a leisurely bubble bath.
Check out this really awesome song by Hailee Steinfeld.
Have a Mantra
It could be an existing one such as “This too shall pass”, or a made up one of “Love where there is Fear, Light where there is Darkness”. Mantras are great because they keep you afloat when the tough times hit.
I know there a thousand plus articles out there about how being grateful is really good for you, but it is! Keep a little book near your bedside table and every evening before you go to bed, write down some things that you are grateful for. Those things could be a simple something like “there was no traffic on my way home tonight” or “thank you for Lindt Strawberry Intense dark chocolate”, and then on another page, write down what you appreciated about yourself that day. It could be that you love the fact that you are such a great friend/mother/lover/sister, that you really love your hair or your shapely lips, or that you even managed to get up and go to work!
Life isn’t as serious a you think it is, and you look much better when you’re smiling. No matter what happens to you (without trying to minimize anyone’s experience), life goes on. You’ll attract more positive stuff with a smile on your pretty face.
never underestimate the power of a bold lip
When you are feeling low, get dressed, put on your makeup, adorn your lips in a beautiful, bold shade and show up! It’s that simple. Often, you’ll end up having a MUCH better time than you expected. The universe works in mysterious ways, my friend. P.S. According to research, red is the sexiest colour. Use it, don’t use it.
Ask for help
People are your best resources and are more than willing to share and open up to you, granted that you ask for help. If you are feeling so anxious you don’t know what to do with yourself, let your nearest and dearest know. If you need a friend to talk to when a really uncomfortable/yucky feeling arises about your most recent break-up (even though its 6 months down the line), send an SMS saying “I feel sad and I need your help”. Your loved ones are there for you and you’ll be amazed at how quickly they will rally around you and support you.
Keep on moving forward. Don’t let anything keep you back. Have you got issues that keep on tripping you up? Go see someone and set that energy free! Results don’t magically occur overnight, so keep on working at it, whether it’s a book you want to write or weight you want to lose.
dont be afraid to change what you don’t like
If you know that you aren’t where you want to be, you aren’t sure of the person you’re with or you desperately want to give up your job as a CA and set up your own cool deli, go for it. Fear less and risk more. Live your life, don’t let it live you. Don’t be afraid of tearing it all down if you have to, you have the power to build it all back up again.
be patient with yourself
You are doing the best you can. When you know better, you’ll do better. Realise that life truly is about the journey and not the destination. Be thankful for every experience and try and enjoy even the bad times by bearing in mind that each experience is unique and will never happen again in the same expression. Each moment brings you closer to your last.
You are loved.
No matter what your age, know this: even if your friends or family aren’t calling to tell you every single day, you are loved.
So there you have it, Lovelies. Breathe. Enjoy the journey. Absorb the lessons you’re learning. Be present. Your 30’s are really awesome.