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April 25, 2012


When thinking of someone who is 30 years old -- someone other than myself -- I consider 30 to be "old"... not necessarily in the sense of "ancient", but more in the sense of "no longer considered young". 30 seems to imply more settled, in a way, farther from the night time social scene, with more experience in life, experience that would usually bring a secure job, perhaps a house, maybe a child or two. Yet now that it's actually ME that's turning the page from last chapter of my 20s to the first chapter of my 30s, I feel like "30" is so much less defined. Not necessarily because I haven't achieved all the things listed above, but more because the older I get, the more I realize that these benchmarks of age really aren't definable. The expectations that I had 10 years ago of how my life would look at 30 are quite, quite different than how my life actually looks now, and honestly, I don't think I would change a thing!

Now... has life been challenging? Yes. Have there been days when I've cried more than I've laughed? Perhaps. More specifically, have there been days when I think "What in heaven's name am I doing here?!?!". Most. Certainly. Yes. But there have also been days where the lessons learned were more valuable than the cost paid to learn them. And of course there have been wonderful, amazing, throw-your-head-back-and-let-your-hair-blow-in-the-wind-while-twirling-and-smiling kind of days. And it's these two last sentiments are the ones that I reflect on as I start a new decade of life.  

Those who know me well know my appreciation for quotes - words of wisdom, Bible verses, inspiring quotations - and I have quite a collection! I was inspired about a year ago when I saw someone post her collection of quotes in honor of their 30th birthday, honoring her birthday by reflecting on what she had learned in years past. I thought it was fabulous, and began to note personal reflections and also save quotations that I stumbled upon in books or online. This was quite enjoyable for me, and even more so with the discovery of Pinterest, where many quotes that I already had recorded were now available in print, and most in a really beautiful way! The following is my list of "30 for 30": Things I've learned, things I'm admitting out loud, quotes that inspire me and that I believe could be inspiring for others, and Biblical truth. I enjoyed collecting them and think I might try to make it a yearly tradition! So... without further ado...

1) There are a lot of things that I still don’t know.  And that occasionally makes me feel like I’m 11 again.  And sometimes that’s ok. The day you stop learning is the day you stop living. 

2) In the new world of creative writing, it is completely acceptable to start a sentence with the word “And”.

3) There are a lot of things that I want to do well, but I should probably just accept that perfectionists can never do everything well. (And neither can your Average Joe… StrengthsFinder, anyone??)


5) I enjoy drinking diet soda and eating gummy candy way more than I should.  (Yet I don’t stop! Bummer!). And when I think my hair looks bad, it doesn’t matter how skinny my hips look or how trendy my shoes are, I feel ugly.

6) You will most likely never regret taking a lot of photographs.

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8) Sometimes the best prayer to pray is...
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9) Travel not only opens your eyes to the world, but it opens your mind and your heart as well.  (And sometimes an open heart is more valuable than an open pair of eyes).

10) Do not marry someone unless you would be proud to have a child exactly like him/her.

12) $450 for a new memory foam mattress is money well-invested... newly married or not!

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14) Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration and misery.  (This might take an entire lifetime to really learn).

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16) Forgiving yourself (and not condemning yourself after, as well) is harder than forgiving others.  This is why God offers us grace, and suggests we do the same for ourselves.

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19) You will never feel 100% ready for something new, and because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Being or staying comfortable is not a good reason to avoid anything.  

[can anyone source this?]

21) Only boring people are ever bored. [If you think you are bored, go to the library!]


23) If you don’t act on it, you might never know what it (or you) could have been.  A year from now you might wish you would have started today.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

25) In life, you get what you put in.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you want money, provide value.  It just might be this simple.

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27) The Internet is supremely helpful and can enrich your life with brilliant literature, delectable recipes and creative project ideas, can answer random questions and ease random fears, and can connect you with those you love.  It can also suck the time out of your day faster than any other non-living thing on the planet. Proceed with caution.

28) Mistakes teach you important lessons. The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.

29) As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”


Makes sense to worry less and trust more then, right?