Turning 30 is a big milestone in anyone’s life. And we’ve all imagined this event in our heads at several points in life. My earliest memory of imagining turning 30 was when I was about 15! Back then, it felt like a distant reality; something I’d have to deal with much later in life. When I was a 20 something, turning 30 felt like a countdown before which I had a ton of things to achieve. And a  slump in my mid-20s turned it into an impending doomsday event in my head until someone wise said four simple words to me – ‘Go with the flow.’
The inevitable finally happened last year.  Though I was too distracted by the beauty of Malta on that day to really ponder about how I felt about it, I did manage to gather my thoughts on it in the days thereafter.  Staring aimlessly at passersby on a busy Vallettan street with a glass of rosé in my hand, it struck me that I’d spent most of the last decade trying to do the right thing for my career and my personal life only to realize that there is no such thing as the ‘right’ thing!  I  wish I could go on and wax poetic about this supposed milestone that I’ve hit, but honestly, I only have a few simple life lessons to share. Lessons that were earned by going through a mixed bag of experiences:

1. Success is relative

What might be failure to you might mean success to someone else and vice versa. Don’t go chasing someone else’s definition of it. Be honest with yourself about your needs and goals  and chart your own course instead.

2. Be yourself and fiercely so no matter what

Society is so busy labelling and turning you into a factory product that it can be difficult to just be yourself. It is human to want to fit in and be liked. But please remember that life is not a popularity contest. It is better to be disliked for who you are than to be liked for who are you not. This does not mean that you shouldn’t work to better yourself. You should, but be proud of your uniqueness. Have the courage to be your true self for it will take you places that pretending never will.

3. No matter what, you can always start over

I personally went through a very rough patch between 2011- 2014 and my biggest learning during that period was that it is never too late to start again! You just have to believe that you can. Also, if you wait for things to work out to start over, you’ll wait forever. Start with what you have and work to the best of your ability. The results will take care of themselves.

4. Happiness is a choice

We love to believe that happiness is something that can be achieved only through positive situations and achievements. Truth is, if we depend on these fickle things to make us happy, we’re in big trouble! Sure, certain situations or achievements  can add to our happiness but above all, it truly depends on us to make the best of the cards presented to us.

5. Pursue your passions

‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ – Confucius

Many of us are afraid to follow our passions because it involves taking risks and even facing failure. But in my opinion, the only true failure is not having tried at all.  So whether it is photography, art, fashion, writing or just about anything, pursue it with everything you have. Nothing will make you happier 🙂

6. Make time for people you love

At the end of the day, it’s the people in our lives that add meaning to everything we do.  So don’t lose yourself so much in work that you have no time for anyone else.

7. Set healthy boundaries

In Asian cultures especially, we are constantly told to ‘let go’ of other’s bad behaviour.  I’m probably going to one of the few ones to tell you not to. While there is merit in letting go at times, more often than not, staying silent beyond a point only encourages more bad behaviour. Therefore, it is important to set healthy boundaries and set the standard for how you’d like to be treated.

8. Don’t ‘settle’ down

There are many compromises to be made in life, love shouldn’t be one of them. Marriage is a two-way street and the most important commitment you will make. It’s very important to ensure that your dreams, goal and values are aligned with your partner before taking the plunge. Marrying for the sake of it or ‘settling’ can get you into an emotional mess that can be avoided by thinking things through and having honest conversations.

9. What people think of you is truly none of your business

You can never control how people receive your energy. Everything that you say or do gets tinted through the lens of whatever they’re going through at the moment which is not about you. So just keep doing what you do with as much love and integrity as possible.

10.  Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself. Especially when you fail 🙂 It’s so easy to get caught up in this supposed race to make something meaningful out of life that we forget that we’re just a small speck in this giant cosmos. Once you have that perspective, it is impossible to not develop a sense of humour!

11. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

While it is important to stand on your own  feet, life is a long journey and you were never meant to figure it out all on your own. Don’t hesitate to reach out to people when you need help.

12. Stay free of concepts and labels

We live in a time of concepts and labels. Stay free of both.  You may think some of them  are liberating but the truth is they just put you in another box that you may not like being in as time goes by. True freedom lies in being honest with yourself rather than in conforming to labels that are in vogue.

13. Invest more in experiences than in material possessions

We live in a material world; there’s no escaping that. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong in indulging in material possessions especially if you can afford it. However, there are enough studies out there which state that investing in meaningful experiences contributes a lot more to our happiness than owning things do.

14. Quit body-shaming

Women, especially, tend to be too critical about their bodily imperfections. I  am sure we all struggle with different aspects of our looks – weight gain, hair and skin issues etc etc. But I think it’s extremely important to realize that true beauty lies in accepting yourself with all your imperfections and not in heavily airbrushed magazine pages that promote unhealthy and unnatural standards of beauty.

15. Take care of yourself

I can’t emphasise this enough. In order to give your best to everything, it is important to take good care of your physical and mental health. Pick any activity you like – yoga, meditation or gymming  and devote 30-40 minutes a day to it without fail. And of course,  laugh a lot and never forget to Stay Fabulous! 😉

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.