I’m thirty today! Woah.
I started writing this blogpost last year when I turned 29. Things were rapidly changing. Many of my friends got married. Others moved away. Suddenly, my idyllic world of having everyone I love within a 10-mile radius was dissipating. And it was FREAKING ME OUT.
Thirty is the year you think you’re supposed to have it figured out. When I was younger, I was sure that by thirty, I’d be wifed up + kid + dream job. L-O-L. Life don’t work that way.
In my teenage years, I wore all black and listened to My Chemical Romance unironically. I stayed away from my volatile home and found acceptance in restaurants, first as a waitress and then as a pastry cook. I learned to be different.
In college, I cooked full-time while double majoring while being in a relationship and still going to parties. I sold ice cream during summers and saved all my money to buy a KitchenAid. I learned how to hustle.
In my early twenties, I walked everywhere, cuz I didn’t have money to do much else. I got diagnosed with anemia and started monitoring my health. I ran a half marathon. I started this blog. I quit my first job. I learned to persist.
In my mid twenties, I broke up with someone I thought I would marry. I took my first solo trip to Paris. I got in and out of an abusive relationship. I swam Alcatraz. I ran a full marathon. I learned that life hurts.
In my late twenties, I quit tech and went back to Paris to study pastry. I began creative writing. I missed India more and more. I cooked Indian food for the first time. I fell in love. I went to Paris for a third time. I learned to channel my energy.
I could not have predicted my life to be this way. But here I am at thirty, still standing. I don’t have everything I want, but I have a lot of experiences to guide me into the next decade. And while I can’t really predict what it’ll look like, I can say that I want it to look something like this:
Tell stories through food and words.
Have more adventures in more places.
Build a life with the person I love.
Be a master of my time and energy.
In the wise words of Drake, it’s far from over.
And for all the other life lessons I picked up along the way in the last decade, I shared them below with some anecdotes:
- There is still room at the top.
- Pay less on rent and more on trips (you don’t need to have the best apartment right now).
- Stop straightening your hair so much (nobody cares).
- Keep in touch with the people who matter.
- You don’t need to work in a restaurant to be a chef (talents don’t go away).
- You don’t always need to be dating someone.
- Mornings are magical (sunrise hikes before work are still my favorite).
- You don’t need to let your past rule your future (you aren’t your parents).
- You cannot change people.
- Space from people is good (although also terrifying).
- Relationships are hard (always, all the time).
- Travel solo (this continues to be my most eye-opening experience).
- Save money (stop buying coffee).
- Anything can happen in Monopoly Deal.
- Related, Know your deal breakers, and just say no.
- Being right is not always important.
- You don’t owe a company anything (I’ve changed jobs often, but each time has been a promotion and a raise, which would not have happened by staying).
- It’s okay to own the parts of your culture you like and discard what you don’t.
- Call your parents (they miss you).
- Love is work (and worth the struggle).
- The hangovers do get worse after 25.
- Nobody has it all figured out.
- There some types of pain that you will never get over. So you will have to learn how to live with the hurt (bless up for therapy).
- There is so much more to the world than money (see: morning hikes).
- Get an electric toothbrush (jury is still out on flossing, tho).
- Milestones aren’t determined by how old you are.
- You are worthy of love.