13 Life Lessons I Learned Before Turning 30


We are quickly approaching my birthday, and not just any birthday, my thirtieth birthday.

As in THIRTY. 30!

Even just typing that, I am in a bit of disbelief. There is something different about this number to me. It triggers my brain in a way that the ones before just simply didn’t. Not in an “I’m terrified” sort of way, more like “Wow, where have the years gone?” reflecting sort of way. You know?


Before saying goodbye to 29 and hello to the big 3-0, I challenged myself to write out a few of the things I have learned in this last decade of life. Well, I could make quite the list! But, for your sake and to add a nod to the 13 Going on 30 Movie, here’s 13 of them for you!

You can do far more than you give yourself credit for.

Or as Glennon Doyle says it – “You can do hard things.” I have shocked myself the last decade with how much I have been able to both accomplish and overcome. Believe you can, and most of the time, YOU DO!

The years really are fleeting; soak them up. 

Nothing has made this more real for me than seeing my sweet kiddos grow up so quickly right before my eyes. Life is precious and time certainly is a thief! The best thing we can do is soak every second up because we all know those moments will pass just as quickly as they came.

Mental health matters.

Your brain is just as much a part of your body as your stomach is; take care of it. I know there can be a stigma surrounding this, but let’s close the door to that negativity and embrace the growth that comes when we accept this as an equal part of our self-care.

Life can be beautiful and messy at the same time. 

I have walked through some devastating parts of life the last 10 years, and yet somehow even amidst the darkness, there were rays of light. You can feel both crushed and hopeful, grieve and celebrate, be heartbroken, and yet at the same time, thankful.

Stuff is just fluff, LET IT GO.

I referenced this line in one of my latest posts about embracing minimalism, and boy is it true. The older I get, the more I realize that physical objects are just that, physical. We can’t take them with us when we pass on, and oftentimes we live with way more than we need anyway. Give yourself permission to let the stuff go!

You do you.

Keeping up with the Jones’ or trying to build your life the way society often tells us we *should* is exhausting! Staying in my own lane and following my own individual path has helped me realize that there really is no “right” way or timing, just my own.

It’s okay to not be okay.

Sometimes putting on a happy face is just too hard, and that is more than ok. Feel your feelings, chances are they will pass and you will be happy you acknowledged them.

Put down the phone.

This one takes consistent work but is one area that I have made huge strides in. I refuse to be the mom who misses moments with my kids because I am too busy being buried in social media all the time. For me, setting limits for myself, and creating habits like leaving my phone in the other room throughout the day has been a welcomed awakening.

Trust your gut.

9.5 out of 10 times it will be right. (I know I’ll need to re-read this one myself.)

Share your heart.

This one has so many layers. Be open to love even when it might hurt you in the end. Be willing to share your feelings even if there is a chance they won’t be validated. Believe that your words have power and use them wisely. When I have chosen to open my heart to people, some of my favorite memories have been made. And when I have been brave enough to share my heart and story, beautiful things have always come from that place of vulnerability.

All good things are worth the wait (and the work).

We won’t always get handed the things or the life that we want, but we can accept that and work to create that for ourselves. We are all given lemons and sugar, but it’s up to us to make the lemonade. A huge part of that process involves patience and knowing that eventually, you will reap what you sow. Just keep going!

Never underestimate the power of a hug. 

My mom was the one who taught me all about “hugs for no reason” as she used to call them. There is just something about getting a good hug that melts the world around you. Pure magic!

Fear will always hold you back, so, learn to do things scared.

(This coming from a legit scaredy-cat.) I have seen this first hand in my own life, multiple times. The realization that everything we want is just on the opposite side of that fear, all we have to do is take that first step. You either succeed or you learn. There is no in-between.

Turning over another 10 years of life and closing out my twenties, FOREVER, has opened my eyes in a beautiful way. It is almost as if I am both clinging to the final pages of this chapter and yet equally eager to read the next. My twenties were great and full of lessons, but I am choosing to believe that my thirties will be even better. The best is always yet to come!

Previous articleInto the Unknown: B/S/T Children’s Boutiques
Next articleMy Experience with Bell’s Palsy
Hey there, I'm Rebecca! I am a believer, proud military wife, Mama of 4; 2 in Heaven and 2 here with us. I’m originally from Florida, but we moved to Ohio about three years ago and I honestly LOVE the change. Dayton was quick to feel like home to us, and we've definitely been enjoying the seasons! Being a Mom is the happiest full-time job, but I love making the time to keep up with my personal interests as well. I run a blog and Instagram @theivynest; where I share a bit of our story and everyday life, along with my love of home decor and keeping things simple. Life is definitely busy, but I truly believe that it is equally as beautiful when we choose to see it that way!