I’m thirty now. 30. Officially a grown-up, at least in the eyes of my childhood self. Thirty once seemed like an impossibly long time away, and I suppose it was, looking back on who I was and who I’ve become. To celebrate and commiserate with myself, here’s my thirty things I’ve learned about being thirty in the few hours I’ve had to take it for a spin.
[dropcap]1[/dropcap] The older you get, the smarter you get. There were things that I was better at ten or fifteen years ago, but in hindsight, I have only gotten more savvy and centred as time has gone on, which makes me optimistic and cheerful about the future.
[dropcap]2[/dropcap] Friends are important, real friends are essential.
[dropcap]3[/dropcap] Cooking used to be something annoying I had to do before I could eat, now it’s one of the most enjoyable ways I can spend time. I didn’t see that coming. Still don’t enjoy gardening though.
[dropcap]4[/dropcap] Even though I’ve changed so much in my lifetime that I feel unrecognisable compared to wee baby Ben, I’ve only become more myself.
[dropcap]5[/dropcap] Keep an open mind about your career. I once felt pretty smug about the fact that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Being a filmmaker is all I had ever wanted, and all I thought I’d ever want, but my ambitions and the world have changed. I’m grateful I got the chance to do what I wanted, but even more excited about the next adventure.
[dropcap]6[/dropcap] Young people don’t take their opposite gender seriously, especially young men. I thought I did, but I really didn’t. Recent ugliness I’ve witnessed has made me more resolute in my support for gender equality, and thankful that I have healthy relationships with the women in my life. Remember, they’re just like us!
[dropcap]7[/dropcap] The Pale Blue Dot image and speech blows my mind as much now as it did fifteen years ago. It’ll blow your mind too.
[dropcap]8[/dropcap] I still don’t know what to do with my hair, but I’m getting there. If you have your hair game figured out, I salute you.
[dropcap]9[/dropcap] Ditto clothes.
[dropcap]10[/dropcap] I rarely go to bed later than midnight because I have to be up in the morning. This is a much more enjoyable shift than I expected.
[dropcap]11[/dropcap] The most valuable skill I’ve ever developed is my ability to listen. It’s brought me great things in life.
[dropcap]12[/dropcap] Don’t interrupt.
[dropcap]13[/dropcap] Always sleep on a draft before sending it off. You’ll spot loads of stuff.
[dropcap]14[/dropcap] Pain and heartbreak are as horrific as they are necessary to become a fully grown and rounded person. My capacity to heal has helped me shape and know myself, though seeking damage willingly is a toxic and dangerous trait.
[dropcap]15[/dropcap] Be as generous as you can be, but avoid truly selfish people. You should never share with people you’ll end up resenting.
[dropcap]16[/dropcap] Take care of your feet, they are the tyres of your body.
[dropcap]17[/dropcap] Know and do what you’re good at, but don’t be afraid to be the worst at something. Even Jimi Hendrix sucked at guitar once.
[dropcap]18[/dropcap] We’re all in this together.
[dropcap]19[/dropcap] Be optimistic and assume the best of people. Better to be magnanimous and wrong than bitter and right.
[dropcap]20[/dropcap] Fight shyness. There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, but getting to know other people easily is opening your life and your heart to a universe of possibilities.
[dropcap]21[/dropcap] Getting up early is pretty much always worthwhile. That’s why it’s hard.
[dropcap]22[/dropcap] Living in the future is cool if you think about it at all:
In the nineties, I used to think it would be cool to live in a cyberpunk dystopia… but now I do and it’s actually only alright.
— Marc McEntegart (@SirJolt) August 27, 2014
[dropcap]23[/dropcap] Learning to enjoy things you didn’t before is a way to find happiness almost anywhere.
[dropcap]24[/dropcap] Travelling is one of the best ways to spend time and money, as long as you venture out of your comfort zone.
[dropcap]25[/dropcap] Nothing is static or absolute, life is a series of balancing acts and feedback loops. Making the journey isn’t like walking, it’s more like surfing.
[dropcap]26[/dropcap] Don’t be afraid to cry (in moderation). (Warning! Spoiler for the finale for The US Office)
[dropcap]27[/dropcap] A key to a healthy relationship is respect for one another’s passions. You get that for free if those passions are shared, but if not, take a genuine interest.
[dropcap]28[/dropcap] Arrogance isn’t confidence, honesty is.
[dropcap]29[/dropcap] It’s okay to be afraid, but sometimes you have to be brave as well.
[dropcap]30[/dropcap] The way you do anything is the way you do everything.
Many thanks to Mr. Homer Goes To Washington for the awesome banner pic.