Turning 30: Are You Wiser From the Lessons You Learnt in Your 20s?
If you’re on the cusp of turning 30, you will relate to these life lessons you learnt from surviving your 20s!
I am turning 30 in two weeks. Let me assure you: I seem to be dealing with it. There aren’t going to be any tears (this is no Game of Thrones) – or desperate attempts to stop the clock. That said, I can’t help but look back at an entire decade full of friends, career choices, relationships and life lessons. Here are a few thoughts I’d like to share with you:
1. Don’t Work Right After College
What I faced: After graduating from Delhi University, I skipped my post graduation and ended up as a trainee TV producer. At 20, I was already working – working for 12 hours every day. I used to wake up and think about work and go to bed thinking about what had happened at work. What was the need to put myself through that when I could have studied a bit more?
What I learnt: Study a bit more – or pretend to study a bit more – it’ll help you get a good break.
2. Don’t Work for Less Money Than You Deserve
What I faced: I have always been envious of people with multiple talents – I thought I could only write. As I started working, I did TV production of every format, wrote for about 10-12 magazines and generally did more work than I was paid for. While my experience grew in leaps and bounds, the salary remained a constant. It took me a lot of time to figure my worth. I realised I could do more than write – I could conceptualise, create, execute and market content. And while I learnt these skills at my workplace – I made the best money working independently as a blogger, consultant, social media marketer and columnist.
What I learnt: You may be lucky enough to find a boss who’s not a total tool or a company that appreciates your hard work – but don’t hold your breath. Invest your creative potential in what makes you happy. Trust me, you’ll feel like waking up every day.
3. Body Image Can be Damned!
What I faced: I was thin, like REALLY thin (till about 6 months ago), and contrary to what people think, thin people have their own set of complexes. While my overweight friends worried about acne and the fact that they couldn’t breathe… I worried about whether my breasts would ever grow and if people would stop noticing how thin I am.
What I learnt: After years of spending time on this, all I have to say is this: stop wasting time and love yourself. Eat well – don’t ever SKIMP on good food, make sure you visit a dermatologist to avoid long term issues – and your assets? They’ll develop anyway. Makeup and clothes should just be add-ons – not an addiction.
4. Junk the Junk (Sometimes)?
What I faced: I was one of those people who ate only the aloo out of a capsicum-aloo sabzi. It started out as my mom’s way of putting up with my tantrums but as time went on, the only person who was losing out… was me. Not only was I weak, I was also prone to falling sick at every chance I got.
What I learnt: I got my wake up call in a hospital – I’d contracted a liver infection after eating junk from a dhaba near my office and was being punished for it with an IV. It’s been 6 years of mindful eating – appreciating veggies for their anti-oxidants, enjoying bakes, grills and cups of green tea and gooseberry juice every day.
5. Love Ain’t Everything
What I’ve faced: It would be fair to say I’ve enjoyed my fair share of like, love and heartbreaks. I’ve been at both sides: being the heartbreaker and the one whose heart has been broken – and I wouldn’t change it. What I would change is myself.
What I’ve learnt: Yes, love is beautiful but sometimes it’s not enough to make a relationship work. You need to work on it – everyday – and if it doesn’t feel right, then it’s better to leave. Not just for yourself but because sometimes you’re doing him a favour. You both deserve better.
6. Your Friends are Your Real Heroes
What I’ve faced: The boys are gonna come – some stay, some part as friends, some stay on your Facebook and a few manage to stay alive in your conscience. But the real constants, the heroes of your lives are those who stand by you.
What I’ve learnt: Sure, we take our friends and families for granted – but once in a while, do something for the ones who have been with you through these fabulous years.
What are your thoughts on turning 30? Find us on Twitter; our handles are @manavisiddhanti and @thequint.
(Manavi Siddhanti is a beauty and lifestyle blogger and runs a blog, beforbeauty.com. You can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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