So, since becoming 32, I have read and nodded along with all the tips people receive or would tell their 20/30-year-old selves. I recently read one and it got me thinking about my future because I am in my 30s.
1. Save up for retirement. Recently I looked at my retirement plan for what I could save up and when I do save up. I will be living like a poor person even when I’m old. So that means, I gotta start saving up more, now. I have credit card debt and school loans still outstanding. And I gotta eat every day and pay for a roof. Even if I have a minimum wage job, I will try to save at least 15% of my income.
2. Be present and be there for my friends and family. I’ve spent my youth searching for something. School was always first. Friends were always first. Something else was just too important. But now that I have lived in the ‘real world’ I want to share my successes with my family. I want to celebrate with them. I want to see my nephews grow. I want to be there to help my mom shovel snow. So, no more of this flaky me who doesn’t show up for dinner or makes excuses. I’ll be there.
3. Slow down and “smell the roses.” Along with this search, I have never been able to slow down and reflect. As soon as I reach a goal, I am on to the next one. On vacation, as soon as we finished gazing at the Michelangelo’s David, we were in the next room. I am learning that there is a good pace. And fast shouldn’t be it. Sure, I might finish something quicker, reach something sooner, but what kind of experience is that?
4. Let it go. Forgive. I don’t know how to forgive. I have thought about it and have never been able to figure out how. Am I supposed to feel something? See something? Even if I don’t know how, I think it goes with letting things go so that they do not bother me anymore. My boss’ favorite line is ‘don’t sweat the small stuff.’ I’ll try that.
5. Get rid of negativity. Since I already do this, I will continue to do it. I have found that when I limit myself to just my close friends and families I am happy. When I am not trying to please strangers, I am happy. For my 30th birthday my girlfriends and I decided to go to a posh place in downtown. It was supposed to be a fun evening, we got all dolled up. We were going to take tons of photos. And instead, ended up being so conscientious of ourselves that it was boring and uncomfortable. Never again!
6. Be healthy. Choose food wisely. Work out. On this I am trying. But I gotta try harder. Or rather, really change the way I live. I want to be healthy at the end of my life. I want to be able to move and be mobile. I want to not have to rely on medication. There is so much I can do now to be healthy later on. Keeping that in mind will help me make this change.
7. Focus on just a few passions. I was one of those undecided majors for 3 years of my 4 years of college. There was just too much I wanted to do. I have so many dreams, so many places to visit, so much to do. But to do something well, I will probably spend my whole life working for or on it. And I want to because whatever it is, it will be worth it.
8. Say no when I want. I say yes too much. I am too kind. I am too nice. I am a pushover. I cannot say no. Well, forget that this decade. I should make a list of requirements that a request should be met before I say yes.
9. Be unafraid to take risks. I watched Korean variety show recently where Lee Dong Wook, an actor, talked about how his co-host had so many stories, but he had so few he could remember. The reason was because he was too straight-laced. He followed the rules. He never did anything out of line or risky, so he had no stories to tell. I don’t want to be that way (too much). I have been to ‘straight’ in my 20s. Let it go. Take risks.
10. Marriage and kids, do it when I’m ready. So like, I’m still single. And I don’t want to be. For the most part, I needed time to grow up. I needed me time. I needed to find myself. I needed to gain confidence on my own. And I have always been independent. ‘Anything you can do I can do better.’ You know that saying? Or was that lyrics? Anyhow, I’ve had that attitude for the longest time, to get to where I am now. But now I think, anything you can do, is just fine. So I’m saying, I’m ready. And when it happens, I think it’ll be great.