In just a few short hours, I’m turning 31 years old.
What has 30 years of life taught me so far? It’s like, where do I even begin? There’s so much to say and yet, it isn’t impactful until you actually experience the years yourself. And yes, I bet, there’s so much more to learn.
My biggest realization is that I have to take care of me. I spent my entire childhood focused on taking care of others. It’s how many of us are raised. You have younger siblings and you help care for them. You help care for the needs of the entire family. And when I in my early twenties, after moving out on my own, I replaced the “caring for my siblings” with “caring for my boyfriend and/or friends”. That’s how I’m wired. Put others first.
Finally in my later 20s, specifically after breaking up with my now ex, I decided not to jump into another relationship and be alone for bit. It was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. Almost all my decisions revolved around my needs and I learned to be self centered with my choices. There was no guilt because I wasn’t caring for another. I needed someone to care for and that someone was me.
It wasn’t comfortable. And I hated being alone. I hated coming home to just my cat (even though he is the clingiest most attention seeking cat alive). I hated not having a partner to come home to and to share my life and experiences with. But I didn’t hate it enough to just jump into any relationship.
I actively dated. But that was why I guarded my singleness so much- because I saw what was out there and most of them weren’t worth losing my single title for. I did have heartbreak and much sadness. But once I met the man that is now my fiancé, I had a very good idea of what I needed in a partner before I was willing to be with one. And I was sick of wasting my time on fruitless endeavors. So I was blunt, honest and tried my best to make sure I didn’t waste my time. I didn’t want to waste my energy.
Growing to be able to truly focus on your needs and work on yourself (i.e. to be self centered) was the best and most important thing for me to realize and practice. It made me realize that if I don’t care for myself as deeply as I care for others, then I’ll end up exhausted and spent. Not to mention, I’d end up filled with regret and resentment.
So the take away, for me, from my 30 years of life, is that it’s incredibly important to focus on yourself. Figure out your needs- what do you need from your job, your relationships, your friendships, your family, your hobbies etc? What helps you wake up happy and content? What makes you want to get out of bed and face the day? Figure that out and work day in and day out in its attainment.