30 Things I’ve Learned by 30 (See Jane Turn 30)

29.

Much like the setting of a famous Charles Dickens novel, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  I’ll give 29 one thing, though: it forced me to grow up and face a lot of realities.  Today I turn 30 years old and it’s been quite a journey so far.  

  1. I can’t believe I have a child.  Sometimes I feel like I’m still 16 years old…and babysitting.
  2. On a related note, I’m the youngest of four kids and I’ve learned it that title carries on with you through life (maybe I feel 16 because I’m still treated like I’m 16…?).
  3. The past five years have been a blur; it’s true that the older you get, the faster time flies.
  4. I’ve really become comfortable in my own skin these past few years (i.e. I think I’m over getting that nose job).
  5. You’re never too old to make new friends.  
  6. …but don’t forget about the friends you’ve had in the past.  It’s inevitable that people change and grow apart but you never know when you’ll cross paths again.
  7. All wine tastes the same to me.  Is my palette that unrefined?
  8. Hangovers seem to get worse with each passing year.  Maybe it’s the cheap wine.
  9. With a demanding job, new baby, family and life, it’s become increasingly hard to keep commitments and it’s something I try to work on everyday.
  10. I always fancied myself a ‘go with the flow’ type, but I’m realizing I’m more uptight than I thought.
  11. Learning about people firsthand by engaging with them is so much more interesting than making assumptions from afar.
  12. I thought I’d be organized by now.  Nope, I still lose my phone every two minutes.
  13. I’ve visited a lot of countries and I haven’t even scratched the surface; there are so many places I want to visit.
  14. And if you get the chance, live or study abroad.
  15. I feel extremely fortunate for my family and upbringing.  My parents provided the necessities, expected a lot, but us loved unconditionally.  Most importantly, they didn’t spoil us.
  16. Even so, I hated chores growing up and still dread cleaning my house.
  17. If your significant other also hates cleaning, do yourselves a favor and hire a cleaning service.  It could save your relationship.
  18. You’re never too old for Disney movies.  When I catch Beauty and the Beast on TV, it’s like I’m 8 again.
  19. I felt like I really started to get to know my parents as real people this past decade.  I love hearing stories about them from other people.
  20. Don’t be afraid to make a risky career move in your 20s.  I left my well-paying, finance job (and survived the financial crash of 2008!) to sell men’s clothing at start-up with 20 employees and questionable wifi.  Three years later, I’m extremely proud of what I’ve helped build at Trunk Club.
  21. Although it happens very infrequently, nothing beats a lazy day sunbathing (with SPF, of course).
  22. Fashion is no reason to go into debt.  You don’t have to break the bank to look awesome. 
  23. Expand your taste in music.  I can safely say that no matter what XM channel I listen to while driving, I will know a song.  (I’d be amazing at ‘Name That Tune.’)
  24. Learn as much as you can.  Sometimes I think about how awesome it was to go to school everyday and learn something new–while breaking for lunch and recess.  But seriously, how great was that?  Man, we all really took that for granted.
  25. It really does take a village to raise a child.  Having a baby and losing a parent all within months of each other was the hardest time of my life.  I’m eternally grateful for all the helping hands when it came to Harry–my own family and Eric’s included.  It wasn’t easy adjusting to life as a new parent while losing your own.
  26. Being a working parent is really hard–much more difficult than I anticipated.  And mommy guilt is a real thing.
  27. You have no clue about parenting until you have your own.  Expectations?  Throw those out the window.
  28. Life isn’t fair.  Who knows why we’re given the hand we’re dealt?  I will never understand why my dad’s life was cut so short.
  29. Always, always, always tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.  The last meaningful phone conversation I had with my dad (pre-hospital and pre-decline) was brief.  The regret I have is real and it consumes me; I can only hope that he knew how much I love him.
  30. The aforementioned conversation was on my dad’s 66th birthday–about a week before he was hospitalized before his imminent decline.  The fact that he won’t be calling me today is hard to wrap my head around.  The most important thing I’ve learned was taught to me by my dad; he’d always say, ‘it’s ok to feel that way.’  It was somewhat a family motto growing up and has stuck with me throughout the years.  As I forge ahead into my 30s, with a baby in tow but without a father, I am certain I will bring his pearls of wisdom along for the ride.

36 comments

  1. What a great post. I don't often leave comments, but I really enjoy your blog and hope that despite the struggles of the past year you had a lovely birthday! (I'm in my early twenties so this is good stuff to remember 🙂 )

  2. happy birthday! i just turned 31 and everything you said resonates with me too. my father is fighting a battle, so this reminds me to hug him even tighter. i hope you have a lovely day and know that he's with you every step of the way. xo

  3. Lovely post. I stumbled upon your site a few weeks ago. I lost my father to multiple myeloma September 27th and turned 29 last week. It makes for a difficult birthday, but your words are as beautiful and encouraging as your pictures. I'm not one to post things to strangers, but I wanted to thank you for today's wisdom. It resonates in the best way.

  4. Just want to reach out and say how much I admire your strength and honesty, all the while staying witty. I just became a mother myself this year and cannot imagine enduring the added obstacles you faced. All the best to you this holiday with your wonderful family.

  5. I certainly hope you had a wonderful birthday! I always like to read posts like this from bloggers so thank you for sharing.

    I lost my granddad a few years back and never really got a chance to tell him how much he meant to me but as time has passed I know he knew how important he was and still is to me. You dad knows too, I have no doubt.

    Xo
    Brittany

  6. I don't think that I have ever commented on your blog, but it did touch me today. Mostly because I lost my father about six weeks ago. It's been a rough four months. My husband's father and grandfather died in July and August respectively, and my father died in October. It's been tough on our family especially our two children who are 16 and 10 because they lost both of their grandfathers in such a short period of time. Just when I think that I'm moving forward, I realize that I an't text pictures of my kids to my father like I used to. But like you said, you just bring their pearls of wisdom along for the ride.

  7. Have a lovely birthday. And please believe, your dad knows how much you loved him. I worried, like you, that because I didn't have a "final" conversation with my dad before he passed away, that he didn't know how much I loved him. When finally admitting this concern to my mom, she smiled and said, "Your dad knows. You don't have to say it in words. Of course he knows. You always felt loved by your dad, even though he might not have verbally told you every day. People know when you love them." I felt so much relief after hearing my mom say this. Of course he knew. There are probably people in your life that have never told you they love you, but you know they do. Your dad, of all people, certainly knows how much you loved him.

  8. I hope that you had a great birthday – turning 30 is a big deal and I loved your thoughts and reflections when thinking about that milestone. I will be turning 30 in the Summer and I can't believe it. My life isn't what I thought it would be by 30. And I am so sorry that you lost your Dad – I agree with all the previous comments; you Dad absolutely knew how much you loved him. Without question. And I completely understand that you are regretful and wishing that you had the opportunity to change that final conversation, but sometimes life doesn't happen the way we expect. Don't kick yourself for something that you couldn't control – you Dad knew how much you meant to him.

    http://mabellechristina.blogspot.com

  9. Such a lovely and touching post! To be honest this is my first comment I have ever made, even though I have been following you for ages from a tiny European country called Czech Republic! I myself have two little kids so I can relate to every single word you have written. Keep up the good work, I keep my fingers crossed for you and your family.

  10. This was a really beautiful post. I too, turned 30 just after having my baby and can relate to most of what you wrote here. Your dad seems like he was a really amazing man and a wonderful father. xo

  11. Thank you for sharing this post! I enjoyed #4… my nose is something I'm getting over (I have my dad's nose!)

    I know it's NOT AT ALL the same, but when my Papa (my grandfather/my dad's dad) passed away in March – I hadn't had the last phone calls that I wanted. His decline was quick and I didn't see it coming. After my Papa passed away it ate at me & is still a heavy regret. In my heart he chuckles at me and tells me everything's okay & that OF COURSE he knows I love him. I'm sure your dad would tell you "it's okay to feel that way" but he KNOWS you love him! You're his little girl! You always will be!

    I'm so sorry you lost your dad. He is always in your heart & he talks to you and listens to you from there.

    "For if you always think of me, I will never be gone."

  12. Hi Jane. I've been following your blog for a year now. I am going to turn 30 myself in a few months. Thanks for sharing. I know its not easy sometimes. This brought tears to my eyes.

    Hope you have a good day.

    Ivonne

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