Hello 30!: Five Key Lessons That My Twenties Taught Me

Brittany Shawnte 30

Y’all, I’M OFFICIALLY THIRTY YEARS OLD TODAY. I know a lot of people dread leaving their twenties behind, but I’m actually looking forward to what’s ahead. I am truly in a place where I’m 30, flirty, and thriving, and I’m loving it. Granted, I’ve only been 30 for a few hours at this point but whatever. I feel good!

In celebration of this big milestone, I was going to do 30 lessons I’m taking with me from my twenties, which I definitely have, but nah. Y’all are getting these five major lessons from me that I’m taking into this new phase of my life! I hope and pray that they help you.

Don’t put heavy time restraints on your life.

Oh, I’ve talked about this before on Imperfectly B because I live it. My whole life, I have felt like I was on a delay when it comes to my career and love life. In my early twenties, you couldn’t tell me that I wouldn’t be married with a kid by now, living in my dream house. At the very least, a starter home I liked. God was probably having a good chuckle at ya girl. I’m laughing at myself now. I’m just now starting to see some fruit from seeds sown YEARS ago. And I’m okay with it now. 

I realized that dreams delayed are not dreams denied. We love to put these time restraints and deadlines on our goals, as if you buying a house in your 50s is any less significant than getting one in your early 20s. Finding love or starting your business is major even if it doesn’t happen when you expected. Now, I believe you should have goals and work consistently on making them happen. I just don’t believe in these hard deadlines anymore, because that hasn’t been my life AT ALL. Anytime I have tried to plan something, God has blown it up, but then showed me something better or made me realize WHY a goal was deferred. Whenever you are able to accomplish your goals, guess what? It’s still a goal met! It’s still a dream made reality, even if it was delayed. 

Everybody can’t (or won’t) continue on your journey with you.

We talk about it all the time, but EVERYBODY CAN’T GO WITH YOU. Over the past few years, I’ve had to quietly distance myself from some people or had them distance themselves from me for whatever reason. Sometimes, it may even be your own fault that a relationship with a friend or family member ended, and there’s no getting it back.

Though I still love people from a distance, I’ve learned that everybody ain’t your friend and blood doesn’t necessarily make family. Honestly, if you have one or two good friends that you can actually depend on, you’re doing pretty good in my book.

Trust your instincts!!!!

Man, let me say it louder for the people in the back: TRUST. YOUR. INSTINCTS. Sometimes, we can indeed overthink situations. I know I do. However, I’ve learned that, if I really can’t shake a feeling about something or somebody, I’m probably right. It’s not even me, for real. For me, as a Christian, it’s the Holy Spirit I feel.

I see now that the Holy Spirit was trying to guide me away from some situations in my twenties, including a really bad relationship, before I got hurt. I waited too late to truly listen and ended up with my time wasted, feeling stupid. Now, I truly pray for discernment over every situation in my life so I go into things with the right intentions and, prayerfully, with the right people around me. I say all of this to say, trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. 

Your words (and delivery!) matter. 

I’ve written about this before with my sister, but I’ve really learned to choose my words carefully and what HOW I say things. I can be a bit…aggressive in my delivery, especially when I really feel I’m right. I used to hide behind the fact that I was “being honest,” with certain opinions, when really I was being mean or a know-it-all sometimes. Words and delivery can either truly help or hurt, and, even if people can’t remember exactly what you said, they’ll always remember how they felt around you.

Pick your words and your battles with others around you wisely. Even if you feel like you’re trying to help, sometimes it’s just better to keep your mouth shut and let people figure out their stuff on their own. Everyone doesn’t always want unsolicited advice or help. And, as our moms and grandmas taught us, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say NOTHING!” 

Loving yourself drives everything. 

We’ve heard that “self love is the best love.” Well, I know that for myself now. Loving yourself is KEY to a successful life. It drives your confidence and assertiveness in your work, your relationships, your side hustles, and whatever. It drives your feelings of self-worth and self-esteem, which factors into you going after great opportunities, or staying in bad ones. Even something as seemingly simple as taking pictures and buying a cute outfit for yourself can be thrown off by insecurities.

For a good chunk of my twenties, I wasn’t confident in myself as much as I claimed. I put on a really good facade to others, but, behind the scenes, I constantly picked at my skin tone, my hair, my weight, my writing, and so much more. In the last year of my twenties, especially being in quarantine for most of it, I was forced to face my insecurities head-on. I slowly but surely began loving and being more confident in who I am, what I look like, and the skills that I have (I’ll detail how in another post soon). And my life has gotten even better this past year because of it. 

That’s all I got. I’m off to enjoy the rest of my Dirty 30 weekend, which isn’t all that dirty with how 2020 is going HA! I’m grateful nonetheless. I hope that these major lessons of mine help someone out there.


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