30 life lessons I learnt on turning 30

I'm no she-baba. But I did have an epiphany after turning 30.

Rishibha Gupta Rishibha Gupta Dec 07, 2016
Age might be just a number--but the bigger the number, the wiser you get. Photo: Shutterstock/IndiaPicture

This year in October I exited my twenties. Was it an emotional, overwhelming, scary exit? Well, not really. Though, it was filled with a lot of lessons. Some have come the hard way, while others have added a 360-watt smile to my face.

I didn't expect to become so wise, but this list was quite a revelation--even to me. So, if you are still in your 20s, there's no harm in sprinkling your life with a dash of gyan. Here's mine:

1. You First
Being a good Samaritan is not always a cool thing. It's okay to be selfish. Plan your day according to your needs. Don't let people bog you if you can't make it for that party or that lunch.

2. Don't Over Plan
John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Lennon was damn right. It's okay if there is a slight detour from what you expected your life to be: over planning can be detrimental for your sanity anyway.

3. Mom and Dad are the Best
Once you're over your rebellious phase, and done comparing your parents to other people's folks, there comes a day you realize your own are the BEST. Who else has the patience to deal with a nutcase like you, which by the way is their fault-because, genes.

4. Have Real Friendships
Outside of Facebook, that is. Be friends with those people whom you can be yourself with, not just those you want to be tagged with, just for that picture. Your personal friend list should have people who won't squirm when you say the stupidest thing, and who will scold you when you falter. Omit those who're just sucking your time and energy.

5. It's the Little Joys That Matter
Happiness is not in the grand luxurious things. It's in getting three green traffic light signals consecutively, going for a drive at 11.00 pm to eat your favourite ice cream, drinking coffee every day from your favourite mug. Just that.

6. Drink Wine and Make Merry
There are no troubles that a glass or two (or a bottle, if need be) can't melt away. Open that bottle of wine, drink it through the day or night and let the fun begin. The antioxidants in the red wine will make you glow the following day.

7. Ask and You Shall Receive
Don't expect people to read your body language. You've got to open that beautiful mouth of yours to say what you want. More often than not, you do receive what you've asked for. Of course we can't guarantee a Tiffany ring or a date with George Clooney.

8. Be You
Be shameless and effortless in who you are. I used to give so much thought to what others might think of me--but hey, people will judge you no matter what. So why not be yourself?

9. It's Okay to Miss the Gym
This one was a toughie. It took years of convincing myself that it's okay to skip the gym without guilt. I used to crib all the bloody time. It's fine if you skip that workout session, and head out for that awesome meal instead. You'll make up for it the next day, or in the next few days, or maybe never. In any case, it's okay.

10. Diets Suck
Don't let anyone make you believe that dieting is good. It makes you cranky and irritable. All you need to do is eat everything you love, and compensate later. Once you go on a diet, it just plagues your mind and your life becomes all about skipping an outing with friends and planning your next meal. Get grooving instead, and burn those calories.

11. Late Night Drives are the Best Thing Ever
There is something about those impromptu drives that can uplift anyone's mood. There's barely any traffic and the city seems alive with places lit up. Go for a midnight snack at a 24-hour cafe, or drink hot chocolate.


12. Vacation is THE Most Important Thing
Put on your vacay hat as often as you can. Go for random short trips, and the crazy long planned ones. The fun is in getting away, clicking tons of pictures, experiencing the culture, and trying local liquor. Vegetate, see the tourist attractions, make an itinerary, but don't go by the itinerary. Do random shit! You'll come back to the boring rut recharged, refreshed, and refuelled until you go on the next one.

13. Believe You Are Beautiful, and You'll Start Looking Prettier
Trust me. It works! You just won't be able to take your eyes off the mirror and people's car windows.

14. Forgive
It's a feeling similar to the one you get after you've attended to nature's call. RELIEF! Let go, and forgive people. It's the hardest to forgive the ones you love. Holding grudges never benefitted anyone.

15. Do Crazy Stuff
Be goofy. Be silly. Do stuff out of your comfort zone. Define your crazy shit. Trust me. This stuff makes for the best stories.

16. Express Your Love
Give that hug. Say those words 'love you'. Whether it's meant for your mom, your friends, or your that stray dog who comes wagging his tail every morning and night for biscuits.


17. Say No Without Guilt
Saying 'no' can be the hardest thing. It was for me. But now if I feel it's not right, I say no. The ones who matter to you will understand. Those who don't, well they don't really matter.

18. It's Okay to Ask for Help
Even Barack Obama has a huge staff to take care of a multitude of things. You are no superwoman. Delegate, talk, and ask for help. It's okay to be independent but you can't do it all. A little nudge, a tiny favour never harmed anyone.

19. Quit That Job If It Makes You Unhappy
Life is too short to be in a job that makes you unhappy. Do what you want to do. Follow your heart. For heaven's sake, you spend eight or more hours at your workplace. That's a lot of time! Have the heart to take that calculated risk of quitting your job and working out the math of paying your bills.

20. Be Kind
Always! There is no match for kindness. One act of random kindness will fill your heart with so much love that it'll charge your batteries for quite a while. Empathy is a well-learnt lesson.

21. Sing Out Loud Even If You Croak
You are no Adele, but hey you always have your bathroom. Sing when you get the chance. Head to the karaoke bar because everyone is kind of drunk and croaking anyway.

22. It's Okay to Fail
Don't expect to get it right all the time. It's fine if you don't crack that deal. There's always a next time.

23. Hug and Kiss More Often
A hug can make the world a little better. Kiss your loved ones. I didn't much earlier, but now I do. A lot!

24. Write Notes and Letters
Rummaging through old notes and letters is really cool. It's the shortest way to take a trip down memory lane, and is bound to bring lots of smiles to your face.

25. Take Responsibility
It fills you with confidence! Take charge at home for paying bills. Be responsible at work for the project you've been assigned.

26. Help Others
Just do it for any reason, or no reason at all. Something as basic as telling your maid about the school where her daughter can get admission into to helping an acquaintance look for a job--nothing is off limits.

27. Wear Those Dresses
Enough drama about your body type. Go pick up the dresses you've always wanted to wear. The short red one or the perky yellow maxi. You live now, so don't keep on waiting to slip into them once you are a certain weight.

28. Let Go
Of that guy who hurt you, the nasty things your friends said to you, and so on. Because before you know it, you'll be blowing 30 candles on your cake and you'll realize that holding on to all that is just not worth it.

29. Surprise the People You Love
They will love it, and seeing them happy will add to your joy. Pick up a random gift and give it to them. Don't wait for birthdays, festivals or milestones.

30. The 30s are Going to be Super Awesome
With so much realization, how the fuck will they not be awesome?

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