9 empowering things I learned in my 20s

Today I am 30. As I’ve crept closer to this number for the last several years, I’ve had this intuition that 30 is going to be an amazing year for me, and that my 30s are going to be an exceptional decade. I’m ready.

Yesterday, the last day of my 20s, I did something I’ve been thinking about for a decade that is both anxiety-inducing and freeing: I entered a short story in a competition. I felt ready to do it – I have something worth reading, I think, and I was spurred on by this glaring thing I’ve learned about myself in the last decade:

I can make things happen. I can ask for what I want, and I can take action.

Here are a few other empowering nuggets I’ve gathered for myself over the last 10 years. They’re personal, so take what works for you and leave what doesn’t. Use them as inspiration or forget about them completely.

  • You know what’s best for you. You know what you need to do. If you have a gut feeling, go with it. If you have an idea that fires you up, chase it. If there’s something you need to do to take care of yourself, do it unapologetically.
  • You get to decide. If you share your gut feeling or exciting idea or make a change to care for yourself and are met with a less than enthusiastic response from others, that’s okay. It’s not for them. It’s your life, and it’s up to you to make it your own in a way that works for you.
  • Say yes to opportunities that light you up. Saying yes makes magic happen.
  • Say no to things that distract from the life you want.
  • Leaving a situation that isn’t right for you, be it a place, a job or a relationship may be challenging but it is also liberating.
  • Curate your friendships.
  • Go outside.
  • Identify and nurture the things you hold dear and the things you want to grow. Show them love and care and attention, and you will find yourself full.

I hope that I can look back on the next decade and have stories to tell and adventures to recount and lessons to remember.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned in the last decade?

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