Freelance Journalist, Editor, Copywriter and Author – Dubai

A Note to Twenty Something Andrea (And Why I Am Welcoming My 30s!)

30 – and definitely fabulous!

I turned 30 yesterday. Unlike many people that I know, I wasn’t dreading it. I sincerely don’t understand what the big deal is – surely another year on the planet is something to be thankful for, right? And what’s so bad about being in your thirties? As someone who spent most of her twenties as a big neurotic mess, I’m welcoming another year of life battering me into finally accepting that I shouldn’t take it all so seriously.

And it’s working – when I think back to just how bad I was in my early twenties, I realise I’ve come a very long way. I’ve always been very introspective and inquisitive. While these are qualities that help me to be a good (I hope) writer, they’re also qualities that can drive you insane should you leave them unregulated.

I have been known to take everything way too seriously. It’s the way I am, unfortunately. But getting older is a great lesson in why you shouldn’t. Life is fickle and uncertain. If you sit and over think every little thing that comes your way, you’re going to drive yourself insane! And the older and wiser (ahem) that I get, the more I realise that. Don’t get me wrong – turning 30 doesn’t automatically mean you become completely immune to all of life’s bullshit, but it sure as hell means you’ve been through enough to start to understand how it’s really not worth ANY stress.

Anyway, I decided to write down a list of the lessons that life has taught me to date. This would have been a useful list for someone to have given me as I turned 20, but I guess you really have to live through things yourself in order to really understand them.

  • That thing you are worrying about today? By this time next week you won’t even remember it, so why are you wasting your time with it? Go out and have fun.
  • The boss who hates you only hates you because you won’t lick his ass.
  • Creative people shouldn’t be stuck in an office from 9-5pm. You end up miserable and┬ástifled.
  • Love WILL come, as they say, at the most unexpected time and in the most unexpected ways. Stop stressing about the guys who don’t want you enough to be with you.
  • Speaking of guys: they’re not all bad. Stop giving the ones who genuinely care about you a hard time.
  • Nothing is more important than your health. Take care of yourself.
  • You will only ever be able to count your true friends on one hand, and, in reality, if you have more than one friend who you can rely on for anything, you’re a very lucky person.
  • Family. Nothing comes close to family.
  • You can say that you don’t want kids all you want, but there will come a point in your life when you will start to wonder whether you’ll make a good mother some day.
  • As much as you may LOVE alcohol, it unfortunately isn’t the solution to life’s problems. In your case, Andrea, it’s mainly the cause.
  • You’ll never write a book if you keep expecting everything to be perfect before you start it.
  • Likewise, nothing is ever perfect. Make the most of life and enjoy its imperfect perfect moments.
  • Live for the moment. Tomorrow? May never happen. Yesterday? Who gives a fuck about what happened yesterday?
  • You need to find ┬áthe things that make you feel most alive and turn them into your profession. Doing something just for the sake of making money or to please others will end up making you miserable.

I’m sure there are many more, but…the hotel breakfast at Qasr Al Sarab is now calling me! Do you have any personal life lessons you’d like to share?



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