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30 Things I've Learned by 30

So it's my birthday and I've turned 30. A few have joked that "oh no, your 20s are gone!" and other funny remarks. I've totally made those comments to friends as well that have celebrated their 30th before me. I know for some reading this it's like "ugh, calm down, you're so young." I definitely recognize that. There's something about turning 30 though that has me really excited. I feel like things are happening, dreams will start coming into fruition and the hard times, lessons, experiences and challenges of my 20s are all going to be paying off now. I know that I will still have my fair share of challenges, setbacks and lessons, but I'm really embracing this new number and I'm excited for all the greatness in store. I began thinking of all the things I've learned over the past few years. Things other than how to drive a car, how to do my taxes (lol just kidding, I still don't understand that), and other generic formulaic tasks. I'm talking about the stuff that doesn't get taught in school. The stuff you learn from experiences and challenging times. So I'm going to share what I came up with as I was writing in my notebook on transit. Here we go :)

1. You can say no to people and they won't hate you for it. In fact, the good ones will respect you and love you for it.

2. Embracing and loving your weird quirks is awesome and quite frankly essential (for me at least).

3. People are just doing the best they can in life.

4. Life is too short to waste time wishing you were someone/something else. Embrace who and what you are.

5. Being creative makes me feel happy and more fulfilled.

6. I still f**king hate math and I hope no one puts me on the spot to add or multiply or subtract or divide anything. It will be uncomfortable for all of us. I don't focus on this weakness, I just embrace my strengths instead.

7. Growing up with 2 older brothers had it's challenges (ahem, fights), but I wouldn't have it any other way. Growing up with my brothers genuinely made me a better and more down to earth person, and I'm really grateful for those guys.

8. My parents are really awesome people and their intentions and wishes were always on my side. Even when I was being an annoying asshole teenager. Thank you, Mom & Dad :)

9. I am privileged in who I am, how I grew up and how I identify in this world. I didn't really truly understand or acknowledge that when I was younger.

10. I love helping people and connecting with others. I have some sort of odd knack for connecting with random, interesting and quirky people on the street. It's when I have my most insightful and heart warming conversations at times. I remember every interaction so fondly. I hope all those people are doing so well.

11. I am a very empathetic person and I never really knew how to identify that going up. I thought I was just "sensitive" but it's really that I take on a lot of what other people are feeling and can truly feel with them. It's why I get burnt out sometimes, but I've realized how valuable my alone time is to recuperate.

12. Not everyone has to like you and people pleasing can be quite selfish and controlling. Let people think of you as they wish. It has more to do with them than it does you.

13. Animals are such special creatures and I am fulfilling my cat lady destiny.

14. Friends can be forever or they can only be around for a reason or a season. I now know that losing these friends can be a sign of growth. I am thankful for all those friendships that I've lost because they've all taught me something. And when we were friends, we did have good times, and I value that.

15. The amount of people/friends in your life doesn't matter. Quality over quantity any damn day.

16. Eat before you drink alcohol.

17. You don't have to do what other people do to be successful.

18. Horoscopes are sh*t but I still secretly read them. I don't know if this is a lesson or if it's more of a confession.

19. I am not just a number, waist size, hair colour, body type, object or my looks. I have way more depth than that and so does every single other woman.

20. I can be assertive and confident without being a "bitch."

21. Being clear with people is kind. Be honest and open and truthful. It may be tough, but give good feedback and it will be helpful for everyone.

22. I am my own biggest bully. I'm working on it every day.

23. I don't need to be married and have kids by the age of 25 to be considered successful. Kudos to anyone who has done that, you're awesome. Everyone's path is different and you don't need to follow a certain set of societal rules (okay, just the law - follow those rules. Just not the ones constructed by the media - those can be annoying).

24. I don't need to apologize for every damn thing (okay, yes, I am Canadian - it happens). But I don't have to apologize for who I am and what I enjoy.

25. Life shifts when you focus on the good things and what makes you stronger. Focusing on my values and strengths is way more helpful to get me through life than focusing on all that I am not good at.

26. I'm too impatient with myself even though I am patient with others (sometimes ... driving is a different story, please don't judge me). Be KIND and be patient, and refer to point #3.

27. Once you rip off the band of whatever you're scared or fearful of, it actually gets a lot better. Don't sell yourself short.

28. Things happen when you speak up and get out of your comfort zone.

29. Seeking validation from others is going to be a race you don't win. Validate yourself, feel the love from those who care for you. Whoever you're seeking validation from isn't putting the time and energy into you, so don't waste all that time and energy on them.

30. Be humble. Be kind. Be honest. Be true to yourself, today and every day. You're worth it, you have value and you are capable of so many things.

There you have my 30 things I've learned by 30. I am feeling really grateful for everyone in my life. My amazing family, my incredible friends, and my really supportive and loving partner. I'm off to celebrate now and I look forward to this year and the many awesome years ahead.

Take care and be well,

Kaitlyn :)

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