10 Life Lessons I Learnt in My Early 30s: A Whole Mood. Your thirties are the best years of your life.

I’ve noticed many people dread getting into their 30s. There is this fear of ‘…I have not figured out my life yet…’ and it doesn’t help that society has not made this any easier. Ask most people approaching that age and they will all tell you how scared they are at the thought of getting into their 30s. Well, I was that guy too. There was no one to tell me that its OK to look forward to my 30s. But when I eventually did, my oh my, it was actually one of the best things that happened to me. I was like, dude, someone should have told me, turning 30 was a beautiful thing. As a wise person once said, we should “not regret growing older; it’s a privilege denied to many.”

Turning 30 is a huge milestone, that should be celebrated.  It is simply beautiful. You come into your own and you realize that you can be anything you set your mind on. In your 30’s, you are privileged to know what matters, and who matters, and most importantly, know what you want. This is the stage in life where its all about being unapologetically you, taking everything you learnt in your twenties and owning your confidence like the badass boss you are. Simply, doing you, ask me. I do me!

I want to share 10 lessons with you, as someone who has been there and looking back, I wish I turned 30 much earlier on. If you know anyone turning 30 or still struggling in their 30’s this year, share this post with them. Here we go:

Number 1. First and foremost, when you turn 30, you simply start to live the life you want and desire. In your thirties, you create a life you want. This means following your passion. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, do it. Remember how in your 20’s you were mostly living your parents dreams or in their shadows? Yes, they meant well and in most cases as every parent does, but honestly speaking, when you get to your thirties, you start to live a life for you. I want you to remember this,.. living someone else’s life plan is an unfulfilling, unrewarding, and frustrating path you do not want to get into. It’s never too late to start all over again.

Number 2. Money will buy you happiness, a realization you get to in your 30’s. Listen carefully, forget that crap you were told when we were young, that money cannot buy happiness. I mean have you seen the things money can buy? It will help you find more happiness in things you like and spend on, so long as you know just what you can and can’t expect from it. Let me borrow the next few sentences about this, from Time magazine. Ashley Whillans, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School once said, “money is a powerful predictor of well-being in large part because it protects against stressful, negative experiences, from the fundamental (financial insecurity, a lack of basic necessities, such as food and shelter) to the secondary (layovers, having to go grocery shopping in bad weather).” When used strategically, it’s also good at fostering fulfilling experiences, relationships, and a sense of community — all reliable ways of boosting well-being.  “Just having money doesn’t necessarily translate into greater happiness,” Whillans says. “But using it well can.”

Number 3. Friends come and go and its O.K. You will get over it. It is no longer grief when you fall out with friends in your 30’s. Life happens and look at it this way; those that matter will stay and be in your life. In any case along the way, you realize people fall out and you stop beating yourself over it. You turn 30 and you suddenly no longer cry over failed friendships. Always remember that not everyone will like you, but not everyone matters also.

Number 4. You will love your body. I promise you- you will look forward to simply walking around the house naked and in awe of your beautiful body. In your 30’s, you start to literally embrace what you see in the mirror. I took these pictures you are seeing on this post in February 2021 in Diani, weighing 82 Kgs and without a doubt, loved how I look. The confidence of taking these pics, and putting them out in public, …..trust you me, is a man in love with what he sees in the mirror everyday. Always remember you don’t need anyone’s approval on how you look. Also stop chasing perfection. No one expects you to have a Tyson Beckford or Naomi Campbell “perfect” body anyway. Do you feel good, healthy, strong, sexy and joyful? That is what matters. And if you are not healthy, and you think something is wrong, check it out.

Number 5. You begin to see the importance of speaking up. When you were young, I assume like many people, you were often scared of letting people know what was on your mind. You would either beat around the bush or simply suppress it. But when you get into your 30’s, you suddenly have a new found confidence to speak up, as you rightfully should. If something is bugging you, say it. You can’t keep things bottled up. It will do you no justice. People can’t read your thoughts. If you think something, say it. Do not expect people to guess your thoughts and feelings.

Number 6. There is a level of confidence you attain in your 30’s that makes you simply shoot your shot. You are suddenly bold enough to pursue your love interest. That shyness trait is thrown out of the window. In my 20’s I could not even think of shooting my shot at anyone but when I go to my 30s, let me tell you Maina, something inside of me, shot up. Anyone I had an interest in, I made sure I confessed to them/ told them about my feelings. You will find your inner courage lion and just let it roar in your 30’s because you are strong! What’s the worst that could happen? If he or she says no, well and good. I have been turned down a couple of times in the past- but here we are. You pick yourself up, respect their decision and move on. Having said that, it’s very much OK to be single. You would rather be single than be in another pointless Nairobi per person sharing relationship.

Number 7. It’s okay not to be okay, a realization in your thirties that you will benefit from. With age, comes more awareness about the importance of your mental health, knowing you can talk to people and let them know what’s going on- because people care. Seeking therapy is not a disease. There is no shame in seeking help when faced with depression or any other form of mental illness. Here to remind you that, death by suicide shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be the end to your story. You deserve tomorrow. Everyone deserves tomorrow. Please remember that your mental illness does not define you- it’s just a part of what makes you, you! At this point, if something disrupts your peace, then it isn’t worth it.

Number 8. It finally hits you in your 30’s that your entire life does not have to revolve around Social media. Imagine brethren, there is more to life than retweets and likes. You get to the realization that unplugging once in a while from these apps is a great thing. In your 20’s, you probably grew up thinking the soft life was all that mattered and must be pursued at all cost, yet you get to your 30s and suddenly notice that everyone is struggling; they just don’t always show it on these apps. Don’t feel the need to compare yourself to others. Do not let social media dictate every aspect of your life. You define soft life under your own terms and conditions in your thirties. On that note, 30’s comes with some form of responsibility. Be responsible over what you post. You are what you post- you can never hide your true identity for too long. There are consequences over what you post. As the great Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Number 9. In your thirties, you begin to actively enjoy the good things you are fortunate to have and have access to. Say yes to the things that will bring you joy. You no longer have that guilt feeling whenever you treat yourself. As the old saying goes – if you don’t love yourself, who else will? It’s the little pleasures that get us through the everyday grind.

Number 10. Finally, in your 30’s, you simply Live your life for YOU, not for society. Stop trying to please everyone, stop comparing yourself to others, stop stressing about what people think of you, stop saying ‘yes’ to things you don’t want to do and stop letting negativity take up your environment. Shut all of it out. And at the end of the day, whatever you are, embrace it – live it – love it. As I always say my dear friends, be unapologetically you. It is all that truly matters at the end of the day.

In conclusion, to anyone turning 30 this year, let me encourage you to look forward to it. You will lock a wonderful unbothered level of self confidence and simply doing you, that you wish someone told you before. You will make your own choices, do what you want, and be who you want to be. You will also realize your life is your responsibility.

Eliminate whatever you don’t need that is crowding your space and your life. To you turning 30 or in your 30’s, prosper and enjoy it. There is no “right” way to live your life, even if your parents and society (and strangers) all think so. A good life is one that feels right to you in terms of where and how you spend your time, health, and wealth. Do You!

Location.  Mulberry Spa at Mzima Beach Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel that is a magical setting of stunning villas and apartments, in Diani. (https://mzimabeach.com/). It is a place where you restore your balance and elevate your energy. You will find the gift of relaxation and rejuvenation of mind, body and soul at Mulberry Spa, Mzima Beach.

Photography. The talented Khalifa (photography)

Mood (song): Jennifer Hudson – “Simply Beautiful” (Al Green Tribute).

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