I'm learning that 30 is all about learning and growing from your mistakes.
Well, I’ve been thirty for nearly a week now. People are asking, “How does it feel?” Do I feel older? wiser?

Considering I still get carded left and right (and actually got harassed on a plane for not looking “at least fifteen” when sitting in the emergency exit row), I don’t feel older. Like most people immediately after their birthday, I feel the same. (boring.)

But, I do feel a little… wiser. I’ve been increasingly introspective and reflective these past few years – about work, love, friends, and family. I’m sure I’ll keep learning and growing more – and maybe next year I’ll read this and think, “What crap!” But, for now, here’s what I’ve discovered:

  • Could be better/could be worse. (It is what it is.) Those of you who know me know this was my mantra for a while after living alongside something pretty terrible. What it means to me is, don’t belittle struggles, but don’t let them overcome you. Things can always be better. But, it could also always be a lot worse. (I guess, it’s my way of saying: “Try to look on the bright side.”
  • Attitude. I was talking with my (incredible & amazing) friend and we agreed attitude is EVERYTHING. You could be in the worst scenario and still have a great time. Some of the best advice I’ve gotten (from a Chinese auntie, who as we all know, is full of wisdom by nature) is, “believe things will work out, and they tend to.”
  • Quality not quantity. The older I get, the more I value my relationships. There was this study about what really improves “quality of life.” Surprise, it’s not fame or money; it’s relationships. They require hard work and sacrifice. (Seriously, people – stop being flaky!) But, in the end, the payoff is infinite. As we get older (busier), it feels harder to balance all the aspects of life. Less is more makes sense.A lot of my friends experienced the same growing pains slowly realizing who was indeed “a good friend” and losing some lifelong relationships that just… weren’t whole.Instead of buying tons of throw-away fashion, invest in a few well-made, special, life-lasting pieces. That’s kind of what we all want to do after our twenties, right?
  • Be yourself. Yayyyyy! What can I even say about this? Love who you are. Own it. You spent the last thirty years trying to figure out what that means, and even if you still aren’t 100% sure “who” you are… own, that. Who cares what other people think? I think that’s the true ahjumma spirit. DGAF! <3 (I hope my mom doesn’t look up what that means. Sorry, Mom!)