How to Turn 30 Gracefully

Alas, the birthday I’ve been waiting from since I was 21-- I’ve officially orbited 30 complete times around the sun. And it should be said that while you may be reading a blog about grace, I have basically exhausted almost any and all forms of physical grace that my teenage body left me with. But I digress…

grace

ɡrās/

noun

  1. simple elegance or refinement of movement.

          "she moved through the water with effortless grace"

          synonyms: elegance, poise, gracefulness, finesse

So, you’re here because you want to know how to turn 30 and not completely lose it. Well, here are my not-so-secret secrets, that may or may not have to do with being graceful...

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  1. Lose your mind. That’s right. I said it. Allow yourself to become completely unhinged (without harming anyone, of course). Cry about your wrinkles, laugh atrociously about your mom-bod, hide out for a little while. Okay, what I’m really trying to say is: allow yourself to feel and acknowledge all of the changes that are really happening. For me, once I started seeing one wrinkle the floodgates opened. I couldn’t help it. People thought I looked thirty and I was only 29 (how dare they!), but I had to come to the realization that I no longer looked 22, and for the love of God I had to find a way to be okay with it. Then, once you've lost your mind in private, act like you're totally okay with turning 30.

  2. Practice radical self-love. Once I realized I no longer looked 22 anymore, I had to start doing a little digging. Okay, so I’m aging, I get it-- time to bust out the serious night cream-- and day cream for that matter! (God, am I the only one who is this vain?). Practicing radical self love seemed ambiguous at first, but what it means to me is accepting myself. Accepting my faults (the list is long and lingering), accepting my good qualities, and staying humble (even when I win at rumi, and since I'm being humble, I probably can't say how good I am).

  3. Give up thinking you know anything. Well, I can safely say that I don’t know it all. Phew, what a relief. I basically practiced my entire 20's bothering other people or trying to convince them I knew something (okay, I still do this-- but I’m fighting the urge, people, work with me!!). Knowing everything is exhausting. For you. For me. For my dog. Here’s what I’ve found-- the less I know, the more I have to learn. Lately I’ve been trying to treat everyone I meet or talk to as a teacher. This is quite a humbling experience, and often as I end the conversation I’m left feeling gracious.

  4. Cool is a straitjacket. Hm, this might be my favorite one. Not only does this rule I practice get me off the hook for being okay with being a total dork, but it also reminds me that [most] people appreciate it. You see, other people love to see vulnerabilities in others, but it’s really hard to do it yourself. So if I can be okay with not being cool, and this creates a positive and open atmosphere, I’m totally okay with that. Although you might decide that after I lost my cool straight jacket, you’ll really want me to wear it again!

  5. Quit taking it personal. Don’t you find it refreshing to be around someone who doesn’t get all hot and bothered? Who you don’t have to walk on eggshells around? Okay-- confession: In my teenage years and early 20’s I had a wild temper. Ugh. Okay, it’s out there. I hate to admit that, but it’s the truth. Over the last decade this has been one of my greatest lessons, and I can feel a transformation in myself in just this one trick. I love the book, “The Four Agreements” because it really goes into depth about this one particular rule. Anyway, as a quick summary, it helps to remember that what other people say comes as a direct reflection of how they view the world, and so if someone is mad or angry, maybe they had a really shitty day (or week, or year), or they’re sick, or they have tangled Christmas lights, etc. But we must remember, we know our own truths, and we can open our hearts to kind people who we trust and are nonjudgemental. This rule alone has helped me remain calm and kind without really having to think too hard about it.

Okay, so there you have it-- five ways to help you age into thirties gracefully-- a little “how-to” guide if you will, and I will be working on ALL of these things until the day I die. And it needs to be said that my twenties we're a beautiful time. I learned how to practice gratitude, living for the moment, and forgiving myself when I lived in the moment "too hard." :) 

I’d love to hear what you think about this how-to guide. Has it helped? Will you use it? Are you or have you done these things? Are you gonna work on these things forever, like me? I'd love to hear more from you!

 

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Diana Coulter