Starry sky and the shadow of the profile of a woman's face intercalated in the picture

The Five Lessons I Learned In My Mid-Twenties That Prepared Me For My Thirties

A little over a month ago I officially became a woman in her thirties… although, to be completely honest with you, I believed I had already turned thirty about two years ago. I am not sure if this is due to a pandemic glitch (c’mon, nothing makes sense anymore, we all believe we somehow became much older in the last two years and at the same time feel like 2019 was just last year, right? RIGHT?) or just because once I became a mom things got somewhat confusing in my head because I can swear my brain got rewired in a completely different way the moment I gave birth to my baby. Anyway, becoming a thirty-year-old working mom in a millennial generation can be many wonderful things but easy is not one of them. However, when I turned twenty-four, life started to move at a different speed, I was offered new opportunities, I worked with a variety of people so different from one another, and life just happened, it followed its course and in the middle of the hustle and bustle, I was able to grasp fundamental pieces of wisdom that have made my existence almost entirely trouble-free.

And now, my dear reader, it is time to pass down these small but invaluable pieces of wisdom to you.

1. Progress Is Not Linear

People tend to believe that the road to success is a path you navigate by just moving forward, that even though there are curves and bumps, the finish line lies straight ahead and once you overcome the obstacles you are one step closer. But in reality, the road to success is much more complex than moving just forward; there are detours ahead as well, and you will also face the inevitable: you will at some point go backward either by choice or by mistake, but that does not mean you have lost your way forever. You may even sink into a pit, but there will always be a way to climb out and continue your journey. Not because you lost your way, feel you are stuck, fell behind, or miscalculated your steps means that you have lost all your progress and there is no way you will recover from that, because progress is not a linear path. Instead of seeing progress as a line that continues to go up, it is more like a messy trail that may go up, down, find itself in a loop, get back on track, and may as well repeat itself from time to time, but as long as you do not quit, and understand that it is all part of the process, you will eventually achieve new milestones. Understanding this truth helped me overcome frustration.

2. Show Respect For Other People’s Points Of View And Avoid Arguments

Firstly, it is important to respect others’ opinions, if for whatever reason it bothers you so much, try your best to avoid an argument, it is just not worth your peace of mind. Secondly, avoid arguments regardless of the situation. If a situation arouses some kind of friction, avoid the argument and choose amity over animosity. No one is worth losing your cool, your well-being is much more important. Thirdly, never say the words “you are wrong” they just do not work, they have no value to the receptor, in fact, it is impolite to use such poor choice of words. Instead of saying “you are wrong”, just do not say it, we can always agree to disagree and move on. Do not be that egomaniac who finds any opportunity to show they are always right. Lastly, when you are the one who is wrong, admit it as soon as you realize it without remorse and carry on. Things become easier when you navigate in an argument-free environment, and you will notice you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.

3. You Are Not Your Thoughts

Your thoughts do not define you as the person you are. Visualize the mind as a freeway, and each vehicle represents a thought, thoughts are just the traffic that goes through the freeway of the mind, and you decide what to retain in it and what to dismiss. The old saying “the mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master” (attributed to various authors but it is in fact an ancient proverb) is a universal truth and once you unlock this wisdom and learn to use it, you will be the master of your own mind. The mind is just the freeway, but you have the power to use it in your favor. Thoughts are just thoughts, many of them are random, generated by something you saw, read, or heard, influenced by the never-ending information that keeps accessing your system, even while you are not paying attention. There may be some scary thoughts too, scary enough to bring you down, question yourself, and despise yourself, but you need to let go of those thoughts. I know this is easier said than done, and it takes practice and perseverance to overcome it, but if you are committed, it is possible. However, do not hesitate to seek professional help if you feel you require it. Moreover, there are also thoughts that have the potential to be brilliant ideas, those are the ones you want to keep, they are your tools.

4. Do Not Take Things Personally

Honestly, not everything is about you, the world does not revolve around you; this is my tough love talking to you, it may sound harsh but it is true. So next time someone speaks to you in a not-so-nice tone, think that maybe their problem is not with you, they may be going through some personal issues, and you just happened to be there. Some people just have a bad attitude toward others and we do not know what is up with their lives, so just carry on with your own stuff and do not mind them. Do not let it affect you, do not think it is about you or because of you, and even if it is, does it really matter? Does it affect your life directly? If the answer is no, just move on and ignore them. Therefore, when you stop taking things personally, you will feel you have been freed from a cage; it is just a matter of learning to not give a f*ck about how people see you, talk to you, or even think of you.

5. Real Friendship Is A Rare Gem, Cherish It

I am a friendly person and I easily get along with people, does that mean I have a bunch of friends? Not really. I have over 700 ‘friends’ on my Facebook, does that mean I have over 700 friends in real life? Not likely. The truth is my real friends are not really more than ten, but I know they are the people who will be there for me when I need them, and I better be there when they need me too. If someone genuinely cares about you, demonstrates real concern when something goes wrong in your life, and is there for you in the bad times AND the good times, you know you have found a true friend. True friends in life will manifest themselves in different ways, you do not really choose your friends; it is not like you can go to a store and select the friends you want to have, they will simply and unconventionally come to you, and it is important to cherish their friendship and be a good friend as well. Remember that people will most likely help or show concern when you are having a hard time, but many of them do not care about your success or whenever you are having the best time of your life. Your real friends will celebrate your success and wish you the best always.

With these five lessons I learned during my mid-twenties, I know I am well-prepared for what is to come in my thirties. I know that I may fall behind but I understand it is all part of progress itself. I will definitely avoid arguments because I do not have the time nor the energy for that, my peace of mind is more important. I will block my negative thoughts and train my brain to focus on the nicer thoughts, this is an everyday struggle that I am committed to master, and since I already accepted that progress is not a linear path, I am unstoppable. I am not taking anything personally anymore, my mantra today is “I do not give a f*ck.” And when life is difficult and I am unable to continue on my own, I will have my friends to hold on to, just as they will be there for me as well to celebrate times of joy.

Drawing of free-spirited woman standing against the wind, she has long dark hair and olive skin. She is wearing a short yellow dress with a flower pattern

If you find these lessons helpful, share them with your friends, and please let me know what you think!




Lorena Arzamendi

Mom, wife, professional hustler, a jack-of-all trades (or so she says). Besides her 9-5 job in the corporate world, she is a part-time online ESL teacher, a freelance translator, content writer and copywriter. She enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games in her free time.

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