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32 Things I Wish I Knew

#Adulting is a column hosted by our contributor Kimieabreak that explores what it means to be a 30-something woman trying to get by in today’s society. It features her personal musings, interviews, and research into navigating various aspects of this stage of life during this unique time in history. 

Advice on Turning 32

I have been looking forward to my thirties for a long time. I grew up reading biographies of people I admired to see how they got to where they were getting to, and their 30’s seemed like the time of life that everyone just started to settle into their own skin and release all of the fucks given during their 20’s. The overall consensus seemed that the self-consciousness of our 20’s would slowly melt into self-awareness. And I couldn’t wait to leave the terrible 20’s behind and embrace my thriving 30’s.

So, with another year around the sun quickly approaching, I pondered what it is that I wanted to receive this year. (Obviously besides a Harry Potter Butter Beer Cake, because who says Grown needs to be grown up?) And whether it be the ripening of my wisdom or the current material satisfaction that I have in my life, but all I wanted this year for my birthday was for the people around me to bestow me some type of advice: What is something that they wish they knew at 32?

An old-fashioned Facebook post later, and some loving texts from family and friends, and the advice came flooding in. This enlightenment ranged from encouraging to disheartening. There was lots of inspiration, sprinkled with basic common sense, which I guess I’m relieved to know I’ve figured out something by now. To things that I can’t even begin to understand in the least, which isn’t helpful at all and means I still have a long fucking way to go- and wasn’t that the point of this whole thing – to give me a leg up? What I got was a lot of dreamers and follow your heart-ers. I got some financial advice that terrified me because I have no fucking clue what they’re talking about, let alone how to get started with any of that. Thank you public school system for the life prep! Not. (Borat voice)

I have to say that I’ve already started to implement #7 and #17 and some I will carry with me until I leave this rock (here’s looking to you #14!)

These are the 32 things I wish to take with me on this next lap around our fiery centrum. In no particular order, please enjoy the following.

In no particular order:

  1. Even when you think you have your future planned out, you don’t. Life will relentlessly surprise you in the most terrible and amazing ways, so always be braced for impact, but enjoy the ride.
  2. Take care of yourself physically and mentally.
    • At 32, I wish I would have known my body would start breaking down as I got older! (My dad had warned me, but I really had no idea.) Lesson: Keep in the best possible shape you can! Complete recovery is nearly impossible if you just let yourself go even for as little as six months
  3. Don’t waste your energy on people who drain you. Whatever the reason is, you don’t need to waste your time and love on people who don’t deserve it. If they’re mean to you, negative, whatever, doesn’t matter how close you were in high school or anything. If they don’t fill you up with the same joy and love you give to them, politely excuse yourself and don’t look back.
  4. Always follow your heart’s dream!
    • Never surrender your dreams.
    • Trust and believe in your dreams.
    • I wish I had known that in order to achieve my dreams, I must be willing to look like an idiot and epically fail. The path to success doesn’t mean that I will always be perfect or “the best”. It means that despite my fear of failure and imperfection, I forge ahead knowing that both of these are inescapable are required to learn and grow.
  5. It’s ok to have boundaries. You will never please everyone. Being vulnerable is not a weakness.
  6. Diversify your income. Grow passive income.
    • Always have 3 revenue streams…and start a Roth IRA as soon as possible because compounding interest waits on no one.
    • Compound interest + High yielding Dividend earning stocks Create lasting wealth + not doing stupid shite…
    • Start a retirement fund and don’t touch it no matter what.
    • Always have an “emergency” fund.
    • Start and stay with a career that you love.
    • Maintain good credit.
  7. Write letters to people you love and let them know you love them. After my many loved ones passed, it’s their direct letters of appreciation that I cherish most. Also, date every card you sign, and write your last name. When going through loved one’s things (or your own) you’d be surprised how much you didn’t know or don’t remember. If a loved one has a short time left, go through their things with them while they’re still alive. I have GOBS of things of my loved ones that clearly meant a lot to them but I’ll never know the story behind it.
  8. Don’t fight with your partner. Love and respect is the most import thing. Don’t think that you can change a person. Love and sex are not always connected.
  9. When in doubt, make it up! (Because that’s what everyone is doing all the time).
  10. At 32…Just because I loved unconditionally, it did not mean my significant other did. At 42…It doesn’t matter. I either love a person or I don’t. Their participation and involvement in any type of relationship (friendship, romance, arch nemesis) does not, and should not, affect the outcome of who and what I am.
  11. Enjoy things on purpose. Live from joy to joy. Play the long game…don’t live for instant gratification. Trust yourself. You really know what you need and what’s best for you, even if it doesn’t look like what’s best for everyone else.
  12. Don’t ever lose your kindred spirit for trying new things, because 11 times out of 10 you ARE going to be successful.
  13. Be selfish! Practice self-love and self-care. It took me 31 years to find my self-worth and I am better because of it. Do what makes you happy. Others may not like it, but your true supporters will always be there to keep you motivated!
  14. Don’t go pee after chopping jalapeños or cook bacon without a shirt.
  15. Not everyone needs to ‘like’ you.
  16. Everything is going to be ok. Life is freaking beautiful and amazing in its simplest form. Everything is happening for a reason. Trust. Love more. Be grateful every damn day. Nature is medicine.
  17. Toolboxes need to be cleaned out and refreshed. The tools that got you through your 20’s and 30’s are probably ready to be replaced with new ones. Don’t be afraid to assess, let go of, and evolve your life tools.
  18. It gets easier to say, “fuck it” and truly mean it.
    • Zero fks given
  19. Find your purpose! Live passionately! Forgive others! Never take a breath for granted! Be thankful for the good and bad! Always be curious! Know that everything will turn out just the way it’s supposed to! Talk to your angels and let them guide you…and, the great man/god/spirit in the sky! Not necessarily in this order.
  20. If you can’t be ok just with yourself, you will never be ok with anyone else.
  21. Trust yourself more. You are doing the best version of you. Never let anyone tell you your best isn’t good enough. Take your opportunities where you find them. Take responsibility for your mistakes and take credit for your achievements. Be authentic and be true to who you are. Your integrity is a gift you give yourself. Set goals for yourself financially, spiritually and mentally. Never stop learning. Remember to take time to celebrate yourself.
  22. Life is not amazed by you. You should be amazed by life. Every day tens of thousands of things that you will never know increase as you become hard, rigid and set in your ways. Hint: Be open to change, to the past and to the fact that everything you believe in could be wrong.
  23. I would tell my younger self to trust my own judgment and stand up for myself.
  24. Arrive with a plan and a backup plan.
  25. I would have told the 18 y/o me to never settle when there’s so many possibilities 
  26. Something I wish to master by 32: Don’t compare your journey to others. Just because I am not in the same place as someone else at any phase of life doesn’t negate my place in my adventure.
  27. It’s one thing to know something consciously. It’s another to live it.
  28. Stop wasting love energy on people who don’t appreciate it. When they tell you, believe them. Live! Do the thing you’ve always wanted to do. Stop waiting for tomorrow or things to be “right”. Take action now. It’s okay to love yourself just as you are right now. You’re beautiful just as you are…appreciate your skin, your breasts, your butt—they won’t always look as good as they do now. Wear a short skirt while you can still pull it off!  (These are very literally things I wish I had known when I was 32).
  29. It’s ok to say no and not feel guilty. * Make sure you give your love to people that deserve it and don’t waste it on people who don’t.
  30. Honesty rules. Trust your gut. It is as it is and don’t wait for people to change. The truth makes you feel so much better.
  31. That you can never please anyone but yourself and to always encourage yourself to keep going and never to let others bring you down. Always be the best you can be and it’s ok if you fail, you can always come back and move forward.
  32. You’re never too young to plan for your future. You’re not selfish for putting yourself (your wants, needs, your health) at the top of your list. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s ok to start over. It’s ok to not be perfect. You don’t know everything. Enjoy where you are right now. Count your blessings. Literally, every day, count three blessings in your life.

There are 2 things that I would like to leave you with. And these are the two most important thoughts that I am dealing with and that are carrying me through my life in this moment.

  1. Release the fear. When you can boil down what it is your afraid of and discredit its power, 99.99% of the time, there’s nothing left in your way. And when the coast is clear like that, just imagine what you can do for yourself! 
  2. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.” -Marianne Williamson

Bonus ones for the years to come:

  • Carpe Diem is actually is a thing: seize the day.
  • Love Yourself Now! Your age, weight, looks, life. Always continue to grow healthier, happier, kinder. But, life starts today! Do not wish it away!!!  
  • Today is the Oldest You’ve been and the Youngest You’ll ever become!
  • Eat the Cake & Buy the Shoes.


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I’m a 32 year old arteest. Who gets paid (most of the time) to play different people. Not entirely sure if that’s adding to my confusion of figuring out who I AM and what I’m meant to do in this world. Basically it boils down to a thirty something trying to figure out this life thing #adulting