"Here's Looking at you, kid": On Turning thirty
Inspired,  Mind, Body & Spirit

On Turning Thirty: “Here’s Looking At You, Kid.”

Thirty used to seem old and distant. I thought life would be robotic and the best of your adventures were years behind you. Little did I know! Now that I’m turning thirty, I feel like I just started living or at least that I’ve just learned to live properly. Turning thirty is the time when you take all the lessons you’ve learned and apply them to life. By thirty you’ve figured out who you are and you’ve learned to live with it.

I turn thirty on Sunday. It does feel strange to know that I’m tipping my hat to my twenties. My god, had I known then what I know now, but where would be the fun in that? It’s your mishaps and lack of judgement that inevitably get you to where you’re going.

I’m going into thirty like all the clothes in my closet finally fit. Life is coming together, not even that, it’s just happening all around us. In the years leading up to thirty, I found myself reminiscing less on the past and not so worried about the future, I’m simply L-I-V-I-N and good with that.

I have goals and ambitions to reach by forty, but I’m way more into now. These days, every day, feels like the best day of my life. Please don’t mistake me, darkness and tragedy never fully exit the picture, but it’s the grace and composure I’ve gained to approach those moments that get me through the rainy days and back into the sunshine. It’s more like there’s no place I’d rather be than right now in my life and it’s a nice feeling.

I don’t really miss the endless parade of late nights or the ceaseless flow of cheap beer and the challenge of seeing the quickest way to consume it. If my twenties taught me nothing else: you don’t need to be the drunkest girl at the party, only the most charming.

That’s what’s great about thirty; you’ve found your charm. Everyone has it in them, their own brand of charm. It just takes time to develop and shine it up real nicely. By thirty, you learn to make your own sunshine and share it with others. You know how to laugh the loudest and not be ashamed of it. You’re comfortable skipping down the street if you damn well please like no one is watching! You’re comfortable enough to be you. And isn’t that what we’re desperately searching for in our twenties?

The tumultuous journey to self-discovery is hard, but I promise you it’s all worth it. Are there things I wish I could go back and tell myself at twenty? Of course, you’d do anything to protect something you love. Maybe I didn’t know how to fully love myself at twenty, but at thirty all I’ve got is love for that girl.

Secrets I Would Share With My Younger-Self

  • Life is a roller coaster; sometimes it makes you nauseous, but try your best to enjoy the rush.
  • Those moments you feel like you’ll never get over have a way of fading into the past. One day you just look behind you and no longer even see them in the distance.
  • A bruise is way more likely than a break. Thirty years in and you’ve never been broken. Bruises and tears mend in time.
  • You’re beautiful and one day you’ll feel it too and what a lovely feeling it is!
  • The people who mean the most to her now won’t all be there forever so enjoy your time and make the most of it.
  • Every person who is significant in your life, even for a short time, is there for a reason. Sometimes they’ll save you, other times you’ll save them. Your friends are Superman and you’re their Dark Knight.
  • Slow down and take it all in because the life you know now little resembles the life you’ll meet at thirty.
  •  “Darlin’, you’re in for some surprises,” and thank god for them. They keep you on your toes.

That’s all . . . I wouldn’t give too much away. I wouldn’t change her choices or make life easier. There’s not a single stone on my path that I would move. Life is meant to be treaded on and moments are meant to be lived. That’s what my twenties taught me. My twenties taught me that it’s okay to be a maverick and my story doesn’t need to suit anyone but me.

I think what I’ll remember most about my twenties are all the mornings I spent watching the sunrise over the ocean in different corners of the world. I’ll remember the ocean breeze and that invigorating feeling that rushes through with it. It’s the fresh feeling of a new day and another adventure at hand. That’s kind of how I feel about thirty.

A best friend reminded me the other day that when searching for happiness we often rely on our goals and ambitions for the future to get us there, but we so often forget to stop and enjoy the song as it’s playing. We don’t really want to skip to the end without hearing what the melody and lyrics have to offer.

I don’t know my ending and “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” I like this part. I’m going to keep enjoying it while it’s happening.

Come Friday morning I’m hopping on a plane to Seattle with my best friend and I’m going to see a new piece of the world that I’ve always been dying to see. I’m going to be out there experiencing life, creating my own adventures. What kind of adventures are in store? Only time will tell. This is how I’ll introduce myself to thirty.

One last thing to that girl I knew so long ago, thank you for teaching me how to live.

“Here’s looking at you, Kid.”

"Here's Looking at you, kid": On Turning thirty


Following a five-year stint in New York City, Ashley is now a Los Angeles transplant. Having grown up in rural Kentucky, Ashley is passionate to share self-care techniques used around the world and hopes to make them accessible to folks in rural communities. Ashley believes in gratitude, personal legends, and doing good. Aside from being a business leader in her professional life, Ashley is a novelist and freelance writer.


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