Hard Lessons You Learn In Your 20s That You’re Grateful For In Your 30s

Your 20s are one of the toughest decades of your life. You’re still figuring out how to be an adult and that comes with plenty of learning curves. The challenges we face then may seem insurmountable, but once you enter your 30s, you’ll be glad you’ve already learned these valuable lessons:

Losing friends is sad but a necessary step.

Romantic breakups are hard, but breaking up with friends is even harder, especially if they’ve been in your life for years. It stings at the time, but looking back, you realize you’re now surrounded by fewer but more solid friendships that don’t come with the the old stress and drama.

Love isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, and that’s what makes it amazing.

The older you get, the more you realize that all those rom-com happy endings couldn’t be further from reality. Instead, you know that relationships require effort, constant growth, and the ability to let go of the notion that true love happens effortlessly without any hiccups or roadblocks along the way. Any relationships worth having come with challenges and obstacles that have to be faced together if things are going to work. Only the strong will survive, and it feels amazing when it does.

There’s no heartbreak that you can’t heal and move on from.
There’s always that one ex in your 20s that you remember vividly because of the pain it caused you. But once you’re in your 30s, you realize how not meant to be it truly was and that the future you have in store is much more exciting than the one you thought you wanted with the wrong person.

Your parents were right about everything.

You’re no longer living in a state of rebellion and challenging the life lessons and warning your parents try to give you. Instead, you look back and finally see that they were right all along.

Your body has limits and you have to take care of it.

You put your body through a ton of crap in your 20s, including but not limited to drinking benders, an all fast food diet, and a serious lack of sleep. The truth sinks in at 30 when your body reminds you that yes, you are in fact aging, and your body needs more from you now. As fun as it was to eat all the delicious foods, wash it down with a cocktail, and lounge around on the couch all day until your next happy hour, you know better now.

Money doesn’t grow on trees and your parents won’t always be there to bail you out of a financial mess.

Let’s face it — you probably spent money in our 20s like it was your last day on earth. Thankfully, you learned our lesson now and you’re smarter with your wallet and are much more familiar with 401ks, savings accounts, and repaying your student loans on time. And to those smart enough to have developed financial maturity in their 20s, you deserve a gold star of recognition for adulting prematurely.

Materialism isn’t that important.

In your 20s, it still seems important to keep up with the latest trends in order to look fashionable around your friends, but that matters way less in your 30s. Now you spend way less money on Forever 21 dresses you’ll wear one night at the club and more work basics that will last you a few years. Your friends don’t care anymore about designer labels, anyway, and you wouldn’t care even if they did.

People will betray you, and that’s OK.

Betrayal was a hard pill to swallow in your 20s. There was a lot of unnecessary drama that stemmed from being stabbed in the back or lied to by someone you trusted. It’s not that this gets easier in your 30s — it still sucks — but your ability to move on and deal with it with dignity is way higher, and it’s like a weight has been lifted.

You don’t need to waste energy on things that don’t matter.

You learned a lot in your 20s. They were amazing years of your life that came with a lot of mini dramas that seemed catastrophic at the time, but you survived them like a boss and went on to not just live, but thrive. Giving a damn about the small stuff just isn’t something you have time for anymore in your 30s, and for that, you’re truly grateful.

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