7 Things I'm Doing In My 30s That I Wish I Had Done In My 20s

by Rosey Baker
Michela Ravasio

Without going into too much detail about my age, let me just say I'm not some self-proclaimed wise spirit who just turned 30 and suddenly thinks she holds the keys to the kingdom of God-like wisdom.

I've been hanging in this decade for a while now.

I've learned a lot, and all of the lessons have been simple. Maddeningly simple, even.

So, I decided to share some of the things I've been doing in my 30s that I wish I would have done in my 20s.

It's important to remember these points aren't regrets. They're simply things that would have made my entire decade — or even this one — much easier.

Working out when I feel like it

Exercise is not a punishment.

It's supposed to be a nice thing you do for yourself, a way to calm your nerves and nourish your body. It's a more fun, active way to practice self-care.

But in my 20s, all I did was yell at myself to work out.

The morning after a night of partying, I'd work out to try to prove to myself that I wasn't a mess, even though I was running 5 miles severely dehydrated.

I didn't actually want to work out.

It was just my way of running from feelings of self-hatred, when in fact, I could have chosen to just give up those feelings.

Being honest about sex

I used to have sex even when I didn't want to because I felt guilty saying no.

I used to act like I was cool with having a dude cum WHEREVER he wanted, but now, I will literally DODGE THAT FIRE HOSE.


I also used to say I liked things I didn't like just because my partner liked them.

Now, I'll try anything once. But if I don't like it, I'm not trying it again.

My boyfriend and I open up to each other when we're uncomfortable or bored, and before you know it, VOILA! 

Honesty makes me wet, y'all.

Leaving everyone alone

I used to constantly try to force advice on my friends, loved ones and significant others.

I used to use the phrases "you should," "you need to" and "you ought to" way too often.

I slowly cut those three phrases out of my life, and interestingly enough, I lost interest in doling out advice to people entirely.

Another paradox to consider is this: The moment I stopped giving unsolicited advice, the more my advice became valuable to the people around me.

Now, my friends regularly seek me out for advice. It's almost like I actually know shit!

Dating people who want to date me

Here's a real thing I said to a guy who eventually ended up being the worst mistake of my life: "Look, I might not be your girlfriend, and that's fine. But, YOU'RE MY BOYFRIEND because I'M happy."

But, I wasn't happy. I was satisfied, and there's a difference.

Happiness doesn't come from someone else. It comes from meeting your own needs.

It comes from meeting your needs in a way that doesn't depend on anything or anyone outside of yourself.

Just because someone is there to throw you breadcrumbs doesn't mean they want you around. And it's good to pay attention to that.

Emotionally available is the new emotionally unavailable.

Going to the dentist

I went to the dentist in my 20s maybe once.

I recently went back because now I have health insurance, and I have literally six cavities and two almost-dead teeth that are falling out of my mouth.

If you're reading this, just go to the fucking dentist. I know I said I don't give unsolicited advice anymore, but please, just go.

It's ridiculously painful to fix this stuff.

Having a skin care routine

Another major fail of my 20s was the delusional belief that time would do nothing to my appearance.

I mean, don't get me wrong; I look fantastic. But for the sake of my face, I wish I would've worked some lotion into my daily routine.

It isn't like you turn 30 and all of a sudden you look like you're 58.

It's more like your body starts giving you cues. You start to see little smile lines show up, and you're like, "Hmm, I don't remember those being there."

And this isn't about remaining youthful forever.

This is about the fact that your 30s are stressful enough without having to worry about your skin.

You're a full-blown adult, and you don't need to be stressing about aging on top of everything else you have on your plate.

Allowing a crisis to happen

One thing you realize after 30 is sometimes, it's easier to let shit hit the fan than to try to avoid it.

By avoiding a crisis, you end up keeping your real feelings hidden. You probably even hold on to things much longer than you need to.

It's like folding a hose in half. You're trying to stop the water from flowing because you don't want to get your feet wet.

The thing is, if you don't let that water flow freely, it builds up until you have to let it go.

And when you do, it's going to splash all over everyone and everything. You're going to have a flood to clean up.

So, deal with your emotions, and say them out loud.

They don't have to make sense to you at first. Most of the time, they only make sense after you get them out.

Well, there you have it, kiddos.

If you're in your 20s now, I suggest you take nothing from this article other than the fact that it's one person's story.

You have your own story. And by the time you're 30, you'll probably have your own list, too.