30 is not the new 20 – and that’s a good thing. 28-year-old Twitter user @blktinabelcher was looking for comfort about nearing being thirty when she tweeted, “Tell me that it’s going to get better and I don’t need to have figured out my entire life in two years?”
Her tweet struck a chord and ended up going viral, with thousands of uplifting messages about thriving in your thirties pouring in.
“I didn’t even figure out my current career (teaching) until I was 35. When I was 28 I was still in a toxic relationship, hadn’t met my wife and none of my little people were a thought yet,” wrote Twitter user @MarvleousMrMcG.
“In my experience, my 20s were incredibly rough. I feel like I really turned a corner when I hit my mid-30s. It does get better,” shared Twitter user @Lyttle_Byrd.
Many commenters echoed that sentiment and shared that life gets better in your thirties and beyond, from feeling more confident about who you are to increasing your income and embracing a few perspective shifts (no, there is nothing to figure out, and yes, things fall into place in their own time!).
5 Uplifting Lessons From This Viral Twitter Thread About Being Thirty
The Twitter conversation sparked by @blktinabelcher revealed uplifting lessons about thriving in your thirties. For example, the idea of reaching some sort of adulting finish line is an illusion, so why not celebrate growth and evolution over a lifetime?
1. Focus on the journey, not the destination
“The truth is that we never stop learning and growing. You don’t ‘become an adult’ and then stagnate. Every year, you build on the experiences you gained before,” says licensed professional counselor Kara Nassour of Shaded Bough Counseling. “Have you gotten better at social interactions than you were a few years ago? Have you kicked an addiction, or found better friends? Maybe you had to overcome challenges most people didn’t, and you became stronger for it,” she adds.
Nira Shah, LMHC, psychotherapist, yoga instructor, and founder of Sia Wellness Mental Health Counseling, agrees: “Focus on what parts of yourself you want to evolve; this expands beyond hitting societal milestones such as getting engaged/married, buying a home, getting pregnant, or hitting a certain salary.”
2. Live life for yourself, not others
There’s also the reminder that your life is ultimately your own, and you get to choose how you want to live it. “Ask yourself what makes you happy, not what you’re supposed to do. Ask which relationships bring more light into your life and which ones take it away. Being thirty, you have enough experience to form your own judgments of what you like and don’t like, so use your feelings to guide you toward your own kind of fulfillment,” recommends Nassour.
3. Relish your confidence and resilience
Not to mention the increased confidence and resilience that becoming older and wiser can bring. “Being thirty, we have a much deeper understanding of ourselves and our values, especially those which decide how to continue life, relationships, career, and personal decisions. We have been through more difficult decisions (as well as more moments of joy), which mean we have increased resilience,” says Shah.
4. Let go of expectations that don’t serve you
Letting go of self-imposed and externally imposed expectations is also a big theme in this viral Twitter thread. According to Shah, feeling the pressure of those expectations can increase your anxiety and decrease your self-worth. And it can be hard to let go of them if they come from your family, culture or community. The benefits of doing so outweigh the challenge though. “You can begin to embrace life, enhance gratitude for what you do have and where you are, and become present,” she says. Now that’s freedom – and it’s a freedom many commenters reported feeling as they got older.
5. Be kinder to yourself
Finally, increasing self-compassion can help you navigate life’s ups and downs at any age. Several Twitter users chimed in to say they became kinder to themselves in their thirties.