30 Things I Learned in 30 Years

Howdy, y’all!

It’s been quite some time that I got on here and wrote. But the dry spell has officially come to an end! I decided that when I turned 30 I wanted to write down 30 of the most monumental lessons that I have learned throughout my lifetime. So I took my ass to the Greek islands, sat poolside for a week, and this is what I came up with. Enjoy 🙂

1. There are no rules

Zero, none, nada. This obviously doesn’t apply to basic civil laws of the land. I’m talking about how you want to live your life. I feel so many people are worried about going about their journey through life the “right” way. Checking off the boxes as they go. But news flash people, you weren’t born to get married, push out babies, pay bills, and then die. LIVE YOUR LIFE. Turns out you have full power over deciding how that may be… crazy, right?! You only have one life, pleasseeeeeee I beg you, do not live it trying to appease others. You do you, boo.

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2.Happiness is truly a choice

Alexa, play ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams. This concept, as easy as it may sound, takes a while to understand and grasp. It’s real easy for us to get down on ourselves throughout this life we live. I swear I blame that on society…. we end up caring too much about what others think. Even if you are thinking to yourself “no way, I don’t care what ANYONE thinks about me”, I bet you actually do and don’t even realize it. People tell me all the time “damn Hayley, you truly are living your best life”. As if we all shouldn’t be doing just do that. To be honest, one day I just woke up and decided “I’m going to always do what makes me happy”. And if it’s something that doesn’t make me happy…… cut it out. Cut that shit OUT.

Pharrell Williams - Happy

3. Magic happens when you set your pride aside

We care SO much. About being right. About not being wrong. About not giving in too easily. About not looking weak. But the thing is…. the second we set our pride aside and just evaluate the facts. That’s when we get answers. Solutions. Clarification. That’s when the magic happens. This idea that we are perfect human beings that shall never fault is bullshit. That’s part of life. We are better off just accepting things at face value. Leave the emotional aspect of things out of it.


4. Life’s too short to be spent with anyone who doesn’t know your worth

This is something that may take a lot of heartbreak to fully grasp. It’s crazy how we allow ourselves to get mistreated when we are in love. But the thing is, there is only one of YOU out there. Just the one. And if someone doesn’t feel like they have just hit the mother f’ing lottery when they’re with you, they don’t deserve you. You are way too valuable to let another human being come into your life and make you think otherwise. You should always feel like you are a walking fire emoji. If they don’t make you feel that way, it’s time to move on.

5. Beauty begins with confidence

First of all, beauty is relative, people. This idea that beauty = the Kardashians. Or that beauty = flawless, perfect, unimpaired. It’s bullshit! Beauty encompasses so much more than that. As cliche as it sounds, it truly comes from within. With that being said, there is nothing more BEAUTIFUL than a human being, male or female, that outshines all the bullshit with their confidence. Especially, because, do you know how hard that has become in our day in age?! Which is truly very sad. Because ladies and gentleman, guess what?! Your confidence is your first line of beauty. The way you carry yourself, love yourself, respect yourself…… well, there is really nothing more beautiful than that ❤

6. Listen to your body, its constantly in communication with you

Like how you can wake up in the middle of the night yearning for even the slightest drop of water after hours of drinking alcohol. Your body ALWAYS knows whats up. The older I get, the more I understand this fully. Drinking water, eating clean, exercising 30 minutes+ most days. These aren’t just things worth mentioning due to doctors orders. Your body will always reward you for treating it right by making you feel GOOD. When you treat your body good, it will reward you by making you FEEL good. This 100% applies to mental health as well, folks. There is nothing more terrifying than battling with your mind, so make sure to give it attention, rest, and relaxation just how you would your physical body.

7. Hustle is a state of mind

Plain and simple. If you know , you know. I learned this from my two amazing parents. There’s nothing to read between the lines–it’s simple. It’s the mentality that there isn’t a DAMN THING in this world that I can’t get if I want it bad enough. You’re either a hustler, or your’re not. It’s s.i.m.p.l.e.

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8. Travel is the most effective way to expand your horizons

OKkkkayyyyy 🙂 My favorite topic, you all know this. It literally brings tears to my eyes (shut up, I know I’m corny). So I’m just going to leave you with my favorite travel quote. It encompasses all the feels I have regarding buying that ticket and setting free to unfamiliar places :

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“This is why once you’ve traveled for the first time all you want to do is leave again. They call it the travel bug. But really it’s the effort to return to a place where you are surrounded by people who speak the same language as you. Not English or Spanish or Mandarin or Portuguese, but that language where others know what it’s like to leave, change, grow, experience, learn. Then go home again and feel more lost in your hometown than you did in the most foreign place you visited.”

9. Your haters are really your lovers

People, let them HATTTEEEEEE. If they care enough at all to express their hatred, you must be doing something right. And the less you respond to negative people, the more peaceful your life will become. Coco Chanel once said, ” I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all”. Honestly, a majority of the time people are hating is due to jealousy. And always remember, jealousy is only a form of flattery. I have learned over the years that the best way to respond is to kill them with kindness. They only hate you cuz they ain’t you 😉

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10. Faith is not one size fits all

We were all raised different. From different families. To different countries. Different places of worship. But I have found over the years that its not what “type” of faith that you embody, but the “relationship” you have with your own faith. And let me tell you, the capacity as to how faith is incorporated into peoples lives is different from one person to another. It’s not important to compare between any two people–honestly, it’s not important. Everyone has their own definition and form of practice. What’s important is that we can all celebrate this confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. And news flash, it’s okay if we all do that differently.

11. You can be complete all by your damn self

Ladies, never forget. You gotta love yourself before you can even begin to love someone else. And don’t ever for a second think you need to rely on another individual to create the life you want. You can do this–all by your damn self if need be. Anyone else that comes into your life should be an addition to your already present happiness. But at the end of the day, all you really need is you.

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12. Caring too much about what people think is a useless inherited trait

This used to be Hayley 2.0. Always worrying over what others think. Creating so much unnecessary anxiety over the idea that I wasn’t accepted by others for shit, who knows what reasons. We build up this fear that we need validation–from loved ones, coworker, even strangers. As if our happiness should EVER be the responsibility of someone else. It’s bullshit, y’all. Again, and I mean this seriously. LIVE YOUR LIFE. The people that are about that will stick around, I promise. And the ones that don’t like it–well, they are probably really boring anyways because you’re a badass and you should never forget it. Just stop caring so much. Your life will end up feeling more meaningful.

13. Self care is not selfish

If we don’t take care of ourselves, nobody will! There is absolutely nothing selfish about prioritizing your health and state of well-being. And doing this regularly! Because guess what?! We spend so much time giving attention and love to others. But you yourself, as much as anybody in this entire universe, deserves your love and affection. Book the massage. Take the day off from work. Provide yourself with some alone time. Unplug. And alllwayyyssss wash your face (twice!) before bedtime. Oh and in the morning. And when you get home from work. I’m anal about skincare, can you tell ?! 😉

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14. Accepting change makes life much easier

It’s honestly the only thing constant in life–change. It’s inevitable. We all know this, yet we still FREAK OUT! Change is hard, this idea that how things used to be are no more. We are closing a chapter and starting a new one. What we often times fail to embrace, is the GOOD in that. After we have adapted to this new way of life, in comes a wave of utter excitement at this new opportunity. A new vision. A fresh start. Change can be a beautiful but scary process. I think as we age we become more in tune with that, and we start to embrace it more. Because we realize is that also what come with change is growth. And I don’t know about y’all, but I’m all about that growth. At the end of the day, we aren’t trees. We aren’t mean to stay in the same damn spot forever.

15. Age is a number and a state of mind

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I mean look at Betty White. She’s in her 90’s and she’s still flicking off the camera like a teenager on the last day of school. My own grandfather was still climbing onto the roof well into his 80’s. And I know numerous people that are in better physical shape in their 40’s and 50’s than they were in their early 20’s. Have you seen JLo?! My point being, age is just a number. Youthfulness has no hard set limit and wisdom can even start earlier for some than others. I remember when I was turning 30 everyone made a big deal out of it–including myself, even though I tried hard to not admit it lol. But to be honest with you guys, I’ve never felt more alive and full of life.

16. Loyalty starts from the heart

It’s a scary world out there, and it can be really hard to trust anyone. What I’ve learned, is that you know someone is loyal if they can express anything to you from the heart. Loyalty is not surface level. Loyalty is DEEP. It involves trust. It’s scary. It’s a big commitment. But the better you get to know someone, the better idea you will have about their loyalty. It comes from the heart. Try your hardest to see past the exterior, because not everyone will treat you with the same respect you deserve. Yet, you will come across a lot of people that will try to blind side and fool you into believing that they will. It’s okay to have a guard up until you feel ready. Loyalty takes time.

17. Trust takes patience…. give yourself time

Going off what I said above, just like loyalty takes time–trust takes patience. Do you guys remember those team bonding exercises they used to make us do at summer camp? You remember… “Hayley, stand up there on that ledge and fall backwards into the arms of all these people down here”. Um, HELLO?! You’re joking right!? Those exercises were scary because trust takes patience. There’s a reason we don’t just trust everyone on the street. But it’s not a bad thing. The fact that we have to allow time for trust to build just validates how valuable good trust really is. After all, Rome wasn’t build over night.

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18. Malice can be a reflection of one’s insecurities

This is basically the epitome of “don’t take it personal”. I spent the majority of my young adult life thinking people’s nasty actions towards me was somehow a reflection of me. A result of me being wrong, or not good enough. Not until recently have I gotten clarity on this–most people will treat you unfairly as a result of their own insecurities. They aren’t happy with something about themselves and fear you may also notice their shortcomings–so rather than just be honest about that, they want to put you down so they don’t feel so insecure themselves. Deep, huh?! It’s true though. I wouldn’t say this is always the case, but try your hardest to remember that not everything is personal. And then try even harder. This is something I have to remind myself on the daily.

19. Water is your best friend

H2 mother f’in O. The liquid of life. The glorious juice. You literally can’t live a week without water. Your skin, your organs, your hair, your energy, your electrolytes, etc etc etc. Y’all get the gist. Drink your 8 glasses of water a day, people.

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20. Independence is the key to freedom

Some people will argue that money gives you freedom. Status gives you freedom. Being able to work from home is the ultimate path to freedom. This may sound like one of those “self-help” books that we start reading in our late 20’s (and oh yes, it will happen to you too hehe ), but, honestly–if you want to feel free strive to be independent. To not have to rely on anyone or anything else. Sure, some of that involves money, and your “job”, and your living arrangement, etc. But at the end of the day, independence is the goal. Knowing you can do this thing called life all on your own, that’s the ultimate achievement.

21. Cherish your time with your family

We can get so caught up in the day to day of life that we forget what matters most. Family and loved ones. Time spent and memories made with family are the greatest gifts of life. Not a day is promised and tomorrow is not guaranteed. The more time spent with family and the stronger those bonds become, the happier you will feel. You may not always agree with them, but at the end of the day they are your blood. They are part of what makes you, you.

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22. Don’t take life too seriously

Examples of how I try to not take life too seriously:

I wear sparkly shoes to my professional job

I like to do funny dances and make funny faces when work gets stressful

I exercise at the gym wearing no shoes (for all you gym rats, relax… I’m doing this at my own risk)

I try to eat clean and healthy most of the time, but I still buy Fruit Loops

My point is, life can be serious sometimes but it’s also fun. Don’t forget to let the kid out in you and have fun. It’s good for the serotonin levels.

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23. No one is judging you as much as you think they are judging you–let it go

Let it go. Remember that one party where you entirely embarrassed yourself and left thinking “omg, everyone is totally judging me now. They must all hate me”. Or when you showed up to an event under dressed because you didn’t read the invite clearly. Or when you wake up with a pimple the size of Mars on your face and every encounter you have for the rest of the day you are POSITIVE is spent with the other person staring at your skin crater. In all honesty, most of the time that is just anxiety you’re creating for yourself over nothing. For anyone that knows me well knows this has my name all over it hahahah. Hey , we are all a work in progress!

24. Treat your diet like your bank account

It’s simple. You can have all the things. You just can’t have them all at once and still live a healthy lifestyle. You want the double cheeseburger? That’s fine! Just don’t get it with the fries and the shake. Or maybe skip out on the burger and go for the fries and shake. It’s a pretty simple concept that we over dramatize because, well… food is wonderful, and most times our emotions tell us we should get all three 🙂

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25. Life is all about balance

Kind of like I said above, life is really all about balance. We should always strive to enjoy life–life is enjoyable! Just because you want to look fit doesn’t mean you have to eat like a rabbit for six months straight. And just because you are trying to be frugal with your money doesn’t mean you have to lose sleep over spending that extra $20 to get the brand of cleaning supplies that you actually like the smell of. Just like politics, everyday life is a stream of checks and balances to keep us on track. Be really good 70-80% of the time, and be naughty the other 20%. It’s nothing to be intimidated by. It’s just life.

26. Always fight for what you think is RIGHT

I’ve always said that you don’t have to be a minority to feel the weight of discrimination. You don’t have to be the victim of something to agree that what is happening is not RIGHT. You have a voice and I truly believe it is your duty to use it. There is a lot of unjust in our world today. If we all stood up and vocalized how we felt even when it doesn’t personally effect us, the world would be a much better place. MLK Jr. , one of my favorite’s of all time once said, “The time is always right to do what is right”. This is something I hold near and dear to my heart. And something I hope that everybody grasps on to as they get older and wiser

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27. Trust your gut… your intuition is usually right

It just feels like science to me. There is a reason you are feeling a certain type of way. Your gut knows whats up.

28. Love is worth potential heartbreak

Love is what makes the world go round. Love is present in the midst of violence. Love can drive out hate. But love is SCARY—love definitely scares us even though we don’t realize it sometimes. And that’s because in order to love wholeheartedly, we have to make ourselves vulnerable. We have to risk getting hurt. But let me tell you something, that feeling you have when you’re in love is WORTH it. It is an incredible sensation. There is no price tag to that kind of feeling. So for me…. I will risk the heartbreak. As I think everyone should. Because I can’t imagine dying tomorrow without experiencing that “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of stuff”.

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29. Money doesn’t always equal happiness

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If it weren’t for student loans, I’d be on an island somewhere braiding hair for a living. Money makes the world go round, yes this is true. But it is also the root of all evil. Ever heard that phrase “mo money mo problems?!” Ugh PREACH. There are so many things in life that hold higher value than money… experiences, love, family, laughter, the feeling of a warm shower after a hard af workout. Why yes I love dolla dolla bills y’all, it’s not what life is about. It comes and goes. But it never, and should never, define who you are.

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30. Kindness is a win win

Because in any and every situation, you will never regret being the girl who was kind.

Well there you have it, y’all. Some of the top most important things I have learned along my journey over the past 3 decades. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 30 and thriving! ❤

xo, HG