By the time our thirties roll around, we've experienced quite a bit of life. Think about it, we've been on this earth for three plus decades. Chances are, in that time, things have gone really, really well. Then, they've turned completely awful. Then, they've gotten even worse only to get great for a couple of minutes before coming to a dull roar. Then, of course, this pattern repeats itself time and time again. Hopefully, you've had more good times than bad and hopefully, your accomplishments outweigh your downfalls. However, we understand that's not always the case and even if it is, there's still a lot of things you wish you did differently. Even if you don't want to admit it, we will: There are a lot of decisions we regret making and a lot of things we wish we didn't do. Read below to find out 16 mistakes every woman in her 30's has made.
16 Trying To Buy Self- Confidence
When we were in our twenties, looking great mattered to us way more than it matters now. We spent a crazy amount of money (money we didn't have at the time) on expensive dresses, shoes, and purses that we wore only one time. We bought countless beauty products and makeup that we didn't even open. We threw away thousands of dollars on fads and trends. We spent hours getting ready to go out with friends or on a date and were very hard on ourselves when it came to our appearance. Why? Because for some reason, we thought if we looked great, it'd make us feel good about ourselves. However, we realize now that self-confidence comes from the inside, not the outside. No beauty product or fancy outfit is going to help you love yourself if you don't truly love and appreciate yourself for who you are deep down.
15 Hurting Your First "True" Love
It happens to all of us. We meet a guy before college, during college, right out of college or some time in our early twenties. Of course, partially due to our lack of experience and partially due to the timing in our lives, we fall in love with him almost immediately. At first, things are amazing. We start feeling things we've never felt before and doing things we've never done before. He's great and we're happier than we've ever been- so we think. After a little while, though, we start getting the inkling that perhaps this guy isn't actually the "one" for us after all. However, because we're caught up in the romance and/or because we don't really know what "love" means to us yet, we convince ourselves we're meant to be with him. This, in turn, causes both us and the man we're seeing months of unhappiness, fighting, and little white lies whereas if we broke up with him when we first got the impulse, the breakup might've been a lot easier.
14 Putting Yourself Last
We've all fallen victim to this. Even in our thirties, we fall victim to this. We've spent and/or spend countless hours worrying about the happiness of others. We keep and/or kept ourselves awake at night wondering what our peers, friends, and lovers think/thought about us. Now, in our thirties (even if we slip up sometimes), we realize that our happiness and what we think or feel about ourselves is more important than what others think about us. No matter how hard it can be to actually do it, we know that it's vital to spend time focusing on just ourselves. Why? Because we found that when we neglected to analyze what we wanted and needed in our lives, we were miserable. We understand now that in order to make both ourselves and others happy, we need to consider our own well-being first. We wish we spent more time when we were younger asking ourselves "what do I want?" or "what can I do for myself today?"
13 Doing A Job You Didn't Want To Do
When we were first trying to be independent or struggling to find independence, we took jobs that we didn't want to take. Even if we didn't know what we wanted to do with our lives, we knew what we didn't want to do. For example, if we wanted to write a novel but didn't get picked up by a publishing company, we spent the majority of our time working for minimum wage at a bank instead of spending the majority of our time focusing on writing. We took the "safe" option instead of the more risky path out of fear. Why? Because we didn't truly believe in ourselves as we should have. Of course, our bank job (or some other job in that we didn't want to do), ended up making us feel unfulfilled so we quit. However, that doesn't mean we don't regret wasting months of our lives doing something we didn't want to do. We wish we could have that time back to focus on our true passion instead of conforming to both the pressures we put on ourselves and the pressures of society.
12 Worrying About Men
As embarrassing as it may be to admit, we all did it. We went on dates with guys that didn't have any interest in us. We slept with men that were after only one thing. We cried about guys that didn't even think twice about us. Unfortunately, we let men who didn't even know us make us feel badly about ourselves and affect our self-esteem. Why? Because we were still trying to figure out our self-worth and our own identities. We wish now that we knew then what we know now: Those guys didn't and don't matter. In our thirties, we hardly even think about them. In fact, we can't remember their names. All we know is that they simply weren't worth our time, our emotions, or even our thoughts. Yes, the hard times helped shape us into the women we are today and we're thankful for that. However, we still wish we found out sooner that they were simply phases, not anything of significance.
11 Losing Touch With Friends
We all have those childhood or college friends that we wish we were still in touch with. When we were close to them, they were the best friends that we had ever had. They knew us better than anyone else in the world and some of our best memories were shared with them. However, as if often happens, life got in the way. Perhaps we moved to a new town and got too busy to reach out to them. Or, maybe, we got into a serious relationship or committed to a demanding job and let all of our friendships become less important. Whatever the reason, we don't have those people in our lives anymore. We thought "they'll always be there," but we were wrong. We wish we made more time to pick up the phone and let them know how much they meant to us. We wish we realized what we were doing when we made other things (like jobs, boyfriends, etc) more important than them. We'd do anything to go back in time and prevent our relationships with these people from slipping away.
10 Spending, Not Saving
We were all irresponsible when we were younger. We didn't realize the value or importance of money. We lived paycheck to paycheck and didn't even think about saving just five dollars from every paycheck incase something happened in the future. If we wanted something, we bought it without thinking twice. We were impulsive. Of course, that's normal. Our only responsibility at the time was taking care of ourselves. However, now, as we're older, we wish we knew about money back then what we know now. Why? Because if we did, we'd be better off in more ways than one. If we wanted to buy a home, chances are, we'd be able to if we started saving years ago. If we had to pay an expensive car bill, we wouldn't have to stress about coming up with the money. In short, we'd have a lot less anxiety surrounding our financial security- and all we had to do was save five dollars from every paycheck.
9 Putting Family Last
As I stated before, we spent a lot of time when we were younger worrying about things that didn't matter in the scheme of life. In fact, we were pretty self-involved. And, just as we let some of our friendships fall apart, we also let some of our family relationships fall apart. Instead of visiting home, we went on romantic getaways with boyfriends that didn't mean much to us. Instead of picking up the phone to call our parents, we went out drinking with people we don't even talk to anymore. Now, in our thirties, we realize that like us, our parents and family members are also getting older. Chances are, we've even lost some of our family members that meant the world to us. We wish we could get back some of the time we spent avoiding them or pushing them to the wayside. We know now how important those people are to us and regret ever making them feel like they weren't.
8 Jumping Into Relationships Out Of Fear
Let's be honest: There is a lot of pressure in society to get married and start a family, especially for women. This is perhaps why when we were younger, we made a lot of immature relationship decisions. As we saw our friends and siblings settling down and getting married, we started getting more and more worried about our own futures. Therefore, we often found ourselves in relationships with people we literally had no business being with. Why? Because we were desperate. The last thing we wanted (and probably still something we don't want) is to be alone. However, we know now that we would choose being alone over being with someone that we don't love and/or doesn't love us. We know what we deserve, want and need in relationships and we won't settle just because we feel pressure surrounding settling down.
7 Trying To Be Something You Aren't
We read books about brave women. We watched movies and television and admired the characters that beautiful actresses played. We met people who we admired and envied them. In turn, we did our best to try and be like them, even if that meant completely neglecting who we are. We thought we knew "who we wanted to be" because of all the influences around us. However, what we didn't know is who we actually were/are. Therefore, we fell into a lot of traps. We acted as though we were something we weren't, we did things that were out of character, and we were often untrue to our own identities. We changed for other people, especially our boyfriends but even our friends and parents. Of course, pretending to be something we aren't only made us unhappy and we know now that that's certainly not a pattern we want to repeat.
6 Getting Into Debt
I know, we've talked about money a lot so far. But, guess what? It's important. Why? Because it's an inescapable part of life. When we were young, we believed we were invincible. Our priorities were a bit skewed. Because of that, we made terrible decisions when it came to money. And, because of that, we ended up in a lot of debt- debt that stays with us until we deal with it. For example, we bought expensive cars that we couldn't afford just to "look cool," that ended up breaking down and leaving us with a hefty bill to pay. We got behind on credit card payments because we wanted to spend our money taking vacations that we didn't need and/or that our paychecks couldn't support. We rented expensive apartments in the "hot" part of town just so we could be a part of the action. We wish we realized at the time that impulsive decisions don't just "go away," they become our responsibilities.
5 Thinking You Knew Everything
Why is it that when we're young we think that we know each and every thing about the way in which the world works? Perhaps it's a defense because we're insecure about or knowledge or perhaps it was because we had to learn the hard way that we were actually completely naive. Either way, we wish that we had listened to the thoughts, advice, and opinions of those older than us. We wish we could take back every fight we had with people about "being right." Why? Because we know now that it wasn't worth it. Even if we were right, fighting just to make a point was a waste of both time and energy. We know now that being bullheaded and stubborn was only a personality flaw, not something that we should appreciate (like we probably did back then). And, if we had listened to other people, we would be more knowledgable and probably better off for it.
4 Not Standing Up For Yourself
Perhaps one of our biggest regrets is not saying the things we needed to say to people that walked all over us. For example, if we had a boss or a colleague that completely took advantage of our hard work and dedication, we wish we could've quit the first opportunity we got. If we had a boyfriend that manipulated us and didn't appreciate our devotion to him, we wish we walked out the first time we picked up what he was doing. Why? Because we know now theses people didn't deserve anything we gave to them. When we were younger, we were often strayed by the opinions or behaviors of others. If people told us we were worthless, part of us heard them. Of course, this is normal, it takes time and experience to get that "chip on your shoulder." We only wish we realized sooner that it's completely fine and acceptable to stand up for ourselves. In fact, we actually encourage ourselves to do it now.
3 Hanging Out With People Who Brought You Down
We've all had friends, co-workers, and even peers that did nothing but bring us down. It seemed as if every time we were with them, we lost a bit of self-confidence. For example, we all had that one girlfriend who made us think that everything we did was wrong, or that she was a way better friend to us than we were to her- even though that was completely untrue. Now, we realize that their actions and behaviors most likely had to do with their own unhappiness, that they were not truly a reflection of our own behavior. However, at the time, we really let them effect the way we saw ourselves. We wish we could go back and make an effort to separate ourselves from these people. We wish we realized that they weren't good for us and we're only subtracting from our lives, not adding to them. We wish we could have back all the time we wasted with them and spend it with people who actually want the best for us.
2 Turning Away From What You Wanted
When we were younger, we felt as though the world was at our fingertips. And yes, that's extremely exciting, however, it's also extremely frightening. Everyone told us, "you can do anything you want" and even if that's eye opening, there's also a lot of pressure surrounding that statement. Why? Because we didn't really know if we could or couldn't do everything we wanted to do. Therefore, we often times took the easy route in order to avoid disappointing either ourselves or people we cared about. If we wanted to move away form home and didn't, we wish now we were braver. After all, if it didn't work out, we could've come back. If we wanted to go on a trip with friends but didn't because we convinced ourselves we had to "focus on our careers," we wish now we went. With age comes a clearer perspective. We see that we could've done whatever we wanted to do and have enough faith in ourselves to realize that we can get through everything.
1 Not Taking Care Of Your Health
When we were younger, we thought we were invincible. We smoked cigarettes. We stayed out way too late partying. We over-drank. We never went to the gym. We ate food that is terrible for us. We got piercings. We got tattoos. We never considered the effects of these things. Now, we have wrinkles. We have unwanted ink and unwanted holes in our bodies. We have slower metabolisms and a bit of cellulite. Why? Well, yes, the parties were fun. And, for a short amount of time, the tattoos and piercings looked badass. However, we realize now, that all of that stuff is temporary. Our health, on the other hand, is forever. We can't just "get a new body" or erase all of the cigarette smoke we put into our lungs or all of the damage the over drinking did to our livers. What we do when we're young effects how we feel when we're older. All we wish is that we thought about that back when we were making decisions surrounding our health.