30 Life Lessons from My 30th Year

Life Lessons photo

My birthday is tomorrow. I will officially be 31 years old. While I don’t know what I imagined life to be like in my 30s (especially pre myasthenia gravis diagnosis) I can say that this past year wasn’t to shabby. Y’all know I’m all about self reflection so I wanted to share a few life lessons from my 30th year.

Morg’s Life Lessons
  1. It’s ok to say no.
    • Say it with me people: BOUNDARIES!!! It’s perfectly fine to not want to do something and not feel guilty about it. I must say that when I first began practicing saying NO, it felt weird. But now I’m proud to report that I can say no without wavering and best of all people respect it.
  2. Being ill is not the same as being dead.
    • Having a chronic illness diagnosis especially an incurable one can sound life a death sentence. I made the mistake of becoming a zombie. In actuality it was just the beginning of a different path. Once I realized that my life wasn’t completely over, I started exploring ways to live within my new reality.
  3. Coming out of hibernation is difficult.
    • For the past 3 years I basically secluded myself to work and home. But I promised myself to do more this year which required me to actually leave my home. It was difficult. I dealt with a little anxiety and fear but it was worth the challenge.
  4. Recovery is NOT linear.
    • I wish that it was as simple as take the meds and boom you’re better. Nope, it’s not like that at all. Or at least it wasn’t that way for me. I had good days and bad days. Even in my fitness journey as I’ve started to move my body again I had days when I killed it and days when I regressed. Every day wont be a great day. I’ve come to understand that.
  5. Be flexible not flighty.
    • What I mean by this is that I can be very rigid at times. If I make a plan, I like for it to be executed with precision. However, life does that work that way. I would be all in knots whenever things didn’t go according to how I envisioned them and ready to toss the baby out with the bath water as they say. Perfection doesn’t exist. All it did was get me up in arms. What I’ve learned is that allow room for change but don’t give up on the end goal. Be flexible.
  6. I have a solid support system.
    • Family and friends are everything to me lately. I didn’t realize how much they meant until I went through my solo period and battled loneliness. The love and support they give is unmatched. Whether it’s a pep talk or a night out on the town and just reading my posts and sharing them. They really are the best and I regret trying to push them away when I was diagnosed. I mean these folks came out in raining 30 degree weather the day of the MG Walk. Like what more can a gal ask for?
  7. Moms (sometimes) know best.
    • I didn’t think that at 30 I’d still need my momma but I feel like I need her more than ever. She’s a source of peace for me. I know that I can call her to vent, for a laugh or a pick me up. She gives decent advice most of the time and is always ready and willing to go to war with me and for me. I know that she has my best interest at heart so she constantly reminds me to keep things in perspective and not overload myself into crisis.
  8. Man up and ask for help when needed.
    • I don’t want to say its a pride thing but at the end of it all maybe that’s exactly what it is. I have a hard time asking for help because I didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t do something because of myasthenia gravis. It made me feel less than to admit that. But true strength is in asking for help when needed. It’s ok. I’m still awesome at other things.
  9. Others opinions will not sway my actions.
    • I talked about before how fear of showing a symptom is part of the reason I secluded myself. Or I would refuse to post certain things because I didn’t know how others would respond. I refuse to allow that to happen anymore. Anything I do or don’t do will be the result of my own wants and opinions.
  10. Never be ashamed of my story.
    • As much as I would have preferred NOT having myasthenia gravis, it has given me depth to my story. I didn’t want to talk about it because I was ashamed of it. But this test is part of my testimony. I know there are others out there who my story resonates with. My story is relatable. Nothing to be ashamed of here.
  11. I am my own worst critic.
    • I am judge, jury and executioner of myself. This goes for everything. My immediate default was to find and point out the flaws instead of acknowledging and illuminating the beauty of the imperfection. I’m not just talking physical things; I mean in everything that I do. It was always a criticism and rarely an accolade. The moment I started speaking positively about myself was the moment I was able to focus more on the positives.
  12. Crying is not a weakness.
    • I don’t even know where this line of thinking came from. You can ask most of my friends. I am NOT the emotional friend. But I have probably cried more this year than I have in the past 10 years. Backlog of emotions maybe. While I still don’t like to cry, I allow the release of emotion to happen for a couple minutes and then I move on. It’s me honoring how I feel in that moment but not dwelling in it for too long.
  13. Trust myself to make decisions.
    • Whew chile – this was probably my most blunt life lesson. Coming to the conclusion that I am decisive because I don’t trust myself was a doozy. I would go back and forth on topics so much that I’d give myself a freaking migraine. My practice in self care has helped me reconnect with myself but it’s still a work in progress.
  14. Be a warrior not a worrier.
    • Phil: 4:6-7 Pray about everything. Worry about nothing. Worrying is pointless. I think I have a couple new grey hair that I attribute to worrying. I think it’s fitting that spoonies call themselves warriors. We fight an unseen war. If you’re focused on worry you can’t focus on the war.
  15. Quality time is my love language.
    • The more time I spend with others the more I feel connected and loved. I don’t even have to be doing anything spectacular. This wasn’t new news to me because I was familiar with the love languages however I didn’t know that it included quality time with myself.
  16. Release expectations of others and situations.
    • Probably the most difficult life lesson for me to apply. I’m guilty of having high expectations and often times I’m disappointed. When I let go of how things ought to be i’m free to enjoy things for what they are.
  17. No obstacle is too great for me to conquer.
    • I tend to get easily overwhelmed when facing a challenge that seems massive. However tackling that thing in smaller chunks, setting reasonable goals and being open to trying new things help get the job done. I roll this over into my health as well. There’s no cure for myasthenia gravis yet and I’m not in remission yet but I’m hopeful that one day I’ll be able to say I’m in remission.
  18. I can do anything I set my mind to.
    • I did things this year that I dreamed of. None of them turned out exactly how I expected but with a little wiggle room it all turned out for the best. This goes back to life lesson about being flexible.
  19. It’s never too late to go after what I want.
    • Time is a social construct. Yes there is a predetermined expiration date set on my life but I don’t have to be in such a rush to accomplish everything today I can wake up and decide to go to law school tomorrow if I wanted. My problem is that I think it all has to be done NOW or it wont get done at all.
  20. Be present.
    • Just being in the moment is an inexplicably cool feeling. Turning off my phone and unplugging is now a pari of my self care. I love not always having my phone out. Yes I do miss out on getting some dope content but I love the memories that I’m creating. A picture could never do it justice.
  21. Meditate meditate meditate.
    • You know how sometimes when you have too many browser windows open at once your CPU will move a little slow. That’s my brain. Constantly running with all these tabs open of things I have to do, want to do and am about to do. Meditation has helped center me. When I feel anxious, taking just 5 minutes a day to be still and breathe helps keep me calm.
  22. Be open to learning from any and every one.
    • One of my favorite things to do is people watch. Sometimes I even talk to people and I try to take away some sort of insight from the interaction. I don’t think I’m better than anyone. We all have something to offer the world.
  23. I have a voice.
    • Never would I have thought that people would be interested in what I have to say. But having a couple of my articles posted on The Mighty and receiving so much positive feedback was so humbling and exhilarating. I want to use my voice more to spread awareness and create community.
  24. Celebrate as much as possible.
    • I celebrated my birthday for an entire month because I missed out of so many great times while I was in hibernation. The fact that I made it to my 31st birthday is worthy of celebration. The fact that Ive come down off my medication is worthy of celebration. I want my life to be a constant reel of celebratory moments.
  25. There is always something to be grateful for.
    • Gratitude was my other big life lesson this year. As I worked to pull myself out of the negativity and depression finding things to be grateful for was the foundation. Whenever things were going crappy I made sure to find things to be grateful for in those moments: even if it was just I woke up today.
  26. Smile more.
    • Ive always been complimented on my smile but I stopped smiling often because myasthenia gravis tends to affect the ability to smile. I look more like a person wincing in pain rather than smiling. But I’m so grateful to have my smile back. I want to share it with others. Never know whose day it may brighten.
  27. My standard of success and happiness is unique to me.
    • Comparison is the thief of joy. I would get jealous of all the things people around me had that I didn’t based on what society said was success. But what’s for me is for me. I get to decide what success is for me. Still working on that definition but I feel free knowing I don’t have to live up to anyone else’s ideals.
  28. I am responsible for my own happiness.
    • Happiness is an inside job. Can’t rely on other people or material things to make me happy.
  29. Self love is foundational.
    • How I love myself sets the tone for the love I accept from others.
  30. I am limitless.

So those are the life lessons I’ve taken away from my 30th year. Some are more profound than others. Some may be basic to you but it’s taken me this long to comprehend and implement them. Most of them are intertwined.

As I embark upon mu 31st year, I look forward to not only taking these life lessons with me but strengthening and building upon them. I am loving the woman I am becoming.

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