Yesterday I turned 30… yes in quarantine, something I will never forget.

If you would have asked me a few months ago how I was suppose to spend my birthday it was a girls weekend in Grand Rapids where I would run the Gazelle Girls half-marathon to celebrate, then a flight out to Texas to see friends and celebrate a friend getting married and ending on my 30th birthday (a Monday) with a run around my favorite spots in Houston, lunch at my favorite sandwich place and ending the night with Houston’s famous margaritas and moon drivers. I had it all planned and then the COVID-19 virus hit our world. Like many, it shook the plans I had, the picture of the future in my head and left me in quarantine within the four walls of my home with puppy Denver. Before we get all sad for me, it actually turned out to be an awesome reality check, allowed me to wash my hands of a few things and keep moving forward.

But before we can even talk about this past week, I have to share about this last decade…my twenties.

If you would have asked 20 year old me what her life would be like before 30, it was pretty simple. Mind you I was a sophomore in college, it was the week of finals, a rule follower, lacked diversity in my life and had a belief in my head of what success was. I would graduated from college at the age of 21, move to Colorado, worked for a community helping people as community relations for a company or broadcasting, get married, buy a house, get a dog, have at least two kids and continue to succeed in my career. Simple right? Well… this last decade didn’t go like that at all and frankly, that is 100% okay because it was better than I imagined.

You see, I did graduate from college at the age of 21 but I moved to Midland, MI to start a career at a corporation, started a blog called Self Love Beauty, moved to Texas then back to Midland, spent time in Haiti and Africa, moved 6 times in 6 years, bought my own house, bought my own dog, turned the blog Self Love Beauty into a nonprofit, left the corporate job, was blessed with two nephews, started a new company with my friend & co-owner Libby and now run a Self Love Beauty full time. Sprinkled in this was losing friends, gaining new ones, having my heart broken, lots of tears, lots of laughs, lots of education and lots of breaking through my own fears.

My plans are 100% different than what 20 year old Lisa would have thought. I am single, I don’t have kids, I have never been married and the definition of success is very different than what it use to be defined as.

And my ideal last week of being 29 is very different, where I was home in quarantine with my dog, let go of a friendship that was beyond important to me for a decade, had to get help to redo my toilet because of water in my basement, attempted to clean out my gutters and then spent time with surprise video from all my friends & family that I could not celebrate with (yes I cried happy tears!).

I have learned some hard lessons in my twenties but some all super valuable and here is a small dose of what I learned:

  1. Have champagne with every celebration (or whatever drink of choice you want): It has been something I have been doing with my friends for years and I absolutely wish I would have. started earlier
  2. I have the best friends & family a girl could ask for: But for real, they are amazing and have been there through the good, bad, really ugly tears and the really happy tears. Also it helps that my nephews think I am way cool ;).
  3. You do not have to have it figured all out: Make goals, make plans but also know it is 100% okay if you don’t have all the answers, life changes and thats the beauty
  4. Learn to have self-worth & respect right away no matter if that means getting a coach, taking classes or focusing solely on yourself . You will not regret it
  5. Love your body: You literally get one, and everyone has a different one, so embrace the one you have it is BEAUTIFUL and has a story behind it
  6. Travel as much as you can: I loved all my adventures because they have taught me new experiences, independency, diversity and more.
  7. Embrace the suck and embrace the rainbows
  8. Save money: Just do it, even if it is $50, $100 or whatever just start saving for your future
  9. Listen to your elders: They are wise, they have been through life experience
  10. That is okay to let go of people that are not serving you in a positive way. It sucks and I know its harder than you think anyone will ever understand but we all have had to and it is worth it.
  11. Be vulnerable, be honest with yourself about how you feel
  12. Talk affirmations to yourself: Pick 3 things you want to be reminded of on a daily ‘I am confident’ ‘I am worthy’ ‘I am strong’ or whatever they are in and in any moment you need a pick me up, say them out loud to yourself
  13. Find your warm up song: Yes pick this song that just gets you moving, of your feet and dancing. For me that is ‘Feels Great’ By Fetty Wap
  14. Always pick yourself up: When you need to cry, just do it, then pick yourself up and move forward
  15. To never ever ever give up on your dreams no matter how hard they are, I promise it will be worth it. I am living proof of this.
  16. Listen to your gut: That feeling in your stomach about someone or situation is usually right. Listen to it.
  17. Think before you act: Before you speak in anger, walk away from the situation or sleep on it
  18. No matter how people treat you, be kind: That does not mean you should go out of your way for them still but you should always show kindness
  19. Pray: When all fails, close your eyes, take 3 breaths and pray for peace and grace for him to
  20. Social media: Be careful what you post on social media 1. for when you look back and see things 2. For future jobs googling you 3. Young girls and boys are impressionable and if they a see your photos or content will it be a good impression or not?
  21. Be weird: It is okay to be weird and different. I truly wish I would I would have embraced this early
  22. Take chances and work everyday on being less fearful
  23. Fall in love: With someone even if it doesn’t work out, with your work, with your life, and with those around you.
  24. Surrounded yourself with people that will hold your hand through the hard times but also tell you straight up what you need to hear
  25. Define your own success: This will change over time but never compare your success to others
  26. You are not defined by the status of the letters in from of your first name Miss., Mrs. or Ms. and you should enjoy being in the moment you are
  27. Own your story: Love every inch of what has shaped you
  28. Validation should come from within: Don’t worry about the likes and comments you get, that is time consuming and so not worth, boys are sometimes dumb and sometimes girl can be mean so it can come from them.
  29. If it won’t matter in six months MOVE ON
  30. Remember at the end of the day what matters: Yourself, your values, morals, friends, families and the simple things.

This next decade is a new chapter. I healed a lot, laughed a lot, was pretty dumb sometimes but experienced so much more than expected.

So whatever chapter you are in your life (especially COVID life) know, you matter and that sometimes things suck and sometimes they are rainbows but God has a plan for each of us.