women empowerment

‘Life is not a race’: Women share best advice to their anxious 30-year-old selves

Steph Arnaldo

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‘Life is not a race’: Women share best advice to their anxious 30-year-old selves
'Don't feel pressured, and don't feel so down. There's still a ton of time and despite setbacks, you will get there one day.'

MANILA, Philippines – They say turning 30 is a “milestone,” and as a woman who did just that last January, that “pressure” scared me more than it excited me.

It’s easy to fall into the “I’m getting older, what have I done with my life?” rabbit hole – I found myself freaking out about the future ahead, tallying what goals I have (or haven’t) accomplished, all while questioning my life decisions and wondering about my unclear path moving forward.

Confusion and this seemingly late quarter-life crisis aside, it is reassuring to realize that I’m not alone in this boat of uncertainty. We asked Rappler readers – specifically, the women who have passed the 30-year-old mark – the best piece of advice they would give their anxious 30-year-old selves. Here’s what they have to say!

‘Life is not a race’

“Don’t get pressured,” one Facebook user said, sharing that life isn’t a sprint. Another user echoed the sentiment, telling her younger self: “Life didn’t end when you didn’t get that dream job.”

You will encounter roadblocks, but life goes on – it’s important to never lose hope.

“Don’t feel so down and chase your dreams (of going abroad soon)! There’s still a ton of time and despite setbacks, you’ll get there one day,” one user said.

“I turned 30 last year and found a lot of acceptances and loss. Don’t lose hope no matter what stage you are in. Things can be difficult, but don’t give up on your dreams. Do what you can to keep going,” one woman shared.

Loosen your grip on life

Many anxious women (myself included) tend to cling on to rigid ideas of “what life should look like,” in an attempt to control something that is inherently uncertain and unpredictable. We also set ourselves up for unrealistic standards at times, too focused on perfection and not enough on progress.

“Let life happen. Let. It. In,” one user said. “Live your life to the fullest and trust God’s plan for you,” another chimed in.

Many also reminded themselves to “never take life for granted.” However, it is important to still “make responsible choices not based on feelings,” one woman said – wise decisions come from a lot of praying and discerning.

But also, take a risk and enjoy! “Work is not your life,” one user said. “Explore. Take chances.” This means going to more concerts for one woman, and for another to “stay hungry and stay foolish.”

“Chase your dreams, not men!” another user quipped, with one even saying: “Don’t get married.”

You do you

It’s important not to care too much about what other people may think of you. As one woman said: “Be realistic with yourself and don’t please everybody to like you.”

It is also a time to practice discernment with your relationships. “Trust no one,” one user said. “Not everyone who listens to your story is your friend.”

“Wag mo pansinin mga nang stress sayo, wala silang ambag,” another user shared

(Don’t mind those who stress you out, they don’t contribute anything to your life).

“Know when it’s time to leave, do not delay.”

If you want to travel and see the world, so be it – especially while you are still young. “Can’t do that once you’re old. And never stop learning, stay curious,” one woman advised her younger self.

Be your own best friend

Make yourself your number one priority, many women agreed. Do not underestimate the power of self-care and self-love!

“Take care of yourself for me,” one woman told herself. “And for every younger version of yourself who did their best to get you to where you are now.”

One user highlighted that “health is wealth” and how important it is to take care of yourself while you are still young. This includes sleeping early and for eight hours, she said, while another woman said to “prioritize your physical and mental well-being.”

“Retinol and hyaluronic acid!” one user recommended – of course, we can’t forget about our skin!

“Try to save as much money as you can, so that when you’re 30, you can rest a bit and not be too YOLO and FOMO,” one user said.

At the end of the day, it’s all about living your best life – whatever that may look like for you and you only – while being grateful for every memory and every lesson experienced as the years go by. It’s valid to feel some fear, but allow your 30s to also be a period of new beginnings and anticipation for what lies ahead. Anything is possible, and remember: age is just a number! – Rappler.com

1 comment

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  1. ET

    I agree: “… age is just a number!” This is true if you live a high-quality life based on your standards. Good luck to all ladies in their 30s.

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.