Bridget: Advice I Would Give To My Younger Self On My 30th Birthday

How am I 30 years old today?! I’m definitely not someone who gets caught up in numbers, but there’s something about this milestone birthday that has me seriously thinking, “how am I THIRTY years old?!”

I feel like I just graduated high school. I still don’t feel old enough to be married, own a house, and I definitely don’t feel old enough to be having a baby… yet here I am. If you asked me ten or twenty years ago where I’d picture myself at 30, I would have never pictured my life as it looks now. But now that I’m here and looking around, I can’t help but feel overwhelmingly grateful. My 20’s exceeded my wildest dreams in every way possible and stopping to really appreciate this journey so far seems like the best way to kick off my 30’s!

What I Wish I Knew Then

To celebrate this amazing ride so far, I made a list of 20 pieces of advice I would give to my younger self, knowing what I know now. Here goes nothing.

  1. You truly are the luckiest girl in the world to have the family and husband that you do. Always show them how much you appreciate them because they are “your people” and will drop everything whenever you need them.
  2. Be kind to your body. Stretch, workout (more!!), don’t put your doctor’s appointments off (oops), and don’t spend as many hours hunched over a computer while sitting on the couch — your poor back will pay for that. Your body will be forgiving in your 20’s but you don’t want to take your health for granted.
  3. Surround yourself with people you respect and admire, people who believe in you. These are the people who will inspire you to be a better person, to work harder, and to chase your dreams.
  4. Don’t lower your standards. Even when it seems like there aren’t any kind, honest, hardworking (& single!) gentlemen left in the world, remember there are and you are going to be lucky enough to find one who treats you better than you could have ever imagined. Don’t settle for something less before you meet him.
  5. Stay positive! Life is not perfect but there’s always a reason to look on the bright side of things.
  6. Leaving coaching the golf team at school to work on the blog was a very difficult choice for you, but definitely the right one in the long run.
  7. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. You are someone who plays it very safe and ironically a little introverted, but stepping outside of your comfort zone will bring you some of your most amazing accomplishments and memories to date.
  8. Your work ethic will bring you great things. Don’t look for any shortcuts, instead put in the hard work and good things will happen.
  9. When your crazy best friend begs you to start a blog — do it! It will be one of the best things you do (and one of the hardest/scariest/time-consuming things you do) but it will take you on a journey that you could have never expected and allow you to meet some pretty amazing people along the way.
  10. Your parents are the most selfless people you know. Of course, you already knew this but your 20’s will provide so many examples of this that you’ll completely lose count. They prove time and time again how much they are willing to sacrifice in order to make sure you and your sisters are happy, healthy, and chasing your dreams. If you can someday be half as selfless and hardworking as they are, you’ll be pretty damn lucky.
  11. Maybe someday you’ll actually follow-up on your hopes to get in shape. I hate to break it to ya, but your twenties won’t make that happen. #someday
  12. Don’t be embarrassed to pass on that beer and stop for a milkshake on your way home instead, it’s what makes you happy so DO IT!
  13. Your sister will prove to be an amazing example of a new mom. Follow her lead.
  14. You’ll never get a good tan so don’t waste your time trying. Pack the SPF 100, you’re going to need it.
  15. Running the blog will highlight the amazing people in your life who are supportive of you no matter what crazy thing you’re up to. Learn from their example and pay this support forward to the people (even acquaintances) in your own life who are accomplishing great things, stepping outside of their comfort zones to try new things or celebrating exciting milestones.
  16. It’s okay that you made some very ugly fashion and decorating decisions AND there are plenty of pictures to remind you of them (thank you DIY Playbook for keeping these embarrassing memories alive forever). All of those hideous mistakes helped you figure out your personal design and fashion style. It’s still a work in progress but you have made some great progress in your 20’s… thank goodness. Ha!
  17. I hate to break it to you, but you should have worn your retainer like that orthodontist told you.
  18. Continue to be a great saver, but don’t be afraid to splurge every once and a while. Maybe it’s travel, maybe it’s a new pair of jeans, or maybe it’s just a night out… do it. You work way too hard to not pay yourself every once in a while.
  19. Even though you thought your 20’s would help you become a night owl, that won’t happen. You’re still pretty awful at staying up late… hopefully, that changes (soon) because Baby Mac is counting on you.
  20. Don’t always worry about your to-do list and planning for what’s next. Although life is busy, sometimes you need to stop and look around so you don’t forget how lucky you are!! I promise you that the next 5 (or 25!) items looming on your to-do list can wait, stop feeling guilty and go enjoy!

Bring it on 30!

I could not be more grateful for such an amazing decade this last one has been for me. Thank you all for being a part of my journey so far. I can’t wait to see what my thirties have in store (although I still can’t believe it). Ready or not, here I come!

Have a great weekend,


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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