I am about to turn 29. I am dangerously close to 30 and I am officially a grown up (apparently). At this age my mum was married, divorced, remarried and with child– and I’m not even married yet. I am doing my usual pre-birthday freak-out where I worry I have wasted another precious year, am no closer to my goals and definitely feel I’ll never be able to be a fully functioning adult.

I was listening/ reading a Whatsapp chat from my best friend who was moaning about her job, job search and subsequent life failings. It was her lengthy whinging that kicked my ass into reality. What really defines being an adult? What someone sees as successful might not be the same for you. I may be rarely able to eat 5 fruits and vegetable a day, spend slightly too much on gin and have an unhealthy addiction to ASOS but I have achieved a lot over the last 3 decades (urgh). So as I embark on my 30th year and final of my twenties here are 29 things I have learnt at 29 (part 1):

  1. "People will only treat you one way... the way you allow them" I'll start with one of my favourite life quotes. 
  2. Don’t rely on anyone to give you everything. This goes for happiness, security, financial stability. Work on your own happiness, well-being and career. You will be more valued by others, and yourself, if you can look after you. Relying on others usually only leads to resentment or co-dependency. 
  3. Pick your tribe carefully. They are a reflection of you and unhealthy friendships will drag you down. Surround yourself with people that will make you the best version of yourself.
  4. People will change - You’ll outgrow people and gain new people. At 29 I have a pretty well-rounded group of friends - all different but all awesome in their own ways.
  5. Don’t give up something you love. I danced as a child. Every day. I loved it but I gave it up to focus on an average retail job to fund my teenage lifestyle. I regret it every day. There is plenty of time to earn money (especially when you’re earning £3.95 piercing babies ears!) but if you’re passionate about something you should keep it in your life.
  6. Dance - it’s good for the soul!
  7. Get on that plane - I didn’t do enough of this growing up and definitely didn’t backpack across SE Asia in my gap year (those £3.95’s didn’t quite add up to that plane ticket) but now if I have some time I’ll be getting out of London and most likely eating my way around the world.
  8. Don’t sh*t on people when you’re doing better than them. What do you actually get from this? You might have a perfect job, or a great relationship, or more money. It doesn’t make you a better person. And believe me, that can all end in an instance. If you’re nice to people when you’re doing well, they’re more likely to be there for you when you’re not.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask for something - As a female, we (stereo-typically) struggle with this but ya know what if you never ask you really won’t get. So speak up and at least put your (metaphorical) hat in the ring.
  10. Read - Learn things and do stuff that interests you. Take that class, go to that event who knows who you’ll meet and what you’ll gain.
  11. Look after your teeth. You only get one (real) set.