I'm officially 30, flirty and (kind of) thriving. Yay!

It's a wild sensation.

I feel like you always grow up thinking about these massive life milestones. Your Sweet Sixteen, graduating high school, leaving home for the first time, turning 21 (and being able to drink without a shitty fake ID), reaching 30 and officially exiting your 20's…

But you don't think they will come so incredibly quickly.

You think you have all the time in the world.

If there's anything I have learned by my 30th trip around the sun is that time is a thief and there will never be enough of it. One minute you are a kid without a single care in the world and the next you are an adult who is expected to have their life together - and it happens QUICK.

I won't lie to you, this whole new era, new age, new life milestone has been... weirdly emotional?

Before you roll your eyes... I know age is just a number. And I know that no matter your age, you will never totally have it figured out. I'm aware! Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly excited for my thirties and the unlimited possibilities that lay ahead of me that are undoubtedly full of..






and chaos. Hello!

But I know I am not alone when I say it's hard reaching a new milestone and having your life look A LOT different than you expected.

Look, I have accomplished so much in 30 years. I have lived SO much life and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I have the most wild stories that I get to share one day when I am old and gray, and I have a life that is full of so much love. But I also have a life that is so wildly different than what I ever expected it would look like - and that is kind of scary?

It doesn't help that I am a rather *over the top* person who takes everything incredibly seriously. I am always looking for signs and I really do have a hard time accepting that I am not in control. I pride myself on being able to self reflect, ok.

So when I hit 30, I really had a moment of self reflection where I said…

I don't know what the hell I want.

And after a few minor breakdowns, a haircut, a lot of therapy sessions, some tears, spicy margs and a wild celebration in Las Vegas, I realized…


Because no matter the age, no matter the time - you're never going to have it totally figured out. Honestly if you did... How boringl would that be?! Life is meant to be messy. It's meant to be full of mistakes. And it's going to work out the exact way it's supposed to.

All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.

Which leads me to something I do every single year when my birthday rolls around…

I made a list. 

30 Things I've Learned In 30 Years

1. You have to find joy in the journey.

Life is simply one messy, never ending journey. It’s going to take you through some really high highs and some really low lows. This has been the hardest for me to grasp because it’s really easy to find joy when life is going great and everything is working out for you.

But I think the true key to a happy life is to find joy in your journey: that means the good AND the bad. When things aren’t going as planned, find the joy in the little things. Find joy in knowing that in 6 months, it’ll make sense. Find joy in knowing that with hardships comes growth. Ride the wave baby. Enjoy it (easier said than done, I know).

2. There’s freedom once you stop giving a f%ck and it feels great.

Stop caring so much. Seriously. You are one person in a sea of 8 billion. Do whatever you want, say whatever you want, wear whatever you want. At the end of the day… you are the one in control of your happiness. Say F it and do you.

3. You will literally never regret taking the trip.

This past year I traveled a lot. More than the average, sane person that is for sure. There were times when I was jet lagged, when I was stressed about missing flights, when I was wondering if I should cancel the trip and just stay put. But now looking back… there has never been a SINGLE trip I have regretted taking. 

There is something so beautiful about seeing a new place. I’ve grown more in the past 2 years through my traveling than I have in the rest of my 28 years on earth. If the opportunity presents itself… go see the freaking world. You won’t regret it, I promise. Money comes and goes, but memories are forever.

4. Your story is allowed to constantly grow, change & evolve. You are never stuck.

I used to feel like I had to be the “Morgan” everyone knew me as. The fitness Morgan. The cheerleader Morgan. The reality TV Morgan. Whatever it was.

I was truly convinced that if I wanted to do something different, or if I changed my mind about something, or if I wanted to quit a project I started because I didn’t enjoy it anymore… people would think I was a fraud or a failure. WRONG. 

I quickly learned that it’s your story and you are allowed to have as many chapters as you want. You are never stuck and it’s never too late to pivot. In fact, I think it’s incredibly healthy to do so because if you are changing… that means you are growing.

5. Give yourself some grace because we are all messed up in our own way.

Seriously, nobody's perfect. Even Taylor Swift has her off days. The best thing you can do is forgive yourself for your mistakes and just chalk it up to being a damn human.

6. Always take a chance because no matter the outcome, you will learn something.

No risk, no reward. It’s as simple as that.

I pride myself on being a risk taker and while sometimes those risks have resulted in me falling flat on my face (+ bruising my ego), every time I have learned something SO important. You literally will never know unless you just take a chance and try! Plus, lucky girl syndrome is a real thing and who knows… it just may work out in your favor. ;)

7. “Don’t get so busy making a living, that you forget to make a life”

Dolly Parton said it best. Look, I love a good paycheck just as much as the next person but there have been times where I have literally let life pass me by because I was so focused on the next project, the next goal, the next dollar sign. I’ve been at dinners where I could have been laughing more with my friends, but instead I am worried about the email I should have been sending instead. And that makes me sad.

Yes, it’s important to be career driven. But when you get down to your last days… you aren’t going to care how much money is in your bank account or how many promotions you got. You’re going to remember how much of your life you genuinely ENJOYED. 

8. Life goes by quickly, make sure you live it (with stories to tell).

Life is too short not to do epic shit. Go dance in the rain. Talk to a stranger. Jump out of a plane (if you’re me). Go on an adventure. Live with main character energy!

9. Keep your circle small. You don’t need a lot of people, you need quality people.

Remember: you are a direct reflection of the company you keep. It is okay to outgrow people and to have friendship breakups… normalize it. As you get older, your circle gets smaller and it’s a beautiful thing once you realize who exactly your people are. Invest in them.

10. Hug your parents more because the older you get, the more you miss those hugs.

I remember when I was in high school and I wanted nothing to do with my parents (truly sorry mom and dad). I think about all the times I was mean to my parents, wanting to sneak out and party instead of hugging them and hanging out on the couch. Now, I look back at my time I spent living at home and WISH I could go back in time.

Moral of the story: people come and go but family is forever.

And as you get older, the time you spend with your parents gets shorter. Hug them. Call them. Enjoy their company because one day you are going to miss it.

11. Say yes to things that scare you. 

Just do it.

12. Say no to things that drain you.

Saying no to things you don’t want to do is one of the most important skills you can develop - and I suck at it. But once you realize you can say no and the world isn’t going to end. Game changing.

People pleasers… just remember: if it’s not an immediate hell YEAH, it’s a f%ck no.

13. People enter your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.. no one enters or leaves your life by mistake.

This is a helpful one to keep in mind, especially for those dating or making friends or going through heartbreak. While yes, some people who enter your life will hurt you. That is inevitable. But truly, every person you come across has been placed in your life for a very specific purpose.

I look back on some of the people I met in the last year in Nashville:

Shitty situationship? That was for a specific reason that forced me into going to Europe without them, downloading Tinder and meeting someone else who has entered my life for this very special season.

Friends from the gym? Those became some of my best girl friends who will be in my life FOREVER and quickly became my best friends that God knew I needed. I will 100% be laughing with them when I am old and gray.

Reason, season or lifetime. Don’t forget it.

14. Communication is key. Stop bottling things up!

When it’s on your heart and mind… say it. I’ve learned that you will get nowhere in life unless you can learn to communicate properly. People can’t read your mind and overthinking will get you absolutely nowhere. Even if you don’t like their answer, it’s information you need to make the best decision for yourself. Speak up!

15. Don’t be an asshole.

Look, we all have our off days. But just be a good person. It really isn’t that hard.

Plus, you will get a hell of a lot further in life if you aren’t a total asshole.

16. Drink more water… your skin and your hangover will thank you.

I recently got my makeup done and the makeup artist asked me how my complexion was so clear. While yes, I use skincare and have a routine(ish)... my answer is always the same when people ask. WATER.

I swear by it. I am basically a whale with the amount of water I consume daily (usually a gallon) and not only does it keep my skin clear… It's game changing for my digestion, for my mental clarity… and for my hangovers (Which apparently get horrible once you hit the age of 30). 

17. Take photos of everything because one day you’ll want to look back on those memories.

I have 200,000 photos on my phone. Yes, you read that correctly. 

I take photos and videos of EVERYTHING. Not only because I’m a silly little influencer, but because I genuinely love having the memories to look back on. When I am bored on airplanes, my favorite thing to do is pick a month in the past year and scroll through the photos to see how my life has changed.

Don’t let people make you feel bad for wanting to take photos. Snap the selfie, ask a stranger for a photo, stand in the middle of the street to get a photo of you and your bestie.. Why? Because hello, memories! 

18. Get comfortable doing things by yourself: it’s empowering.

If you pay attention to any of these, I really hope it is this one. 

You do not need anyone else. To do anything. You are wildly capable of living life to the absolutely FULLEST and you can do it by yourself. Whether you are in a relationship, or you are single… the single most empowering thing you can do for yourself is learn to thrive solo.

There is nothing I love more than taking myself to dinner (preferably in a foreign country). I used to be absolutely terrified of the idea because what if people stare? Or what if I get bored?

But now I freaking love it. I feel like a badass and it gives me an opportunity to really get to know ME. Plus, you’d be surprised how many cool and amazing people you meet when you are by yourself. 

19. Don’t sign up for a half marathon… People who enjoy them are liars.

It seems like everyone hits 30 and decides they need to try running a half marathon. Then, they join run clubs and “live their best life” while posting about it on social media.

Do not listen to those people. They’re probably lying. 

There are more enjoyable hobbies than running 13.1 miles… so I have learned ;) 

*I am a little salty on this one because I ran a half marathon and literally got lost.

20. Vulnerability is a superpower and your ability to feel deeply is a gift.

I used to be ashamed because I would feel SO deeply (and cry over just about anything). Like why do I have to wear my heart on my sleeve while others seem to not have a care in the world? It seems so much easier if you just… don’t care?

The ability to love deeply is a gift and not everyone is able to do it.

So never shy away from how much you feel. Beyond that, share how you feel. Share your emotions. Be raw and honest and share your struggles.

People want to be like you, I promise. Keep sharing, keep feeling and inspire others to do the same. 

21. The people who get upset when you set boundaries, are the ones who benefit from you having none.

My therapist gives me a lot of wonderful advice (as she should for the $175 I have to pay for 50 minutes)… but this is one I will NEVER forget. Your personal boundaries are the most important things you have and as you get older, the more you understand what you need and what you will tolerate. It’s beautiful. 

Pay attention to those who get upset when you set boundaries because… those probably aren’t your people.

22. If it’s out of your control, it deserves freedom from your mind. 

I can spend hours over analyzing situations and going over made up scenarios in my head. And 99% of the time, they never even happen. Instead, I just end up wasting my own precious time by torturing myself with my own thoughts.

If it’s out of your control (which most situations are), it deserves freedom from your mind. 

23. Prioritize sleep, rest & resets.

The older you get, the more important this one is. I’ve realized that I am not well rested… well, I am a miserable b*tch for lack of better terms.

When I was younger, I used to power through, running only on caffeine and willpower. But now I realize just how unhealthy and exhausting that is.

You deserve a break. You need rest. And every person can benefit from a total reset every once in a while. You’d be surprised how much better you are able to operate when you give your body what it needs (instead of fueling it with coffee and alcohol).

24. Shoot your shot, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

This is something I have become very good at. I always tell people… I have zero shame in my game. I have no issue sliding into the DMs, introducing myself, being bold and asking for exactly what I want. Why? Because I literally have nothing to lose. Not a damn thing!

Sure, it stings a little bit being rejected or being left on read. But on the contrary… you never know what can happen just by shooting your shot. What if instead, you get a response? A new door opens? You meet someone wonderful? 

Shoot your shot. Just do it.

25. There is ALWAYS a reason to celebrate and ALWAYS a reason to dress up.

When in doubt… put on your best outfit just because.

Throw a themed party for the hell of it.

Buy some balloons and cake and have a photoshoot because you deserve it.

Your life is as exciting or as dull as you make it. 

26. Health is wealth: you get one body, so take care of it.

As I have gotten older, I have seen so many people around me get sick, have their health taken away from them, or lose the ability to move their body the way they used to. It sounds incredibly cliche but health really is WEALTH and without your health, you truly have nothing.

Stretch, exercise, walk… and never take a single workout for granted because there is probably someone out there who isn’t able to anymore that would die to be in your shoes.

27. What’s truly meant for you will never be taken from you, so take comfort from your losses.

This is what I tell myself anytime my plan doesn’t go accordingly. As a type A control freak, it’s hard for me to accept when something flops in my life. The relationship, the opportunity, the goal… whatever it may be. 

The second I was able to shift my mindset to one of “if it’s actually for me, it will never miss me” - my life got a hell of a lot more peaceful.

28. Social media is fake. Be more interested in how your life feels than how it looks to others.

Literally don’t believe anything you see on social media. It’s a highlight reel that will suck you right in and make you feel like you need to have the best house, the best job, family, clothes, vacations… whatever.

It’s easy to get caught up in the wrath of social media and wanting to keep up with the Jones’ but instead… who gives AF what others think your life is like. How about how YOU actually feel about your life? 

29. It’s fun to be a little unhinged ;)

You don’t always have to have your shit together. Period. Go be a hot mess and have fun doing it.

30. Just because you turn 30, doesn’t mean you have to have it all figured out.

I’ll wrap it up by saying what I have learned this past year is to just take it day by day. 

We will never have it “all figured out” and that’s the beauty of freaking life. Just because you turn another year older doesn’t mean you have to snap your fingers and have the answers. Even the people who seem like they have it all together.. Don’t have it all together. 

Remember… The only certainty in life is uncertainty. 

Live for the beauty of each day and don’t miss out on the things that actually make life worth living. 


(an older, hotter and wiser version of)


May 13, 2024 — Morgan Willett

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.