This is Thirty: 5 Lessons I Learned in My 20’s

As I sit here on the eve of my 30th birthday, I can’t help but reflect on the last decade of my life and appreciate the journey in becoming the individual I am today.

At 30 today, I have accomplished more than I could have ever dreamt of. Being married to the most incredible human on planet earth and birthing his perfect daughter, launching a company from ideation to a billion dollars in processing in record time, employing thirty of the most unbelievable professionals and growing, receiving validation from every publication I have ever read, getting to work in a community I love and waking up every single morning feeling driven with purpose to do more than I had done the day before.. all while having a blast.

Phew. It’s exhausting just typing it — and as you can imagine, nothing above has come easy or without massive curveballs. While I sit here and reflect, its not about all the things I’ve accomplished but more about the lessons I have learned that will catapult me into the most successful 30’s to come. So friends, for my 30th birthday today, I hope to leave you with the top 5 lessons I’ve learned in my 20’s.

Lesson #1 :

It’s not the end of the world.

I could tell you the countless times that my world ended. Over and over again. From breakups, to disagreements with friends, to the first time someone broke my trust, to my first bad review online, and even my first time receiving a formal letter from a lawyer — at every point that I felt defeated or was faced with a “hardship” (air quotes for sarcasm), my world literally ended. It’s only with experience, and countless dozens more instances, that I grew thicker skin and learned to stop giving a shit. If I could go back and share one piece of advice with my 20 yr old self it would be :

‘Sunny- relax – you are not the only one in the entire world dealing with this problem, and this problem that will crush and ruin your life forever- well babe, forever will end in just about two weeks.’

Lesson #2

Complacency is the devil.

Success 101- never be satiated. You CAN have it ALL. I don’t know where this desire to never stop growing, learning, giving, loving and just being the greatest version of myself comes from- but I fuc*ing love it and it is 110% the reason I have been able to get more shit done than most normal 20 something year olds I know. The biggest lesson I can give my 20 year old self is to get organized and use every waking minute of your day consciously. Time is the most valuable resource anyone has and if you plan your day ahead, literally hour for hour– you can accomplish 10x your peers.

Lesson #3

Always put family first.

I’ve always joked that my life is the sitcom: “Everybody Loves Faizal.” Where my mom lives on one side, my mother in law the other, and I have a revolving door of friends and family in and out 24/7. Sometimes, this life can be tiresome, demanding and not so great on my waist line.. but there is nothing in this world I want more than to be the best mom, wife, sister, daughter, cousin and friend (all in that order). My family is crazy (understatement), but I could and would not be here today without them. To my crazy #framily (you know who you are): Thank you for being my biggest champions, you have always been the guidance to help me get through it all and I can’t wait to make you even prouder in the decade to come (insert cheesy Celine Dion lyrics here.)

Lesson #4

Haters gonna hate.

This one was tough. I’ve always been someone who needs to be liked. I’ve never handled disagreements, awkward silences, and haters since the 4th grade. I go out of my way to be kind, sensitive, funny, welcoming, and a friend to anyone I meet. I legit don’t even crush bugs. And therefore, do not understand the concept of anyone wanting to go out of their way to feel/share not so nice things about me privately and or publicly. Well, 20 year old self. Suck it up. It’s not you, it’s adulthood. You can’t please everyone, and not everyone is going to understand things in your point of view. The more you put yourself out there, the more you are exposing yourself to critics. Stop taking things so personally and move the f*ck on. It’s not worth your sleep, definitely not worth your tears, and in your 30s – get your hater blocker on deep and keep a travel size in your purse.

Lesson #5

#SOLO: Sunny only lives once.

This was actually the hashtag to my bachelorette but feels very fitting in this context. Have fun, live life to the fullest, travel, drink great wine and carpe the mother fu*kin diem! You my dear are in your twenties and now thirties (the new 20s ;)) so enjoy it. Quality over quantity! I am so proud to say that I truly get to live my life to the fullest each and every single day. Even after being a parent where you think your entire life has to change- it doesn’t. My husband and I still have our date nights, we still travel (now with our daughter), and still say #SOLO on a weekly basis.

Hope these lessons were valuable to you or someone you know. I left a little piece of my heart (and 20’s) with you today.

Happy Birthday To Me,

Suneera Madhani

AKA #momboss