31 Lessons for My 31st Birthday

Anna R.
May 11, 2024

Well babes, I’m officially 31, actually crazy because I know I look so young (kidding). 30 was a complicated year for me, although nowhere near as complicated as 28 and 29. I learned a lot this year, but I still feel like I have so much more learning to do, and I’m really happy about that. So here are some lessons I’ve learned throughout this year and my 31 years of life. Love you. Oh and if you feel inclined to give me a birthday gift, please consider subscribing to my email list, because shameless self promotion is the best way to grow.

  1. Staying curious and committed to learning is important for your own personal growth and evolution. 
  1. Talking to people with different experiences and realities is good for making you both thankful for the reality you live in and keeping you realistic about the world.
  1. People's issues with you are their issues, not yours. People love to project their shit, and sometimes they are really good at making even you believe their shit.
  1. Sometimes (usually) the fantasy is better than the reality.
  1. A perfume has three notes. Top notes are typically what you first smell and tend to be lighter. Middle notes, or the heart, tend to last longer than the top notes. These notes balance well with the bottom notes, which tend to be the underlying and most dominant smell of the fragrance.
  1. "If they wanted to, they would apply" to friends, family, acquaintances, and coworkers. If someone actually wants to make you a priority or help you, they will. Stop making excuses for people doing shitty things.
  1. You should always be removing EXIF data; here’s a good guide on how to do that.
  1. Work hard, play hard. Yeah, I’m a toxic fuck.
  1. The best olive oils are single source, which means olive oils are pressed, packed, and exported from the same country.
  1. To move forward, you must go through discomfort.
  1. Finding your personal style is hard, but it can be super worthwhile. A great place to start is by investing in good basics, and finding pieces of culture you’d like to reference.
  1. Cashmere sweaters need to be combed and treated with love.
  1. If you work in corporate, it’s important from day one to document your wins. I set time on my calendar the first Wednesday of every month to document all of the things I did well for the month. I do this so that when the time comes to advocate for myself for a new position, I have some type of case already built.
  1. You can revive your hydrangeas by submerging the actual flower in water for a few hours. This should perk them up if it hasn’t been too many days.
  1. Sometimes sexuality isn’t about gender, it’s just about fucking hot people.
  1. Making a ritual out of the mundane makes life more glamorous.
  1. Homemade dressings are better than store-bought, and so much easier to make than you might think. One of my faves is just some olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, olive oil seasoning, and a bit of honey.
  1. Being kind is always in style.
  1. Have a gift drawer in your house. Fill it with small gifts like candles, notebooks, or beauty products; you never know when you might need a last-minute gift.
  1. Don’t believe everything you see on the internet. Most of it’s fake shit.
  1. Scheduling your life in a quarter system is great for achieving your own personal goals. I have a ton of career, financial, physical, and skill-based goals, but sometimes it can be really hard to reach them if they are too abstract. So I’ve gone full corporate girlie and have broken them down into smaller and more manageable tasks. I then plan those small tasks throughout the quarter, with the intention of reaching my larger goals over the yea
  1. If you want to do something, fucking do it. Life’s short.
  1. Define success in whatever you're doing early on; otherwise, you’ll perpetually be chasing something you can’t define. You can always adjust the definition if needed.
  1. It’s best not to buy a perfume because you think you might like the scent, or because you liked it on your first impression. Instead, get a sample and wear it throughout the day. The scent will likely change over the course of the day and it’s possible you might not like it as much as you thought.
  1. Find a good cobbler and tailor; it’ll save you money in the long run.
  1. Feel how you want to feel about astrology, but personally, I have found it to be helpful. I mostly use it to understand the universe that might be happening. If there are moments that are cosmically more creative, I align creative efforts to them, or if there are moments where tensions could be high, I’m more mindful of my communication styles.
  1. It’s never too late to explore something. If your heart is leading you there, you owe it to yourself to go there.
  1. One of the best things you can do for your clothes is to get a good fabric shaver and a steamer.
  1. Everyone is a beginner at something at some point in life.
  1. If you want to be a good host, you have to anticipate what your guests might need to be comfortable. It’s also important to consider their favorite things, like drink preference or types of food.
  1. You attract more bees with honey than vinegar.

So, won’t you join me in raising a dirty gin martini, or your beverage of choice, and celebrate the beauties of life? I am so thankful for you being here and reading this, seriously, babe. I never thought I could do something like this, but here I am, nearly 7 months in. Being able to create like this has been such a beautiful privilege, I'm just a bit lucky. I’m thankful every day that I get to do this, and get to share community with you. Love you.