30 lessons from my journey to 30

April 29 2015

Long time no speak sublime seeking lovelyites! I am so thrilled we’ve found our way back to each other after a little break. And ON MY BIRTHDAY! My thirtieth birthday no less! No moping or moaning about getting old, I am thrilled to be thirty. Gloriously, fabulously, unavoidably thirty!

Now that I’ve notched up three big decades of lessons learnt (some the hard way) I thought it might be fitting to take stock and share the best of them. In no particular order, I give you my thirty lessons from the journey to 30 (and how I learnt some of them)!

  1. Crying, batting eyelashes nor playing dumb will get you out of a speeding ticket. Learnt: when being issued with speeding tickets 1-5.
  2. Crying, batting eyelashes and/or playing dumb may get you out of a variety of other sticky situations. Learnt: in my teenage years. At home. Mostly with my Dad. (Sorry Nev… I think we both knew I was systematically working you out.)
  3. You and your partner may not always like the same things. Learnt: via shopping and crossfit.
    You and your partner won't always like the same things

    Pre-dawn, about to hit the Black Friday shopping madness in Hawaii! We had different feelings about this.

    Crossfit Christmas Party

    Different interpretations of JS’s white-themed crossfit Christmas party. In fact, these same expressions apply to crossfit in general.

  4. If you can’t stop thinking about it after a week… buy it.
  5. If you go back and it’s gone… it wasn’t meant to be hit eBay immediately.
  6. Smile encouragingly when you’re in the audience. A lesson not learnt until you’re the one on the stage staring at a blank faced audience. Lesson 5 and a half – if your audience is staring at you blank-faced, throw a little joke in. Let’s get these kids to loosen up!
  7. Music is nearly exclusively better when it’s LOUD. Learnt: with every good song everrrrrrr.
  8. Times of trial will reveal who will be your true, lifelong friends. Learnt: circa 2004 when anxiety came to visit and overstayed its welcome in a major way.
    Lesson 10 and a half – you know for sure they are true lifelong friends later when they all laugh and cry at the same time because they are happy for you.


    The prettiest crying-laughing girls I ever did see.

  9. It’s ok to let go of those who aren’t going to be true, lifelong friends if or when your friendship has run its course. It’s most likely the best thing for both of you.
  10. The most important thing in life is to be happy. Without it, nothing else will matter. With it, everything will.
  11. You don’t want to be around people who make you feel as if you need to dull your sparkle. The people that matter most will want you to be your most sparkly self always.
  12. The way I look, my size or weight has no correlation to my worth. Whatsoever. That lesson didn’t come easy!
  13. Twinning is THE BEST.

    Learnt: Twinning at brunch!

    Twinning 3

    Learnt: Twinning at dinner!

    Twinning 2

    Learnt: Twinning at the hairdressers! Lesson 13 and a half – going to the hairdressers together is INFINITELY better than going on your own!

  14. You will get much further being nice than being nasty. Learnt: negotiating not to pay our EPIC Telstra bills in 2013 while JS was in Panama!
  15. The ones that truly love you will show you, not keep you guessing.

    Won't keep you guessing.

    You gave up your game JS! This is what I look like when I’m the happiest ever.

  16. You will feel exponentially better if every now and then on a rainy day you abandon all other plans and stay in bed with a book. All day. Learnt: nearly every rainy Sunday in the past 12 months. Sooo good. NB: sorry people I’ve cancelled on. #awkies
  17. I can do anything I set my mind to. Learnt: after failing Quantitative Economics and Business Analysis A at uni not once but TWICE… I just bloody did the work and got a High Distinction! Holy Moly Mavis! This was a particularly good lesson, I’ve used this one again!


    “Yeah I know right! I graduated! Who saw that coming?”

  18. Great love and great achievement involve great risk. If you take a punt, it might just pay off.
  19. No piece of clothing should ever be wider than it is long. Learnt the hard way in 2003 via a sass and bide mini skirt. Lesson 19 and a half – being of a fabulous brand does not necessarily mean it’s fabulous.
  20. Oily skin needs oil too. Do not be afraid to use oils on oily skin. How counterintuitive!
  21. Sometimes the things we stuff up most royally teach us the biggest and most important lessons. Especially with people.
  22. There’s no such thing as a perfect family. You might find imperfect is perfectly wonderful anyway.
  23. Everything in life is better with a dog. Learnt: every day I’ve had the pleasure of having a dog.
    Miss Madeline

    Miss Madeline – the best friend a girl could have.


    Archie Boo Smith. This boy is lighting my life up 7 days a week.

    Except white bed spreads. White bed spreads are not better with a dog.

  24. There is no consistency in sizing between stores. Seriously. You need to let the number go. Lesson 24 and a half – don’t buy the smaller size on the basis of the number. The smaller size will make you look bigger. And remember –  lesson 12!
  25. If a story doesn’t sound right or describes someone doing something very out of character – there’s probably some information missing. Something else is going on here. Learnt: finding out after-the-fact about some very awful, very private struggles people were going through. Lesson 25 and a half – everyone is fighting their own battle.
  26. Nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t buy. Learnt: gold glitter kate spade keds… how did I not buy you TWICE!?

    Gold Glitter Keds

    Third time lucky?

  27. You get out what you put in. Sometimes you have to be willing to put in first. Learnt: at work!
  28. Happiness is not always what we’re sold in fairy tales. Happiness is not getting the right grade in school, or earning lots of money, or having a big white wedding – as nice as all these things are. Happiness is finding something that makes your heart sing when you do it, or being cuddled as soon as you wake up in the morning, or feeling like you’re making progress – even if it is a teeny weeny amount, or knowing the comfort of a friend who can listen to what you’re saying and know what you’re not.

    The sort of friend who knows what you're not saying.

    Happiness is this: my secret keeper and knower of all things… most of all, the unsaid.

  29. I am lucky.  Not handed-things-on-a-silver-platter lucky. The Australian, educated, healthy and loved kind of lucky. And the loved-by-a-dog lucky! (Ref: lesson 23.) These things shouldn’t be taken for granted. They will be, but they shouldn’t.
  30. There is a beautiful joy to be had in being unapologetically yourself. One of the most delightful and unexpected treats about growing older has been growing more confident. With each life lesson learnt, you feel a little surer in your footing, a little more confident speaking your mind, a little quicker to back yourself. And with confidence comes comfort: the absolute treat of enjoying being you. I’ve been learning the lessons, I’ve worked hard to figure out what I love, I’ve had good times and bad times and made the tough decisions to lead me to where and who I am.

And I’m proud to be me.

Unapologetically silly, crazy, happy, thirty-year-old me.

Unapologetic 23-ish year old me – she hadn’t learnt this lesson yet but she was well on the way.

Ain't no river wiiide enough baby!

Unapologetically bad singing. Deep in the middle of belting out “Ain’t no river wiiiiiide enough baby!” And omg that fringe! Whose idea was that?

Big Hair!

Unapologetically big hair. Bigger is better! Right?


Unapologetically excited! Pre-wedding celebrations at work! #bestteamever

Unapolgetically myself 2

Unapologetically a full-blown crazy dog lady. Yes we’re wearing matching ponchos. Yes it was excellent. Such craziness! Look at those eyes!

Thank you so much for indulging me in birthday reflections and celebrations today! I hope this post has made you smile and that you let your inner crazy-silly-happy girl out today, too!

Do these lessons resonate with you? What lessons have you learnt on the way to thirty? 


  • Luciana says:

    Darling Andrea!!!
    Happy birthday! Welcome to the thirties!
    I have a feeling the thirties are going to be great!
    Love this post! so many wonderful life lessons!

    Hope you have an amazing day!!!

  • Miss Chardy says:

    Oh Happy Dirty Thirty….all be it belated….sorry I missed it. Hope you had a wonderful day. I have loved reading this post and seeing some gorgeous photos of you and your loved ones. Fantastic!!

  • Kate says:

    This is so funny Andrea I love it!You had me laughing at 3 and even louder at 5 (my favourite!). Thanks for sharing, I am still learning some of my lessons I think 😉 I can tick some of these off happily though! Kate, Wondrous x

  • I loved reading this! I laughed and smiled my way through it. Welcome to the thirties – they’re great! Happy belated birthday x

  • Lily says:

    Happy birthday Andrea!!! I once read a quote, I’m not sure who from, that said “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room” – I think this can apply to so many qualities, especially sparkle xx

  • Rachel LadyM says:

    I loved reading this piece. It is so superbly written, honest and inspiring.
    You have conquered and achieved a lot in your 30 years and its so good to hear someone being happy at turning 30. I myself am 33 this year but I still feel like a 28 year old. Love the piece, thanks for sharing

  • stephie says:

    Andrea this post is so cute and I hope you had the best Birthday. I hope you do a post about your travels to Europe and Paris it looked amazing. Of coarse life lesson #23 was my fave 😉

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