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33 years of Wisdom

Virginia FrancesComment

Roughly every 29.5 years the planet Saturn returns to the place it was in orbit on the day you were born. From an astrological standpoint, Saturn Return is known as a sort of 'wake up' call in one's life**. About a year and a half ago, I participated in a 5 week group, with four other women who had just turned 30, called Saturn Returns. Facilitated by the amazing Laura Close, the premise behind this group is to reflect on our lives thus far, illuminate areas for growth, and make steps toward the things we really want to accomplishment in the next decade. I especially loved that this group was centered around sexism- how it's impacted our lives thus far and how we can work through it moving forward.

At our first session, we were asked to reflect and share some personal wisdom. It was the first time in my life that I actually thought about the fact that I've now lived long enough to "know some shit" about living life. I joined the group because I had just started making a real GO at this business thing (transitioning from my full-time government job) and while I was feeling super excited I was also feeling sort of lost (thanks Saturn!). Since then, though, my business has grown a lot and so have I. 

I've continued to think a lot about this question of WISDOM and have decided to share my list with the world. Thirty three words of wisdom from this now 33 year old.  Happy Birthday to me :)

  1. Do everything you can to explore and utilize all your skills and passions. Use both sides of your brain as much as possible and you will be fulfilled in life. 
  2. Make lists.
  3. Take care of your body. 
  4. Friendships are all about quality over quantity.
  5. Get a dog.
  6. Learn how to truly listen to others. Listening requires full attention without judgement. 
  7. Listen to yourself. Trust your gut and the life experience you have that helps you make informed decisions.
  8. Never stop learning new things.
  9. Keep your parents and siblings (or whomever you consider family) close at heart. Make time for them and get to know them as people. 
  10. Be open to multiple life paths. Life isn't meant to be linear.  
  11. Take time to reflect. When things go well and even more importantly when things go wrong. 
  12. See as much of the world as you possibly can.
  13. Be with people who bring out the best in you. Weed out the people that don't.
  14. Help bring out the best in others.
  15. Go outside!
  16. Marry the person who supports your (ever evolving) dreams- and I mean really, actively, helps you make them happen.
  17. Before you marry that person, travel with them. Experience new things with them. See what they're like when they are outside of their own comfortable world.
  18. Own your privileges in life and take responsibility to fight for changes to the system that was built to make life easier on you and harder on others.
  19. Spend time alone. It's difficult at first but get into the zen of it and you might discover something new about yourself.
  20. Get your finances in order! Educate yourself about student loans and debt management. Save money but don't be so frugal that you don't enjoy life now.
  21. Learn to say YES! And then learn to say NO.
  22. Leave your phone at home. This isn't practical most of the time but do it when you can (even if its an accident) and embrace the freedom.
  23. Seek opportunities to be inspired. Music, art, theater, dance, books, podcasts, whatever it is be open to the inspiration it brings. 
  24. Eat well.
  25. Embrace endings. Be okay with closing the door on one thing and starting anew. 
  26. Give your time, money, talent to make the world a better place.
  27. Put your $ where your mouth is. Buy local and support small businesses. Resist the urge order everything on Amazon!
  28. Do everything you can to support, encourage, and lift up other women. Women supporting women can change the world. 
  29. Learn how to separate work life and personal life.
  30. Smile. Or don't. But at the very least try not to make anyone else's day worse by your own bad attitude.
  31. Connect with people. And connect those people with other people. Life is all about connecting.
  32. Be informed on politics. Educate yourself on the issues, vote, and actively participate. But...don't get sucked into the daily minutia of it all.
  33. The World is your RUNWAY!! Dress like you mean it. 

What's on your list? I encourage you to make your own and share it too :) You are much wiser than you probably even know.

**FUN FACT! No Doubt's 4th studio album was titled "Return of Saturn". Accourding to Wikipedia: The album's working title was originally announced as Magic's in the Makeup in May 1998[3] and later as Saturn Returns in November 1999.[12]Stefani was confused by her feelings of depression and interest in Sylvia Plath while recording the album. Her boyfriend Gavin Rossdale told her that she was going through her Saturn returnSaturn's orbit takes 29.4 Earth years and, in astrology, the time when Saturn returns to its position during a person's birth is believed to be a period of self-evaluation. Stefani was born October 3, 1969, and many of the songs were written during her Saturn return.[8]

Photo by Nate Watters <3