Take it from me – these are the essential life lessons I've learnt after turning 30.
Depending on which generation you’re part of, the experience of turning 30 may differ for you. Assuming you’re a millennial or slightly younger, you’d probably fall in the “13 going on 30″ category. We didn’t have YouTube or makeup tutorials; “tween” fashion wasn’t a thing. We actually wore age-appropriate clothes from the kids’ side of the department store. Oh, department stores, remember those? Then, all of a sudden, we woke up one day and we were 30!
We were the “blogshop” generation. Most of us probably still remember when Love, Bonito was called BonitoChico and it operated on LiveJournal. We probably all owned a LiveJournal. That brings me to the first thing we should all invest in once we turn 30…
1. Bid farewell to fast fashion
Okay, maybe it’s hard to say goodbye forever, so just be more selective. Like a bad relationship you can’t quit, you don’t have to completely cut out fast fashion from your life. I personally buy basics like racerbacks, singlets and plain t-shirts – when they’re on sale, no less! You end up paying $5 to $10 each and they hold up well enough. But when it comes to athleisure wear, I think it’s wise to own branded ones because that’ll motivate you to work out and get your money’s worth.
There’s nothing wrong with owning 1,000 random bags you got while on holiday at Chatuchak Market. But when it comes to an office bag, invest! Maybe you need a larger bag to lug around your laptop. And a medium-sized one for daily use. And a smaller one that works as a casual everyday bag. Bonus if you have a timeless bag for special occasions: small enough just for your phone, a money clip, lipstick and oil blotters.
These can be costly to accumulate, so take your time. In the long run, spending on a quality bag will save you more money than cheaper fashionable ones that end up flaking on you when they’re unused (or over-used). Once you’re 30, you’ll have to deal with friends starting families and flaking on you. You don’t need the same energy coming for you in bag form.
As for things to skimp on? Wallets. Truthfully, no one cares about the vessel holding the money. We just care that we have any money at all.
2. Good support can be a lifesaver
I’m talking about heels. I have no idea who we thought we were in our 20s. Running around in stilettos so high even Snoop Dogg would be intimidated by them. Tacky material, no support, straps that broke, and worse, heels that broke. They were literal death traps and we had no business wearing them. Even more so because hardly any of us had insurance either.
Most heels were only wearable when we were heavily intoxicated to numb the pain. So invest in sensible shoes! Ones with real leather, good support and a wider heel. Trust me, not only will you look more chic gliding around in manageable heels, but your knees will thank you the next day.
3. Skip the gym membership
Most of us brutalised our bodies in our 20s. Don’t feel bad! We were young, hot and nobody could convince us otherwise. My mother constantly bought me creams and serums, telling me how bad her pores were and how I’d inherit them so I should start taking care of them from a young age. I did not.
I had a bad fall and tore multiple ligaments in my knee. Did I go for physio? No. Did I exercise to strengthen it? I was 20 and in the prime of life! Exercise? No thanks, I had metabolism and cartilage. But now, after multiple dislocations, I have worn out cartilage and absolutely no meniscus in my left knee.
I did spinning; I did HIIT. I chose those purely because they were quick sessions I could get over and done with fast. No one really watched or corrected your form – and if we’re being real, they were trendy workouts. So yeah, I felt toner and fitter. But once I turned 30, constantly doing exercises with poor form and not stretching properly caught up with me.
So I urge you to invest in a personal trainer. They’re pricier than a gym membership, sure. But when you learn the correct way of doing a squat, the effective way of doing a push-up, and what muscles you actually engage for a pull-up, you build real strength. You have that knowledge and body awareness, which will make future solo trips to the gym safer and more productive!
After my pregnancy, one common problem that affected me was diastasis recti. That’s where your abs split, leaving you with a huge gap in your belly. I was planking and crunching away trying to fix it until I was told those are the two worst exercises for the problem.
That’s when I found a great trainer who’s a wealth of knowledge: Dimitri Stroobant. If the surname sounds familiar, he’s the younger brother to Emmanuel Stroobant, the chef in black. He’s helped me close my abs, and he’s now working on my knee and other problems. This makes me both happy and sad because it confirms something I’ve long feared: hard work and exercise actually pay off.
4. Don’t skimp on skincare
You may have a body that just won’t quit, but you still need a face that’ll get you hired. This is where skincare comes in. I’ve used a generic drugstore brand since I was 10, up till this year! Those pores indeed have invaded my face. Pigmentation caused by sun damage and pregnancy is visible.
Along with my youth and vitality for life, pregnancy also took away the hydration and collagen in my face. So I recently started a simple, cost-effective skincare regime with local brand Ice’s Secret and it works! Another great local label, Love From Yours, has a sunscreen mist for the face. It’s shocking how little Singaporeans invest in sun protection considering we all live on this sunny island!
5. Love yourself like Kanye loves Kanye
In his words, “you should be honoured by my lateness, that I would even show up to this fake s***.” Kanye may be a little extreme, but my point is self-love.
With so many downsides to Covid, the one true positive is that it’s given us the gift of time. Limited social gatherings and ever-changing policies coupled with alcohol curfews mean we’re forced to take stock of the important people in our lives.
Who are those five friends that make the cut? Would you rather spend time with friends over family? Is it really worth the stress of going out knowing that when 10pm comes, you and all of Singapore will be fighting for taxis and cursing surging prices? Would you rather just spend time alone?
Learning what makes you happy and how you want to spend your time guilt-free is the best thing we should all be investing in once we turn 30. Invest in YOU: what’s important to you and what makes you happy. Also, get insurance. It’s that simple.
Any lessons you’ve learnt since you turned 30? DM us @Honeycombers to tell us all about it!