30 Things I Learned in my 30s

The year I turned 30 I took three months off from my job to write. I’d always wanted to write a novel – I’d talked about it for most of my 20s. But at 30, I was ready to really give it a go. I was ready to write, rather than talk about writing.

Now, it’s ten years later. I’m three weeks into my 40s. Books have been written, decisions made, life turns taken that I never could have foreseen. So I thought I’d make a list of things I learned along the way, things I want to remember, because I know I’ll forget them again…

  1. Being afraid is not a good enough reason to stop you doing something.
  2. Getting published doesn’t make you a better writer, but it makes other people think you are a better writer.
  3. It is a good idea to check the bathroom in Starbucks is working before you order a Venti Soy Chai latte.
  4. Manhattan real estate brokers don’t negotiate. Ever.
  5. When a bucket of cement is lodged under your Volkswagen Golf, the only way to remove it is to drive really fast, then brake suddenly.
  6. Eve Lom cleanser is worth every penny.
  7. Things don’t always work out the way you want them to.
  8. Very often that’s a good thing.
  9. The better I get to know myself, the better I can get to know you.
  10. Six weeks is just about enough time to pack up a house, a business and a life, and move to the other side of the Atlantic.
  11. Most people do the best they can, most of the time.
  12. Even if the above statement is not true, it helps me to believe it is.
  13. Being a good listener means you have to really listen, not formulate in your head what you want to say next.
  14. Living thousands of miles apart from friends and family can sometimes bring you closer.
  15. There really is no such thing as being “good” or “bad” at yoga, there is only intention and practice and being present to your own experience on your own mat.
  16. When you sign a form before an operation allowing them to take a different medical action if they need to, you should take it seriously.
  17. The terror of “coming out” becomes worth it when you love someone.
  18. Every time you do it, it gets easier.
  19. Avocado on toasted McCambridge’s bread (with butter) is perfect at any time of day.
  20. Just because someone is fidgeting in the front row of your reading doesn’t mean they hate your book – they may have a bockety chair.
  21. My only hope of ever getting the future I want, is to stay in the present.
  22. Even though I feed off New York’s energy, when I spend too much time in Midtown Manhattan, it starts to feed off mine.
  23. It’s important to say what I think, even when it’s not the same thing you think.
  24. I need to spend time alone.
  25. No matter how many colours of Converse I get, I will always wear white the most.
  26. Sometimes the Universe does things for me that I can’t do for myself.
  27. My body is often smarter than my mind.
  28. It’s OK if you don’t agree with my opinion: it doesn’t mean either of us has to be wrong.
  29. There is no greater freedom than the freedom of being seen as you really are.
  30. I’ll probably know less in ten years than I think I know now.


  1. Love these. Also love that you used the word "bockety". I don't hear that word enough.

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