• Rachael Scarr

Thirty and Thriving


{ Listen to this post here }


I had a birthday a few weeks ago…and as you know with me, birthdays are a big point of reflection in my life. Even more so than New Years. It feels more personal. More specialized. It’s my own, unique version of a fresh start.

This one was exceptionally big, as it was my thirtieth!


What a number!

As written in my birthday blog post last year, there is so much pressure that surrounds turning thirty. It can lead to a lot of anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. However, that is the exact opposite of what I felt this year.

I kept waiting for the “other shoe to drop”. Thinking - “I’ll most surely have a breakdown” and “this excitement surrounding my birthday certainly won’t last”. But I never did…and it did. In fact, it was literally the *best*weekend*of*my*entire*life. A time where I felt like I finally came into my own.

(And I was celebrated to the enth degree - it was a literal fairytale of a weekend, I'm still reeling.)

Living these first few weeks of thirty, I feel like I have shed a layer of skin. I feel lighter. I feel bolder. I feel strong. My twenties were great, and I am so thankful for the way they shaped me into the woman I was meant to become, but my thirties, I know, are going to be oh so much better!

In my moments of solitude leading up to the big day, I spent a lot of time journaling and contemplating what the ages 20-29 meant to me. I wrestled with this concept of “holding onto one’s youth” and living in the past.

See, so often when people reflect on their twenties, they look at that time in their lives with envy, with nostalgia, with longing. They miss the freedom and the carefree nature, the adventure and the naïveté. They put that decade up on a pedestal and subscribe to the notion that “it’s all downhill from here.”

At the gym one day, where I sometimes find it’s easiest to get lost in and process my thoughts, I had a very sudden realization that to me seemed like an epiphany.

{ Why would you want to start again as a beginner, when you have already advanced?! }

I actually think that when people idealize “reliving” their twenties, they’re really saying they want to relive it with what they know now. With the strength that they have now from those exact experiences. I don’t think people, deep down, actually want to re-experience it. Why would you? You’ve already DONE it!!

Why not, instead, take what you have learned and APPLY it to the big, beautiful life you currently have! Allow it to deepen your experience of your thirties - of this new and exciting and unexperienced decade. Allow it to make you more present and more grateful.


That’s advancement. That’s application. That’s life.


Next level - achieved.

I do think it is important, however, to actually take the time and write out what made that time in your life - that decade, that level - so great. Time to reflect on and observe the lessons learned, the pain experienced, the deep nitty gritty of human existence you went through that will now color how you enter the world as a thirty-year old being. And time to formulate the simple words of advice you would give to your younger self. Matters of importance you’ve discovered along the way - both big and small.

It is in doing this that we actually solidify, and celebrate, the growth.

In writing down my own list, I realized just how capable and worthy I am of advancing to this next level in life. I realized just how much God has taught me and brought me through, and how deep His love truly runs. I realized what really matters in life and what it is we should truly be striving for. I realized I lived. And isn’t that the point of it all?

So here you go…my insight.

20 Things I Learned in My 20s


  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

  2. The people who are meant to end up in your life will.

  3. Find the balance of saying yes and no.

  4. Other people’s opinions of you do not define your self-worth.

  5. Do things that scare you. You won’t regret it. Don’t let fear hold you back.

  6. Being present is a skill, and one you should learn to cultivate.

  7. Family is everything.

  8. You’ll never have it all figured out, even if you think you do, and that’s okay. You’re not meant to.

  9. Use sunscreen every day. Especially on your face, and even in the winter.

  10. Make friends with change.

  11. Self-care isn’t selfish.

  12. Become your own best friend. Show yourself kindness on a daily basis.

  13. Always be open to finding love, but don’t let the quest for it define you. It will happen when it happens, and it’ll be worth the wait.

  14. There is a lesson to learn in each and every experience.

  15. You’re never going to think you have the “ideal” body, but you do. Your body is beautiful always - embrace it.

  16. When you’re right with God, all is right in the world.

  17. Learn how to let go. Forgiveness of yourself and others is key. You don’t need that baggage!

  18. Be honest with yourself so you can be honest with others.

  19. Learn how to listen. You don’t always have to be the first (or last) to speak.

  20. Vision without planning is just daydreaming.


Have you taken the time recently to be present with yourself? To acknowledge and appreciate your growth, and the journey you’ve been on that brought you here?

Do it now, if you haven’t.


Being content in your own skin is the greatest gift you’ll ever give to yourself - and one you can keep on giving.


You are worthy of this next chapter. You are capable and you are strong.

You are ADVANCED LEVEL, and don’t you ever forget it!



Now, let yourself thrive.




#thirtyandthriving #birthday #journaling #selflove #selfcare #reflection #prayer #meditation


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