Ten Lessons You Learn in Your 30’s
As most of you know, 2014 saw the release of my second book, I’ve Never Been to Vegas But My Luggage Has…which is essentially my life story.
As much as I love my first book, The Single Woman, (and I do love that book, with all my heart) #NeverBeenToVegas is and will always be particularly special to me. It is essentially my heart, my LIFE…poured out on pages for the world to see. And I never dreamed how big of an impact it would have on my life. Not just writing it…but editing it, recording the audio book for it, promoting it, and then ultimately, inspiring me to dream up a nationwide tour that found me crisscrossing the country and speaking in front of audiences and facing my biggest fears and finally, inevitably, coming face to face with the end of my long-suffering relationship with the main character from the book, who I let break my heart far more times than I care to admit.
This little book also helped me cross my biggest career goal and dream off of my Vision Board: To hit the New York Times Bestseller list. Yes, against all odds and expectations…more than six months after it was released and LONG after I felt like the book had failed by not realizing its full potential…it spent three weeks on the list. Meaning, of course, that I had to completely redefine my definition of “failure” and also learn to dream a little bigger.
So now, as we reach the end of the year that saw the release of the book that changed my life so much (and hopefully changed a few of yours, as well)…I wanted to share a few of the most important lessons writing the book and reflecting on my life as a 30-something taught me. If your 20’s are for making great, big mistakes…your 30’s are for learning the great big lessons birthed from those mistakes. This is what writing my life story taught me. I urge all of you at some point in your life to sit down and write out your life story, no matter what age you are. Even if no one ever sees it but you. Seeing how the pieces of the puzzle of your life connect by writing it all down is a beautiful thing, a priceless thing.
So here they are. The top ten things I’ve learned in my 30’s (so far)…
10) When a door closes, knock on it a few times. But if it still doesn’t open, let it stay closed. In career, in love, in LIFE – when you see the period at the end of the sentence, don’t try and turn it into a comma. Know when something is over and move on.
9) It’s only in surrendering your biggest dreams to God that you make room for them to come true.
8) Grace gives people second chances. Wisdom doesn’t give them third, fourth, and fifth chances.
7) Failure is almost always the prelude to something bigger and better.
6) When God gives you a vision, when He lays something on your heart…see it through. Sometimes following Him looks really, really crazy to everyone else but when you step out on faith, He will never fail to meet you there.
5) It’s not always as easy as “When you’re ready for love, it will arrive” or “Stop looking and love will find you” or “Love yourself and love will follow!” Finding love can’t be dwindled down to a tired cliché that’s designed to make us feel like we’re not doing enough or that we have to earn love. Love can’t be earned. Two people coming together at the same time in the same place on the same page is nothing short of miraculous, and all miracles take time and prayer and faith and a dash of luck. Maybe you’re doing everything absolutely right, and the timing is just wrong.
4) Break-ups are life shake-ups that can lead to really, really amazing growth, change, and self-discovery…if you stay open to the lessons they came to teach.
3) Love is more black and white than we like to tell ourselves. Don’t allow anyone to keep you trapped in the “promise” of the gray area. The bottom line is: If they love you, TRULY love you, they’ll do whatever it takes to be with you. There won’t be excuses or doubts or fears or hesitation. Love is ACTION. Everything else is just words.
2) Your weaknesses make you stronger, even when you can’t see it at the time. They teach you grace. They give you a platform to inspire other people in their struggles. They give you empathy and patience and courage. They eliminate pride and ego and self-reliance. And most of all, they keep you dependent on God…the source of all strength.
1) There are many ways to get to “HAPPY.” Ways that don’t require a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, or a minivan. The purpose of life isn’t so much about living Happily Ever After as it is just LIVING: boldly, wildly, bravely, unapologetically. Your life is your life and your path is your path and it’s unique and colorful and beautiful and purposeful…whether you walk it alone or accompanied.
***If you haven’t yet read #NeverBeenToVegas, grab your copy at any bookstore or order it HERE!***
I love this so much I am going to print it and hang it in my house for reminders.
I’ve been enjoying your story. These are great lessons that I’m happy to use in my own life. Keep on being awesome! <3
Wow 🙂 thank u so much for this. It has really inspired me and made me see my life and my pain through a new pair of eyes. God bless you for your wonderful work. I will buy your books ASAP. Love Shaleen
Your words always amazing me, your blog inspires me. I just want to find my happiness and learn to love myself. I was married 15 years been single for 8 it’s a hard world, finding yourself can be so difficult and moving on especially with kids can be overwhelming. It’s good to know others are out there experiencing the pain, the happiness, the trials, the hopes, the fears, and the dreams. I’m going to hope and pray that eventually I find my happily ever after. In the meantime I’m going to try to just be happy in the now.
Thanks for sharing those things…it’s really blessed me. I’m living in Indonesia.How can I get that book?
[…] “Love is more black and white than we like to tell ourselves. Don’t allow anyone to keep you trapped in the ‘promise’ of the gray area. The bottom line is: If they love you, truly love you, they’ll do whatever it takes to be with you. There won’t be excuses or doubts or fears or hesitation. Love is action. Everything else is just words.” -Mandy Hale, “Ten Lessons I Learned From Writing My Life Story (or, Ten Lessons to Take Into the New Year)&… […]
These are all so beautiful,i especially love #5, MAYBE YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, AND THE TIMING IS JUST WRONG.
Mandy Hale, may God keep you for us and may His wisdom keep manifesting in you. Have a blessed new year.
Sounds like my life, really interested in reading the book.
I love them all .words to aspire too. cant wait for your great words of wisdom in 2015 .have a blessed New Year .Mandy girl.*ever wonder why I call you “MANDY GIRL” ??? look up “THAT GIRL” with Marlo Thomas .the president of St.Judes childrens hosp… back in the day ( the 60’s) lol she was the IT girl. single.beautiful,smart,independant.she did have her man “Donald” but she was a smart girl .you remind me of her .thats a great compliment:)
Iove this. I too got a knock on my heart to write about my journey through a tumultuous marriage that ended in divorce. It’s been a slow crawl as I write and deal with those moments and memories. Thank you for sharing your message and story as it has encouraged me to keep going. God bless you and your future endeavors.
YOU ARE TRULY AMAZING!!!!! My life has changed because of you. Keep doing the great work God has called you to. Blessings! :)))))
Number 10. I have been through so much pain not doing this.
Wao, I Love dis especially no2 and 4, so inspiring
I Love SingIe Woman.
This is my favourite…..
There are many ways to get to “HAPPY.” Ways that don’t require a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, or a minivan. The purpose of life isn’t so much about living Happily Ever After as it is just LIVING: boldly, wildly, bravely, unapologetically. Your life is your life and your path is your path and it’s unique and colorful and beautiful and purposeful…whether you walk it alone or accompanied.
Your story is so similar to mine and that I keep letting this jerk back into my life with his sweet talking lies and stories….. But 2015 is the new me that has already blocked him from all social media and my phone and I will not fall for his charm anymore…. I have printed off some of your quotes to remind myself daily that I deserve more……
Hey Mandy. You really are an inspiration to me. I have learned a lot from you books and I’m hoping for more to come. Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Love is action, everything else is just words 🙂 I love this! thank you for your beautiful words. Blessed and healthy 2015 Mandy.
The ten lessons gave me chills and made me want to cry – they’re so true. I’ve actually began writing my memoir a few months ago and have found it very cathartic. I agree, everyone should do it, it has a healing effect. I appreciate your wisdom, Mandy and have learned from it.
I do take exception to number three… I found myself crazy in love with a man who in the end turned out to be a sex addict. Even in recovery, his chances for relapse are 90%, the highest of all addictions. Staying with him at all cost no matter what because I love him? Without any fears? Not realistic.
I don’t see how #3 is in conflict with this…? I’m speaking from the woman’s perspective, so my point is, if a man wants to be with a woman, he will make it happen. So it doesn’t really go against what you’re talking about here. Obviously I would never encourage anyone to stay with someone “at all cost.” That’s not the point I was trying to make. Just wanted to clarify that.
I am attempting to write my life story though I seem to write when angry and it is all so disjointed. Thank you for being such an inspiration.
Very great points. Such great points that I started to cry. It’s hard stepping back taking a deep look at ones self.
Just reading this but so many of these pinched my heart. Thanks for sharing and have an amazing year!!!
Mandy, you are a true inspiration to many women including myself. You make me feel normal in a world that looks down on being single. I read Never been to Vegas over New Year’s and I’m thankful it’s how I chose to end my year. You’re a mentor & role model and I hope to meet you one day. I look forward to your next work and will follow your blog to keep me guided and focused. A sincere and heartfelt thank you from a huge fan. Stay awesome!!
Today I let go.. Closed the door, quit knocking myself out to wait for someone who was not worthy, I had been trying for a few months to close the door …questioned myself so many times… But with your help, daughter by design , and the. Fulltime girl, you young ladies inspired me to stand firm and beleive in myself.
My story is different from. Most here who follow you I married my high school sweetheart and was with him 21 years when he divorced me… I have been unmarried for 26 years… Have gone through times when I did not date for as many as 10 years… Have made mistakes along the way… But am still learning… today when I made the discovery that helped me to close this chapter… My first statement. Was GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. !!!!!
May God Bless you and keep writing, and sharing , WE the single ladies of this broken world need your encouragement!
#4 is my favorite…. It’s been my mantra for years and everyone thinks I’m somehow crazy. Thank you for showing me I’m not!! Love your blogs!!!
You truly inspire me Mandy! As short and simple as that you’ve made me see the light and hope behind dark experiences which I have had. Keep rocking Mandy! Visit the Philippines!:-)
How did/do you do this, Mandy? I have started and stopped (several times) trying to select, organize, and then attempting to publish over 500 pages of devotionals I have written over the years (well…admittedly I never got beyond the “select” and “organize” steps!). Folks, independent of one another, have on a handful of occasions encouraged me to publish, and I do believe that many of these devotionals were a direct result of communing with Jesus (that is, that they were an outpouring from the delicious time we spent together). BUT THIS TAKES TIME (and for me, not just the “leftover” time after a work day). Recently, I also, due to very interesting lessons I have been learning on this very challenging journey as an older, single woman – as well as speaking with and observing other single friends and their responses to different things – have wanted to perhaps write a book about that. But I just don’t have the uninterrupted time I feel I need to craft something like this (including research and looking into other books written by and about single women – particularly Christian single women). How were you able to do this? I really am interested to hear.
your such a blessing Mandy! your book inspires me so much especially during this time in my life. keep on writing and be an inspiration and a blessing to all. god bless and hope youll find your own happy ever after.
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