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I don't know about you, but in my 20's I crammed my time with partying, going out in heels that hurt my feet, and spent more time and money on hair than my 401-K. During the workdays, it felt like I was in a rush to succeed at living this "fabulous life" and had a deep desire to win. Mind you, what I was trying to win was completely ambiguous and I never really stopped to question whether my hurry was actually necessary. In the midst of trying to accomplish something, I never truly gave myself time to narrow-in on what success looked like. I worried more about what other people thought, even though "other people" was just as undefined as my idea of #winning.

Ann Landers famously wrote, "At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At 40, we don't care what they think of us. At 60, we discover they haven't been thinking of us at all." After going through the hard knocks of our youth, age arms us with the experience and the knowledge of our lessons learned to live life on our own terms. At Black Zen we believe the older we all get, the more fabulous we become. So, this week we decided to celebrate getting older and acknowledge how good it feels to be grown!

If you feel like you still have a lot of growing up to do or you're in your twenties and found the first paragraph all too familiar, read the Do's and Don'ts of Turning 30. Learn these lessons early to start your next decade off with a helpful roadmap on how to "do you." Our personal favorites in this article: 1. Once you're 30 "you're too old to play dumb" and 2. Thirty should be considered the "Cut the Bullsh-t and Go Be Awesome Stage." We couldn't agree more!

For those of us living in the midst of our 30's and 40's (because let's be honest, these decades don't feel all that different once you've passed the 35 mark), there's something about getting older that just makes you give less and less f*x about what other people have to say about your life. We've lived long enough to know what's good for us, or at the very least, have started to understand what doesn't work and then we move forward from there. This is usually right around the time when major shifts happen because we start aligning what we want the rest of our life to look like with what we're currently doing to achieve those results. A part of this simply comes with age, but much more of it has to do with confidence. The confidence to make choices that are true to who we are can have the greatest impact on how we experience our life - no matter what decade we're currently in.

In our 50's and 60's, according to a very wise source (hi mom!), we start to own our own life story. Meaning, we accept the things we cannot change and we recognize the choices we made along the way that got us to where we are - for better or for worse. Perhaps the most surprising discovery at this stage of life is that we're still in the process of creating our story. Given that the average age of life expectancy in the U.S. is now 81 for women and 76 for men, once we reach our 50's we still have (on average) another lifetime left to live!

And, if you've already reached your happy place by this point, then you give yourself the opportunity to kick up your feet and ride the rest of the wave out with ease and contentment. You may also desire to help the generation coming up behind you, and have a deeper pull to leave a legacy that reaches further than just yourself. It's important to keep thinking about the needs of others, as much we think about our own.
One of the biggest lessons learned in every decade is just how important self-awareness is to creating a life that is filled with decisions that accurately reflect who we are. Sitting in silence is one of the fastest ways to reach self-awareness and it gives us the opportunity to evaluate our inner lives, examine our thought processes, and ultimately, helps us gain a stronger sense of self so we can stop giving away our personal power to the opinions of others. When it comes to living our life, the only person's opinion to worry about is our own.