Things I Wish I Knew In My Twenties (and Things I’ve Learned in My Thirties)

outfit update cargo vest

As a mom and business owner in my mid thirties, I love reflecting on my twenties. Here’s a list of what I wish I knew in my twenties, and some things I’ve learned in my thirties.


Someone asked recently in a question box if I could share some things I’ve learned in my thirties that I wish I’d know in my twenties.

For me my 20’s were focused on my marriage, kids and growing my business. Now that I’ve been doing all of those for more than a decade, and I’m no longer a newbie at any of them, I love reflecting back on that time and thinking of what I would have told myself. Here are things I wish I knew in my 20’s, from marriage, to motherhood to business to fashion!

Speaking of updating fashion…I do a series on Instagram called “Merrick Updates Outfits” where I take decade old blog outfits and update them to make them more modern and more my style. Today’s is a doozy, with an awful outfit from 2013.

I’ve got a whole bunch of these on Instagram if you want to check them out.

But let’s get on to the other things I’ve learned, besides a better sense of fashion, as I’ve been in my thirties.


outfit details above:

J.CREW FACTORY VEST | QUINCE SWEATER (wearing size small) | AERIE STRIPED TEE (almost sold out, similar HERE) | ABLE JEANS (almost sold out, similar HERE) | OLD MADEWELL LEOPARD SNEAKERS (similar HERE and HERE



Things I Wish I Knew In My 20’s

Investing in yourself pays off. This has been a great lesson for me, that I think just comes with age. In my twenties, I was new to working at a job, being a mom, being a full fledged adult, and I didn’t really even know how to invest in myself. But now that I’m a decade and more into all of these things, I’ve learned that putting in the time for something I love really does pay off. It’s been so fun to be a parent to older children instead of babies, and see the results of a decade of owning a business.

Don’t worry what other people are doing. Sheesh, I’ve always been so aware of what others are doing, and comparing myself to them. It’s hard not to! But learning to be confident in my choices because it’s what I want to do and what I love has been SO FREEING and SO EMPOWERING.

Confidence will come with age – don’t stress about it. This goes right along with the item above…I’m so much more confident as a mid thirties women than I ever was as a twenties women. I wanted the confidence, but didn’t even know where to start. Thankfully, it just came with age!

Consistency over perfection. Whew, this is a good one. I work out six days a week ALMOST every week. But if I miss a day or two here or there, I’m still being consistent, even if I’m not perfect. I post on instagram and my blog every day ALMOST every week, but I miss a few days here or there. It’s about consistency, not perfection ALWAYS.

Being the smartest doesn’t matter. Effort makes up the difference. I always felt like I wasn’t the smartest when I was younger. I’m not great at math, and things take me a longer time to learn and understand. But just because I’m not the most book smart doesn’t mean I’m not smart. I put in a lot of effort to learn the things that matter to me and my business and that effort is worth it and makes up for any natural book smarts.

Happiness is a choice. This is basically my life motto. Happiness is a CHOICE no matter our circumstances. We’ve had some tumultuous times over the last few decades, but I’ve chosen to be happy as much as I can and that has led to a really happy life.

Setting goals is worth the effort and sends you in the right direction. My dad is VERY goal oriented, and I grew up setting goals and working on them all the time. It felt a little tedious as a young adult sometimes, but as a mid thirties woman, I’ve realized how much goals play in to my life everyday and how setting those big and small goals make my life go in the direction I want!

Every stage of motherhood is fun. As my twenties came to a close and we had all three of our children, I was really worried about leaving the baby stage. I didn’t know how to be an “older kid mom,” and I was afraid I wouldn’t like it as much. Turns out, I love it so so much. Like, so much.

Don’t take yourself so seriously. I wanted SO BADLY to be a mature woman when I was in my early twenties, and I just took myself so seriously. It has been so much better to let my hair down a bit as I get older, laugh things off, and just have fun. I had plenty of fun as a twenties woman too, but I definitely was a little more uptight about things that I didn’t have to be.

Abundance mindset is life changing. It took me til my mid thirties to develop an abundance mindset, and since I have, it’s been so freeing. There’s enough pie for EVERYONE, and there are always ways to make more money, do more things, and live more life. There’s always enough to go around! It has completely changed the “competition” mindset that I had for so many years.

“Plan B” or “C” or “D” is often better than “Plan A”. My parents always said this as I was growing up, but I didn’t really fully understand it til I was in my thirties, when I was really making lots of of big decisions, and seeing how the things that didn’t work out actually did work out in our favor.

Take time to pay reflect and notice God’s hand in your life. I’ve been really mindful of this as my kids get older, helping them to see God in their lives. It’s harder to recognize in the moment usually, but as we’ve moved several times and had hardships, it’s been amazing to talk through them as a family after the fact and see where God was leading us and teaching us through the process. It’s been a great way for my kids and me to grow closer to God!


I’d love to know what you’ve learned in your older years that has changed your life!




  1. Libby says:

    Love it! my senior is applying to colleges right now. i’m trying to get her to see that whereever she ends up is god’s plan. she may be there for a year or for four, but that is where she’s meant to be. she needs to use it as a learning experience and add it to her story.

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