Turning 30

Ryan Hatton
2 min readSep 28, 2022


Photo by Martin Reisch on Unsplash

Thirty feels like a slap in the face and a welcoming hug. An awkward age of becoming old and departing young. The point at which the sheer number of birthday candles can be considered an incendiary hazard. And while I don’t yet get the benefits of a senior discount, I am thankful and excited for this milestone and the new decade.

Reflecting on the past ten years, I can summarize most of it into one word: discovery.

In my early twenties, I was lost, passionate, and hungry. I was ready for new adventures. I began discovering myself and uncovering the things that truly excited me. My interest in art and storytelling led me to drawing, writing, photography, and filmmaking. I discovered my love for trail running, the outdoors, and the joy of reading. Ten years of lessons, missteps, success, and failure brought me to where I am today.

There were so many positives from my twenties. I met my soulmate, got married, built long-lasting friendships, became an uncle, ran ultramarathons, traveled to several countries, lived in Boston, and found a job where I can utilize a lot of my creative skills.

However, the past decade also had its challenges too. I lived a majority of it in financial stress, I lost friends, I was laid off during the pandemic, several close relatives had cancer, and there were disagreements with my family that pulled at relationships.

In no way do I have life figured out, but I’m realizing life’s highs and lows are equally important. Bad times give perspective, and good times give gratitude.

As I step into my thirties, I’m taking the following advice and lessons I’ve learned along the way — many of which I continue to improve upon in the upcoming years:

  1. Communication is key
  2. Spend money on experiences
  3. Don’t worry about what people are thinking
  4. Regularly talk/spend time with family
  5. College doesn’t guarantee success
  6. Regularly invest
  7. Stay present
  8. Consistently step out of the comfort zone
  9. Consistently take time to reset and realign
  10. Never skimp on recovery
  11. Never skimp on strength training
  12. Never skimp on good, healthy food
  13. Never skimp on sleep
  14. Ego is the enemy
  15. Comparison is a killer
  16. Don’t take things for granted
  17. Journal every day
  18. Say no
  19. It’s either a Hell Yeah or No
  20. Ask for help
  21. Failure is a part of the process
  22. Small progress every day
  23. Read everyday
  24. Approach life with love in your heart
  25. Stay curious
  26. Always question
  27. Don’t forget to have fun
  28. Smile

And before I end, I want to share a short excerpt from the Dr. Seuss classic, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish :

“Today is gone. Today was fun.

Tomorrow is another one.

Every day, from here to there,

funny things are everywhere.”

Here’s to another year around the sun!



Ryan Hatton

Artist, designer, and fan of running long distances. Always questioning and learning. Writing about anything of interest.