The Unpretentious Reader

Things I have (un)learned in the past decade {Turning 30}

Therapy is not of the devil

In fact, therapy can be good for you! It’s simple: too often do we seek professional medical help for physical ailments, but neglect that same help for our mental health. There’s a stigma about this, thanks to societal and/or religious norms, that seeing a therapist or taking prescribed medication for issues you can’t see with your eyes is somehow wrong or a failure. I’m here to tell you: it’s not.

My body is my own

One of the unfortunate side effects of being a pre-teen growing up in the purity culture / modesty culture frenzy is that a lot of those ideas, whether or not you agree with them now, have a tendency to embed themselves in your subconscious. Therapists call these core beliefs, and they are very hard to unlearn. But hey, creepy dude in the Wal-Mart who approached me while alone to tell me I’m “beautiful” – rather than be uncomfortably polite, I’m going to be rude to you now, because I didn’t ask for your opinion about my looks and even more important, I don’t care what you think.

Yes, your metabolism DOES slow down

Especially for those of us who have always struggled with our weight or always had slower metabolism or medical reasons why we can’t exercise or what-have-you. So do yourselves a favor, kids, and start eating right and exercising now. All in moderation, of course, but not creating those habits early is something I regret and am paying for now. My advice? If you’re physically able, find a type of exercise you enjoy. I loathe the gym – but I love being outside here in gorgeous Utah, so now I hike (and rock climb!). Same goes for cooking – if I don’t continuously find new recipes to try, I get bored and we order pizza instead.

It’s actually possible to get a job doing something you like

I majored in Business Administration in college, AKA the “I don’t know what to do with my life” degree. The only thing I’d been passionate about in high school was web design and writing. At the time, I wasn’t sure I was “smart enough” for a computer science or web design degree (thanks misogyny and general discouragement of women to go into STEM fields!). I also didn’t want to get an English degree just because I liked to write. All that to say, I had zero desire to start my own business or manage people. A business degree was easy but also bored me to tears.

Fast forward a decade, and here I am, in a communications position, writing for a living. It’s still a job, but it’s something I think I’m good at – something I enjoy. And one of my goals this year (that I’m woefully falling behind on) is to start coding again and rebuilding that skill set, so, yeah – I guess the point of this rambling paragraph is to not be discouraged if you get a degree you’re not thrilled about in college. You’re not pigeon-holed into doing that for the rest of your life!

I am very, very lucky to have the parents I do

We may not ALWAYS see eye-to-eye (ha!), but they love me more than I thought it was possible to love a person, they unwaveringly support me in all that I do, and they spoil me far more than I deserve. So many people don’t have good relationships with their parents (or don’t have parents, or have parents but they aren’t good people…the list goes on), and over the years I’ve just become more and more distinctly aware of how blessed I am to have them. They raised me to be an independent person with diverse interests, and I’m so very thankful for that.


  1. Brita

    Unlearning can be just as important as learning! Thanks for linking to my blog post.

    1. Emily (Post author)

      Totally agree! Thanks for writing that post. 🙂


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