As my thirty-first birthday vastly approaches-July 28th for those of you who don’t know, I’m reflecting on the first thirty years of my life and the lessons I’ve learned. Of course, some, if not most, of those lessons were learned the hard way. What can I say? I’m a tad bit head-strong. However, I have been fortunate enough to receive golden nuggets of wisdom at the right times in my life. I wanted to share these lessons with you with hope they may help you, encourage you or to simply let you know you’re not alone in this thing called life.
So, let’s get started, shall we?
1. “If you don’t have a husband, 2.5 kids with a white picket fence by 30, it’s not the end of the world.”
If you’re a man, you probably won’t understand how valuable this is to a single woman at the age 25. Society, for whatever reason, has placed a higher importance for us to be married with children before the age of thirty. So, hearing this earlier on was a complete gem and a reminder that everything happens in due time. With that said, I do not hear my biological clock ticking! I’m too busy blasting my playlist of E. Badu, Cardi B and Jay-Z and finding my happiness as a single woman.
2. “You will not always get the apology you deserve.”
Listen, this will hurt. And depending on who it is and what occurred, it can be devastating. But it leads to my next lesson.
3. “Accept the apology you were never given.”
Acceptance makes room for change in your life; forgive and grow.
4. “It’s OK to be selfish with your time; it’s the essence of self-care.”
Although self-explanatory, I have to say that you must protect your space and energy like your life depends on it. Because it does. Energy vampires will drain you if allowed and without apology.
5. “Twerk sessions are a must!”
Music does wonders for the soul. Especially, when you hear “Cash Money taken over for the 9-9…”
6. “When dating: know the difference between someone who is selfish and someone who is self-aware.”
The person who is self-aware will always act in accordance to their words. The selfish person will blur the lines with their actions. Make sure your vision is 20/20.
7. “Crucial conversations are vital to maintain healthy relationships. Especially, with people you care for the most.”
The trend today is to throw people away without communicating first. Don’t’ follow the trend.
8. “It’s ok to be vulnerable; it shows your strength.”
There are too many broken little boys AND girls in adult bodies who are unable to deal with their emotions in a healthy way for you to be included in the mix.
9. “Tiffany + Hennessy = oil and water.”
Sigh. Just take my word.
10. “When it comes to rules, break the ones you can live with.”
These make the best stories. Where’s the lie?
11. “Love yourself fiercely and boldly.”
Because no one will be able to do it quite like you. Others will try, but if you don’t love yourself first, their love will never be good enough. And when you do, you’ll know whose love doesn’t add up.
12. "The gut never lies."
This one has a few names: intuition, vibes, energy, spirit. There are times when you don’t want to believe that nagging feeling, like “no, they didn’t do that” and your intuition promptly responds: “Yes sis, they did”. Whichever name you chose to call it, trust it.
13. “Have the audacity to believe in yourself.”
Again, no one will do this better than YOU. Self-doubt will surely come because we’re human. It happens. But your faith should be stronger and affirmations louder than any self-doubt that creeps into your mind.
Each experience has left an imprint that will forever be responsible for shaping me into the woman I am and the woman I’m becoming is grateful for the foundation. I wouldn’t change a thing. I recognize situations and people for who they are a lot quicker than before but that doesn’t make me immune to making mistakes. It’s the bounce back I’m more focused on; how can I effectively deal with what’s happening without losing myself in the process? Making sure to learn something along the way.
So, here’s to turning 31. May past experiences usher in new possibilities with an abundance prosperity and wisdom.
What are your most valuable lessons learned?