Year twenty five has definitely been an interesting one so far. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m an old soul or if it’s because I had my mid life crisis a little earlier than most (my Jordan year was crazy), but I feel like I am my most confident self yet. Aren’t I supposed to feel this at thirty? If I am feeling myself now, I know it will only get better from here. Life hasn’t happened the way I was told it would by the time I hit this milestone. You know, the straight and narrow path everyone is encouraged to take. Go to college, graduate, immediately land your dream job, get married, buy a nice car and house, have a bunch of kids and live happily ever after, in that order. Ha! Yeah right. Now I know some of you reading this may have had some of these life events happen to you by the time you hit the big 2-5, but this definitely wasn’t in my script. However, that gray area after college whipped my ass into shape and taught me some important lessons. Here are four major things I’ve learned by 25:
Embrace “Me Time”
To those that know me, I come off as a social butterfly or the “Queen of Turn Up”. However, believe it or not, I actually love being by myself. Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned how to be comfortable being alone. Especially being in such a big city, it’s a beautiful thing to sit and hear your own thoughts, observe those sequestered emotions, tap into your intuition and really learn about yourself. No phone, no interruptions. Just you and your thoughts. “Me time” is also a moment to simply relax and practice self care. Winding down with candles, pampering my skin with Amyang’s Zen in a Jar, setting a nail appointment or just writing, are some ways I enjoy spending time with myself. Tapping into my inner goddess through meditation is something that I always look forward to. Carving out time for yourself is vital for your health and sanity.
Finding Comfort in my Skin
“Damn! I feel like a woman.” Now I know what Shania was talking about. To bounce off my first point, “me time” has made me more comfortable and confident in myself. Carefully crafting the person I am on the inside and striving to be happy has allowed my inner beauty to radiate. I love every inch of the caramel African queen I see staring back at me in the mirror. Sometimes I’m like “damn girl! Don’t hurt em!” Although society makes a woman feel somewhat guilty for being so self assured, I say to hell with them and don’t see this as vanity but simply love for myself. I know there is still a lot of room for growth on my journey through womanhood, but I am happy about the firm foundation I have at this very moment. I’ve embraced, owned and know the strength of my feminine power and Black Girl Magic.
Fear and Faith Can Coexist
Over the last two years, fear and I have had a few bouts in the ring. I’ve come out the winner, leaving the fight with a fearless attitude. Stepping out on faith, I kicked fear aside and moved to the Big Apple not knowing a soul but determined to live out my dream. New York has a way of testing your faith and instilling fear in you. There have been times where I have had to choose one over the other in order to move in the right direction. At the same time, I have actually come to embrace the emotion in some instances. I know it sounds crazy, but fear has a way of provoking you and exposing that extra source of strength buried deep inside that you’ve never tapped into. It’s just a matter of whether or not you allow fear to hinder you or make you stronger. Something I live by is if what you are pursuing doesn’t make you even slightly afraid, then that’s not what you need in your life. Comfort leads to complacency which leads to stunted growth which in the end, makes life hella boring. As cliche as it sounds, life is best lived on the edge. The lesson of the day, fear can push you to take that leap of faith.
Know Your Worth
Drake said it best, “Know yourself, know your worth”. The benefit of discovering and accepting who you are is understanding why you are worthy. When you firmly grasp this concept of worth and who you are, you don’t allow yourself to settle for less than you deserve. You are able to prove why you’re valuable and command respect. You can walk away from certain people and or situations that don’t benefit you. To some that know me, I’m called a “guillotine” because I quickly cut off people and things that are of no use to me. As harsh as it may sound, it’s actually become a very essential trait. I’m aware of who and what I will or will not tolerate in my sacred space.
As a woman, knowing your worth is very important or else the people around you and the media will define it for you, and trust me you won’t like it. It’s up to you to set the expectation and tell people how to treat you. If you don’t think and treat yourself as if you are worthy of the best, then people won’t respect you, leading them to treat you any way they feel like. Set the expectation high! This is by far the biggest and best lesson I’ve learned. If finding your confidence and worth is something you struggle with or sometimes life makes you forget why you are special remember this: You are a divine, powerful, intelligent goddess full of grace, beauty and love who is worthy of the absolute best that life has to offer.
Twenty five is already teaching me some great lessons and I can’t wait to experience what is in store for me this year. In a weird way, I feel like life is just beginning.