Life Lessons From a (ALMOST) 28 Year Old
I am writing this on the eve of my 28th birthday and I can't really say I'm excited but I'm very thankful. This 27th year earthside was one for the books in a variety of different ways. I can truly say that the overall phrase to sum it up was that "I loved and I lost".
Though transition usually brings about many unwanted feelings; it also brings opportunity for change. It sometimes forces fresh starts which unroot you and help you reimagine your new future. As I move into another year, I can't help but reflect on important life lessons that I've learned but also little pieces of grace I'm offering myself in this next year.
1) Love your parents.
My dad and I had existed within a fairly strained relationship for many moons. There had been a missing link that impeded our day-to-day functions with each other. Needless to say, I only was willing to admit the error in my ways when he had a stroke back in November. I vowed at the hospital to be a better daughter and to work on our relationship. I only had a little less than two weeks to be true to my word but I believe I did just that. Your parents or those who have taken the role of parent should be appreciated and just like we are getting older; they are as well.
2) Love yourself.
Sometimes one of the hardest things to do is to love yourself in the manner you deserve. This doesn't mean we have to do daily affirmations but it means knowing that your capacity to love others directly correlates with your love for yourself. Self-love comes in so many forms and could range from monthly salon visits to a hour of quiet time. It could also mean breaking free from destructive habits that you're subjected to.
3)Choose Your Friends Wisely.
The older I get, I realize how important it is to have wise counsel. My friends are amazing and really stepped up to the plate in what has been my toughest year. While I was busy celebrating my friends and their impact on my life; I realized that so many people don't even have one person to call on. It's essential to have people with similar values and are able to push you when you have nothing left to give.
4) Do More of What Makes You Happy.
I used to be extremely apologetic for saying no to things. So much so that I sometimes said yes to things that I knew would result in me being miserable. I'm not saying say no to everything you hate but sometimes your sanity is worth a no. Also, sometimes your sanity is worth a hell yes! You have to be willing to do what makes your heart smile and benefits your overall wholeness.
5) It's Okay Not to Be Okay.
I used to cringe at the idea of talking about my need for therapy. (Spoiler alert: I haven't been in a long time and I can tell the difference.) There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help and if anything, it's admirable. There is something to be said about a person who is one with each part of their being and knows when they aren't able to get it done on their own.
6) Don't Apologize for Changing.
I've been friends with some folks since I was in high school and we've all changed in so many ways. To be honest, I don't want to hang around people who are still doing the same things we were doing in 2008. How does this benefit them or anyone else? Older age brings more wisdom and hopefully changed beliefs and attitudes. I want to be around people who inspire me to be more and inspire me to make grand transformations. I also strive to be that person for others as well.
7) Embrace Life With No Limits.
I can't tell you how many times I've stopped a great idea before I really had a chance to simmer on it. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies when it comes to pursuing various passions and projects. All great things are the result of people going out on a limb regardless of who may have talked about the idea or decided to not support. You have to be your own biggest advocate and go after your dreams because your (best) life depends on it.
Great 8) Be Yourself
It's still a constant journey but as my mama always says, be true to you. There are countless people on this earth so why spend time trying to emulate others. Why spend time trying to wish away your big hair, wide nose, and (insert other random things you may not like)? As cliche as it sounds; you were made this way for a reason and the sooner you accept this then the sooner you can relax. One of the biggest choices you can make each day is to wake up and live out life exactly how God and the universe intended you to.