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Archive for the tag “loving yourself”

I’m Ready for Change, When I Change My Lip Color

I think that there is an emotional tie to our lip color, the same way we feel about a signature fragrance we may wear or even a signature hairstyle.

These things can help distinguish us from everyone else in the world, the slightest change in any of these physical things, people will notice. I think it’s fitting that we are moving into the fall season. I’m about 10 pounds lighter (13 on a really good day) and I’m loving the way some of my clothes are fitting in a more flattering way, and the way some of my clothes aren’t quite fitting me anymore, because they’re loose! What an awesome “problem” to have!

But anyway, as I think of sliding my fine ass into some new sweater dresses and knee-high boots, to welcome the fall my thoughts turned to a new lip color.

Now I have some favorites that I just can’t live with out. Totally toffee and crazy for coffee (work), red velvet (sassy night on the town) and there’s another color I like when I’m feeling edgy and vampy that has a deep purple tint to it. But, I kind of want to introduce something new into the mix.

Changing a lip color isn’t something I do lightly. After all, finding the right shade of anything that compliments my skin color and makes me feel good is hard work. So when I change up, I really take my time and I think about it.

Is this for everyday? Is this for special occasions when I want to turn it up a notch and shut it down.

I have big lips, and a bright gap-toothed smile, so people notice my mouth. It may be one of the first things they notice (I think one of those online quizzes said so). Anyway, I do give new lip color more thought than most, maybe because I’m not a big makeup girl to begin with. But my lips, I will put effort into those.

A lip story that I cannot forget is when I was out shopping with my ex. I tried a bright red lipstick and he hated it. Told me I should never wear red lipstick. It just doesn’t work for me. Stick to the soft browns and neutrals.

Shortly after we broke up, one of the first things I went and did was try three different kinds of red lipstick, til I found my favorite, lol. Now, red ain’t red, and everyone can’t wear the same kind of red, so maybe the one I tried that day wasn’t really flattering, but I’m glad I didn’t give up. When I found the right one, it was symbolic to me. It said, he may have hated it, but he ain’t here now, is he? Do what you like to do, be who you want to be and if there’s a day or a week you want to be bolder than usual, be that, because that’s a part of who you are too.

Now, I know some people who actually rock, blues, oranges and greens. There are even some pinks that make me look crazy, but I will be patient. I’ll test some out and hopefully for fall, I’ll have a new favorite to represent some of the new changes I’ve been experiencing.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Yes, Brown, Thick People Like Themselves

I recently read an article by Refinery 29, where the author oohed and ahhed about one of my favorite comedians, Mindy Kaling and how she rocked a stunning green crop top ensemble. Is this really news? Yes, it is. Because Mindy Kaling is brown girl who is thick. She is not a size zero or two. She went on about how inspiring Mindy was for “effortlessly translating the trend.”

If you want to talk about effortlessly translating trends, I’d like you to meet the Rosetta Stone of plus-size fashion. I had to let out a laugh, because I instantly thought of the super fabulous blogger gabifresh who boldly rocked a crop top in some of her amazing photos and how she “been done that” numerous times.

Mindy Kaling wows em. Everett Collection Rex USA/Via Refinery29.com

Mindy Kaling wows em. Everett Collection Rex USA/Via Refinery29.com

Folks treat thick women like folks with disabilities sometimes and give the same condescending bs for doing everyday things like living. God forbid “others” love themselves. It’s one thing to be among similar people and praise one another for their differences, but to be out in the open and say you love yourself or you love your body and you don’t look like Beyonce or J. Low or J. Law, folks who fit into society’s blueprint of beauty and the arbiters of fashion are going to give you that slow clap that eventually speeds up because of your “courage.”

Get all the *ucks outta here with that.

I will give Gina Marinelli of Refinery 29 some credit. She tried her darndest to make her article not sound like a prom queen write in project because everyone assumes for someone like who looks different or is considered an outcast, this will be the best moment in their lives. So she used very careful language while giving Mindy praise.

Let’s put this out there right away: We’d never assume that the star of The Mindy Project can’t, in any way, wear whatever she pleases. And, she’s not the kind of lady who succumbs to those kind of notions either. No, Kaling is not a size 2 or 0 or whatever the “typical” size that may be associated with many young, female members of Hollywood.”

She did her research and already knew from an article from Parade, Mindy is not here for rosy platitudes.

From the Parade Magazine article: “I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”

So here we go. Mindy is brown and thick, and has already been retweeted and quoted and misquoted about fifty-eleben million times about being tired of condescending questions about her confidence despite being brown and thick. Folks have made memes with this quote and the beat goes on.

I liked this gem too from the Parade article: “There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me, and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them. But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art.”

So I dig Mindy for a million reasons. This chick really started from the bottom, and while yall were sleeping, she was writing and directing episodes of “The Office” while yall thought she was simply the dilly Kelly Kapour. Mindy is acutely aware of her place and space in the world, she is unapologetic and she knows what her presence on television and in the writers room means for those who follow behind her. But like most successful women of color, we simply want to get to work and be recognized for being really great at what we do. We don’t want people telling us, “No, I don’t see color.” Because then you don’t see part of who we are, but we also don’t want people treating us or telling us we are beautiful or intelligent DESPITE our color or our weight, or because we come from a certain side of town.

But what bothered me most about the article wasn’t the article itself, but the comments. Folks were bashing Mindy like you wouldn’t believe. Some folks who from their avis looked overweight themselves. Harsh, harsh comments.

The same goes for Gabourey Sidibe.

Gabourey Sidibe via Wikipedia

Gabourey Sidibe via Wikipedia

Seems like folks get extra offended that this young woman has self-esteem. GASP. For shame. She is having the time of her life and a successful career well after the movie “Precious.” There were people who said that was the only role she could play because of her size, and her deep, dark color. It’s amazing really.

People can embrace Beyoncé for loving who she is as a mother and businesswoman and wife and she can dance around butt naked if she wants to. And even Beyoncé sang that “Pretty Hurts.” And that at the end of the day, you have to ask “are you happy with yourself?” Clearly, Gabby and Mindy are and they are making money even while they are sleeping at night while the rest of us walk around self-conscious and trying to make folks that don’t matter feel more comfortable around us. Pulese.

So because Gabourey Sidibe doesn’t lock herself in the house wearing a moo-moo, eating cartons of Haagen Daz everyday, wishing to be something other than herself, folks are actually offended and mad that she openly loves herself, isn’t looking for Weight Watchers endorsements or signing up to be on the next cycle of the Biggest Loser.

Folks take offense that Mindy is speaking the truth and rocking awesome clothes and having regular women take the time to make friends with tailors and seamstresses again.

In a society full of vain people, it’s awfully short-sighted to be discriminatory in terms of who can be allowed to openly love themselves, or their bodies or their scars or the color of their skin if they DON’T fit into the mainstream image of beauty.

Folks talk about self-confidence and self-love but as a society we sure don’t make it easy on folks who don’t appear to be the obvious poster children for it. Instead, we pile on the “others” hoping to stamp it out of them to make them shrink back into the margins.

But guess what? That’s not even about to happen. Because for folks who have to make the extra effort to smile, and to be proud of who they are inside and out, it’s not even about beauty anymore, it’s about personal integrity and it’s about survival. And that’s the safest place to be. Shallow folks will never have enough strength to reach that deep to destroy it.

So Blessed

“Woke up this morning feeling fresh to death, I’m so blessed, yes, yes.” -Jill Scott

I’m in a really good mood today. The sun is shining, I have on what I call my Michelle Obama blue dress, that reminds me of something vintage. My hair is curly and shiny (a little upset about the shrinkage, but oh well). I’m wearing my favorite heels.

My car runs, I’ve paid all my bills for the month with a little left over. I have a job to go to. A job I’ve been at for 7 years. I’ve been able to grow and learn and work with really great people. I can work from home once a week. People trust my judgement and they know I’m smart. That’s a huge blessing. Even somedays when I feel ungrateful, I still know I’m in a position that many wish they had.

I’m going to lunch with one of my favorite co-workers today for Restaurant Week.

I found swimsuits on sale at Macy’s that allow me to feel good about my body while on my trip to Curacao in a few weeks.

A pair of shorts I really wanted finally went on sale. It was the only pair left, in my size and I got to use a $10 off coupon to reduce the price even more.

Oh, and I’m going to Curacao. I’ve never been there. I’ve been watching videos and pinning photos from pinterest. My excitement is increasing. I haven’t gone on a vacation like that since, hmmm 2008, I think. Cabo San Lucas. I’m thrilled. And like before, my homegirl had to push and peer pressure and I finally took the days off and made arrangements to go.

I feel so good today.

I have an apartment that reflects how ecclectic I am and it’s homey and comfortable and filled with things I enjoy.

I’m becoming a better cook everyday. I can feel it. I just made some simple drumsticks last night and it made me super happy. Old Bay on baked chicken is my new secret weapon!

I’m blessed.

I have wonderful friends and family and people who love and support me. My friends and my family are loving people, they are smart and even when I’m feeling jerky, or distant, they still reach out to me they still care and I know they do. They make me smile and they make me laugh.

I’m proud of them when they accomplish something that’s important to them and I rejoice with them. I’m glad when they try something new and escape their comfort zone.

I want to find a great book to read, that tends to make me happy and make me feel smarter.

When I was pumping my gas, I thought to myself about an article that said women will be their most prettiest and sexiest in their 30s. 31, to be exact. Ding, ding, ding.   I thought, wow, I’m not going to be this physically awesome with such great skin and hair and strength, so enjoy this girl! And I held my head higher. I totally felt better. It almost seems fitting I’ll be celebrating a dear friend’s 31st birthday with her in gorgeous Curacao. I’ve been 31 for several months now, but what a great year, to go on such a great trip.

So when I shared with un-Common this morning how wonderful I felt, he told me to make the day count. And I will.

I encourage you all today to just count your blessings one by one, even if it’s being able to have a cup of green tea in the peace and quiet of your home when you got up this morning.  Sit with those blessings for a minute and think about how fortunate you are. It will be an instant pick-me-up! I am simply blessed even by you visiting my blog. Thank you!

Jill Scott “So Blessed”

A Tale of Two Photos

The formal season is in high gear in the D.C. area and it’s just about to heat up with the second inauguration of President Barack Obama is just around the corner.

Get your tickets while they are still around $100, because you are about to pay way out the butt if you wait any longer.

Anyway, the point of this post is to address something that was really bothering me.

In one week, I’ve been to two formal events and I posted a few quick pictures on Facebook to show off my fabulousness.

Well, in the first photo, from New Year’s eve, where my hair is slicked down and I’m wearing  an exaggerated bun, I got so many positive responses from all sorts of people.

It made me feel really great about myself.

Then, I posted a couple of pics with my hair in it’s kinky, curly state with a fab dress and great make up, and only a small handful of people responded with the lovely compliments and with such enthusiasm.

It hurt.

I had purposely posted the pics from this second formal to see people’s reactions to the “natural” hair style would be similar to the previous formal. I had a feeling folks wouldn’t be as into it, but I posted it in hopes that I would be wrong.

I wasn’t.

It upset me that people weren’t seeing what I had started seeing in myself. I really liked my hair that night, I really thought that I looked pretty. I thought I looked awesome in both photos. Soooo…

Why wasn’t everyone else jumping on board?

I was really bothered.

I talked to a friend about it and she reminded me that my going natural was still fairly new and so even after two more trips home, my family and friends were finally getting used to it, so expecting people on Facebook who never see me to accept it too, is a stretch. I didn’t think about it that way, but it still upset me. Like what is it about hair? What is it?

I mean, according to public opinion, it seems I am more attractive with less, big, poufy hair. Even when I’ve posted other photos with my new hair, I’ve been getting crickets in terms of responses.

I’m tempted to do a study or something where women wear wigs and weaves, post pics on Facebook, then the same women take off the wigs and weaves and wear their natural hair.

I’ve been wondering if I’ve been subliminally telling myself that natural hair is gorgeous because I’ve been watching videos like mad, and looking at pinterest, and I’ve been seeing women wear their hair all kinds of ways and I just think they are so beautiful.

So is it me? Am I crazy? Am I delusional? I think I look great. I’m proud of myself for accepting my new hair and seeing the beauty in it. Do I really have to wait for folks to catch up and see it too?

On Office Rumors And Relationship Closure

I am emotionally drained today.

Yesterday, after the immature text war I had with my ex, I was approached by a co-worker who is always talking about the imminent shake up of our company. Today she heard one of our top-level execs in another state was clearing out his desk.

No email that he’s no longer with us. No other facts, that’s all she had.

It set off a firestorm of hysteria. I was already reeling from just being sick and tired of being at an emotional stalemate about my past relationship and wanting to just end it and walk away for good. No being a supportive friend who wants to hear quarterly updates, no Facebook, just free and clear. So this information about the job did not improve my mood.

I instantly thought of a top 10 list that Forbes put out about signs that your company is going to go through a massive shake up. One of those rules mentioned top dogs, resigning, getting fired, or seeing them clean up their LinkedIn profiles. So I went into full panic mode.

Shit was going to go down.

Welp, let’s get to this morning. It was a false alarm. He was indeed cleaning out his desk, but ridding it of several magazines he has no doubt collected over time. No resignation, no firing.

Ridiculous. So I’m irritated. If I don’t hear anything from the boss or see a company wide email I’m not entertaining any more end of the job world talk. I’m through. I’m going to keep applying for other jobs, so I can get the hell out before things get worse. That’s it.

Boom.

As for “Relationship Closure” another thing I promised in today’s headline, I’m going to try to make this brief.

My ex wants to hang on to his pain, and my pain and punish himself forever.

I told him I forgave him a long time ago, and him inflicting emotional pain on himself will never settle the score or make us even, it’s only going to make him have a horrible life.

We both have to move forward. I still love him, but going on two years just in limbo, or having him tell me every three months that he loves me and he can’t get his shit together is not helping me.

I’ve grown from this and I’m not willing to just roll up and die anymore because I’ve been hurt.

He says it’s easier for me to move on because I wasn’t the one who inflicted the pain.

I asked him if he learned anything at all, and he asked how can he learn and grow from hurting someone so badly?

I told him if anything, the lesson should be that if you ever get the chance to love, you will do everything in your power not to hurt someone so badly, you’ll fight for what you want, you’ll appreciate what you have, and you will have faith to try and get up even if you fail.

I told him I didn’t know the person I was talking to. I was crying that it killed me that he couldn’t see the good in him that I could still see, even after all he put me through. But I can’t make him see it, I can’t make him forgive himself, I can’t make him believe in himself, I can’t make him trust himself and trust God.

And that’s when I knew. The gulf between us had grown into a black hole.

Any man who loves me has to completely love and know himself first, so that when he is with me there isn’t any doubt, there isn’t any fear, the thought of failure in loving me will not exist because if he’s loving me to the best of his ability every day, he isn’t failing. He can’t.

That man has to know that.

I can’t squander my love and my sanity and my mental and physical health on someone like that. And it hurts me right now.

Believe it or not, I want him to succeed and be happy and healthy.

He said “it wouldn’t make you feel better if things were the complete opposite and I was totally happy after all of this.”

I said, “Dude, I love you so much and yes I have pride and ego. The greatest extent of bad I would want to happen to you is to have a flat tire every month for two years. And there, that’s real.”

“But in terms of you having all of this anguish off of hurting me, you not growing, you not learning, you making yourself a martyr, that doesn’t please me. That doesn’t make me feel better. You have to heal. That’s what real love is, that’s what deep love is, that’s what it is to love someone on the level I love you. It’s sick to want you to carry on like this for the rest of your life.”

“I’m a fucked up person, that’s the real me,” he said.

“Baby, I’m not ready to let the pain of you and me kill me. I’m not ready to die. I want to live. I have to live. I can’t have you have this hold on me. I can’t go into another year feeling like I can’t really dig into new relationships because I’m hanging on to you, or worried about you and what’s going to happen to you because you are talking the way you are talking. You have to get help, you have to talk to somebody.

You don’t have to feel like you have no purpose. Even if you have to pick one thing to thank God for everyday when you get up, start there. But you got to want more for yourself. You got to want to do better.”

He replied he doesn’t want anything. That he is no good to anyone.

I didn’t know what else to say. I cried and begged him to get it together, not for me but for himself. To dig deep and heal his wounds from us, from his past, from his family, because the road he is on is dark and horrible.

I cannot join him any longer. Even though we haven’t been together for going on almost two years, I was still with him on this path.

This is really the end for me.

I’ve come too far and I see it. I can’t look back. I can’t wait for the fantasy I once had. I don’t want to say that it’s a hopeless situation. God can turn anything around. But what can you do with a person who does not want to save themselves?

I see him drowning. But I told him as much as I love him, I can’t put myself out there for him again or say we can start over. I can’t put myself out there to save someone who is so far gone. I barely survived the last time.

Still crying, my last words were, “I’ve got to hang up now. Goodbye.”

Keep Calm and Stay Busy

A humorous take on the popular “Keep Calm and Carry On” slogan. Photo courtesy of youwerespring.tumblr.com

I see all sorts of signs and shirts and bookmarks that have a variation of that slogan, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

Interestingly enough, it’s a British slogan from propaganda posters during the beginning of World War II. According to Wikipedia (I cringe at using them as a source, being a journalist, it’s a no-no) the phrase was thrust back into the lexicon and suddenly made a resurgence into popular culture after some woman unearthed some of the old posters from her father’s belongings and was featured on Antique Roadshow.

History lesson aside, it’s been everywhere and people have even made up their own funny versions too (there’s a tumblr page devoted to this).  It seems like this slogan is the recycled, classier version from our British cousins of “Keep on Truckin” a popular U. S. phrase from the 70s.

I’d like to add one to the list. Someone else probably already thought of it, because, it’s really simple.

“Keep Calm and Stay Busy.”

I have a friend who is a master at this. She volunteers, she likes to travel and visit her family and friends. The girl hardly sits still. She’s active in civic organizations; she’s just a busy little bee. She finds things to do, she finds me things to do and she lives hundreds of miles away!

I have noticed, that even when I pack my schedule, or I have a specific place to be at a specific time, I’m happier.

I’m happier because I feel like I’ve done something, that I didn’t waste time or brain cells.

I move more quickly and with purpose, I don’t hit the snooze button (as much). I’ve already thought of what I’m going to wear, and I’ll have it ready.

I’m more organized. Because, if you have a lot to do and places to be, you have to be more organized in order to do it all.

It’s perfectly fine to have lazy days to decompress from all the action. But it’s more fulfilling to fill your time with things that are important to you, your health, your spirit and your fun. By the time you take care of all of these areas, you will have a full schedule and a happier heart, indeed.

Your health: Having a scheduled workout at the same time, even twice a week makes a difference. I know people who schedule their daily workouts and they say they are at the point they feel like crap when they don’t work out. Their body notices it. I think I’m on week seven now of zumba twice a week for one hour. I may even start going to three classes, because I really like how I feel and today, I’m wearing a pair of pants that used to cut off my circulation. Those pants may still leave an indentation around my waist, but I can breathe, thank you.

Your spirit: If you are religious, having that set time you go to church to practice your faith can contribute to keeping your spirit busy.  Outside of worshiping with others, it’s good to sit down alone and meditate or pray privately. In addition to that, doing community work, or helping others also feeds your spirit if religion is not your thing. As I’ve found and my super active friend often tells me, once you volunteer to do things and you organize and do it well, somehow more people find you and ask you to help them too.

I’ve decided that I’m going to join the National Alliance on Mental Illness, volunteer from time to time and be an advocate for my mom and families who want to support the people they love. The outpouring of support from yesterday’s blog post, especially from fellow blogger, suestopford of The Happily Single Chick, really gave me the push I needed to do make this decision.

Also aiding in the efforts to stay busy for my spirit is the tee-shirt line I plan to launch at the end of this year or early next year. I’m planning an amazing photo shoot and I can’t wait to start working on content for the website. The whole vision is extremely exciting and I think it will really empower women, which really sends my spirit into a happy frenzy.

I’m going to an all day conference on leadership Saturday at Columbia University. It wasn’t so much about my job or my business, but it was about me getting more tools, and meeting new people even if that means getting on a bus early in the morning to go to NY from the DC area. Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and go the extra mile to do things you know are good for you and will help you grow. I could possibly meet an investor or a potential client who can take me to the next level or even just make a new friend at this event. I can’t take that for granted.

Your fun: All three of these things are crucial and I think all three can overlap, honestly when you come from a place of sincerity in all that you are doing. You gotta have fun. You gotta do things that you enjoy. Thanks to living social, goldstar, and meetup, I’m just trying things. I’m going to new restaurants and seeing shows and checking out concerts. Taking a class, whatever, opportunities are all over the place. I’ve even convinced my friends to go to a fancy high tea one day soon (never done it and there’s a historical mansion literally down the street from me that does one monthly!).

These things make me really happy and you have to make time and the investment to do them. I love spending time with my family and friends and it just makes me feel really good.

With that, despite my challenges and emotional things I deal with from time to time, I’ve got to take a page from my uber busy friend’s book and “Keep Calm and Stay Busy.”

Staying In the Yellow

There’s a marvelous song by India.Arie simply titled, “Yellow.”

I was first drawn to this song when I was in a relationship, and it resonated with me even more when I got engaged.

In the song, she refers to different colors that represents the ups and downs of relationships: making her see red, being green with envy. Together,  she and her love are royal and purple.

Over and over in the chorus, she asks that they stay in the yellow.

I interpret staying in the yellow as, maintaining balance in love and life. Returning to center, even when you are shaken temporarily. Coming back to home base.

That was the hope and prayer for my future marriage. That despite the ups and downs, as long as we got back to yellow and kept coming back to yellow, we’d make it.

It didn’t work out.

I see certain things coming together in my life. I’m appreciative of the real friendships and I’m appreciative of the understanding that comes with letting folks go.

I’m thankful for this renewal of creative energy that’s been happening over the last several months and a surge of passion for myself and for my life and the things that mean something to me.

I’m single now, but the song takes on a new meaning.

I want to stay in the yellow.

I don’t need things to be perfect. That would be unrealistic and scary.

But I do know what life is like when you are so down, you can’t smile and you aren’t sure you’ll ever smile again.

I understand the paralyzing grip of depression, and what it is to feel so lost, everyday is like looking into one of those infinity mirrors. You see the same thing over and over, and there is no end. It confuses you, it scares you, you hurt your brain by trying to figure out how it works and you wear yourself out in hopes of being able to see something else if you squint and look just a little  harder.

Yellow is just fine. “Daisies in a meadow.”

Some people may think daisies are simple and not the most stunning flowers, but there is something beautiful and warm, genuine and subtle in its simplicity. It’s still pretty, it still gets the job done.

I’m happy today. Not crazy, super happy, but a subtle content happy. That’s yellow to me.

I’m going at my own pace, I’m doing things for me.

Yellow.

I want to lose weight. I’m going to keep going to Zumba at least twice a week, and try to eat better. Every time I jump on the scale I’m not going to lose 4 pounds. Some days I may even gain three, but I’m going to keep going and not beat myself up.

Yellow.

I’m moving forward with the business I’m launching, step by step. I’m not going to rush, I’m going to follow my gut, my heart and my standards and not settle. Even if it takes me longer. It’s not a race.

Yellow.

I don’t know what’s going to happen for me in the love department.

Sometimes I get lonely. I know I still love my ex and I can’t shake it and I can’t help it. I often hate myself for holding out hope, still. But it’s best I’m by myself right now.

Yellow.

I’m planning wonderful trips this summer. I’m going to go to places I’ve never been and see things I’ve never seen. I’m going to take it all in.

Financially, people try to get out of the red (debts and deficits), and get into the black (free and clear with a surplus).

All of that is cool.

But emotionally, for someone like me, who had been struggling in the grey all of last year, yellow is a fine fit.

PR Press Tour: An Ambassador for 30

renjith krishnan/freeimages.net

So as word spreads that my birthday is quickly approaching, my co workers surprised me with lunch and a celebratory cake today since I’m off on Friday, my actual birthday.

Some people asked how old I was as cake was being cut and distributed, I told them it was a milestone year and flashed a smile. The women nodded, they knew (most of the women in my office are 40+).

I call this the press tour, because so far I have been asked some interesting questions aside from the usual what are your plans? (People at work are digging my plan to go to Medieval Times, fyi)

1. Are you where you thought you’d be?

My answer: No. But honestly, I think about the things I thought I wanted by now and I’m relieved, because maybe I’d be miserable if I actually ended up where I thought I should be right now.

2. How do you feel? I was sad I was turning 30.

My answer: I don’t feel sad at all. I’m actually looking forward to it. I don’t feel as self-conscious, I’m the most comfortable with myself than I’ve ever been, and if that’s going to continue to grow, I’m very excited about this decade.

3. What do you hope for in the next 10 years?

My answer: I’d like to have a family. Good health, a roof over my head and to have enough money to travel when I’d like and occasionally buy myself a nice pair of shoes. I want to be happy. There was a time I thought I wanted to be Oprah or running some large massive company, but as I get older, I really want to be happy and financially secure.

It was quite ironic that when all of the cake was had, the chunk that remained was “happy”. I took a photo of it, and thought to myself, God speaks to us through everything. I can’t even trip off of those people who see Jesus in a burnt potato chip or in a milkshake; if you are moved or inspired to be a better person off of that, then so be it.

Back to my point. It just hit me looking at that last hunk of cake with the word happy staring back at me, bold and almost as if it were a directive and a one-word fortune cookie all wrapped up in one.

Then I thought, if happiness is all that’s left, then you are doing quite alright.

Maybe that’s deep. Maybe I’m on a sugar high.

But it looks like now that I’m entering the 30 club, I also have a job to be an ambassador of good will for 30.

30 is nothing to fear.

30 is not a hard deadline for your best and only life achievements.

It’s okay to pursue success, it’s okay to pursue happiness and it’s ok to switch off and focus on one more than the other, but find ways to come back to center.

It’s ok to know that success and happiness is defined by you and only you and if anyone takes their measuring stick and tries to line it up to your life, you tell them to mind their own damn business.

It’s ok to take a risk.

It’s ok to tell folks no. Really. It’s ok.

As an ambassador for 30, I’ve put together an oath for myself.

(Raising right hand) I will spread the good will and good news of being 30 and be a well-adjusted, happy, yet realistic woman.

I will accept what life has given me and I will do my part to improve my circumstances.

I will not compare my life to others, because I do not know or want to know what struggles and sacrifices they have to suffer through. God is sparing me from their sorrows.

I will be more patient with myself and others and understand timing is everything.  I want all of the positive dreams and goals I have to make themselves available at the most optimal time of my life so I may enjoy them to the fullest and be a blessing to others.

I will be truthful to others and share that life is not always easy.

I will be truthful to myself and to others when I want to say no, and I will not change my mind just to satisfy someone else out of guilt.

I will protect my heart, health and spirit at all costs.

I will be an example that life at 30 is liberating and filled with adventure and promise as well as challenges and struggles. Through good times and bad, I will maintain my integrity and dignity. 

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