“Turning 30 changes your life,” they said. “A major shift happens when you turn 30,” I was told. “You really start to figure out who you are when you turn 30,” I heard. And it has all been true.
In this blog and the next few leading up to my 30th birthday, I will share with you the lessons that this journey has taught me.
| Journey to 30: Don’t Get Stuck |
I have felt an array of feelings and emotions as I have embarked upon this Journey to 30. I feel like I have become more in touch with my true feelings and the emotions attached to them. Y’all, I can cry at the drop of the dime. Happy tears, sad tears, tears of rejoicing, and tears for no reason…they seem to stay on standby. I now regret every joke that I had for the older ladies I knew that always seemed “full.” Now I STAY full! Hell, I durn near cried watching “Finding Dory” the other week. Mrs. Annette if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry for all of the times I called you a water head.
Beyond being more in touch with my emotions and the expression there of, I have found that a lot of my thought processes were a little off. It’s not that I was just flat-out wrong, it’s that there were other perspectives that I didn’t want to consider. Even in seeing other possible options, I was resolute on my preferred option…period, end of story. Then I started getting closer to 30 and that shift that I was warned about started happening. Very soon there after my indecision became decision, and my absolutes became options. Struggling to speak up for myself became, “I said what I said.” Furthermore, all of those places where I put my foot down, I have found that I am considering picking that same foot up to see if stepping forward is an option. Long story short, I’m learning that I was STUCK in my perspectives, mindsets, goals, and feelings. There is so much more to life waiting to be embraced.
In no particular order of importance, here are a few things that this #Journeyto30 has taught me:
- It’s okay to be okay. – The popular phrase is “It’s okay to not be okay,” and I whole heartedly agree. When you are having a rough go of it or you need time to grieve, recoup, find your way, or disconnect, it is indeed not okay to put on heirs and be okay for people who probably couldn’t care less how you really feel. But I have discovered that there were times that I was perfectly fine/content with where life had me, and I suppressed my happiness because others around me weren’t. It was if I didn’t feel right being in a good space without my friends. Baby, if you are fine, be fine. You don’t have to be down in the dumps just because your bestest or your bae is. You don’t have to have a bad day just because someone you love is having a bad day. This journey has taught me that it is possible to be right there in the thick of things with someone without taking residence there. Don’t get me wrong, you know I will stick it out and get in the trenches with my friends, but I don’t have to forfeit my joy because of his/her sorrow.
- The day isn’t bad just because something bad happened. – I now see the times that I was too quick to write days off as a bad day just because I had a few hardships in it. I have now learned how to evaluate the entire day and look for the good. Even if everything seems to be falling apart, at least I’m breathing. I may not have a dime to my name, but I have a car in my name to get me to work. You see what I’m saying? Everyday is one of God’s masterpieces, some more abstract than others, and it is our job to find the beauty in it.
- I can’t always see everyone to the finish line. – This particular lesson has less to do with support and more to do with help. I have always felt that if I just stuck by my friends, if I was the best friend that I could be, if I prayed for them and encouraged them, if I kept my phone on 24/7 and was always available, and if I poured my all into them, they would turn out alright. After becoming exhausted because I didn’t get enough sleep for worrying, draining my battery and having my phone process slowly because it was never turned off, and feeling depleted in every sense of the word, I realized that I wasn’t the answer to all of my friends’ problems. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a friend is stop being the crutch and let him/her walk and fall down. In other words, get out of the way so that they can see what help he/she really needs. And if you aren’t the help they need, instead of being offended that you aren’t it, help them feel comfortable seeking help.
- When it won’t work, it won’t work. – This was a tough one for me. I have always been the perfect mix between an optimist and a realist. Depending on which day it is, you could bump into the hopeless romantic who is walking on cotton candy clouds and doodling in my Lisa Frank notebook. On other days you may see the person who sees things for what they really are but has hope that it doesn’t have to be this way. And then after time progresses and my positive thoughts and attempts don’t yield the results I want, I step back to assess if what I desired was even for me or not. And once I fully embrace and accept that what is for is for me and what is not for me is not, I govern myself accordingly. Though it is a slow progressive process, it often seems like a swift 180 degree turn. I stop investing into places that won’t yield a return. I stop flirting with ideas that I know aren’t aligned with my life. I stop watering dead plants. It may sound selfish, I just reckon that I don’t have time to sit in the shoulder lane of the interstate wondering whether or not I should take my exit or keep driving in a direction that doesn’t lead to my destiny.
- Never say never. – The thing to know about Chrissy Diane: Because my nature is to be a logical control freak, I typically consider every possible option, scenario (including the worst cases), and outcome before I find resolve. And once I am resolved, I am resolved. But what happens when you grow up, change, evolve, and you no longer agree with your own resolution? I have learned that the way you feel today may not be the way you feel tomorrow. Instead of putting the nail in the coffin, burning the bridge, and speaking in absolutes, it may be a better option to walk away silently. P.S. your words don’t taste nearly as good when you have to eat them.
- Leave room for growth – I can remember throughout my younger years, my parents would buy me a pair of shoes that may have been about a 1/2 size too big. At the time I didn’t understand why, and I was only concerned with the fact that I had to double up on socks and feel like I had Penny Proud, clown feet. What my parents were doing was leaving a little room for my foot to grow so that they didn’t have to shoe shop as often. As I approach 30, I have adopted that philosophy for my life. Because of my determination and God’s hand on my life, growth is going to happen. What I don’t want is for me to grow into a bigger, better me but have to squeeze it into a season that is too small for me. Imagine having a million dollar idea but a poor mentality. Imagine being introduced to a gallon-sized love but only having pint-sized capacity. At best all you can do is overflow. So now when I make choices, I consider that who I am today will not be nearly as big as who I will be in the future, so I have to create space in my heart. I have to expand my mind. I have to be willing to allow people in my life.
This Journey to 30 has simply taught me that in some ways I had been stuck, and I can’t move forward in to the amazing future that is before me from where I am.
…more next week.
I hope this helps.