As I enter my 30's....I have decided to share 6 (since 6 is my favorite number) personal things...about myself...and my observations as I leave my 20s...and settle into my 30's.
"I am diamond and I deserved to be set in platinum"
I've been saying this for the past few months. But it took a while for me to really realize and verbalize what that means....I feel I am a rare gem. I am a jewel. You don't set diamonds in cheap materials....I wouldn’t accept a diamond to be treated like a cubic zirconium. I accept the best. I deserve the best.For much of my 20's...I allowed myself to be cheapened. I allowed my experiences and life to be less fulfilling and rich. I allowed to be treated like a CZ instead of the diamond that I was. I allowed myself to be set in substandard situations in love...in life...in career.I refuse to do that any longer as I enter my 30's...I realize I am worth much more. I deserve a richer experience in life. I deserve to be treated like a princess by men. I deserve to be treated with respect from work colleagues. I deserve to be loved by family and friends....
" I will take chances. Life is a game of chance anyway...so why not take the chance and weight out the risks! As long as it doesn't hurt you or anyone else...so be it!"
As a person in my 20's, I wouldn't say I was much or a risk taker. I didn't do anything out of the ordinary and followed a straight and narrow path. I did things in an "orderly" and safe fashion....yet I realized by doing this...all I did was cheat myself out of having a fulfilling and exciting life.I should have taken that trip...I should have gone out with this person...I should have switched my major....I should have gone to this College or Grad School.... I should have moved to NYC.....I don't want to live the rest of my life in regret. From this day forward, I plan to use my 30's to correct the mistakes of my 20's. Never again will I just sit on the sidelines of life. I am taking the bull by the horns and living it to the fullest..........The risks I did take in my 20's really weren't risk at all: just choices. There is a difference in making a choice and taking a chance. Chances are exciting and fun....and thrilling. Making a choice is monotonous, everyday, and routine. I don’t want to live an "everyday" life...I want to live a life most extraordinary!So as Celine Dion sings........
What do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say,What do you say?
I say ....YES!!!
" I’m more like that painting in the museum that you have to pass 1000 times before you finally stop and pay attention to the beauty of it. But once you stop...pay attention to the intricate details...you truly appreciate the beauty."
One of my favorite paintings is "Girl with the Pearl Earring". A subtle mastery of light, perspective and beauty of a most ordinary subject matter: a simple girl wearing a gorgeous pair of earrings (well...you can only see one). Johannes Vermeer was truly ahead of his time....a 17th century Dutch master!It took me all of my 20's (and even my teen years) to realize I too am beautiful I'm an understated beauty. Just like the girl with the pearl earring. It took me years to appreciate my perfect imperfections because that is how God made me to be. I don't have perfect hair, skin or body...but I'm perfect just the way I am. I never thought I was ugly...just never thought I was stunningly beautiful either. It just takes a while for who I am...my beauty...to be appreciated by others...and it took a while for me to appreciate it myself. It was like I finally had a mirror held up to the totally stripped down self...my bare soul...and saw who I was.I also didn't need to be flashy or be on display to be beautiful. I command attention in other ways. You may not notice me when I walk into a room...but once the smoke clears...I'm highly visible.I also realized I didn't need a man to validate that for me. Not that I looked to men for validation or attention...but it always meant a little "MORE" when I was complimented by an attractive man. I don't need that in my 30's. I’m a grown woman satisfied with who am I and the beauty I have isn't meant for everyone to be appreciated.As one of my friends said once "Quirks are what help you weed out those who aren't meant for you"....and I have to agree.As my (fictional) hero Carrie Bradshaw says:"But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."
"The one thing I have learned over the course of a very trying year is to "accept the unexpected"....it's one thing to expect it....but we don’t always accept it when it happens."
So much about me has changed in the course of a year. I went from being married...to being single. I went from being a home-owner to a renter....I went from upgrades to downgrades....At the same time...I went from sadness to bliss. I went from being unloved to being adored. I went from being in an unsupportive environment to being surrounded by an even stronger support system. I am truly blessed. Folks say that all the time...”Im Blessed". Most times I see that as an unthoughtful response by a bourgie Christian...like they are the only ones that are blessed.....LMAO! But if you truly feel blessed...you don't have to SAY IT. People will see it in your actions, your ways, your character and your demeanor.I've learned that being able to accept the unexpected has allowed me to free myself from the rigid system of "plans" I had in my life. I've learned that acceptance is key to healing. I've learned that if I just accept that the unexpected will happen...and not try to unsuccessfully anticipate change (which is futile)....then things will be a lot more pleasant. Experiences will be richer. The air will be cleaner. The sun will be brighter. There will be a greater sense of clarity.I am trying hard not to come off as some pseudo-intellectual in theses posts...but as I approach 30...it’s as if clarity came like a lightning bolt into my life. Like I saved myself...FROM myself.On paper, I should be sad and miserable as hell. Wallowing in the disappointments and sorrows of a very trying year...full of broken promises and loss.....But I'm not. I'm so happy because I am SO FREE! I'm free from expectations. I'm free from the chains of psychological slavery that I had myself in.I'm free to accept the unexpected. .....And that has been the most fulfilling lesson of all!
“Exceptional is not the target, it’s the standard”-© T.O.
Let me first state that I did not come up with this thought on my own. Someone who recently came into my life uses this as his own personal mantra. So I’m going to give credit where credit is due…. LMAO! Tee does not plagiarize….believe that! However, I will say when I hear something that strikes a chord with me…I am more than willing to share it with others.When he first told me that, just during a regular course of conversation, I had to pause, ingest it, and absorb it. Because he was right! So often do we strive to be exceptional people: exceptional in our jobs, personal lives, and spiritual growth. We use exceptional as the target to which we should arrive and strive for. But in all honesty, exceptional should be the standard in which we live our livesWhy was it so hard for me to get this in my 20’s? I know why. It was because I thought that “being mediocre” and complacent was alright. I thought that doing “just fine” was alright. Well it wasn’t. It led me to make some terrible choices and live life in my 20’s as unfulfilling as possible. Playing it “safe” doesn’t get you to be exceptional. You just become ordinary. Staying in your lane and not rising above expectations doesn’t get you anything but being mundane. It was as if life had me in quicksand, slowly sinking, yet giving me the illusion I was on solid ground. I was going nowhere slowly.As I approach 30, I want exceptional to be my standard. I’m ready to take the bull by the horns and ride this thing until the wheels fall off. I know that being “mediocre” and living a “mediocre” life just isn’t for me anymore. I want to live and be exceptional. I want the standard of my life to be extraordinary and richer in experiences. I want my standard of living to increase exponentially. I am not just speaking in financial terms. I mean an abundance of wealth spiritually, emotionally, and fiscally. I know now that being exceptional is achievable. If 30 is the new 20…then exceptional for me…is the new way of life.
“It was just a blip on Life’s RADAR…..so Keep it Pushing”
In 2008, one of the most heartbreaking and emotionally devastating things happened to me. I got divorced as most of you know….to a man I had been with for almost 6 years. Lied to and cheated on, I had had enough. Once it was over, I made a conscious decision: This will not have power over my life. This will not define my life. I will no longer allow things that are insignificant in the long run into define my life. It isn’t that deep. Life isn’t about the small things that happened. It’s about lessons you learn. You learn the lesson. You absorb the lesson. You keep it moving…such is life.If something is just a “blip” on your life’s radar, then why give it any more importance or credence than what it really is. It is insignificant. Granted, it may have been significant at the time. But in the end, it doesn’t have the power in your life that you think it does. The things that happen to you don’t define you. They are not the sum of your existence. They are just life’s occurrences. Some are greater than others. But sweating the small things isn’t going to help you on life. It’s just going to weigh you down.One small defeat isn’t going to stop me from loving, living, breathing and enjoying the experiences which encompass my life. I am not going to dwell on the small things which in the end are going to be just a tiny fraction of my life.As this old blues song once said... "My Give-a-Damn gave out a long time ago...”
It was just a blip on life’s RADAR.
Divorce was just a blip on my life’s RADAR...
Failure is just a blip on life’s RADAR.
Loss is just a blip on life’s RADAR.…
and I have to keep pushing.