Not a major milestone but whoah, I turned thirty-one on December 23rd. Thought I’d be married, celebrating my second anniversary, and planning for my second child by this age. Harty har har. Jokes. I still get the same “why you single” questions I used to get in my twenties. It was cute and a bit flattering back then. Now I’m like…
Thirty was a trip. Here are a few things that happened during my first year in the thirties.
I established a few concrete “hell naw”s
Struggle love, going half on dates, and “chilling” became a concrete “hell naw” for me. “They” say helping a “brotha” out and lowering standards is how black women can increase their chances at finding love. Chile’ please. I went for that during my twenties. That’s how I ended up feeling taken advantage of and tired by thirty.
Distancing myself from such headaches has done a lot for my health. I am more focused on me because there is less drama. There is less stress in my life over “love,” which makes more time for me to show myself love, care, and patience.
Another “hell naw” was allowing myself to take crap from others because I’m afraid I’ll be viewed as mean or angry. I’ve likely been running from the “angry black woman” trope since I was a little girl being told I had an anger problem. I didn’t like being called angry or mean because to me it implied I couldn’t control my emotions and I was irrational for how I felt.
Holding in anger and not being honest about how I felt gave me headaches and tension behind my eyes. I’d stew on something repeatedly in my thoughts until I actually developed headaches. Releasing anger and being honest enough to catch issues as they happened, allowed me to think about other things. And the anger headaches stopped. It also helped me deal with anger in other areas of my life.
The last crucial “hell naw” I established during my first year in the thirties was forgetting my burning desire. I never want to forget my burning desires again. Thirty was the year of internal conflict for me. I spent a majority of it confused, disconnected, and a bit lost. I knew what I wanted, but I always found a “better” way to pursue it, which left me with not much done.
Closer to the end of the year, I realized my missing puzzle piece was the thought of my burning desire. I wasn’t jumping out of bed with it on my mind so it wasn’t motivating me to keep the big picture in mind. It was hard to focus without remembering my burning desire.
I prayed to learn more about myself
The decision to pursue freelance writing full-time has been a straight-up catalyst for self-discovery. I discovered I questioned my abilities as a writer. I discovered I had a hard time making progress because I feared heading in the wrong direction for too long. And I found out I used planning and preparation as excuses for hiding my work and not stepping out there.
I also learned more about myself in the context of weight management. I’ve accepted that I’m a food addict with a tendency to overeat. I also realized I’ve been dieting or “eating crazy” since I was 15-years-old. There hasn’t really been a between where I just eat to live without worrying about how much or feeling guilty. That tripped me out.
The beauty in learning more about self is becoming aware of those thought processes and actions that often go undetected because they’re subconscious or done in autopilot. Once aware of them, you can change them. I love that.
I prayed to learn more about myself so I can give myself the tools to fully live during this period in my life. I am childless, single, creating freely, and working towards a lifestyle I truly desire. Bringing more of myself to the surface in the process has done wonders for moving me forward.
My thirties are about to be lit. #BlackGirlMagic
I learned to value the experiment over the results
When I decided to pursue freelancing full-time, I was focused on results. The problem I often times hit was not pursuing something authentically, or at all, because I cared more about the results. I did a lot of changing of the mind because I worried more about the results. I worried more than living and enjoying the process.
I realized this after listening to Black Girl in Om’s podcast, episode #13: Emotional and Spiritual Empowerment 101: A Chat with Tracy G. Girl, when I say Tracy snatched my damn edges, she woke my game all the way up. I almost envied her freedom to just create and put it out there. She explains being able to do this because she considers her work social experiments. Not projects with an end or gain in mind.
I wish I could say the minute after the podcast was over I started valuing the experiment over the results. I’m still working through it, but being patient.
My first year in the thirties was dope overall
Yeah there was pain, confusion, disconnect, and some realizations I’ve cried over, but I also value all the growth I’ve experienced. And finding out what work needs to be done.
I’m looking forward to another great year in the thirties.