30 Lessons in my First 30 Years….
It’s my 31st birthday! I am actually a bit more at peace this time around with regards to my birthday than I was last year. You see, in previous years, my birthday symbolized for me, all of the things I hadn’t achieved by that time and I would sometimes get depressed about it. I had developed an ageism complex of sorts where I lied about my age and really didn’t want to acknowledge it at all. I still celebrated it each year, though, and had a great birthday in Las Vegas last year! But I suffered with real issues with the actual number I turned each year for the past 5 years.
Looking back, I see how ridiculous this was…..
I am proud to be turning 31! I have my health, I am mentally sharp, I own two businesses, I’m not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but my bills are paid, I am not homeless or hungry, and I have survived many trials. I consider myself a survivor and I am happy.
My 30th year was a whirlwind of love, business, networking, and beauty. I’ve laughed, cried, been depressed, had issues with anxiety, loved, had a really bad breakup, healed, met amazing people, and overall, I have flourished! My 30th year was very eventful and I am looking forward to this 31st year!
I’ve learned quite a few lessons in these first 30 years of life and I’d like to pass them along.
In my first 30 years, I’ve learned….
- Live the life YOU want, not the life of another person’s vision…
- Timetables and benchmarks are great…if they are YOUR time tables and benchmarks. Living or trying to live up to the “by this age, you should…” of someone else’s standards is a pretty good way to keep you spinning your wheels and always unhappy with yourself.
- Life is not a race. set your goals and take your time!
- Too often, we get caught up in the finish and not enjoy the journey. Full disclosure: I am not a patient person at all, so I have had to LEARN to appreciate the journey in my trials and tribulations. It all adds up to a preparatory period that sets me up for a better challenge. Every single time. My life is a testimony of that.
- Be more selfless….
- Last year, I started my nonprofit The SBB Mission Project, an initiative for Domestic Violence Awareness and Rape Culture Education. This year, I will admit that I haven’t been able to do as much for my organization as I would like to but being more selfless and not thinking squarely about yourself not only adds substance to your life but it also adds inner peace as well. Giving back is something that I am passionate about and even though my nonprofit has been backburnered a bit, I still give to Restoration Ministries at least two times per year! Help someone in need and give back! Your blessings expand this way!
- Operate with a loving heart. Always!
- Once I decided to operate with love in mind at all times, I found myself a lot happier within. A loving heart is a happy heart. I loved with my full heart this year and even got it broken. But I mended, I healed and I got up and found myself still open to love, even if it’s a little banged and bruised. I operate in love at every turn.
- Be passion-driven and pursue that shit!
- Pursue whatever makes you happy. Dive head first and with no holds barred. Find your passion and literally run with it. You only have one life, why spend it in worry, stress, unhappiness, and negative energy. Do and pursue your passion and love every moment of it.
- Music helps to heal the soul from the inside out
- I never really considered myself a music-buff but I absolutely have lots of favorites! This year, I poured myself into music a lot more as I battled through periods of depression and anxiety. Music has helped to keep me centered and balanced in the times where I didn’t think I would cope well.
- Live graciously…
- This is what I was saying about how I felt about my birthdays in previous years. I wasn’t grateful because I kept looking to the things I hadn’t accomplished at a certain point instead of looking at how far I had come and what I have now. Living graciously evokes a peaceful spirit and a peaceful spirit evokes positive energy. Every time.
- Do your best in everything you do…
- Life is really too short to half-ass any efforts. With anything you do or pursue or with any promise you have made, make sure that you give your 100% best self in it at the time, every time! Doing so increases your energy output and shoots in into the positive direction all the time.
- Read as much as possible and share your reads!
- I have been a bookworm my entire life. I think I’ve read 12 books this year already! This year, I’ve focused a lot on sharing what I’ve read. I love sharing my reads because good books make for really good discussions and many books are inspirational in nature as well!
- Command respect from everyone
- People will definitely treat you how you allow them to. If you command respect, respect will be earned by automation. This takes confidence and mental girth. Sometimes you have to show people how to treat you and this involves the command (not to be confused with “demand”) for respect within your space and your time.
- Teach whenever you can
- If you have an opportunity to teach someone, do so. Don’t be selfish with the things you’ve learned.
- Have no expectations of others
- I have learned that having no expectations of other people helps you to understand that you are not owed anything in this life. We all operate under free will and people may disappoint you, but if you have no expectations at all and just understand that change is inevitable and things do not always spin in your favor, it makes it easier to digest when things do not pan out favorably. It is easier to move on and accept things as they come this way.
- Learn something new periodically
- It’s always good to keep your mind sharp and good by learning something new. Me? I consider myself sorta kinda tri-lingual. I know conversational Spanish and American Sign Language but I am not fluent in either. I would love to be fluent in American Sign Language first, since I am Hard of Hearing (HoH). I will make that a goal of mine for my 31st year!
- Listen to the experiences of younger people
- Sometimes we discount the experiences of people younger than us because they MAY not have gone through the same experiences but it’s in the differing experiences where we learn the most. Listen to younger people and what they are experiencing in this world. Take empathy in their struggles and values.
- Don’t be afraid to charge what your worth
- This goes for business but it is also a metaphor for relationships and who you allow into your space as well. If you require or desire more from a person or a situation, do not be afraid to speak up about it and don’t settle for less than what you deserve. In the spirit of always doing your best, this includes your decision making as well. I am getting better with this. Make your best decisions at all times and don’t settle for less than what you deserve, desire, or require.
- Work Out!
- You really only have one body and working out does wonders for your body, mind, and overall spirit. So whatever your bag is – yoga, the gym, running each morning, dancing, sex, or whatever gets your blood going and your circulation moving and endorphins releasing, do it! Your body, spirit, and mind will thank you!
- Travel at least once a year!
- Personally, I have YET to travel outside of the country but I try to hop a plane to someplace in the country at least once each year. There is a lot of world to see and explore. Get out of your comfort zone and go somewhere. This is great for your spirit also!
- Pay attention to the energy of the people you entertain
- What are you allowing into your space? Are the people that you are around most of the time negative? Are they positive? Do they uplift you and challenge you to be better? Or do they just bring you down? Reassess your circle and grow. It’s normal.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- No one has all of the answers at all times. If you need help, bring it back, tuck your pride, and ask.
- Don’t let your pride keep you from apologizing or making amends
- Life is way too short to stay petty for too long. Apologize if you are wrong and move on from ill-situations. Forgive and move on. Self-forgiveness really takes a lot but is a lot more self-satisfying than the other way around.
- Compliment people often
- Make someone else feel good about themselves and pay them a compliment. Paying someone else a compliment even if you are having a terrible day can make your day better in a cosmic way because of positive energy and intentions expelled. Just a good way to make the world a little more pleasant.
- Drink green tea regularly
- It’s delicious! Not only that, there are tons of antioxidants in it and healing properties that just make your body help to be at its best. I have a cup as often as possible!
- Write as often as you can
- Just another way to keep the brain active, honestly. And writing (on a notebook with an ink pen/pencil) helps to keep the brain strong also because it is literally exercising the brain effortlessly.
- Visit family periodically and check in
- Even if you can’t visit, call/text/email. Checking in and maintaining healthy relationships is very important. Family is everything!
- Work on getting better every day
- Harping on mistakes or tasks you couldn’t complete the day before is fruitless. Just work on being a better version of yourself the next day!
- Clean your spaces of negative energy and people
- There is nothing wrong with cutting people off that are harmful to your psyche. I definitely had to learn how to walk away from some people or at least put them in special categories if I could not just remove them altogether (see: family lol) just for my own mental health. This is where it is perfectly okay to be selfish.
- See a therapist/consultant/coach regularly
- Keep your personal and professional life healthy by investing in yourself in one of the best ways that you can and that is by seeing a therapist and business consultant regularly for your personal and professional lives.
- Focus on those that genuinely support you
- I used to say to pay attention to those that don’t support you so that you can weed those people out. And while that is important, it is more important to focus on your supporters. Keep that energy locked on the positive as much and as long as possible.
- Practice active forgiveness
- Forgiving actively is deeper than just saying “I forgive you”; it is a mindset change and a different approach that roots in love for the person you are forgiving, including yourself
- If you are the smartest in your group, you may need a new group
- I have different groups of friends but in each group, I try to learn something from each of them. If I find that I am always doing ALL of the teaching and I am ALWAYS the one that is being looked up to, then I gotta reassess my group. I am constantly meeting new people and learning from them and that is what is supposed to happen. I am not a #NoNewFriends type of person. I welcome new friends all of the time because that is how we grow and evolve.
- BONUS: Believe in yourself, but also – believe in something bigger than yourself!
- I have an incredible amount of self-confidence and belief in myself but the basis of my faith (I am spiritual but I dont identify as extremely religious) rests in the belief of a Creator. This belief system helps to guide me in my decision making and faith practicing.
What are some life lessons you have learned? I would love to keep learning and spreading more life lessons for personal and professional growth! Share them in the comments!