29 & Feelin’ Fine

A year ago I was crying in Target. WHO CRIES AT THE HAPPIEST PLACE STORE ON EARTH!? It was a Sunday and I decided to have some friends over for brunch to celebrate my 28th birthday.

28 felt “too old” for me. Shit…I was now only two years away from a new decade and I was petrified of not knowing what I wanted yet. “Shouldn’t I know at least some of this by now?” I asked myself.

Where do I want my career to go? Do I want babies or is the world just telling me I should have them? Why do I have less friends the older I get?

I’m here a year later to share with you the wealth I’ve learned in the last few years that is allowing me to ENJOY this year’s bday: I still don’t know the answers to any of those questions because NONE OF THAT SHIT MATTERS!! Let’s be real: Most people have more than one career in their lifetime, people have babies, people don’t have babies and both are happy. Life gets busier as we get older so 2 friends or 20 friends are equally as great and all of this is O-FREAKING-K!

I cried yesterday as I entered my 29th journey around the sun, but not because I was scared of what is to come, but because my heart is so full this year and I feel so freaking appreciated and loved by so many special people who have been, and continue to be in my life.

What I’d like to tell my younger self, and you:

Don’t Keep People In Your Life Longer Than They Are Meant To Be
The older I get, the smaller the world becomes. After several job changes and moving to a new town, I now realize how connected we all are and it is scary – in a good way of course. One of the most important cliches we will probably all be told at some point in our life is “Don’t Burn Your Bridges.” This metaphor is so crappy (English degree here), but I believe in the meaning SO MUCH. You literally never know when you meet someone who worked with, is related to, or is best friends with someone you hated, or loved. Stop talking shit about others and move on. If someone doesn’t jive with you, if someone is a bitch to you, move the fuck on, but always with grace. Do you know how many people you are going to meet after this person is out of your life? You don’t; because the opportunities for friendship are unlimited. Looking back, I’ve lost friends I didn’t want to lose or been treated poorly by someone whose friendship I wanted, or respect I yearned for. All of these people have come (and left) my life with purpose and a lesson. What’s the point in still talking or thinking about people and things that don’t bring me happiness or laughter? None. It’s a huge waste of time. So when I see these people in the future, I’ll smile, nod and continue my day. But for now, thank u next.

Stop Caring What Everyone, Literally EVERYONE, Else Says/Thinks/Does
I can’t for the life of me figure out why growing up, all we want to do is please others. Often times this is dominantly something women deal with, but I know men do too. WHY do we dress, talk, act, do what we THINK others want us to? Can we all just step back for a sec and realize how fucked up that really is? Sure, peer pressure is real AF in middle school and high school, but beyond that? Just STAHP. Dress in clothes you like and can afford! Do what fulfills your happiness and future goals regardless of if others support any of it. End of story. Rejection hurts like a mofo but at the end of the day and the end of your life, it’s up to YOU if you lived life the way YOU wanted.

Love, Appreciate and Make Time For Yourself
I wish I learned self-care earlier in my 20s, like much earlier. Sure, I always loved getting manicures but I never truly knew the importance of taking care of AND LOVING myself. I had so much hate and disappointment in my body until very recently; I never cut myself any slack even though I was always a hustler; I created more time to criticize myself than love myself and I think a lot of that comes from not prioritizing myself. Family, friends, significant others absolutely matter, but you can’t give them your true amazing self if you don’t even know how amazing you truly are! Make time for yourself, everyday, even if that’s only 20-30minutes: read, meditate, take a walk, buy yourself a coffee, paint your nails, see your therapist, accomplish a task that’s been looming. Quite literally anything that makes your life easier, happier or fuller, DO IT. You will never regret it.

Find Passion, Community Or Both
We can’t control the family or community we were born into, but we can absolutely change who we surround ourselves with, and I’ve learned in the last several years that spending time around people who Marie Kondo you (spark joy for those of you who are totally out of the loop) and doing things that fuel the fire in you. Sometimes these things will come together as one; sometimes the thing you are passionate about is something you need to run for alone while you share your progress with those kick ass people when you’re not working on it. Either way, fill your spare time, social media, and areas of your life you can control with people, activities, hobbies and places that give you the butterflies in your heart and the light bulb in your brain. Because you deserve it boo.

I want to hear from you! What have you learned through your life experiences that are valuable to share with others? Sharing your lessons may be more helpful to others than you know, so spread the good word!

xo
leish

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