It’s official – I’m in the thirty-plus club (gulp). Sharing a birthday blog post means I get to reflect on my journey and provide tidbits of insight. Last year, I wrote about hitting thirty countries by thirty and the lessons I learned along the way. This year I am going all-in with embracing life lessons that have paved the way for personal growth. My mentor Gloria Atanamo is the inspiration behind why this post has come to live (thank you x 100 x infinity). I hope this post motivates ya’ll to never stop living your truth.
- Belonging feels like a tug of war. We are conditioned at a young age to belong to a group, a faith, a lifestyle, but I believe the most important form of belonging starts with you. Belong to yourself.
- You cannot and will not please everyone (nor should you). The more and more you learn to accept this, the better you will be with adapting to your feelings.
- It’s necessary to chase your dreams. Would you rather not know if you could have lived your wildest dreams?
- Never assume anything about anyone. The hard truth is that we are all doing the best we can.
- The best I can isn’t always the best for you and vice versa, but once you start to believe and follow this regime – your heart gets lighter. If you need proof, then read Rising Strong by Brene Brown.
- Nobody owes you anything. Read that again.
- People will let you down, time and time again, it’s okay (I mean it certainly is not, but grudges will only lead to resentment and we don’t want that). If my girl Brene Brown taught me anything, it’s that you don’t stop being vulnerable.
- People-pleasing ends in disaster. This is what resentment calls home. Better at peace than resentful.
- Stand your ground even if it makes you or others uncomfortable. That’s what living your truth looks like.
- Keep showing up even when it’s tough, even when it takes everything. Even when you don’t feel supported – show up, do the work and keep going.
- Starting somewhere is still starting. Small or big, a start is a start.
- Be your own cheerleader – fearlessly and recklessly.
- Celebrate all your wins (ALL OF THEM). Even if you think it’s a small win – you better start popping that champagne.
- Accept that you’re going to fail sometimes, and that’s okay. It’s not the end-all, be-all.
- Failures and mistakes are where all the learning happens. Embrace the learning and the lessons that come with it.
- Feel your emotions – feel sad, feel anger, feel hurt, and feel happy. Feel all of the feelings.
- It’s not worth it to always be right. Your sanity could use a break; even when you know in your heart, the sky is blue. Apologize and move on, your peace of mind is far more important.
- Take time for yourself. Don’t apologize for this one. Ever. Decluttering your mental space is a necessity.
- Maintain a daily self-care routine. Breath. Exercise. Journal.
- Some people are destined to misunderstand you. Accept that isn’t a ‘you’ problem and work towards letting it go.
- It’s okay to say no to things and people that don’t serve you. I’m a firm believer in helping others, but it’s essential to recognize, you aren’t required to make yourself available to everyone. Your energy is sacred.
- It’s, in fact, true that people will treat you the way you allow them to. Cue the importance of setting boundaries.
- Boundaries help with your mental headspace.
- Don’t apologize for prioritizing yourself. Not everyone will understand the importance of mental well-being.
- Set goals. A lot of them. Work on them—little by little. Slow and steady wins the race.
- Kindness is free. People will test it. Let them. Acknowledge it. It’s easy to be reactive. I certainly am some days, so instead work on proactively being kind. It’s progress, not perfection.
- Own your culture. Own your name, own your skin, own your language. Carry your identity at the forefront.
- Always carry loose change, small gift cards, water bottles, and snack bars. You never know when someone may need it more than you.
- Demand justice. Fight for justice. Seek justice at all avenues of life. To succeed in any movement, we must stand together.
- Money isn’t everything. The real wealth comes from within. Remember that. Strive for that.
- Live and let live. Stop judging, blaming, and acting. Let’s strive to allow others to live the way they want to without always casting criticism. Focus on your own life and goals. You have no control over others. It’s not your responsibility to police others. Lead by example.
Lessons are meant to be learned, adapted, changed, and curated to fit your being. We are in a constant state of change, so remember to be gentle with yourself – especially on hard days. Don’t fool yourself into thinking everyone has it all – nobody does (not even queen B).
I believe that working on yourself brings you closer and closer to living your truth. That’s what we are all meant to do – live our truth!
If these lessons resonate with you in anyway – I would love to hear from you in the comments below.