30 Lessons I learned in the first 30 days of my 30s
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
From the social media posts, stories and all of the outward celebration you may have taken note that I approached my thirtieth rotation around the sun. I am officially what some people may call washed. It’s similar to the scene in the Lion King when Simba asks Mufasa what is the shadowy place past Pride Rock. It’s beyond the borders of light and all things good. You don’t want to go there. That is exactly how I felt the closer it got.
The anticlimactic pivotal point was on May 8th. It was exactly six months away from the day I would turn 30. I had been fine up until that point but for some reason, I was overwhelmed with grief, confusion, and all around fear left me crippled on my bedroom floor for a solid hour. Outside of a small group of friends, no one knew how bad it was. The first time I outwardly spoke on it was the Built 4 Anything podcast. From hundreds of miles away my friend Imani’s reassuring yet firm words were able to physically move me from the floor to gather myself together. It was at that moment I decided to not let fear hold me back. I was overly enjoying my last year in my 20s thus far and I wasn’t going to let concern of the unknown keep me from continuing to do so.
The day of my birthday was everything I actually wanted it to be. I went to work and stayed by myself for a large part of it. I wanted time to reflect and more so just exist in this new phase of life. I was wrestling with a lot of emotions but the most present was that of gratitude. For whatever reason God isn’t done with me yet and has granted me another year of life to fulfil a greater purpose on this earth.
I spent my first thirty days of my 30s not only adjusting but reframing several things as they went a long. I wrote each lesson or learning point down as it happened in hopes that if someone out there is turning 30 soon or any transitional age that you may feel some comfort.
30 Lessons in 30 Days
You gain a weird sense of calm. Oh wow I just turned 30… this actually isn’t that bad.
I felt a greater sense of responsibility. I’ve waited to do a lot of things selfishly. I saw a quote that said procrastination is the pompous excuse that God will give you another opportunity to do what you needed to do tomorrow.
Life continues to be about balance. It will be more important now than ever to live in the “and”. The space between who you are, who God is calling you to be, and your roles you play in this role. Balance doesn’t mean you have everything figured out, but you realize that you don’t.
A deeper understanding of oneself. There will always be things that I need to improve on but for the first time in a while I feel solid in who I am. Not everyone will like you and that is ok. I understand that I can be a very strong cup of whiskey, I don’t always go down smooth nor am I everyone’s type. I used to get very focused in trying make everyone like me and all in all…that’s dumb as hell. I cherish the people who love me for me. People are going to think what they want regardless so it is what it is but this doesn’t give anyone, including me, a pass to not be kind.
You need to be checked from time to time. Everyone does. I definitely have to.
Humility doesn’t mean remain small. You can recognize that you are good at things and still practice humility about them. It’s all about giving glory to God and not yourself. He can take away as quick as he gives.
Mercy protects us from things that we don’t deserve yet Grace protects us from things we do.
Listen to learn vs listen to solve.
You have to read all of the chapters before you understand the book. Take everything into account. Not just some things.
The earlier you deal with trauma, the better. I had to understand until I dealt with the things that happened to me physically, emotionally, and mentally I couldn’t give myself the best version of me. It impacts every part of my day to day. It’s an ongoing process that I stopped but picked back up in the last few weeks.
The destination doesn’t mean more than the journey. I was like hey..look. I’m finally here. That one day isn’t as important as all of the days that added up to get me to that point.
Failing is ok. It’s going to continue to happen. Success around you doesn’t always mean you aren’t doing enough or working hard. It just means that it isn’t your turn. Praise in the hallway until the doors are open.
You have to manage energy more than you manage time. What you take in is more important than what you give out.
Persistency, consistency, and gratefulness will take you farther than you now. You can’t cheat the system, fam.
God equips who he deems as qualified. Not the world. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t think you are capable of doing things if He says you are. (DON’T LET PEOPLE LIVING UNSEASONED LIVES TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR CALLING- JON JACKSON)
Don’t glorify the grind with out actually doing it.
If you don’t like the scope in which you are writing your story, you have the power to change it.
Seasons can’t be rushed. Spend time learning from the place that you are in. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Your life has been designed by the orginal expert, not by man.
Wearing what is going on internally externally can turn you into a very ugly person. There was a period I had so much internal conflict that I wore it like a cape made of chain links. It didn’t matter how much makeup I put on or the clothes I wore. It caused me to not like myself and not be willing to give grace to others because I felt as though I was getting any myself.
You have to drown to learn how to swim through turbulent waters.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t try to give out so much love that you don’t return it to the source.
You may not reap the benefits of the seeds you plant right away but you will see them when they are ready to be harvested.
Accountability matters. People will find their way into your life but it’s your responsibility to decide if they stay. Also realize that you could be or have been the toxic person in someone’s life.
Protect your peace, your energy, your heart and your neck. Surround yourself with people who will genuinely support you, pray for you, inspire you, and more importantly be a voice of reason when you are out here trippin.
Don’t push off being a better person to the next day. Goals to the new year. You may not be granted that privilege.
Add real value to people. That includes leaving them better off than you found them. If you can’t do that then leave them be.
No one is entitled to your space, your creativity, your thoughts, ideas, time, etc.
Value your privacy. It’s expensive for people to have access to that.
Even when things are falling apart, it has come together for your betterment. In order to evolve from the space you have to be welcoming to uncomfort and the changes it brings.
This list is bullshit. I spent all this time writing this to say what you need to learn can’t be found in any amount of think pieces, blog posts, or anything of similar nature. Go out, fuck up, and live on. None of us know what happens next and that is the beauty of it all.
Thanks for attending my Ted Talk