Today is my 30th birthday. Thirty… wtf. I’m actually having trouble starting this Post and I rarely have trouble finding my words. Ask my husband… or anyone that knows me. I thought about writing a reflection piece on 30 things I have learned by age 30… but realized no one wants to fcking read all that. So let’s keep it short-ish and sweet.
Not sure if this is a Capricorn thing, but my birthday feels like the most important holiday of the year. Christmas what? I like to think I’m not alone and all Capricorns want everyone to know it’s our birthday and how they can help us celebrate. Right?
So let’s get started. I have obviously discovered, realized and learned a lot for the last 30 years of my life as basic as how to brush my teeth and as complicated as how to do long division (listen: math isn’t my strong suit). But, I want to focus here on some reflection points that matter to me at 30.
Happiness Is a State of Mind
1. I give myself until midnight on December 24 to grieve my 20s then I will celebrate the beginning of a new fabulous decade. It will be fabulous because I will make it fabulous. Life is what we make of it. Happiness is a state of mind. It is a choice. Perhaps, it’s our society — we are almost wired to treat happiness as a destination we are waiting to arrive at. But, happiness comes from within; it is an attitude, and we control that attitude.
Their Insecurities, Not Mine
2. People can be a**holes. I like to think I have thick skin, but I’m human and there are things that get to me. I’ve realized, however, when people are hurtful or try to bring you down, it is largely a reflection of their insecurities. Not mine.
3. Live in the now. I couldn’t wait to be 18, then 21 and look where that has gotten me. To 30. Jokes aside, since becoming a parent, I am acutely aware of how freaking fast time flies. My baby girls are turning four in February. I feel like it was just yesterday that I spent day and night nurturing them at the NICU, eager for the day I could bring them home. Then it was about when they will crawl, walk, talk. Then my baby boy surprised us, and now he’ll be two in May. Before I know it, they’ll be off to college! OK I got some time for that, but you feel me. We can’t stop time. But we can remember to slow down and soak in the now.
4. Cut up the credit cards. Literally. This year, my husband convinced me to close all my credit card accounts and we cut up each card and tossed it. Never looked back and I have never felt freer.
5. Everyone agrees that building and maintaining quality friendships at this age is hard. Perhaps, it is because we are more jaded as adults. Or because people like to play games and manipulate. Experiences have taught me to weed out that kind– which has been quite empowering– while nurturing genuine friendships. Friendships are one of the greatest gifts in life. True friends don’t care if you are broke, fat, occasionally fart around them — they still love you. Thank you to my bffs (you know who you are) who embrace my craziness and unfiltered self, encourage me, stand with me, but most importantly who have given me some of the best relationships in my life.
And, since we are on the topic of friendships — to my #1 bff (my sister), I can’t even explain with words our friendship. After my husband, my sis is my second rock. Love you, Z.
6. This brings me to my next point. If there’s something you really want, you can make time for it. About one year ago, I was upset at myself because my body hadn’t bounced back as quickly as it did after the twins. There just wasn’t enough time to go to the gym. Wrong. I stopped making excuses and I made a decision to get my a$$ into the gym. There is always a way. Now, my daily routine M-F is hitting the gym on my lunch break. And, just recently I have been going to exercise classes on weekend mornings with a friend (this is only possible because the kids are old enough that my husband can survive being alone with them for an hour. He may lose a couple hairs by the time I get back, but he survives.
Believe in Thyself
7. When I was 18, I was a mortgage officer. My boss would tell me to “assume the sale.” That phrase has stuck with me because it applies to all aspects of life. Believe in your abilities and capabilities. If Jane Doe can do it, why can’t I? More often than not, you will eventually find yourself accomplishing that thing you seek.
Life is in His Hands
8. Coming after the last point, this may sound ironic or contradictory. But the truth is that we don’t control everything. It is important to have a sense of direction, yet also realize that He has a plan for us. Things may not happen according to our plans, but that is because His plan is greater. So, be adaptable to change. Do what you got to do and leave the rest to Him.
9. I have spent this year really focusing on my health and self-care. (I could get some more sleep though.) I make time to go to the gym despite my crazy schedule, get a bimonthly manicure, see my hair stylist quarterly. Do the things that make me feel good and ME. As a mom, our motherly instincts kick in and we become selfless by default. We want to take care of everyone else first, and usually never find time to take care of ourselves. I realized especially this year that it is important to take care of myself because I can’t give my babies 110% of me if I’m feeling 50%.
10. Focus not on what you don’t have, but what you have. We are all guilty of this. But, to make a conscious effort to focus on and be grateful for what you have is the best gift you can give yourself. I am looking at my Evaa sitting in front of me on her iPad as I type this. I look to my left where the monitor shows Essa napping. I think of sweet Iliyah napping upstairs. I feel warmth thinking of my Mr. who is my rock and safety blanket. They are healthy, safe and happy. Thankful for this.
At 30, I feel whole and accomplished. I feel comfortable in my skin. With the person I’ve become and am becoming. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. The images you see here is me in my element. (Fine. Glam and dolled up in my element, but that is what makes for cuter pictures.) This is me, in my home — where most of our best memories have been made and will be made– with my better half on the other end of the lens capturing Yelda at 30. I’m ready for you, 30.
(And, a special shout out to my guy. You have single-handedly made the last decade the best of my years. I know that the decades to come will be even sweeter because of you.)