They tell you that you’re supposed to be a certain way and have accomplished certain things by the time that you’re thirty. I guess this works for you if you’ve adhered to all of the things they told you that you have to be in life. I however am a complete walking contradiction to everything anyone has ever wanted me to be with the exception of a few people. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to be many things but at a young age I’ve learned if its not real, if it’s not the truth, it will not withstand the tests of time. These periods of time could be short lived and others could drag on for years if you let it. People often consider time vested as time that matters when really it could just be time wasted.

One of the best books I’ve ever read gave me a broad perspective on life’s journey and all of the intricate pieces that most people tend to over look, revealing  how it all matters. It taught me how to hold on as well as how to let go. It gave me the courage to trust myself and in that I’ve come to know how and when to trust others. Through that book and countless others, coupled with my life’s path, I’ve come to know myself. I’ve always thought that I knew myself until I finally reached a steady stream of seemingly major life changes and I was able to maintain my cool and progress.

“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

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Unbothered by birthdays since my drug been flapping & I was getting Powerpuff Girls cakes.

So, here I am freshly thirty years old and I don’t know what that “milestone” means for you but this is what thirty means for me. I’ve never been one to make a big deal out of my birthday because I really don’t like being the center of attention, it feels like pressure. Going along with the notions of my peers, I began planning an extravagant weekend out of the country for the ultimate “Durty Thirty”. Everyone would ask and I would kinda throw that notion out in the air but never moved past that. At some point I just said to myself, “I don’t care to do anything, something simple”.

The day of my birthday I woke up with the intent of posting about my weekend and knocking out my #MindfulMonday post early so I could cruise through my day. It didn’t quite work out that way.When I left my home the clouds were moving rapidly and the sun showed itself for a good little minute. I remember texting someone and saying, “the sun is peeking.” As I proceeded through the city making my rounds the overcast was strong but the sky wasn’t ugly to me it had a beauty laced with subtle darkness that intrigued me. I mailed off some orders because what better blessing than to be filling orders on your birthday? I proceeded to a friends house where we talked and chilled a bit and as I’m heading out I notice the sun is out. The sky was now painted various hues from light blue and almost violet to pink and red orange. It was almost like the day was speaking to me, there had even been rain through the night and into the morning which is one of my favorite things.

Heading back home I just kind of let my mind wander and took in the scenery. My thoughts covered everything from the potential message in the rapid transition of the clouds to who drives the cars up on those rocks at the dealership because it just seems unnerving to me. Upon arriving home I felt like taking a nap and that coupled with the idea that I was going to let my day write itself, I kicked my feet up ate a cupcake and relaxed until it was time for my next maneuver. I was then surprised by the mailman at my door with a gift from my homegirl Rev, founder of The LoveThreeSixtyProject. Another blessing.

Shrimp Tacos at Plaza Azteca

For the past six months my friend Kia had been asking about my birthday plans and I finally told her I just wanted to go to my favorite spot and we ended up at Plaza Azteca chatting over brews and good food. She told me she had been published into a magazine which definitely was great news seeing as though I had just attended a photoshoot with her a week or so ago. Again, I felt blessed, not only for my life blessings but the good news my friend had for me as well. It’s either fajitas or shrimp tacos for me and I opted for the shrimp tacos this time always with Modelo Especial and a cold mug. I’m actually eating a leftover one right now hoping it doesn’t make me sick. Oh, and how could I forget the fact that they now put this rice as a side along with the tacos, another blessing. So after Kia shares her news, I share some of my own and we pack up to head to the next spot.

Me, Tee(Dizz), Kia

The next part of the day led me to a local food spot with decent drinks to meet up with a few more folks and have a drink or two before I head home and work on my post. That never happened. Well pull up to the spot and my homegirl Tee from ODU is there waiting on us and my homegirl Monica is at the bar. We all grab a drink and just sit around shooting the breeze as Tee keeps randomly yelling, “I can’t believe you’re 30.” Our mutual guy friend walks in, they order food and we have a few drinks and he heads back to his direction. We decide it’s time for us to do the same and as we are leaving Tee orders a shot that I sip and we give to some random guy because I couldn’t drink it.

I stop by to see my brother before I head home and I walk in to him sitting at the table drawing things similar to my logo. Not too many people are aware of the fact that he can draw and I’ve been urging him to do so for a long time now. What better day than this one, more blessings. I decided to stay a little longer and talk with him. I fell asleep reflecting on my weekend and I woke up at 2:13am feeling like I had gotten kicked in the stomach, thanks for the Fireball Tee, glad I only took a sip.

As I was reflecting on my day, the weekend leading up to it was inevitably going to float through my mind. What does thirty mean to me? Seeing as though I’ve lived a very complex life or inadvertent life unparalleled to my peers, thirty means a lot. I’ve lost so much that people thought my life was potentially over, I on the other hand knew if I was able to lose all I had, it was only setting me up to be able to handle so much more. There’s things I had to experience and learn so I wouldn’t mess up the abundant blessings that are in store for me.

I had to find myself. At no point in time did I think I would be thirty years old and not have parents, it’s the strangest things ever. Image-1I used to have this fear that I would die by the time I was 25, not too many know about it and I was told it had something to do with my mom passing at an early age. A result of that fear was me acting like I believed it to be true. I had someone speak into my life once because I had gotten really heavy into that space and they told me they saw my life at 30. Image-1I wanted so badly to know what it would look like and I’m glad she never told me. There’s no way at that point I could have appreciated all I that I have now. My mind was focused on the wrong things and my ego was fighting to maintain a reputation that proceeded me birthed by pain.

If you want to know what thirty really feels like, it feels like home. It feels like everything has either come full circle and new horizons and territories are on the way. I spent my birthday weekend eating and building with my brothers. I was blessed to see a childhood classmate/friend have an album release show that I’ll address in a later post. I ordered “To go” food from Ruby Tuesday and spent my Saturday night watching SNL and relaxing in a jacuzzi. My family cooked for the Super Bowl and I enjoyed that the time spent with 4 generations of my family in one room. It’s not rare but it always feels good.

Thirty feels like simplicity, authenticity, and tenacity. I don’t ask for nor require much and the things that can be perceived as excessive, I provide for myself. There were times in life I wanted to die, times in life I thought I was going to die, I didn’t have hope and I didn’t feel love, no matter how much people tried to shower it upon me. I didn’t have the tools to realize that there’s, “wisdom in wounds” as Oprah would say. I spent my 20s doing what most 20 year old should spend their 20s doing. I lived life and I figured out who I really was and I became unapologetically that person and will continue to work towards that daily.

The last year of my 20s I spent traveling more than I probably ever have so far in my life in such a short period of time. I left the country for the third time, I had already been to Canada and Mexico by this point. My business came together in multiple aspects and my website finally visually translated into the initial vision I had for it. I’m thankful for the small things and the time I spent bringing in my thirtieth birthday was a direct reflection of that. I didn’t get drunk as I hadn’t been really drinking since the New Year began. I don’t feel like a new person, I feel like a woman who has blossomed beautifully into knowing exactly who she is and what she wants. A woman that knows she’s already living her dream and is more than determined to help others realize and live theirs as well.

I feel like life is just beginning for me, not saying all of my experiences prior to now don’t matter because without them I would’t be where I am. However, I am saying I owe nothing to my past except to be reverent for valleys it has seen me through and the peaks it has lifted me towards. When my mom passed away everyone asked, “what are you going to do?” I remember telling the parent of a childhood friend as she was doing my hair, “I don’t know but I do know that I don’t want to be working for anyone.” I quit a great paying job at the age of about 22 and I dropped out of college at the age of 20. Eight years later I own my own business and I’ve traveled the world. No, I’m not a millionaire yet, check back with me in about a year. I’m thankful for thirty, it has brought me success, clarity, purpose, a broader vision, meaningful relationships, and peace. I know for certain I have not a complaint in the world and nothing left to prove. I’ve made it further than I thought I would and come out of things when I didn’t even think I would make it out.

My day was very indicative of my life at this point and I can vividly see where it’s going. What was thirty like for you; what is your life like in comparison to the vision you had for yourself then and even now? If you aren’t thirty yet do you have a vision for thirty or are you feeling pressured by what the world says thirty should mean to you?

Thirty should be freedom after exploration. For me it’s not only going to mean that but more importantly, THE RISE AFTER THE FALL. Thirty is nothing they said it should or would be just like life. I’ve learned to shape my own reality and maneuver diligently while resting on faith. The next milestone ahead of me is 40; I don’t know what it will hold but I know that it will be based on my standards and not that of anyone else.

Not a point to prove, nor an argument to make…EVER.

the LAME way…FOREVER.

 

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