Year 30

Top: American Eagle, Bottom: Target, Shoes: Nike

Photography by: Sharita Sims (IG: @browngyps)

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I used to think that by the time I was thirty I would be living in NYC with my husband and two kids, having a thriving career in the fashion industry. To me, 30 meant having my shit together. Well... I turned 30 years young last Friday (June 23, 2017). I'm still living in Louisiana, single, grinding gig to gig, and can't even fathom the idea of having children right now. It's funny how I subconsciously put myself in a box. A box that limited the possibilities of having a full life of my own before having to factor anyone else in. It was like an imaginary time capsule of a picture perfect lifestyle that deep down inside, I knew I wasn't ready for. I hadn't earned that life just yet. I thought it would all just happen for me, effortlessly. Little did I know the self work that needed to happen for those ideals to even be an option.

My twenties were extremely rough. I went through repeated cycles of rejection, unrequited love, tragic loss, toxic behavior, intense relationships, surfing deep emotional waves... I thought I'd reached my lowest point at least 4 times over the course of 10 years. Though, sprinkled through those years were tons of lessons, awesome career opportunities, serendipitous moments, and a lot of smiles and laughter. I have no regrets, though there were many moments where I could've spared myself the turmoil. I've had to recalibrate my personal views of myself and the people I keep around, identifying more specifically what I truly wanted out of life.

I'm learning that the woman I originally thought I'd be is no measure to the woman that I am becoming. The woman I am now needed those breakthroughs, so that the woman I am becoming could stand a chance at living to my fullest potential. I've taken some time to figure out what turning 30 means to me, and what all I'd like to leave behind in my 20's. Three decades of my existence have passed...these are some lessons that I've learned thus far...

β€’ Balance is essential in all matters of love and life

β€’ My talents from my childhood are all being put to good use

β€’ Friends come and go, and that's okay

β€’ Friendship looks like trust, transparency, tough love, and acceptance

β€’ Maintaining relationships with people is challenging

β€’ People will always show you their true intentions, as long as you pay attention

β€’ Everyone has layers

β€’ My intuition is always spot on

β€’ Discernment is the theme of my life

β€’ I'm more of an introvert than I realized

β€’ Depression is a bitch

β€’ Abuse comes in many forms

β€’ My anxiety has held me back in most situations

β€’ It's easier to break cycles once you've recognized them

β€’ I worry a lot ...TOO MUCH.

β€’ My sensitivity is beautiful and I'm learning to embrace it

β€’ Vulnerability has always been a challenge for me but I'm getting better at it

β€’ My mind is overflowing with thoughts that I have yet to share

β€’ I have deep rooted complexes about myself that I'm still figuring out

β€’ I am unknowingly/unintentionally intimidating to a lot of men and women

β€’ I have insecurities about my body, but I'm learning to embrace it

β€’ I will probably always look at least 6 years younger than my true age, but I'm sure I'll appreciate it more 6 years from now

β€’ I do not need anyone else's validation

β€’ My happiness is measured by what I put into my life

β€’ Marriage is sacred and should be taken very seriously

β€’ I'm still single with no children

β€’ Being single isn't the worst thing on the planet

β€’ I have yet to give up on love

β€’ I must always love myself first

β€’ Self care is a priority

β€’ My heart has been pieced back together so many times, that I've lost count

β€’ My heart is much stronger than I knew

β€’ Every rejection I've had, now makes sense to me

β€’ I have the ability to love someone wholeheartedly from a distance

β€’ I have not forgiven all who've hurt me [yet]

β€’ I have no tolerance for bullshit

β€’ I have a better handle on my anger nowadays

β€’ I have severe back pains from carrying other people's weight

β€’ I have clairvoyant abilities that I'm still discovering

β€’ My dreams are still attainable

β€’ I am more careful of what I speak aloud

β€’ Life is precious and can be taken in an instant

β€’ Life is nothing but lessons and transitions

β€’ Death is a form of transcendence

β€’ Being a black woman in America is exhausting

β€’ Black lives matter to me, but not to the vast majority of people in this country

β€’ Peace and Love are the cure to everything

β€’ My voice is my weapon

β€’ My mind is my guide to freedom

β€’ The power of the Universe is REAL

β€’ I have only scratched the surface of my life


Year 30, what's good?