Things I Left in my Twenties

As some of you may already know, I was welcomed into the 30 Club with open arms recently. And let me tell you, I am excited to be in the number! Honestly, however, I wasn't this hype months ago. See, for the last few months I had been torturing myself with this mental list of things I wanted to accomplish by the age of thirty. There was something about this proverbial list and these phantom expectations that had really been driving me up the wall. Why wasn't I already established in my career? Shouldn't I have accomplished waaaaay more at this point? That's what I had been asking myself repeatedly. I was reading self-help books, hoping to find an answer. I was even reconsidering my education (or seemingly lack thereof). After these never-ending dead-end searches, I finally decided enough was enough. 

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I began to think about a few of my loved ones who were not awarded the opportunity to even see this next decade. I looked in the faces of my smiling children and husband. Then I looked in the mirror and realized I was still here for a purpose. So I decided right then and there to stop lamenting over what I thought should be, and really show my appreciation and gratitude to the Good Lord for keeping me!

When thinking on those things, my arrival to the big 3-0 began to feel different. So in celebration, I spent time with my closest family + friends and spent a lot of time reflecting on what this next milestone in life meant for me. And since I'm such a chronic list maker,  I started typing out a list on my tab in the middle of the night of all the things I'd be leaving in my twenties---not even considering the thought of a blog post or anything... Just some personal things I wanted to really let go of, so I could embrace who I am and who I am becoming. Below are a few of the items from that list....

Things I Left in my Twenties

1. Explaining (and or apologizing for) my decisions (whatever they may be)- Some days I come across people who don't understand why I "sit at home all day" as a WAHM. Then there are days when others applaud me for staying home to cook and clean behind people all day, because they just couldn't do it (serious side-eye -_-). No matter what types of negative responses I've heard coming from seemingly concerned individuals, I more often than not find myself explaining my reasoning for these things right away. "Well currently, this is what works best for my family." "I don't want to miss Jj's major toddler milestones." "This actually saves us a ton in daycare costs, trust me I know." Well from now on, no more of that! I don't have to explain myself or any decision anyone in my family makes to people who don't contribute to our bills or our livelihood. Tuh!

2. Trying to please everyone but myself- I'm a recovering people-pleaser. I've been that way for most of my life, so this will probably be a hard thing to let go of. We know that it's tough pleasing others, so it's best to focus on pleasing ourselves first. But knowing that doesn't always translate to practicing it. So my plan is to become less independent on the acceptance of others and "do me!" I'm sure this is easier said than done!

3. Squeezing into jeans that just don't fit anymore. I'm just not a size 10 anymore. And I won't be anytime soon. So I'm gonna just save myself the heartache, and get rid of all those cute little Levi's that used to fit, flatter, and hug me up in all the right places. They will have stop taunting me and find their way out of my closet, ASAP. That's not gonna stop me from working out until these size 12s fit me like a glove without force, though!

4. Comparing myself to others.  Another bad habit I have is wondering "what if" constantly. I 'm sure we all do it from time to time. However, doing a lot of wondering "what if" can lead to lots of comparing our lives to those of others. And thanks (but no thanks) to social media, we get to see what a great life our old high school friends and exes now have. Sucks, right? I'm gonna say peace to stalking these couple of Facebook pages and Instagram profiles, because it only makes me feel like I missed out on something. We all share the filtered versions of our lives on social media anyway, right?

5. "Turning Up."- I will continue to let my hair down every now and again. I will be more than open to my friends and loved ones' invitations to show me a good time. But I will not continue to refer to these instances as "turning up." To be honest, I'm too low energy chill for the party scene and always have been. I like to enjoy myself, but not at the expense of being too "turnt" for my own good. Lol.

6. Having safe, boring hair. One of these days, I'm gonna cut it, dye it, and love it all the more. In the meantime, I will wear it straight, curly, wavy, short, long, black, red, auburn, in whatever style I desire. So what if it is relaxed? So what if it isn't? So what if I change it every other day? Hair is just another way people express themselves. It isn't the end of the world for me if someone else can't understand why I wear it a certain way. I am not required to answer you if you ask me if my hair is "real." And no, you cannot touch it.

7. Thinking my work isn't good enough. I have realized that this flawed way of thinking is another way of telling myself that I am somehow not good enough. It is more about how I feel about myself than it is about the work I produce. Everyone has a story. No one will ever hear mine if I hold back my truth, am afraid to share my work, or believe that it isn't "good enough" to give to others.

8. Having pity-parties that last over 24 hours. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I've thrown pity-parties too often and for too long these last couple of years. Time to suck it up and move on.

9. Feeling obligated to finish a book or movie. Why continue to stick it out with a book that isn't doing it for me when I could be reading a fulfilling one that does? Nobody is awarded time back for watching movies with no plot in sight, either.

10. Being in an unfulfilled state and doing nothing to change it. The other day I saw a quote on Instagram that read " you gotta stop watering dead plants" and it really spoke to me. Along with being a people-pleaser, I have been known to hold on to a person, situation, or living space that no longer serves me for way too long. And trust me, this is a toxic mix. It leaves you empty---as giving all of yourself to something that does not reciprocate will do. Gotta stop watering those dead plants!

Things I'm Embracing This Day Forward

Feeding my spirit all the beautiful things it needs to thrive. When I am feeling unbalanced in life, it is more than likely because I haven't been spending time with God as I should. I feel lost, confused, uncertain, and fearful. I have to remember to put my total trust in God as my provider, protector, and let Him do the leading. It's when I try to do things on my own that everything results in chaos. I must stay focused on my relationship with Him as well as feeding my spirit love, positivity, and truth so that I will be about to share these things freely with others.

Supporting what and who I love. One of my goals is to be more intentional about showing support to people + ideas I love. It really curbs the notion to bash the things I wish would go away and complain about the things I don't like. I am also practicing showing more gratitude to my family, tribe, and support system.

Working on a "better" me while still embracing who I am, as is. Sometimes we get so caught up in "improving" ourselves that we really forget to celebrate who we genuinely are. I can dig my quiet, reserved nature, so there's no need to keep reading books on how to be an extrovert lol. In other words, I want to focus more on being happy with who I am, naturally.

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As you can see, I have quite a few bad habits I would like to leave in the past. I appreciate you for reading and allowing me to share them with you, as I went back and forth with whether or not I should even share these things. It does feel quite freeing to hit the publish button, though!

Do you have any bad habits you would like to leave behind? 

How about better habits you would like to form today? 

Please feel free to share them with me in the comments!

photography credit: mike fox
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