So, today marks the end of my 20s. My how time flies. At 30, I never imagined my life being the way that it is, I never imagined any of it. And not to mean that in a bad way, but I never thought I would grow from this broken, bitter, mean, heartless, damaged, emotionally scarred little girl, to the adult I am today. Let’s recap some of the lessons I’ve learned in my 30 years around the sun.
1. Sexual abuse doesn’t define me. Yes, it happened to me, but it was no fault of my own. I know now that that other person has to live with that for the rest of his life.
2. Just because you’ve been friends with someone since childhood, doesn’t mean that you won’t outgrow them. It’s okay to move on from something that was good for that period of time. If something no longer serves you, let it go.
3. Heartache is something that will never go away. Whether it be from romantic relationships, dismantled friendships, or the devastation of the actions of family. Heartache isn’t one size fits all and doesn’t come from one source.
4. I didn’t get to travel like I thought I would in my 20s, but that’s okay. They world will still be here tomorrow (unless The Lying, Abusing Cheeto gets us all blown up).
5. Single motherhood is not the worst thing in the world. It’s not even bad. It’s one of the best roles I have taken on so far, and I am proud as to how well I adjusted. I was terrified to be a mother, much more a single mother. This stigma of being a single mother is something I’ve always strayed away from and turned my nose up at, even though my mother was a single mother. But now that I’m on this side of it, my eyes have opened to the many reasons as to how a woman becomes a single parent.
6. I’ve struggled for years with my weight and body image. I’ve always had this negative mindset when it came to my looks. My nose was too big (yes, people made fun of me), my boobs were huge, I had small teeth, my stomach stuck out (I used to tie a scarf right around my stomach after sucking it in. One day someone called me out on it and I was totally embarrassed), my pants flooded, my shoes came from Payless, etc. But I digress. All of these things don’t matter now and didn’t matter then. I was fine with who I was until someone pointed out what they felt were flaws. I love me and all that I am and all that I used to be.
7. College was my wild years. Lots of sex and alcohol, but no pregnancy or STDs. I was a carefree student my freshman year, doing everything I should, while still holding a 3.0 GPA (I swear idk how I managed that when I was drunk Thursday-Sunday). I am proud of my college years simply because now, I don’t have to wonder, “What if…?” I had the time of my life and now it’s all behind me. I see many women my age with children, doing what I was doing in college.
8. I accomplished my dream of becoming a published author. I have published several books and I think I have one or two more in me. I let being a mom be my excuse as to why I haven’t written, but as I’m typing this blog post, I could be writing. Boo is asleep and has been for over an hour.
9. I always said I wanted to be a writer, but I never was specific about the kind of writer. Now, I’m an author, blogger, content creator, ghostwriter, editor and writing teacher! All of these titles make me happy and are more than I could’ve ever asked for. To be in this space is something I never really took a step back to realize I made my dreams come true.
10. I could’ve still been a writer and gotten a degree without all of the money I spent at a four year university. I could gotten an associates at a community college for a fourth of the price. I didn’t have the resources then, but I do now for when Boo gets older, if he decides to take the college route.
11. Growing up, I wasn’t too thrilled with how I was raised and because of that, it has affected certain areas of my life, especially when it comes to relationships with others. My mom did the best she could with the hand she was dealt, but I’m doing things differently. I want more for my life and for my son. My mom was and still is amazing, but times have changed and it’s a new era and style of parenting. I don’t want to continue to repeat the cycle.
12. Health is clearly something that I’ve always been interested in and something that I know I’m meant to be working in, I just don’t know what or how. I’m high school, I was extremely active with the dance team, chose health as my area of study my senior year, and I decided on researching and completing a project one type II diabetes in children. I even wanted to be a dietician. Where the interest died, I have no idea. What I do know is that I can still pursue that dream.
13. I had big dreams growing up. I always wanted to be famous for writing a screenplay or ghostwriting a song for a hit artist. I didn’t care about the money, just the fame. Clearly, life didn’t happen like that and I think it didn’t happen for a reason. What reason? Beats me. Now I spend my days working as an educator, having kids fall in love with writing. I can still leave my mark on the world with my words, just in a different capacity.
14. Money is the root of all devil depending on how you use it. I will admit that I struggle with mananging money and always have. I even took a money managing class in high school and still ended up drowning in debt. When I got my first job in high school, I always spent my money on frivolous things. My mom always told me to save, but never how. When I got my first job in college, I should’ve been paying my student loans back with it, but instead, I got a car. When I got a refund check for an entire year of school, instead of paying it back to the bank, I paid off my car. I got a credit card and maxed it out right out of college. I got another and maxed it out. I got a personal loan that ended up in collections. I got another car that I put too much money in to be fixed. I got another credit card and maxed it out. I got another personal loan and credit card that may end up in collections. What did I learn? If I can’t afford to pay it out of my own money, then dammit I can’t afford it. A lesson that is still being learned.