I'll admit, I thought the impending doom of my 30s would feel a lot different, but I'm kind of enjoying this year. In fact, I'm super excited for that chapter to begin. In six months, of course. And as I close out the last year of my 20s, the best part is learning the lessons that this decade has been trying to teach me all along.
1. I Like My Own Company
Go with me to freshmen year of college. It's 2006 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC and the three friends that I must always eat with are all busy at the same time. I had two choices: starve or go to the cafe alone. I'll be honest, I ate two waffles the next morning at breakfast I was so hungry. That girl was a little irrational. More than that, she hadn't found the loveliness in her own company, yet. It would take 365 days and a long pep talk to get her to that cafe alone and eventually on the metro and to a movie and to dinner until finally she could navigate the city with only the sound of her heart to accompany her. Yet, there still wasn't enjoyment in those moments; they were merely unfortunate moments of necessity when her friends were unavailable.
And I've been working on it every since.
In 2015, I made a goal to do one thing solo every weekend (I love challenges) and I stuck with it for most of that year. In 2016, I expanded that idea and decided to try some solo trips: there was Nashville for Beyonce, DC for Homecoming, Chattanooga to See PJ Morton and a dozen or so trips to Atlanta for no reason at all. Each time I went away, I had more fun than the last. And as I took more and more solo trips, I realized that my solo journeys are no longer just something to do until someone else can join in, but they are required reading! I love it. I love seeing the things that interest me. I love laughing at myself for tripping over that obvious curb. Or sitting still in the quiet of my own company. Sunday I told a group of friends that I needed these solo moments before my life became a beautiful whirlwind of marriage and dogs (see what I did there). I needed to like my own company before adding a permanant accomplice. And I must say, I really do like it. I'm so cool to me. (So, accomplice, what's good?)
2. It's OK to End Things
Being a millennial raised by the baby boomer generation is tough. They don't believe in ending anything. I would still be eating those green beans from 1994 if my mama had a say. And I think I took their idea of sticking with things a little too far. To the point that friends, jobs, relationships and even clothes that needed to leave my life long ago got to stay for nostalgia's sake.
Yet, in the last year of my 20s, I'm learning how beautiful it can be to let things end. Some things, people and places just aren't forever. And that's fine. I feel like I shaved 10 years off my life when I began to allow things to end without trying to hold on to them. Getting here wasn't easy. A lot of prayer and a lot of meditation went into it; and I'm still working it out.
Now my mantra is this:
Whatever comes, let it come. Whatever stays, let it stay. Whatever goes, let it go.
3. You are What You Feed Your Soul
This lesson has taken me the longest to learn. Honestly, it is probably the one lesson I was meant to learn in this decade; with all others stemming from it.
I wrote the following paragraph in my journal on my 29th birthday and the last six months have proven it true time and time again:
Who you speak to, the voices you trust, the ideas you allow to swirl around you matter to your soul. If negativity is everywhere you go, you will feel it in your soul. And the only way to fix this is to overpower it with light and love. Do good things. Be around good people. Speak loving words to yourself. Forgive quickly and often. Listen to sounds that lift you up.
And that's all I have to say about that.
I pray where ever you are in life, whatever age, that you are learning the lessons meant for you at this particular time.
Always in love.