Today marks 30 years since I’ve been on this planet! I spent my birthday weekend with the beau cruising to Mexico. Definitely a must-needed mini vacay and with me being the introspective type, I couldn’t hit a milestone and NOT reflect on it. My 20’s were all about exploration and growing into the woman I am today. The past 10 years went something like this:
Early twenties: Life is good. I have everything planned out. Ideal career is in progress and I’m making strides in the right direction. I'm content.
Mid-twenties: Ok, this is not what I want. I'm in a quarter-life crisis - help! What’s my purpose? I'm lost.
Late-twenties: I’ve found myself and have honed in on my natural gifts. I’m actually sharing them now. I am not content with life yet. I want more out of life because I’ve seen more. I want to play bigger. I'm growing.
And I’m still growing. On this day, I’m sharing my 30 truths to turning 30:
1. Celebrate small wins. I shared this one on this post, and it still rings true for me now. I’m guilty of getting caught up in the big picture that I forget that the little milestones all add up to the big achievement.
2. Be gracious. Because, nothing that happens in this life should be taken for granted.
3. Invest in yourself. Be the investor of your own development. Learn a new skill like the woman in this movie did, or attend conferences in your industry. Learning doesn't stop after you graduate from college.
4. Protect your space. Know when to prune the negativity and ill-intentions that may show up in your circle.
5. Pull others up while you climb. What fun is it to be alone at the top? I remember hearing that Oprah gave her bestie, Gayle a million dollars one time so they could be millionaires together. I'm not saying you have to slang around money, but the point is to pour into others the same way someone did for you.
6. Love yourself. I am my worst critic. It's easy to nitpick about what we're not and how we could be more of this and that. But, being gentle with yourself will go a long way.
7. Know your worth. People will treat you how you treat yourself. Know your worth personally and professionally. When you know who are and what you stand for, it requires others to rise to the occasion.
8. Live life undimmed. Stop hiding behind your insecurities and let your light shine. There's someone out there waiting for the magic that is in YOUR story.
9. Embrace the fear and do it anyway. Raise your hand for that high-visibility project. Go to dinner alone. Try doing something every week that scares you.
10. Work hard in silence, let the results make the noise. Making public announcements (especially on social) and not delivering on the announced date is never a good look. It diminishes your credibility and gives the impression that you're all talk and no action. If you need to share your big plans with someone, find an accountability partner to share those details with and save the end product for your audience.
11. Surround yourself around those who pursue excellence. After all, you are the company you keep.
12. Be YOU. Do YOU. Because sometimes they'll have you thinking that because you don't act like the "majority," something must be wrong with you. Nope - just keep standing in your truth because you know who you are. There's really no room for second-guessing yourself for the sake of approval.
13. When it comes to personal growth, cease every opportunity. Learning doesn't stop after you receive that college diploma. Become a life-long learner and you'll grow and evolve forever.
14. We are all connected. The people you know in a past life could play a role in your future. I worked with Vanity Alexander about 6 years ago, and Kelli Scates was my suitemate back in undergrad. If you told me back then that I would 1) venture out on my creative endeavors and 2) be working with them in some capacity, I wouldn't have believed you. Vanity designed the dress I'm wearing in these photos and Kelli photographed me. You never know where life will take you, so be your best self because you never know who will pop up from your past life and impact your present and future.
15. Every disappointment is for a (wo)man’s good. My grandmother has a slew of sayings and this is one of them. That layoff or breakup is a blessing in disguise. It may hurt at the moment, but that disappointment had to happen in order for another door to open.
16. Embrace the failure. Learn the lesson and move on. If we're too hung up on the failure, we'll miss the opportunity to actually LEARN from what happened. I'm my worst critic, but I've realized that there are no positive results from constantly beating myself up.
17. Show up for yourself, even when no one else does. You are not dependent on other people's opinion, interests, etc. They may not always agree with you, or see your vision - and that's ok. Show up anyway because what was given to you is for you. It's up to you to see the vision through.
18. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. I had to snag this from my grandmother-in-my-head, Dr. Maya Angelou. Trust your instincts.
19. It’s ok to celebrate and admire others, but don’t let it cripple you. Being in a hyper-connected world (thanks, social media), it’ll feel like so-and-so is just killing it in life and you're not doing enough. Well, I'm here to tell you that you ARE doing enough. Matter of fact - you ARE enough. Keep your head down and focus on what you have to offer the world. There's enough room for you to shine, too.
20. The incline is going to try to break you. Keep climbing/growing. The minute we start deviating from the norm, and venturing out on our own endeavors, we will be tested. Stand firm in your beliefs and stay true to yourself/your mission.
21. Age ain’t nothing but a number. My eleven year old self said that by the age of 30, I'd be an attorney, a mother of twins, and live in a mansion. I'm so guilty of getting hung up on age and feeling down some days because I haven't arrived at my fullest potential yet. Someone asked me how I feel at 30, and I said not much has changed because I still haven't accomplished any life goals (homeownership, marriage, children, etc.). I've come to realize that we don't need to be putting that kind of unnecessary pressure on ourselves. Social media will have you questioning yourself but we are on our own timelines. While age is used as a marker to determine consent, adulthood, or senior status, it should not be a determinant of your purpose.
22. Smile often. There is a lot to be grateful for. Physically, it takes less muscles to smile than frown. Emotionally, a smile can brighten up someone's day.
23. Don’t just dream – do. We often get caught up in romanticizing our ideas (myself included). For every minute we use daydreaming about our goals, we should use 5 minutes to actualize it.
24. Create impact by imparting your gifts to others. This one goes with #8. A lot of people are living their life in regret, and singing their shoulda coulda wouldas. Make use of the limited time we have on this Earth and impart what was entrusted to you.
25. Even when it seems like no one is paying attention, know there is always at least ONE person watching. A couple months ago, I received a Facebook message from someone I haven't talked to since we were in the 4th or 5th grade. She congratulated me on my success. You just never know who's watching. Keep working. Keep sharing.
26. Mental health is real. Get the help you need. Shake the ego. Sometimes you can't figure it out all on your own. There are professionals who can sort out your interpersonal conflicts or point out repeat behaviors that have kept you stuck for years. You can get the help you need within your budget. During this episode of the MyTaughtYou podcast, Myleik's guest shares an amazing resource that's based on your income.
27. Celebrate yourself. Buy that dress you've been eyeing for months. Get a massage. Go to dinner alone. You matter.
28. Take mental note of your "day ones." Who are the people sending texts of encouragement, checking in on you without wanting anything in return, or remembering you on your birthday (without being reminded by Facebook)? The day ones have been with you when you were on the grind, when you were on ground zero of your destiny. They were the ones who kept rooting for you, even in your lowest moments. They understand that relationships take mutual effort - that one person can't be reaching out all the time to hang out, and the other person just obliges. Remember the people who were there with you from the beginning. They are your foundation and support system.
29. You are the G.O.A.T. – become it and own it. Do the Wonder Woman pose every morning if you have to. Declare your desires as many times as it takes for you to believe them.
30. Create a life that you're madly in love with. Honor your limited time on this Earth. Make it count.
You've reached a new milestone. You've come a long way, but still have lots to learn. As you grow, continue to share your journey. This is 30.
And there you have it. My 30 truths to turning 30. Which truths resonate with you most?
Photo Details: Dress - Vanity Alexander // Photography - K. Scates Studios