Happy Birthday to me! Man, time flies! I can't help but think back 10 years where I swore I would have my life together. I laugh now because, in a lot of aspects, I still don't and I'm okay with that. No, I'm not married with kids. No, I don't have that loft in the city I've always wanted. But I'm happy. Every year is a new chapter. Things change and people evolve and I'm thankful for the lessons these last 10 years have given me. People told me that my 30's were going to be the best years of my life and I would roll my eyes and be like "whatever" but they were right. I've officially been in my 30's for one whole year and I can tell you yes, it's true. My 20's were fun but I spent a lot of those years insecure and unsure of myself. I wouldn't trade in my confidence for my 20's even for a second. But I do wish that I knew then what I know now. In honor of my 31'st birthday, here are 31 things I would tell my 21-year-old self.
I've officially been in my 30's for one whole year and I can tell you yes, it's true. My 20's were fun but I spent a lot of those years insecure and unsure of myself. I wouldn't trade in my confidence for my 20's even for a second. But I do wish that I knew then what I know now. In honor of my 31'st birthday, here are 31 things I would tell my 21-year-old self.
1. Don't be afraid of growing older. Honestly, it does get so much better in more ways then one.
2. Don't worry about having things figured out now. And don't expect to have it all figured out in 10 years either.
3. It's okay if you're not married with kids by age 25 or even 30. People are having their 4th kid at age 35. So what if you're having your first kid in your 30's. You will feel the pressure from family and friends but everything will be okay. You'll realize your 20's were so much more fun without kids and will appreciate that God's plan was for you to wait.
4. Don't sleep in till 11! I know you hate it and you're so much more of a night owl but there is nothing like being up earlier and watching the sunrise.
5. You will be told a million times over that you're "too nice". There is nothing wrong with being the nice girl! Keep looking for the good in people no matter what. Not only because it's the nice thing to do but because it feels good, too.
6. Stop asking "why me?". There will be good times and there will be bad but you will get through it. In the moment, it won't feel like it but I promise you will pull through every time. Every messed up thing that happens to you will only make you stronger. Accept your journey.
7. You are beautiful! Stop stressing your little tummy, the laugh lines, and the wrinkles that aren't even there. You will look back at your pictures and think you were crazy because seriously, not much has changed. I don't blame you, it's hard when Facebook and magazines have these images of what the average girl should look like. It's bull.
8. Girl, you got your license at 19! Drive! What is wrong with you? Get behind the wheel. Your " I don't need a car, I work in the city" attitude is going to screw you over in a few years.
9. Take care of your body. Eat better, drink a lot of water, and exercise! Your body will thank you!
10. Do your thing. Don't worry about what other people are doing or saying. As long as you follow your heart and your morals, you're fine.
11. You will gain and lose friends. Sometimes you'll just grow apart. You will not love them any less. Be grateful for what they brought to your life, whether good or bad.
12. Same goes for your boyfriends. Don't change yourself for anyone and don't expect them to change for you.
13. You will not work at Harlem Hospital forever. There is an end to this chapter. Don't give into the stress and pettiness. Continue to flourish and be grateful for the thick skin you are learning to develop!
14. On that note, ignore the haters at work. God will bless you with coworkers you will be happy to see every day. Ones that will even become some of your best friends.
15. You are so young. And guess what? In 10 years, you'll still be young. Stop stressing time. It goes by way faster then you think.
16. The world is so much bigger then you are. Travel! Even if money is low or if you witch boss says you don't have the time. Do it! Let them doc you!
17. Keep being adventurous. Don't stop taking the train to "nowhere". Continue to get off at random stops to explore. But again, don't let this be as far as you go.
18. Pray often. Don't neglect your relationship with God.
19. Don't let one whole person consume you.
20. Don't make everyone else's responsibilities your own. You have enough on your plate.
21. You won't always have time for every single person in your life BUT you should always make time for the people closest to you.
22. Don't feel guilty for wanting "me time".
23. You mom is your always and forever best friend. And yes, she will always be right. So start listening to her.
24. Your brother will be fine. He will grow up to be an incredible man. So stop worrying so much about him.
25. Not everyone in life is going to like you and that's ok. Continue to be who you are no matter what. If someone hates on you, you're doing something right. Down the line you will realize that you live for yourself and not others.
26. Have fun!
27. Read as many books as possible! Don't stop, reading is a wonderful thing.
28. Start your blog! Don't be afraid. Putting yourself out there will be one of the best things you will do for yourself.
29. Listen to your heart often, Follow your gut. It's usually not wrong.
30. Be bold, comman attention.
31. Lastly, you are the only one who can limit your greatness. Remember that you are enough.