What I Needed to Know: Letter to My 30-year-old Self
I was writing in my journal about how I spent the majority of my life using writing to make sense of the world and process the challenges I was going through. It feels new and foreign to write about joy and love and peace; it's a different kind of uncertainty, and just like before, I will lean into that murkiness.
See, I've learned that each phase of life brings intentional lessons to prepare me for the next one. I've learned that there's no such thing as "arrived." As soon as a person hits one plateau, victory, mountain top, they are only at the foot of the next one. The biggest dream a person has for themselves (and let's tell the truth, often that dream is one of survival and maybe material comfort), once obtained, only becomes the foundation for their purpose.
Simply put, your ceiling becomes your floor.
I wish I had known that at 30, when I thought that I was supposed to have it all figured out, and I was only dreaming of stability (career, family, and financial). If I had known that the Black American Dream of being the Huxtables was a) not a race to be accomplished by a certain age and b) would not bring about the peace and fulfillment I subconsciously desired, I wouldn't have spent almost a decade holding on to that image or to that box.
I wouldn't have spent a decade in fear, frustration, hurt, self-doubt, or shame.
(I know I'm holding up a mirror to someone else's journey. What did you believe was supposed to happen by 30?]
What I needed I really needed to know was a host of lessons about love and connection to my spirit.
I needed to know to keep going with my reading and studying of emotional and spiritual books and knowledge.
I needed to know that it's okay not to fit in a box.
I needed to know that forcing conformity would hurt me and stagnate my growth more than the benefit of structure and belonging would.
I needed to know that God never left me and that experiencing difficulty wasn't punishment.
I needed to know to lean into my feelings, not affirming or guilting them away, not by avoiding them, not by being ashamed of them.
I needed to know that I could change my mind.
I needed to know that the only loyalty required was to my Creator, my child, and my peace.
I needed to know to trust my gut, soul feeling.
I needed to know that my feelings matter and are beacons from my soul.
I needed to know to be open to the process.
I needed to know what forgiveness meant.
I needed to know what self-love looked like and how to develop it.
I needed to remember to lean into the safe space of Goddess.
I needed to know how to celebrate myself.
I needed to know about my own divinity.
But as I said, each phase brings lessons, and that decade taught me a lot about my Self and my self, and ultimately about the true nature of self-love.