I just entered a new decade, so I decided to write out what I know now, that I didn’t know when I entered my delicate 20s, ten years ago.
1. Silence is so much louder than words. You don’t have to accept an invitation to every argument you are invited too. People will say mean, cruel, distasteful things about you. Let them talk, you just keep doing what your purposed to do and eventually all that they have to say will sound like nothing.
2. Love with everything you’ve got. I was once in a mediocre love. When it ended. I cried a mediocre cry and carried on with my day to day life. I was also once in a “Carrie loves Big” type of love. And this love rocked me to the core. When it ended, I found God. When it rekindled, I drew even closer to God. And when it finally came to its final end (again), me and God laughed together and reflected on all that I had learned.
3. Squats (+ any exercise) works. Listen Linda, honey listen. Over the years I slacked on consistent exercise because I have a lean frame. Then one day I looked in the mirror and my entire butt was gone. I was flat as a pancake. So I started squatting. Squatting gave me a beautiful rump + motivated me to include a general exercise routine. Now everywhere I go I feel good and I look good. Why because squats + any exercise works. In your early twenties you can throw on clothes and they look good, by your late twenties you have to workout for every curve.
4. Roses matter. Receiving flowers is a big, Huge, AMAZING deal. Give them, receive them, and buy them for yourself. People who say roses don’t matter are lying through their teeth. Roses can say hello, goodbye, your my bestie, I’m proud of you, I love you, stay one more day, it gets better, oh and my personal favorite “you make me HAPPY!” This flower stands up all by it’s beautiful self and declares a powerful truth: I love you.
5. Be Yourself.I love Beyoncé! I have the best son on the planet! I love books! And I’m not done getting an education (repeat after me: PhD). I say all that to say there is no one on the planet as marvelous and unique as me. The same goes for you. Be YOU, everyone else is already taken.
6. Life is not short. Life is long long long. And the only time it feels short is when you’re having fun. I had an ah ha moment when I was writing out my 100 year plan. Surprisingly, when I got to my 40th decade I couldn’t make any more plans, because I fully expected to do all that I ever wanted to do in my 20s and 30s. Silly, I know. I know now, life is long and it perfectly healthy + happy for me to do awesome things in my 40s, 60, and 80s oh my!
7. Speak Up. This year for my birthday I got exactly what I wanted. As a matter of fact since January I’ve been getting exactly what I want. The reason being is I speak up. I told my friends, I told Him, I tell my clients, and I even tell my future clients… I want _____________. The beautiful thing about speaking up is every person that surrounds me knows exactly how to support + keep me happy. Speak Up.
8. You can’t make it alone. You are born alone and you die alone. But the time in between is meant to be spent making memories and living your life with others. Last year I was determined to attend the Beyoncé concert alone (and I did) but when I got there I was encased with so much love from other Beyoncé fans. When I look back on that amazing experience I am eternally grateful that I wasn’t alone.
9. Lies show up on your skin. One of my favorite books is “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise L Hay. In her book she shares the mental patterns that create sickness in our bodies. I really got into her work in 2008 and since then I’ve paid super close attention to my body to help me clean up my negative thoughts. What I’ve learned in the last five years is that liars tend to have rocky road skin and in general I avoid them like the plague. It’s doesn’t mean they’ll lie to me but I believe on some level they are lying to themselves or others and I choose not to be associated.
10. Don’t feed trash to your mind. Every …. Thought…. Matters, as in manifest. If you seem to keep producing reruns of your favorite Real Housewives episode in your own life then maybe it’s time for you to feed your mind quality information. While you’re watching TV your thinking, while you’re reading your thinking, while you’re speaking you’re thinking. If you don’t want all those thoughts to manifest then stop feeding your mind trash.
11. Your ex’s are not “yours”. They don’t belong to you. Hating their new girlfriend or your current boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend is completely and totally pointless. They don’t belong to you.
12. Time heals everything. That’s all.
13. My siblings will stand in my wedding. I love my friends. I have many. It would simply be impossible to choose among them. I love my sisters. I have many. It would simply be impossible to not choose them.
14. If it’s not a HELL Yes, it’s a hell NO. Stop doing things you’re not passionate about. It comes back to bite you in the butt. And that hurts like crazy. You know what you want intuitively. Trust yourself and say yes to your yes!
15. No. Is a complete sentence. One year when I was 23 I said no, to everything for a full month. It was one of my favorite months of my entire 20th decade.
16. Fear chokes outs AWESOMENESS. Everything I was afraid to do or say are now things people praise me for doing and saying. Now anytime I feel fear I chuckle and think oh here comes something AWESOME.
17. Daily prayer and meditation are essential. Prayer and especially meditation use to be occasional in my life. Then one day I did both consistently for a month. The following month I wrote my second book, secured a contract with a major conference, leased a gorgeous affordable downtown apartment, and officially put my stick in the mud about being the Happiness Queen. Try them.
18. Tangible books are better than eBooks. It brings me deep happiness to know that one day my grandchildren will come into my home library, climb a tall ladder, select a book from a massive bookshelf, drag it across the room, snuggle up with me on a chaise lounge and say grandma will you read this book to me?
19. How you do one thing, is how you do everything. If you show up late to work. You will show up late for your kids, your spouse, and all celebrations in your life. If you micromanage your employees or volunteers. You will micromanage your kids, your husband, and all celebrations in your life. If you cheat and lie constantly. You will try to cheat life to create kids, force a husband, and lie at all the celebrations in your life. How you do one thing, is how you do everything.
20. You are blessed to be a blessing. Everything that is showing up in your life good, bad, or indifferent is designed for Kingdom Glory. It’s also there to re-present your relationship with the King. If you don’t like your blessings (or lack thereof) draw closer to the King.
21. Real life is messy + soundtrack less. I kid you not I use to wait for music to play in the background of my relationships. It never happened. What did happen is laughter, tears, confusion, frustration, surprise, sex, heartbreak, happiness, upset, adventure, excitement, and risk! My life is messy + soundtrack less but I completely love it.
22. Your mother is right. This was a hard pill to swallow but my mother has always, yes always been right. Especially in the area of romantic relationships, raising children, cooking, hair, and God. There was this guy. She told me “he’s going to pull all the water of my eyes.” He did. “Boys need to spend MOST of their time with their fathers.” My son does and he’s excellent. “Cook like you love the person who is about to eat this meal, your food will taste better.” I do, and it always taste better. “Cut your hair, you’ll look like America’s Next Top Model.” “God will make a way.” And he always has. My mother is always right and so is yours.
23. You teach people how to treat you. Bottom line people do what you allow them to do.
24. A good book is not a substitute for a good therapist. Therapy works. We are living in a time wherein instant gratification is valued over values that show up over time. As a result we have a lot of hurt people looking for a quick fix to get over heartache, disappointment, and rejection. It’s okay to pause and let someone help you figure all that out. That someone should be a therapist not an author.
25. Change is inevitable. Change happens all the time and it will never ever ever stop happening.
26. Tithing is essential to a robust wealth plan. If you’re broke and reading this. Start tithing. If you’re wealthy and reading this start telling people the truth about tithing.
27. My values are mine. You don’t have to value them but you do have to honor them.
28. Happiness starts with you. Not your relationships. Not your job. Not your money. You have to choose happiness.
29. Nothing great just happens. Effort, intention, energy, work, hustle, heart, and sacrifices are behind everything great. Just because you can’t see the effort, intention, energy, work, hustle, heart, and sacrifices does not mean they didn’t happen. Nothing great just happens.
30. I know now as I enter my 30 decade, that who I am is someone I love, and there is no shame or fear in admitting that.
There you have it, 30 things I know now that I didn’t know when I entered my 20s a decade ago.