September started out really rough for me. My niece’s cousin was killed in late August and buried a few days after what would have been her 9th birthday. Two associates of mine, mothers passed; both succumbing to longtime illnesses. I usually start out my birthday month full of excitement and countdowns, but this year proved to be different. I was emotionally spent and mentally drained.
The Funny Thing
I recently watched an old episode of “Girlfriends” which actually was the very first episode of the series. In this episode, coincidently Joan Clayton (Tracee Ellis Ross) is celebrating her 29th birthday. She feels like her accomplishments are mere in contrast to her age. So throughout the episode she’s claiming she is “26”. Funny enough, in real life Ross was only 27 at the time. Anyway, a lot of the issues Joan was agonizing over in this episode, about turning 29, mirror my own. Wanting to get married, wondering if she will ever have children, I think most importantly wondering if she will find that true “can’t live without you kinda love”. Here it is, this episode premiered in September 2000, and in September 2016 not much has changed for most women reaching this age.
My Thought Process
Honestly going into this birthday, I was feeling very melancholy. A couple of failed relationships under my belt, an unplanned pause in creative projects, a lot of internal self-destruction. I made it to 29 by the skin of my teeth. Then at the last minute, my perception changed. Jada Page lost her life. I saw and I’m still witnessing, her mother, her family, mourn her death. It changed me. It changed my outlook on what “I thought” my life was supposed to look like. Life, I’m learning is not promised. We have to do the best we can while we’re here, and make the biggest impact in any way we can. I may not have the husband and the kids I thought I would have. But I do have life, and I am surrounded by love from my family and friends.
One of my biggest lessons came in the form of self-acceptance. I no longer cared or needed validation. If I wanted to wear my hair a certain way, I will. If I want to dress a certain way, I will. For far too long, I cared about what people thought of me and lived to appease them. If the man I was dating at the time, didn’t like my nails a certain color, I would change it. If he liked my hair a particular way, I would wear that style. If my friends didn’t like the clothes I wore, I’d dress in a way that didn’t draw to much attention to my attributes. I think when you get in your late 20s, you start to “fuck it” a lot lol I started to love me more and less of others opinions. I do what I want, when I want and I am wholeheartedly unapologetic for that.
So I went to Jamaica alone. Every time I told someone that, they had this bewildered look on their face. (Insert wide eye emoji here lol) It definitely was an experience. Very liberating. Despite the fact I’ve never been out of the country before, I travel alone often. One of the things that I LOVE about myself is my independence and my ability to take care of myself. I am very good with directions, and I have never gotten lost ever or anywhere. I like to think this is one of the best traits about my personality. I don’t panic easily and I have great patience when it comes to traveling. Anyway, I would say I lucked up and picked a great all-inclusive resort, but the truth is I did extensive research. Before I made a decision where I was going to go, I compared prices, quality, travel times, etc. for a good month before I committed to the vacation. Once I settled on Jamaica, I chose Melia Braco. I definitely recommend this resort. They won an award for “Best Leading New Hotel for the Caribbean” so there was a huge event there on one of my days there, in which the Prime Minister attended.
I ate, drank, and relaxed my troubles away for a few days in complete solitude. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and will do so again in a heartbeat.
This is the last year of my 20s! I’m going to live and love harder than before. Join me on my journey. XOXOX