Yesterday was my 27th birthday! Yes, I know I am actually really young. And yes, I also know that I have a lifetime ahead of me. With all of that being said, I feel as though these 27 years have taught me lessons that are going to get me through another 27 years.
- Go with your gut always I can’t tell you how many times I have gone against my gut feeling and have paid terribly for it. Whether it is relationships, work, or just if I should have pizza for dinner; listening to my gut is essential. It is not optional.
- Be generous with self love
Between 22 and 25, I spent a painful amount of time hating my body post baby. I mean I despised it. While I still far from my goal, I am still committed to loving it, dressing it, and flaunting it and every part of myself confidently.
- Don’t worry about things you can’t control
There were times that I cried for hours, days, weeks over things that I had no control over. Whether it was bills, lack of money, or people; I would be devastated. I learned that if I am doing my damn best and I am not in control of what happens, I can’t worry about it. I can’t stress about bills I don’t have money for because tears don’t turn into dollars; busting my ass does.
- Create a life you are proud of, not a life that you hope others will envy
With social media, this has progressively become harder and harder. We have evolved into this human race that thrives on the likes and raves of others. It isn’t bad. I love social media still but when it begins to dictate my life, it transforms into horrible thing.
- Everyone is not as successful as they lead you to believe
On the topic of social media; people will have you believing they live the life and it is honestly a bunch of smoke and mirrors. Couples will have you believing that they are #goals and they too go through issues, problems, and consider breaking up. Don’t subscribe to the bullshit.
- Saying no is my right, dammit!
This is still a struggle but I am figuring it out. It feels awful to let someone down and decline their offer. But, you know what feels worse? Saying yes to something that you truly don’t want and dreading it coming into fruition or dealing with the consequences. The disappointment will pass.
- Treating yourself is alright
Listen, I am not going to deprive myself and waddle in misery all the time. Treating myself in any realm is ok. Now gimmie a glass of wine.
- I don’t have to explain myself
I do what I want. Period.
- I don’t have to have it all figured out
Listen; no one has it all figured out. Even when they tell you that they do, they don’t.
- Sexuality can be embraced
I vividly remember worrying, frantically worrying about how many men I slept with. Like, actually having the desire to sleeping with someone but not because I was afraid of being considered a slut. I laugh at that now.
- My body will change as I grow up– forever & that’s alright
Stretch marks happen. Cellulite happen. Saggy breasts happen. I am human. That doesn’t make me less lovable and damn sure not less sexy.
- I will have tough times but they don’t define
I deal with depression and, often times, relentless anxiety. But, the key word there is that I deal with it. I don’t allow it to consume my life.
- Our time here is short
Ok, that is a less annoying way to say YOLO and not really a revelation but it is still very true and easy to forget. Life is too short to be clogged up with bullshit.
- Own my story Over the last year, I have really learned to accept my actions and thing that I have done in my past and to own them. It doesn’t mean I condone them or that I think it is ok but I have become at peace with them.
- Absolutely no one has to like me in order for me to like me
You know that saying that a person can’t love you until you love yourself? This is exactly that.
- I have to be present It is incredibly easy to fall into this routine of mediocrity. Wake up, go to work, go home, cook/take care of family, go to sleep, repeat. You can get lost in that shuffle if you don’t show up to your life. Taking moments to be actually present and savor moments, no matter how small they are, is a requirement.
- I am allowed to have fun like I am 27 AND be a mom
There is a stigma that will unlikely go anywhere that moms are these exhausted creatures that just give, give, give without taking some time for themselves that is just for themselves. Meanwhile, dad is out golfing, drinking beers, and having a grand ol’ time. I stop feeling guilty about demanding to shit by myself.
- Speaking of family; I will not feel guilty for not wanting to be a stay at home mom
No dammit, I don’t want to be a stay at home parent. Not because I don’t love my child or because I am a horrible mother. It is because it is not suitable for me. Period. Refer to #8 if you want more of an explanation.
- A college degree is not a soap box to look down my nose at others
When I was in college and pregnant, I felt ridiculously inadequate. Like I was the only dumb ass walking around with just a high school diploma (that I never picked up btw). Like having or not having a college degree defined my intelligence or talents. It doesn’t. I have a college degree now and it is just that. A certificate that proves that I finished an educational program. It doesn’t prove that I am better than someone else, though.
- My romantic life is private
I don’t have to tell everyone about my relationships with a significant other. Frankly, it causes trouble and if I don’t want to talk about my boyfriend with you, it is for good reason.
- Grieving is important When I think about grieving, I usually think about death. Grieving is not exclusively about death. It is about loss. Losing a love. Losing a friendship. Losing a lifestyle. Those all need to be processed and grieved.
- Emotional health is just as important as physical
I deal with depression and sometimes I have really dark days or even weeks and I have to listen to my body and emotions. I have to become a bit reclusive to take care of myself. It isn’t selfish. It is self preservation.
- I am fucking strong
I have accomplished big shit in my life. I have completed goals I never thought I’d complete. I was in Cosmo for goodness sakes! That doesn’t mean I have completed everything I have ever wanted to do or that I haven’t failed more times than I’d ever want to admit (because I totally have). It means that taking a moment to glance back at all I have accomplished feels really good and keeps me moving forward.
- While we are on failure; failing does not make me a failure
I fall. I get up. I trip on the same mistake and fall again. I get back up and repeat that countless times. Eventually, I get back up, shoulders back, and I succeed.
- Accept people at the distance of which they put themselves
For the longest time, I have tried to force relationships with people to mirror what I thought they were supposed to be. It never worked. That isn’t us. When I learned to accept people where they place themselves in my life instead of forcing them to be closer or further, relationships became easy, simple.
- Vulnerability doesn’t make me weak
I am sensitive. I am an open book. I get let down. I show my cards. That doesn’t make me weak. It makes me human.
- Being Latifah is complicated af
I am a woman, a mother, a partner, a daughter, a sister, and an artist among a few other titles. It’s complicated, messy, cloudy, and unclear sometimes being Latifah. But I am happy as hell to have this life of mine.