This year I make my 30th trip around the sun. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to turn 30. Some people fear it because of all the pressure society puts on us to have compulsory accomplishments completed. But for me, I saw 30 as a convergence; finally, my old soul would match my age. I would no longer be too far ahead of my time or too young to hold such complex beliefs and values about the world. My instincts, sensitivity, curiosity, and observations would be respected, not shut down. And, my need for space and quiet would be understood and not questioned, because after all, I’m 30 now, I’m old!
Well, it turns out people won’t suddenly see you differently. You don’t need their permission either. You have to show them. You have to communicate the treatment you expect. You have to have an awareness of your sense of self and create the environments you want. No one can do that for you. But we can work on it together. It’s a powerful and scary ability we all have; we have to permit ourselves to learn how to use it. We have to remind ourselves of this over and over.
Daily reminders and affirmations have become a thing for me over the past couple of years. As someone who hasn’t always felt seen or human, I have to remind myself who I am, what I want, and what I feel are valid. I am always striving to learn more, grow, and change. I’m grateful for the people and influences in my life and the lessons they’ve taught me over these past 30 years, good and bad. I love the world and spaces I am co-creating. Not everyone is going to be on my side or feel that I am doing right by them. Not everyone is going to want to see me thriving and living my best life. Especially when they can’t picture it for themselves or think I don’t deserve it. None of that has anything to do with me!
I have to remind myself that, as scary as life can be, I am powerful and capable of tackling it all. My own words and validation are enough. I am the subject matter expert when it comes to me. I will keep telling myself the things I need to hear. My heart is open to more lessons and affirmations along the way.
- Life is weird.
- Nothing is real, making everything a real possibility.
- What we acknowledge as “normal” is only someone else’s agreed-upon way of doing things.
- Niceness is outward and superficial; kindness is inward and genuine.
- Not everyone is going to like or accept you. Not everyone is going to like or accept the choices you make. That’s SUPER okay!
- We need space and exploration to figure out our wants, needs, and desires.
- Assertive, direct communication is key to meeting my needs.
- The benefits of showing up for myself outweigh the temporary discomfort it makes me feel.
- I am not responsible for managing or problem-solving the feelings, emotions, choices, and actions of others.
- Boundaries are essential to protecting me, my time, my energy, and my mental well-being. Boundaries help curate the rich experiences we want for ourselves; they are not selfish.
- I am committed to rest, self-compassion, peace, and nourishment over obligation.
- People want to be close to me and around me. I honor being true to myself. I am not obligated to give or show all of myself. I am not obligated to allow others access.
- My close relationships require building mutual trust and emotional intimacy to feel safe, joyful, comfortable, and authentic.
- Love is abundant and found in many different people and places. Love is love regardless of romantic, platonic, or familial; there is no hierarchy.
- You’re not required to maintain every single relationship you’ve ever made. People grow and change, our needs fluctuate. It does not mean the time together wasn’t valuable or worthwhile.
- Solitude is healing, productive, integral, and required for me to function.
- Healing is not a destination; it’s an ongoing intentional practice. It is deeply personal. It is not linear nor always cute.
- Listen to your inner child. You are your inner child.
- Trying something new may feel weird and uncomfortable. Not trying feels weird and unfulfilling, so you might as well try.
- Tell yourself the things you need to hear. Hype yourself up! External validation is great, but the best validation comes from within. You have to believe in yourself.
- My existence is magical. Others may not have the range to understand my complexity and fullness. It is not my job to make myself digestible.
- My mind is complex, critical, and fantastical. My curiosity and creativity are boundless.
- My sensitivity is a blessing.
- Being yourself can be dangerous. Not being yourself is also dangerous, if not more so.
- If you don’t speak your truth, someone else will fill in the blanks
- Accountability and changed behavior are my apology languages. I can’t control others, but I can control my reaction and my behaviors. I do not hold grudges; I peacefully move on with my life, with or without them.
- As difficult as it is, recognizing your behaviors and holding yourself accountable for the patterns repeated in your life are paramount to envisioning change.
- Parents are human. They are imperfect and messy. Your parents deserved better, their parents deserved better, and you deserve better. It’s never too late to break cycles and rebuild.
- We were conditioned not to trust ourselves, to be obedient. Fighting back by unlearning and reconnecting, individually and collectively, is a rebellious act of necessity.
- White supremacy, racism, patriarchy, capitalism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and a host of other oppressive systems and ideologies have affected my ability to feel and be seen as human. Choosing to love myself anyway is a middle finger to society. But, it means there will ALWAYS be barriers. That shit is exhausting.