Comfortable in my own skin (and it only took me 30 years to do it)

A few years ago I used to co-facilitate a  workshop for pre adolescent girls. The themes of  the workshop  focused on body image, and increasing self-esteem. Bi weekly my co-facilitator and I would have sessions with these girls to assist them with  becoming comfortable with themselves, and learning how to see themselves as beautiful both inside and out. During one of our sessions we began the group by handing each of the girls a mirror and, asked them to look into the mirror while telling themselves that they were beautiful.  None of the girls were able to do this task. They were not able to say “I am beautiful”. The girls told me if they said that then they would sound conceited, and they didn’t want to come off as conceited. I gave them permission to be as conceited  as they wanted. They continued to struggle. We were in a room with nine girls aged 11-13, not one of them were able to stand up, look in a mirror, and tell themselves that they were beautiful.

When is it acceptable for us to be comfortable in our own skin?

Now that I am 30, I can safely say to myself that I Am Beautiful. I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and think to myself, hey I look pretty cute. Am I being conceited? Some people might think so. But honestly, I don’t even care. As long as I am happy with me, my whole self, inside and out, what other people think is a secondary notion that spends little time in my mind.

Now that I am 30, I am at peace with myself. To be comfortable with myself goes far beyond the way I look in the mirror. I am a girl, so some days I will have my “fat days”, or my “I look like a hot mess” days, but even on those days I will be comfortable with who I am. This is only possible because I have found a sense of inner peace. I have calmed down from over thinking what everyone else expects of me, and what everyone else wants me to be. What is the sense of working so hard to please everyone else, when I am not putting any energy into pleasing myself? I have chosen to please myself first. If others do not agree, then its a great thing that this is my life. I can only be affected by those things that I allow to affect me. If it is positive then bring it on! If it is negative, well then it can stay far far away from me.

Now that I am 30, I choose to be in control.  I am in control of what happens in my life. At 30 I am at the most mentally, physically, and spiritually stable point in my life. I know how to control my moods, I am aware of my body’s emotional regulation so I do  not feel like a crazy person. I can run faster and longer than ever before, exercise has become a daily fixture in my life, and my body has the strength to overcome many physical challenges because of its constant conditioning. I am doing things that I have never done before, like actually sign up for races (who knew I would be doing that at 30?). I look forward to physical challenges, sweat is great, and exercise pain is my new best friend.  I am spiritually ready for what God has in store for me. Years ago I was far from ready for what God had planned for me. God knows exactly what he is doing, walking by faith, I will let him take the lead. With God and balance I will continue to be just fine.

Now that I am 30, I just like being me. I will always say it, I am a little bit different. I am slightly to the left, I am clumsy, I hesitate to wear white because I know something will spill on it. I hate getting my hair and nails done because I think it takes too long to finish, and I dislike shopping because I hate waiting in lines. Some days I never know if I’m coming or going, and I work best when I can just wing it. That is me. I laugh at my own jokes, and I can easily laugh at myself for doing something silly. I have a ton of faults, and I love them all. I am a consistent marcher to the beat of my own drum, and my beat sure does sound damn good (well in my head). I can only be me. And finally, I have fallen so deep in love with me!

So hopefully now it is acceptable for me to be comfortable in my own skin. Because if not, I don’t have another 30 years to waste on being someone else.

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

 

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29 and counting…Its Over. My 20’s a decade in review

Welcome 30! Today I have officially made it out of my 20’s safely, and kleenex free. Luckily I have avoided the emotional meltdown that I was highly dreading.  Surprisingly I still feel good, actually I feel great.  I hope age 30 will be my best year ever! Let’s check in on that a year from now.

As I say goodbye to my twenties, I must say that I am really not too sad to see them go. I have made mistakes, learned how to get over those mistakes, made more mistakes, and again continued to grow. Life is a journey. One word to describe the last 10 years of my life: Transformation. A year ago I would have never been able to understand this transformation fully, but over time, I have been able to look back on events in my life and learn from them. I have been able to transform into the product of a collection of lessons learned from every phase of life over the past decade, for if I have not been able to learn from it then what was truly the point of living it.

My 20’s a decade in review: A decade that can safely be put to rest

Ages 20-22: I was really dumb. Seriously, I knew absolutely nothing at all about anything. During this phase of my life I graduated college, so I knew enough to get by in higher education.  I started graduate school, so I even knew just enough to get by in continued higher education. OK so maybe I was book smart. However I was still dumb. My weekends were spent partying at the club, and I think I tried about every type of alcohol that was in existence at the time. During the age of 20 I drank so much, that by the time I turned 21 I really didn’t have the desire to drink anymore. But I did. I kept drinking, I was having fun. That’s what you do when your young right you have fun and binge drink. During my early twenties I learned how to express love to another person, I thought was in love for the first time (or at least I really really  liked my boyfriend a whole lot), and I learned there are hundreds of ways to have the most amount of fun in Manhattan on a super cheap budget! Most important lesson learned: Stop being dumb and grow up!

Ages 23-25: Ahhhh my mid twenties! I was still dumb. Maybe not as dumb as my early twenties but still very much dumb. By this time I thought I had found love for the second time. Even had those crazy thoughts of having that nice shiny ring, with that whole wedding thing to match. Yeah I was a serial monogamist. But, I am also a romantic, so if I think it is love then I will run with it. The highlight of my mid twenties; graduating from graduate school. The low point of my mid twenties, actually having to go out and get a job! Adulthood came quick, I wasn’t even looking and it hit me on the head. No more living on grad school budget with two part time jobs, I had a real salary and real responsibilities. As a new psychotherapist I knew nothing, and I imagined all my clients hating me and walking out of my office because they would eventually realize that I knew absolutely nothing. Yeah that was me. Fresh out of school, student loans galore, and I still knew nothing. Lesson learned: Just because someone gives you a job, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to do it.

Age 26: In basketball, during  a seven game playoff series, when both teams each have 2 wins in the series, they refer to game 5 as the pivotal game 5. Age 26 was my pivotal game 5. To be honest, age 26 was probably the darkest year of my life to date, and I never want to go back to that point again. It was my make or break year, and through much of the year I was broken. If I could describe myself at age 26 the word would be, uncertain. I was uncertain about everything, and just surviving to make it to the next day. Life was there, but I was no where near living.  My job was a daily form of torture. I was on a roller coaster ride of a relationship, so that was just more self-inflicted torture, and everything about New York City seemed to increase the daily torture meter. To describe my mood as unhappy would be the ultimate understatement. The age of 26 was pivotal because I knew something needed to change. I needed a big change and I needed it quick. If I had stayed in New York, I saw my life on a downward spiral towards the abyss of depression. If I left, well I figured it couldn’t be any worse than what I was already facing. And on that note, I left. Lessons learned: Stay away from douche bags, and self-inflicted torture is never a good idea. If you are not happy with something in life, It is fully your responsibility to change it.

Ages 27-29: The transformation years: These are the years that I will miss. I am happy and sad to see them go. During this period I was no longer the college drinking weekend alcoholic, or the unhappy, job hating New Yorker. I found a way to just be me, and I found a way to be me on the other side of the pacific. Who knew that would happen? No, everyday was not the best of days, I still very much struggled with days of unhappiness, and even lingering depressive thoughts. Lessons learned: How to take control of my own life. How to make it work for me. I learned how to combat negative thoughts, negative energy, and negative experiences, so I can the avoid the downward spiral. I learned to depend on myself. To not look for love from others, but to look for love within myself. I learned how to work at a job that I love. I have developed into a great therapist, and no longer worry what my clients think of me. I have learned to appreciate the life that was given to me, and over the past few years I have developed a stronger understanding of how I can make it better. I have no regrets. Most importantly, I learned that life involves taking risk, without my risk who knows where I would be today.

As I reflect on my twenties, I start to smile. Through the laughing, the crying, the love, the heartbreak, the pain, the isolation, and the starting over, I have really had an emotional, purpose driven last ten years of life. I am grateful for the lessons learned in life through each year of my twenties. I am also very happy that I am no longer dumb. I still do not know a lot, but at least now I recognize what is unknown, and as always I am ready to learn so much more.

So today at 30, bring it on. What do I want to do? Well to start expanding my career options, move back to the other side of the Pacific, possibly closer to the Atlantic, and if that love thing happens to come around again, I’ll be even more ready for it this time. I can’t help it, I will always be a hopeless romantic. 🙂

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

29 and counting…Lessons learned from my mother

As I gear up to approach 30, I have finally come to realize that I am an adult. A true adult.  OK, I know it took me long enough to grab on to that concept, but since I have been fighting the responsibilities of adulthood for so long, its has never been easy to accept that I am a true adult.  With adult actions, come adult choices, and adult consequences. Being an adult is not fun. As I move into a  phase of embracing this adulthood, I also am realizing that I have grown into a woman who is much like my mother. When I take a step out of myself, and examine the woman whom I have become, I see a lot of my mother in me. In my actions, my words, even in my crazy and somewhat chaotic thought process, I have grown into a younger version of my mother (Is this really what parents want from their kids?). While the 15-year-old teenager  in me yells and screams in pure rebellion format, the 30-year-old woman in me is pretty proud of what I have grown up to become.

My mother has been a substantial role model for me, and if I had a choice on who would teach me how life is supposed to be lived, I surely had the best pick of all when it comes to my mother. My mother is a woman who carries herself with integrity and grace, she has never taken a life experience for granted, she embodies the true definition of strength.  My mother does not give up, she not only keeps going, but does her best encourage others to keep going. She understands that life is not perfect, but she has a spirit that motivates her to keep living life to the fullest everyday.  A woman who has never been a taker, a woman who is an outstanding giver of herself, her time, her energy, a woman who will easily put the needs of others before the needs of her herself. To be fortunate enough emulate a woman who has excelled beyond measure as a wife, a mother, a friend, and an individual exemplifies the true meaning of a blessing. I was given a mother who is not only a role model, but a leader for my life. A woman who very much without her knowledge provided me with gifts of influence and lessons of womanhood that I would have never embraced had it not been for her.

So today, as I recognize  the woman who I have become, the future wife, and future mother in me must truly say thank you to my mother. She has shown me how to not only live as a woman, but to live as a woman with integrity.

Lessons I learned from my mother

Lesson 1: To whom much is given, much is expected:

My mother made sure I had a good education. Sher always expected me to get good grades, and go to college. I never thought college was not an option to me, my thought was that is was a requirement of life. My mother was proud to see me go to college. No matter what college I got into, I knew I could go. She would never look at me and say “I don’t have the money”. If I got in and wanted to go, she would find the money to make it happen. My mother didn’t have money in a college savings fund, but she knew the value in me attending college. She made it happen. My mother often stretched herself to give me a lot. For this she always reminds me, To whom much is given, much is expected. I was always given an opportunity to do better, now it is my turn to help others do better. My mother expects me to keep growing on the opportunities that were given to me. My task is to not waste the sacrifices that others have made for me. She always tells me that she wants to see great things from me, and daily I continue to work to make that happen.

Lesson 2: Be grateful to others and make sure to show appreciation:

When I was younger I would frequently watch my mother go out of her way to help other people. Anyone could call her and ask her for a favor and she would do it, she would not only do it but she would go beyond what was even asked. No matter how tired, stressed, or overwhelmed she was, she would make sure she was available to help those who would ask. I would sit back and wonder why as it looked like it was just extra trouble for her,  and she was getting absolutely nothing out of the deal. I would sit and think, ” is mommy a doormat?” Why do we have to keep doing things for these people, especially when it appeared they were taking her for granted. My mother would then tell me countless stories of incidents when she needed help in one way or another and there was always someone there to help her. W ether it was someone who allowed her to stay at their home, cook her a meal, or just check in on her when she was having a bad day, someone was always there. So she would easily give back to them when they asked for help, she could never do enough to show her appreciation to whomever it was for being there in her time of need.

Lesson 3: Whatever you do, do it well:

I hate art. I am a really bad artist, and if anyone ever tells me to draw anything I spiral into a pre drawing anxiety attack. In elementary and junior high school, a lot of projects required some type of art accompaniment. Since I was so bad at art, my drawings, paintings, and projects were horrible if every form. For me to take it to school and turn it in like that was completely unacceptable for my mother. Since I hated art, I put no time into it, and threw something together that I hoped would get me at least a B grade. I have no artistic talent and hated to pretend otherwise.  We would then spend hours working on projects until they looked presentable enough to leave the house, until it was good enough to take into the teacher. The project represented me, it showed the value of my work. My mother taught me the value of putting time and effort into things, even when I hate doing them. If I am going to do something, then I need to do it well. My work represents me, it is how people make their judgement of me. My mother taught me the value of doing my best, being proud of my work, and even if things do not come naturally to me to keep working at it so at least it will look like it is a natural talent in the eyes of others.

Lesson 4: Make sure to look like a million bucks, even if your entire outfit cost you five bucks:

My mother is the greatest bargain shopper. She loves a good sale, and has the ultimate willpower to wait for the price of an item to be marked down to the price that she is willing to pay for it before she will buy it. My mother does not buy anything on impulse. She shops smart, and she shops well. My mother can wear the finest most expensive outfit, knowing that it was not expensive for her. When she goes out to an event, she is prepared because she has bought items piece by piece as they were on sale. Form the top, to the skirt, to the shoes, she is prepared to look her best and impress. Even if she is not going anywhere soon, she will be prepared for when the time comes. The greatest part of her ability to impress is that she is always able to impress within her budget.

Lesson 5: You live in the community, treat it like it is your very own home:

Growing up I have seen my mother involved in taking an active role in the church, as PTA  President, and as someone who is always aware of community events. My parents have lived in the community for over 33 years, it is home. A lot of change has happened over the years, and my mother is very much aware of all the changes. My mother has put much effort into making the community better, into seeing what she can do to play her part as a community member. She has shown me that if you sit by and do nothing then nothing will happen, if you want to witness a change, then someone has to step up and be the voice of that change. It has been an influential aspect for me to see that every voice really does matter.

Lesson 6: By knowing your past, you can work to improve your future:

A few years ago I went for a Ph.D. interview at Columbia University. Both my mother and I were excited that I had the opportunity to be interviewed at Columbia for a Doctorate program. Before the interview my mother told me that I was standing on the shoulders of my ancestors.  At the time I really was uncertain as to what that meant. However I have finally come to realize that if it had not been for my ancestors than I would not have the opportunities that I am given today. My mother always does her best to inform us of her past, and the past of her ancestors. Through her countless stories I have grown to appreciate what my ancestors went through to make life just a little bit better for me. My mother would always tell stories of her childhood, the difficulties that her and her family went through, and how hard they worked to overcome the many obstacles of growing up black in the south. My mother continues to make sure that I never forget the trials and troubles of past generations, so I can do better not only for my generation, but also the generations that come after me.

Lesson  7: How to excel in the world as a Black woman:

To know how to exist in the world as a Black  woman is not easy. It is not a natural task that is innate at birth, and there is no book to teach you how to gain respect as a Black woman. It takes time, preparation, and modeling from elders, to learn how to define yourself as a Black woman. Other people will always want you to be who they think you should be, but you will not be comfortable with yourself until you truly know who you are. Black women are constantly defined by media stereotypes as being angry, loud, and always ready to fight (If you have watched the real housewives of Atlanta then you know what I mean). When I meet people from other parts of the country, they always tell me I don’t act like a Black Woman. As I sit and wonder, “what is that supposed to mean?”, sadly I already know exactly what it means. My mother was my first example of a Black woman, the ultimate role model. The woman who taught me how to act with pose and grace. No need to be the angry Black woman, because anger will get you never help you move forward. From watching the actions of my mother and by listening to her words, I have learned how to show strength in times of despair, how to prove my worth when others have doubted my abilities, and how to be confident in knowing that yes I am a smart Black woman, and yes I am a smart Black woman who is also capable of changing the world.

Lesson 8: Never give up:

My mother never had the opportunity to go to college. Today she is going to college. At the age of 57 my mother is back in school, working to get her bachelor’s degree. A dream that she had, she is making it come true. My mother enjoys learning, she is taking these moments that she has to enhance her knowledge, and create a better future for herself. It is never too late, go after your dreams, and never give up.

Lesson 9: Whenever possible, do your best to extend yourself:

My mother is frequently doing things to make the day better for other people. If she knows they are down, or not feeling well she will look for ways to cheer them up and put a smile on their face. She is often looking for what she can do to help someone else. Not because she owes them something, but because she wants to. My mother will do things to help other people have a positive experience, or just to experience something new in life. It makes her feel good to come up with an idea, put it into action, and see that someone else has had a positive day. My mother is ready and willing to extended herself when needed, and will do it with no questions asked, no monetary value needed. Just the joy of being available to help is enough of the pay back she will need.

Lesson 10: Live your life:

One thing people always ask me is how did my parents react when I told them I was moving to Hawaii. To much of my surprise my mother was very supportive about my move to the other side of the world. Since she thought it was OK for me to leave, then I really felt that this would be a great decision for me.  From when I was a very young child my mother has taught me the importance of living life. On weekends, my mother would take me and my brother to Manhattan to experience museums, the zoo, and concerts in Central Park. She would take us out of our neighborhood in Queens, just so we were aware that there is more to life than the block we grew up on. From my mother learned of learned the importance of going outside the box, I learned to desire more than what was in front of me, and that to truly live you may need to take a risk and explore what is unknown.


Are we really ever prepared for life’s changes?

There is really no preparation for life, you just live it and see what happens. Life happens quick. Change is constant. No one prepares you for change, but you always know it will come. How can you be ready? Lessons are learned in life as you go along. You make mistakes, you make more mistakes, you make bad choices, some days you make good choices, through it all you hope to keep living.

Looking back on the last few years of my life, I wonder how I got to this point. The point of today. Standing on my balcony in Honolulu, overlooking the mountains going toward the Pali. How did I get here? It feels like yesterday I was in New York, living on West 150th street in Harlem, taking the subway to work, feeling like life had no purpose. 3 years ago I would never have thought that I would be standing on a balcony living in Honolulu. Is this real?

Life happens quick. I have no idea what is going to happen next. Sometimes I wonder where I will be 3 years from today. I wonder if I will still be in Honolulu? I suddenly stop my mind  to avoid getting wrapped up on the future, and changes in the future that may cause anxiety. I need to focus on living for today.

When life happens you change, other people change, everything changes. Change should be for the better right? Then why do some people change for the worse? I hope that today I am a better person than I was 3 years ago. I feel like I have grown for the better. 3 years ago I spent a lot of time being in love with someone who didn’t know how to love me. Over the past 3 years I have learned how to love myself.  3 years ago I found myself being afraid to just live, now all I want to do is live. 3 years ago I wondered if I would be able to survive in life alone, now I know that I cannot only strive when I am alone, but I am openly ready to accept the help from others. It is true I have grown.

Life will continue to happen quick. One day at a time, it will move faster than ever. But everyday I feel more prepared for what happens. Through the obstacles of past lessons learned, and with the challenges of future lessons to come, I will be forever prepared to keep living.

 

 

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

My insurance company pays for my birth control, I guess that makes me a slut too!

Today is super Tuesday, there is nothing super about it. I hate politics.

Over the past few weeks we have seen an increase in public discussion of women’s rights, and what women should and should not be doing with their own bodies. The controversy as usual started with the abortion debate, then moved to law makers wanting to pass bills mandating invasive procedures for women who wanted to have an abortion, then to top it all off we have a widespread attack on female contraception. When will this madness end! Suddenly when did choices I make for my body become everybody else’s business and when did everyone really start to care so much?

The icing on the cake appeared last week when Rush Limbaugh decided to take it upon himself to call Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his nationally broadcast radio program. He must not realize that by calling her those names, he attacked any woman who has ever used birth control. He has since offered an useless apology, but really Rush, we all know that you are not sorry for what you said. Rush really should have kept his tired apology. To use his media influence to publicly degrade and humiliate a woman in our American society is disgusting to say the least, and an outright public form of bullying. Yes we live in a country that has freedom of speech, but with that freedom also comes personal responsibility. Rush is well aware of the power he has when he is on the radio, to abuse that power to spread an openly misogynistic and hateful message to the public should never be tolerated. So good for the advertisers who pulled out of his show, he should understand that ignorance about a woman, and a woman’s body is not an acceptable message to spread to the American public.

For Rush, or anyone else for that matter to assume that female contraception is just about sex, I would say why not take a minute to truly educate yourself about female contraception before publicly denouncing that insurance companies should cover the cost for it. First of all female contraception is a medication, just like every other medication you get a prescription for. It is not any less relevant than your heart or diabetes medication. It is taken as prescribed from the doctor. Yes, contraception stops women from getting pregnant. Pregnancy is very much a health issue. Does that make every woman who takes contraception a slut? Absolutely not. About 99% of women have taken a form a birth control in their life. Men, if you think not, then your wife, girlfriend, mother, daughter, or sister, is probably not being honest with you. So why not rethink that definition of a “slut” real quick. Married women use birth control. Why? Because they just may not want to get pregnant. Is she a slut? Women in monogamous relationships readily use birth control, the 15 or 16-year-old high school student down the block is probably using birth control . Are these females sluts? No they are just using a medication to control their own bodies.

I’m not a doctor, but real quick education on the other uses of birth control for anyone who questions why insurance companies should cover the cost of contraception. That adolescent girl going through early stages of puberty may be experiencing severely heavy bleeding monthly and cramping so bad that she cannot go to school 5 days out of the month due to these cramps. Her doctor prescribes her birth control to make that monthly week of bleeding, just a little bit more manageable (it still sucks!). Birth control helps women regulate that cycle of blood so at least they can determine when they will feel like crap for a week. Hormones have also has been found to assist with ovarian cysts, and decrease the risk of ovarian cancer. Bottom line, contraception is a form of medication, and it is also a preventative measure. Come on now, I’m sure you would rather cover the cost of stopping the pregnancy, rather than the cost of that abortion, or the cost of raising the baby when I become a single mother and start to use those entitlement programs that you also want to diminish. Now which is cheaper?

It will always troubles me when I hear the ignorant comments made about this issue. Comments such as “Why should I pay for women to have sex”.  Suddenly why do men have so much to say about female birth control, when in reality they know absolutely nothing about birth control. Until men start bleeding out of their penis once a month, every man should just stay quiet about this issue. Men have no idea what a woman goes through with her body over the course of a lifetime, and to joke about female contraception proves how little they really know. No man or woman is paying for any woman to have sex. Unless you are actually leaving money on the table when the sex is over, that is when you are paying for a woman to have sex. Insurance companies cover the cost of Viagra. Why am I paying for men to have an erection, just so they can really have sex? When will we start having that debate? (I’m guessing no time soon right?)

Now if you wonder why you pay money into an insurance premium that covers the cost of birth control, stop thinking about it. Lets be honest, If all insurance companies decided they were not going to cover the cost of birth control, I highly doubt that anyone would notice a difference in the amount you are paying into insurance. However, you probably would notice the rise in unwanted pregnancies. If you are really that concerned over a few pennies, perhaps you would feel more comfortable with men practicing that pull out method that seems to work or not work so well (just ask the girls on 16 and pregnant how that worked out). But then again, that form of contraception is free, so I guess that would make you happy. Lets take money off the table here. It is not an issue about money.

On a positive note, maybe we can open up and have an intelligent conversation about female contraception. For a woman to enjoy sex does not make her a slut, it makes her human. For a man to degrade a woman for her sexual choices makes him a child. To any man who has a sister, a daughter, a girlfriend, or a wife, enlighten yourself to the importance of easy access to contraception. Increase your knowledge of its uses before passing and inaccurate judgement. Do I expect men to care about birth control? No they will never have to take it. However if you’re a father with a teenage daughter, do not assume the worst if your daughter wants to use birth control. You don’t want to see her and her baby on MTV right? Have a conversation with her, show her you are comfortable with the issue so she can talk to you. Ignoring that your daughter wants to have sex does not make it go away, the sex is will still be there, you just won’t be knowing about it.

If you are a boyfriend, or a husband, talk to your woman about her birth control if she is using it. Not all women are in a rush to get pregnant. It may be helpful for you to know that. A conversation is all that is needed. A conversation will stop judgments, insults, and inaccurate notions that continue to cultivate in a culture of ignorance.

In case your still interested in women’s health, check out these links:

http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/med-uses-ocp.html

http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/birth-control-pills

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

 

 

29 and counting…My moment of clarity

Today is March 4th. Happy March! 15 more days until I turn 30.

The calm before the storm….

Actually I have reached my moment of clarity. Turning 30 is starting to look more like the that life moment I have been waiting and mentally preparing for all my life.  With a sudden change of thought the feeling has turned from dread to a sense excitement that is left to be unexplained.  With a clear head, peace of mind, and a positive outlook for the future, 30 seems like it will be my most important life changing moment.

Let me explain:

A few weeks ago I was watching Chelsea Lately, and Kelly Rowland was on as her guest. Well Kelly has recently turned 30 and Chelsea  is already in her mid thirties. Chelsea asked Kelly how she would describe being 30, and Kelly’s response was Empowered. Kelly looked happier than ever, she had an amazing glow, she had a look of peace with just being herself, she was empowered! I immediately fell in love with being empowered at 30! Chelsea then responded by mentioning that her thirties have been the best years of her life. If we take a look at Chelsea’s success, she was absolutely right. Kelly and Chelsea have had life changing moments while in their thirties, and it keeps getting better. Forget fear and devastation, I am going into 30 as an empowered woman.

Recently, I have been feeling a continuous positive energy as I get closer to 30. I am like a kid on Christmas Eve because I can’t wait to see what this infamous 30 has in store for me.  My challenge is to decide how I can use what I know, to make a difference not only in my own life, but in the life of others. 30 is comes with much more responsibility than 20, more is expected, but I can handle it. When I look in the mirror I see my own glow, it is a youthful glow, one with a positive vibe, a glow of empowerment. I am in full control of my life, I own my decisions, my choices, and most importantly I own my destiny.

My moment of clarity is a moment that has been years in the making (a whole lot of years in the making). A moment that has not been easy to find by any measure. A moment that can be destroyed by confusion and overwhelm, a moment that I want to last forever. I am ready now (I have no choice) . I am comfortable with leaving my 20’s in the past, and embracing my future self. I am better for what I have learned and an amazing individual for what I will continue to learn.  As Oprah says, “your best days are yet to come” and trust me I am so ready for what is yet to come.