by Je’Niece McCullough
I was just chatting online with a friend who happens to share the same date of birth as I. She’s a year older than me and she told me that she liked being 32 because she got to learn so much about herself and face a lot of fears. My response was, “Oh girl that’s been happening to me since about the age of 25!”
I even laughed out loud for real at that but then I thought about it and realized I was only half joking. The truth is, 25 is the age where I began to learn a lot about myself and face a lot of fears. Now here I am, closing the gap between years 31 and 32 and I’m doing a lot of self-reflecting. The past 2 years have been hellish, but I can honestly say that today I feel the best that I think I’ve ever felt about myself. How can that be?
At this tender age of 31, I have finally come to a place of love and acceptance of myself. I have learned that I am going to be stuck with me for a long doggone time so I no longer need anyone but myself to validate me. I’m a single mother now and that raises a lot of questions in my head. Am I a good example to my daughter? Did I try hard enough with her father? Do I give her what she needs? Depending on the time I ask these questions, I may give myself a different answer. All I know is that at any given moment, I am giving my child, myself, and the world the best that I have to give.
Now, at any given moment, that best may vary. Some moments, it’s about 69%, others it can be as high as 99.899999%, and yet others it can be as low as about 12.2222% (that’s if I haven’t had any sleep then beware). But the point of it all, is I’m human. I’m just little old me and this woman here has led a full life. I’ve had some bumps and bruises along the way, but I’m thankful for them because they have given me some great lessons. Now since I’m human, I had to redo some a few times to actually get the lesson, but I got it dammit! And here’s a little bit of what I now know for sure. . . so far . . .
1. The best way to honor others is to honor yourself.
2. Everything in life is a blessing and a curse.
3. No one knows what the hell they really want out of life.
4. No matter how lonely I feel, I am never alone. Should I find myself alone, it’s probably by choice.
5. When it comes to relationships, there’s nothing wrong with boundaries.
6. I cannot make anyone be who they should be. I can love, nurture, support, offer pearls of wisdom, but that’s it. Even God does not interfere with free will.
7. Romantic relationships should always involve practicality as well as romance.
8. People show you who they are with their actions and when they do, you sure as hell better believe them.
9. I am the champion of my fate. If I want to be happy then I have to make the choice to be happy.
10. A life of service to others beats a life of just riches any day.
11. No one can make me happy–but they sure as hell can make me miserable. Just kidding. . .Not Really . . . Sort of . . . Maybe. : ) Seriously, I don’t expect anyone to make me happy, I just expect them to contribute to the pot.
12. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do about it. I’ll add that stress is not induced by the situations I face. It’s really just an outsource of my reactions to the situation.
13. I really shouldn’t take myself that seriously. . . Seriously.
14. I have always had everything I have needed to navigate through this world. I’ve either chosen to ignore, play dumb, or give in to fear which left me stuck and blind.
15. I should never judge those who try and fail. I should only judge those who fail to try–starting with my damn self.
There’s more . . . but I won’t bore anyone else with my revelations. If you feel like sharing what you know for sure, by all means, please do. Cause you know, sharing is caring : )