My Roaring Twenties: The End of an Experiencing   Decade

My Roaring Twenties: The End of an Experiencing Decade

The early years of my twenties were passive up until the year I was about to turn twenty-five. Life was real to me then but it started to become really real to me at that point. I was about to be five years away from thirty and thanks to society and its pressure it felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything; according to its standards, though. You know...that if I didn’t have my life together by the time I was thirty I’d be considered a failure? Having clear knowledge of who I am, my purpose, being in a career, making a certain amount money, kids, marriage, and so on? Yeah, that pressure.

In one of my journal entries from 2013 I wrote about how I was feeling at that time: 

I'm approaching 25 years old, I'm asking myself what have I done? I answered quickly, "Nothing." Then I started to think about how far God has brought me. I have my own apartment, I recently graduated from college with my AA (associates degree). Then I began to ask myself how can I say nothing so easily? Maybe because of my age and where all the other successful individuals my age are at. Then I realized how there are people out there still struggling to get to where I'm at -- that thought humbled me and made me grateful for my accomplishments. I realize that I have to be patient and trust God's timing and continue to work hard and AIM HIGH, so I can get to where I want to be and do what I want to do. {Stop comparing and stay focused on what's ahead of me}.

I meant every word I wrote above, but when I closed my journal that “positive perspective” fluctuated and sometimes it was drowned out by some of my toughest moments, and of course, pressure from society. 

As I continued to grow into a young adult and experience the realities of life I realized that, while society put(s) pressure on me to be at a certain point in my life by a certain age. It didn’t/doesn’t pressure me to develop my character, my inner being (spiritual growth), my mind, body and soul. All the things that I adamantly believe are way more important than living up to a standard. Why? Because these are pivotal to living an efficient and effective life.

For example, having a sound mind so that I am able to think critically and clearly to make wise decisions, a just character to have solid relationships, a spirit that I must grow and nurture so that I am a mentally, healthy and whole functional being. A soul that I must protect because my being flows from it, and my physical body that I should be aware of what goes into it because it’s the only one I’ll ever have.  

Self discovery, education, and experiences throughout my twenties taught me that things and social statuses are transitory. They do no good for you when you’re dead and gone, but the essence of who you are will out live you.  

Throughout my 20s I also learned that: 

Love is THE foundation

Especially, self-love because as I often utter to myself almost everything starts with self. I can not love others adequately until I can love myself properly. I can't keep promises, be honest, kind, respectful committed, and patient to no person until I'm able to do so with myself first no matter how uncomfortable doing so might be. All those things I believe exist under the umbrella of love. Once you’re able to embodied them for yourself you can give them to others. 

I concur with psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck on his definition of love:

The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth.  

If love isn’t inspiring you to be and do right; you don’t know love. I believe to learn self-love or love period you have to get to know something bigger than yourself. 

I Need God

Love is God. God is love. I grew up going to church almost every Sunday until I was around eighteen, but I still didn’t have a clear understanding of who or what God meant. Now I know that it more so had to do with me being young because the only reason I went to church is because my grandmother made me.

I’m glad she did. Although I wasn’t into church despite going as often as I did, God and his word was in me. Around the time I was turning twenty years old I was also blossoming into this independent young adult, I had a job, I started driving, making decisions that I wasn’t use to making, I was also starting to become into myself. 

It was overwhelming, which in turn made me call on the God that I was introduced to when I was younger. The one who was only a prayer away, who’ll give me the desires of my heart, and bring me through tribulations. The one who is forgiving, faithful, patient, honest and kind towards me all because he loves me with no conditions.

God proved himself to me. That’s why when people ask me how did my relationship with God start I say, “The moment I became independent I became dependent on him.” Has it been all good? Of course not, but I don’t want to even imagine what my life (20s)the  would look like had I not reconnected with God,    

Life Isn’t Meant to Be Figured Out

If it was then I’m almost certain someone would’ve figured it out by now; it’s an enigma. Situations, struggles, circumstances, trials,  and tribulations or whatever you want to call it are just what they are. I just wish someone had told me that in the early years of my twenties or maybe someone did I just wasn’t listening? hmmm.

I always felt like I had to have a solution, an answer, and fight against everything that came my way so that my life wouldn’t be “hard.” I quickly learned that’s draining. Life and the hardships that come it with aren’t going to stop and there’s no one solution or answer for it because each situation is different.

Enough experiences throughout my 20s taught me that I have to be willing to have it so, in other words, not try and figure it all out or fight against it. Just welcome the experiences into my life and allow them to do what they're supposed to do. And that usually is to mold, shape, strengthen, and grow my character and confidence for what may come next.  

 I recently wrote in detail about this here

You Become The Person You Want to Become

 I came to this conclusion after I read and watched the biographies of Sister Souljah, Assata Shakur, and Malcolm X  three people I am very fond of. All of which who were in their early twenties when they burgeoned into the individuals we know them for today. 

Them growing into themselves gave me an ultimatum: I can succumb to societies standards and idea of who and what they think I ought to be which usually that comes with constant pressure and anxiety, or I can tap into my inner strength and take myself into my owns hands.  

I’m working on doing the latter and it’s a constant and conscious effort. It’s constant because I have to constantly fight off societies perception of who I should be and I have to be aware of this because it’s so easy to just fit in.

Reinvention is in our genes. But often it’s been repressed by institutions that want us standardized. Clones of each other so we can be easily replaced. - James Altucher 

Becoming Someone is Better Than Trying To Obtain Things

 One of my favorite scriptures states,  “Human look at the outward appearance god looks into the heart.”  

That’s true to me because unfortunately I am one of those humans; who’s evolving by the way. 

I’m growing out of years of prejudging others and I’m abandoning society’s standard of determining a person value and worth by how they look, where they come from, by the type of job they have, and by what they have.  None of that stuff matters anyway if your character and spirit isn’t in tact. Wise people respect the person not the title, not the car, not the money, or the position.

As I’m working on myself and not measuring  who I am by the things I do and don’t have it’s allowing me to extend that same space to others. Being able to grow, strengthen my character, and change and at the same time have others benefit from it has given me a far better feeling than getting “stuff.” 

As I stated earlier your character and the essence of who you are will out live “things.” 

Society Don’t Matter 

It doesn’t to an extent, but for the most part as Absoul once said..... 

Free your mind don’t mind society.

That’s All. 

I Need People

In my mid 20s I use to be super prideful about the fact that I didn’t have friends, a mentor, and wasn’t in a relationship. I was walking around with my nose in the air because had obtained everything that I had at that point on my own and thought I had life figured out as well. I even use to tell people, “Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I’m lonely.”  

That was the truth, though. 

The relationship part was the starting point of my “aloneness” then it spilled over into other areas of my life. Being alone wasn’t the scary part for me it was growing comfortable it. I had to shake that. 

I begin to understand that wasn’t healthy. I understood that a person can only be alone and do things on their own for so long. You can’t do this life stuff by yourself. You need people. Not just any people, solid people, people who will hold accountable, strengthen your weakness and strengthens, and love you with no conditions. 

It’s Better To Move At Your Own Pace 

God sets it anyway.  

Five years after me and my twin sister purchased each of us used cash cars she bought herself a brand new Dodge Challenger. I was just as excited as her when she got it. Then not too long after that my cousin bought herself a brand new car of the same model. 

Next thing I knew I found myself wanting a new car. I kept telling myself and others (because of thier pressure and comparisons), “Oh, I’m going to get a car this summer,” that summer passed, no car. Then I told myself  I’m going to get a car this winter, that winter passed, no car.  

Out of impatience and frustration I kept asking and telling myself, “When am I going to get me a new car?” “I want a new car.” 

 I must’ve thought that a new car was just going to fall out the sky because I did not have one penny saved up for me to get car. Yes, of course, the only reason I wanted a new car was because my sister and my cousin got theirs and I wanted to keep up. 

I know that it wasn’t anyone but God that helped me to realize that there wasn’t a thing wrong with the car I was driving at the time, other than the fact that it wasn’t new. I didn’t have to make any monthly payments on it which allotted me the opportunity to save for a newer one when it was time. 

When that time came - the perfect timing - for me to get a new car it was newer than my sisters and I’m not saying this as if I was competing with her, I wasn’t. Never will because I know what’s mine is hers and vice versa.  

I said that to say things happen when they’re suppose to in your life and that your pace isnt going to be the same as the next persons.

I remind myself of that when I find myself comparing my life to others, and I also remind myself that I'm God made not man made, therefore, I'm on God’s time not mans.  

“Follow Your Passion” Is Bad Advice

I wrote in depth about here  

But in short I agreed with author Cal Newport when he said that the “follow your passion” hypothesis is dangerous. Because it assumes we already have a pre-existing passion in us waiting to be discovered and once we find that passion match with a job then all will be well in life. He said there’s little evidence that says we have a pre-existing passion. 

Rather than find your your passion he said adapt the “craftsman mindset” where you create something meaningful to offer the world. As opposed to the “passion mindset” where you’re focused on what the world can offer you.

I’ve always struggled to figure out what I was passionate about because I was drawn to multiple things, so when others “discovered” theirs and would be working in their passion I’d feel “abnormal.” That was until read his book and came across Cal saying in so many words that interest precedes passion. 

I found that to be true because all the things in my life that I wanted to do and was successful at e.g, radio, writing.  I wasn’t passionate about them only interested and as time went on I got good at whatever it was I was doing and then my passion grew for them.

What You Give Is What You Get

That goes for life, relationships, career, and so on. You can’t do bad and expect good, be unproductive and expect productivity, you can’t sow sparingly in any area and expect a fruitful harvest. 

This is something that still I’m learning. I’m a huge procrastinator which usually results in me not finishing tasks that I start, then I get mad at the universe for not seeing anything come into fruition in my life. How does that work? It doesn’t. The only person I should be mad at is myself, and I am. 

I constantly remind myself: You reap only what you sow. It may not come right then and there, but it’ll come eventually. When its suppose to. 

Listen,  

The roar of twenties certainly woke me up to the realities of life and has prepared me for what I believe will be some of the best years of my life. At this point I don’t think I’d be surprised by anything, I’ve felt every emotion, dealt with all kinds of people, and situations. My life didn’t stop and I’m certainly not going to.

But at the same time... 

I’m feeling a mixture of emotions right now, grateful, a little scared, and renewed. As I look back over my 20s a sense of joy comes over me because I made it through some trying moments, as I a look ahead of this new journey I’m about to stride into I feel a bit nervous because I don’t know what’s ahead, and as I circle my mind and thoughts back to this present moment I am reminded of how this is an open invitation for me to reinvent myself on just about every level and that I’ve been built for this.  

So...the time has come..

Time for me to officially say goodbye to my twenties.

                                         — —

Original writing from my journal entry I quoted above:

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