I just celebrated my 26th birthday on Friday, January 10th (YAYYY CAPRICORNS!) and it was so much fun. I went to a lounge for some dancing with my peoples in downtown dc and the dj (who’s name I need to know) was on point! We completely owned the dance floor that night! But then, after the celebration was over, came the reality that I am indeed, inevitably, getting older. Although my aging does not show externally, I often feel the newness of my thinking, my attitude, and really my overall approach to people, things, and life. It’s left me in metacognition many a nights… and mornings. I’m an avid thinker.
Once on a lone train ride (because I absolutely love those) an elderly white woman, somewhat insane, sat next to me and told me her favorite thing to do is contemplate. Of course because I’m a wordsmith this was particularly interesting to me. Also, because I too love deep thought. However, that interaction, that soul, that night on that train, taught me that there are levels to this. Thinking is just one; don’t stay there. Do. I don’t want to be an old woman searching for happiness and comfort because I spent my whole life contemplating it. Naw B.
Anyway, in order to avoid unnecessary hardships, I have compiled a list of things I have learned and adopted as truths in my life. Feel free to adopt them as well. Our only competition should be who we were yesterday.
1. You don’t miss anything when you stay away from social networks for however long. Try it sometime.
2. Only a few people actually care about what you are going through, the rest are just curious.
3. We can learn a lot about ourselves through other people, if only we humble ourselves.
4. When someone hurts you, 9 X out of 10, it has nothing to do with you. *Don’t take things personal*
5. Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme.
6. It is your own job to develop emotional intelligence.
7. Radical expressionism is okay. At all times.
8. There is no crime in needing someone.
9. Don’t expect people to love you more than you love yourself, that’s unfair and unrealistic.
10. Someone else loving you does not rescue from the project of loving yourself.
11. Thoughts have energy.
12. It is imperative to be self-defining and self-affirming.
13. Don’t chase success, chase purpose.
14. Do not let your plans for life become expectations.
15. Your word and your character is all you have. (…and balls if you’re a guy)
16. Don’t let your lonely say “yes” for you. We’ve all been there, right?
17. If you want respect, please please please, stop looking for pity.
18. I’ll probably always take offense to big women slander. (Despite losing 70 pounds circa 2011)
19. Your information is your power.
20. Creating something gives you a voice. Try it.
21.Though invitations often come in unorthodox ways, I always seem to be able to get where I need to be.
22. True education is revolutionary. I suppose mine started in college, in Mr.Shorter’s class. Could never ever forget.
23. The last cry you have for someone you loved too deeply will be life altering.
24. You’ll know when it’s the last.
25. The other night I laid in candle-lit darkness and listened to Bill Withers sing to me that the world keeps going around and around. And it is true.
What I hope to learn this year, at 26, is how to be more careful in how I speak to myself, because I am listening.
I’m interested in seeing you all’s learned truths, please share!