Finally, I hit the big one! The big 3-0! When I went to therapy earlier this week, I shared how lackluster I felt about turning another decade older and she suggested that its because I might feel that I’m not where I need to be in life. Immediately, I shared how far from the truth her assumption really was. I feel that I’ve exceeded my own expectations (as well as many others’) in this last decade and I haven’t even scratched the surface. Since that session, I’ve been in a reflective mood and developed a fondness for what was in my 20s and an excitement for what will be in my 30s. The trials, tribulations, and wins that occurred in my 20s helped me become the man I am now. Many mistakes and bad decisions were made, but there were moments of joy, happiness, and appreciationas well. In honor of ending my Roarin’ 20s, I offer 30 lessons I learned in the last decade in no particular order:
- Know what’s on your ballot when voting for candidates and propositions during elections. Ballotpedia.com is a blessing in these matters. Make informed decisions!
- FIND YOUR TRIBE! This is very real for me. I have a group of friends that supported me through my highest of highs and my lowest of lows. In the age of social media, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not because everyone seems to be your friend/follower. But, what happens when you lose a parent? Who’s there when you’re intoxicated on your 21st birthday? Your wedding?
- Speaking of tribe, don’t be so quick to throw away a relationship (especially with a close friend). I tell my wife about how I’ve had at least one falling out with all of my closest friends and how they’re all still very present in my life at the moment. We probably didn’t talk for awhile after the fallout, but we always found away to come back together. Those folks are your tribe! Keep them close.
- Travel! Travel! Travel! Travel! Travel!
- Travel with a select group of friends/family. I have a very small group of people that I travel with annually to reduce the frustration that comes with big group trips ( people being cheap, competing interests, people not liking each other). Every friend isn’t a travel buddy.
- Purchase the trip insurance.
- While you’re at it, make sure you have some damn life insurance. Secure that low term premium and secure your future.
- There’s enough room for everyone to eat at the table. You just need to make room.
- Protect, support, and love Black women!
- Stop putting all the work on Black women. Stop putting this “Black women will save us all” narrative out there.
- Don’t go looking for love. It’ll just happen when you least expect it. When you find it, cherish it.
- That thing that scares you, do it!
- Tell people that you love them (only if you really do, though).
- Forgiveness is a true skill in life. Learn it early.
- Seek therapy. Fuck that damn stigma. Your mental health is more important than stigma. #Healingisresistance
- Everyone should go to the strip club one time in their lives (Strokers in Atlanta, King of Diamonds in Miami, the urban strip club in Key West are good choices).
- Trust your dopeness regardless of what’s going on. Life is going to life whether you like it or not. As long as you trust your higher power and yourself, you can’t go wrong.
- Keep up with your higher power. For me, it’s God. For you, idk. Stay prayed up out here and be a blessing to others.
- Don’t forget who put YOU on. Return the favor.
- Throw away that toxic masculinity, fam. Bigger things to handle out here.
- Show the people that invested in you their ROI (return on investment). Let them know that they did good betting on you.
- Take advantage of ALL of your job benefits! I’m talking about EVERY SINGLE BENEFIT. Take the time off, go to the dentist, or visit counseling. Use these benefits.
- You can find some true ride-or-die friends who first started as colleagues. When you do, cherish them.
- Family is no longer relegated to blood relatives only. My extended family got bigger once I figured this out. I have friends that’s done more for me than some of my family members.
- Go home every once in awhile. I get that you’re traveling all around the world and grinding, but sometimes you have to go home to reconnect and re-energize (if its a healthy environment for you).
- Wear pants that won’t rip in a club. Major key!
- Mentorship is and will always be important. Be a mentor, be mentored.
- 30 is not the new 20. I don’t give a shit what Jay Z said. Stay active, but understand that you can’t go like you used to. I’ve learned this lesson one too many times.
- Cheer your people on! Folks really out here sacrificing for their dreams and need that affirmation. Support your folk!
- Going to the club from 2006-2010 was some of the best times of my life. It can never be duplicated. Top Flite forever!
*Bonus: Real G’s move in silence like lasagna. I know this is a Lil Wayne verse, but this keeps me focused on the things that I’m low-key accomplishing. Let the work speak for itself.
*LOVE ON YOUR PARTNER!
I’m excited about this next chapter of my life and can’t wait to bring you all along for the ride.