A few days from now I’ll be marking my 32nd birthday. Hard to believe how fast time passes and how tremendously just a short period of time can change you… I have a few friends who are on the verge of turning 30 and while some are petrified of this milestone, others look forward to kissing their 20s goodbye and entering a new chapter. I was extremely excited to turn 30, I felt like I could finally walk away from a decade of tumultuous relationships and experiences and my own stupidity over the years. And not once have I looked at my life in my 30s and wished I could go back.
They say women truly come into their own in their 30s. They’re more confident because they are comfortable in their own skin and care less what other people think, they’re braver and less likely to fall for pretty boys who only have the merits of their looks or cars to carry them through life. I’ve found all of this to be true and far more profound than any book or magazine could ever impress upon me. Every year around this time, I do a stock take on my life. A sort of introspective checkup on what’s happened and if I’m happy with where I’m going. Never have I been more satisfied than I am now with what I’m seeing. So here are a few things that I have to highlight, that stand out from any other time in my life…I guess you could call this blog a bit of a gratitude entry…
I’ve learned to appreciate quality more than ever before. I believe in dedicating my time to the things and people I truly value and no longer feel so okay with having people waste my time or lie to me. I’ve always been a lenient person and still am, but now I abide by a three-strike system if you deliberately cross me – and I stick to it. I’m grateful to everyone who shaped my perspective, whether through true, deliberate care, inadvertently or through intentionally wishing me harm. Each of them have taught me profound lessons about life and myself and made me less angry, less resentful, less distrusting. Funny enough, because of all the bad, I believe even more in the good now and in doing so, I’ve attracted so many incredible people into my life, who are brilliant, compassionate and sincerely care for my wellbeing and development.
It’s also the first time in my adult life that I am single for longer than a month. It’s an odd space to be in, knowing that I’m free to do as I wish and not give account to anyone, but in this state I realized I can unabashedly be myself and have become a more compassionate, dedicated and focused person. This awareness that I’m alone and solely accountable for my choices as a single person, made me think I might as well take the leap in life completely and leave my job to build the life I truly want, not one swayed by anything other than what I truly feel is right for me. And what I believe is right for me is living a life where I can give and care for others, and consciously choose who and what I allow in my world every day. It’s also made me a hell of a lot more responsible and accountable, I look myself in the mirror every morning now and either say “Good job yesterday. Now let’s carry on kicking ass.” or “Okay, own up. You stuffed up last night and got lazy, but today you get to make up for it.”
Now, more than ever, I am consciously fixated on making my word my bond. I can’t tolerate myself making a promise and not living up to it, I am trying hard to ensure that every action and word come from a conscious choice and deliberation, not accident or habit.I put my foot down and will tell you straight what I think or expect, if you mean a lot to me I’ll be completely direct with you and expect nothing less in return. Pussy footing is for people who fear life and their place in it. I’ve grown past it.
I’ve been a mom for eleven years. It’s hard to imagine it’s been that long already, I still distinctly remember being eleven and having this feeling that the world was my playground and one day I’d achieve great things. It’s funny now, to look at my son and see an almost carbon copy of my personality in him. I was always a friend to him, he would trust me with things he’d never tell his dad and we’d goof around for hours, just talking nonsense and being weird. I made him feel it’s okay to be himself and he helped restore my childlike wonder for life, my ability to just be a kid and not care. Now, for the first time in my life, I feel I am ready to be more than that, I’m ready to be a parent on a whole new level. You won’t ever hear me writing much about him or mentioning him, people often wonder why they only find out later on that I am a mom. It’s because the things dearest to me, the people I love most, I keep very quiet about online…I feel he has his place in this world and should be entitled to decide if he wants to be talked about and how he is portrayed on a medium as permanent as the internet. My perception of him is maybe nothing of how he perceives himself. I won’t ever go posting a million baby pictures online because, again, my most private things that lie close to my heart, you’ll never see online. You’ll see it at home, if you know me dearly enough to be here.
I’m not desperate to please people and I honestly don’t care what they think of me unless I respect them greatly. I’ve gone from a shy, insecure pushover to being anything but. Somewhere along the line I managed to achieve goals I’ve had since I was a kid. I might not be quite near the end goal yet but heck I live in an apartment in Umhlanga and everything I own was bought in cash. Life ain’t half bad right now and I’m eternally grateful for all of it.
And out of all I’ve learned, the gut instinct I had as a kid keeps being proven more as I get older – that you don’t become an entirely different person when you’re older, you end up being who you were right from the start, just a bolder incarnation of your childhood self. So this is my letter of stock take and gratitude. To those reading this who know me, thank you so much for helping me get to this place. You’re all awesome.