My 20s were the some of the best years of my life, yet they were also met with great challenges. I’m now in my early 30s and I am learning more about myself each day, which didn’t come easily. Our 20s can be considered some of the greatest moments of transition; we’re no longer in high school yet we’re not quite independent or “grown” as we may believe we ought to be at this time. We’re getting a small taste of the real world during college or seeking out a career, but at the same time we’re one bad day from running back to our parents’ house for consolation. Our 30s are also years of transition. We’re more familiar with who we are, what we like, dislike and we’re more focused as it relates to where we see ourselves in life. Although we have acquired this amount of understanding, most likely through trial and error, there are still moments when we may feel confident and yet experience feelings of insecurity. We may even feel a bit lost. Not to worry, this is completely normal and expected during these years of discovery. It’s how we become “unlost” that counts the most and lends to our success as we navigate through the rough tides.
Let’s delve into the “Tameless 20s”. I say “tameless”, because for me these were the years where I was a true rebel. I did what I wanted, when I wanted and had at least 4 of my girls with me. My early 20s were all about breaking the rules while looking good doing it. I was at an HBCU, a social butterfly, yet I had a good head on my shoulders; I knew how not to exceed the limits. By this time I had changed my major at least three times due to the different interests I had. It took three to finally realize that my major should be rooted in what could generate a decent living after I graduate that I enjoyed at the same time. Initially it was just the last part I focused on, what I enjoyed (smile). There were so many distractions; yard shows, step shows, sports, popular Hip Hop artists who would perform or do autograph signings, and not to mention I was on the collegiate cheerleading squad so we did a lot of traveling. I was also dating at the time.
My attention was in so many different places. I began to see how all of these things were pulling me from my ultimate goal; graduation. After some careful thinking as well as an unsuccessful majorette tryout, I decided to transfer to another university, one that was diverse regarding the type of students; professionals, young, old, parents, etc. Although it had a traditional college appeal it was void of senseless distractions. I graduated in a year including summer courses. Due to being around so many professionals and in a more professional environment, I was able to tap into other gifts and skills that would later be quite useful in my current line of work. I still had my girls and we spent our Spring Break in Atlanta, but our growth and development manifested with great sophistication.
At the age of 23 I became a Registered Member of the Nation of Islam, under the direction of the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan. With personal growth and development came spiritual awareness and a yearning for a deeper understanding of myself and a more profound connection with Almighty God. This decision would be the catalyst for tremendous elevation as well as trials as I accepted a new and healthier lifestyle.
The remainder of my 20s comprised of me obtaining my Masters degree, a marriage, a divorce and starting two businesses of my own. Changing my environment, redirecting my focus to my goals and seeking spiritual enrichment were my methods for surviving my 20s. I had to make tremendous sacrifices, but it was well worth it!
Now we enter the “Thriving 30s”. Although I’m only two years into this phase of life, so much has transpired. I know exactly who I am, I know exactly where I want to be in life and who I want to have in my circle. Speaking of, since my 20s my circle of friends has gotten smaller, and from my late 20s into my 30s I’ve learned that this is also normal. Know that you will be blessed with more like-minded people who will support, guide and share in your journey. In my second year of my 30s, I am preparing to launch another business. Becoming “unlost” doesn’t mean that everything will be perfect. It means that you must push aggressively toward learning who you are and what you want despite the opposition. Only you can find yourself.