A lot of people I’ve spoken to have told me repeatedly how much they dreaded turning 30. They pretty much eluded that turning 30 is equivalent to breaking your leg — painful and unfortunate.
Be that as it may, getting older is inevitable and with everyone telling me to basically “enjoy it while it lasts,” I’ve taken their advice and turned it into one of the most exceptional years of my life.
I’m not sure when the change happened or the “switch” flipped but ever since I’ve turned 29, my level of confidence has skyrocketed!
Before I would constantly seek approval, validation, and acknowledgement through others. I looked to friends, family, and significant others which turned into a very unhealthy way of measuring my self-worth.
On top of that, I’ve always been the shy and soft-spoken one, making it harder for me to speak up and defend myself when I needed. Every so often I would wonder if or when I would break this vicious and self-deprecating way of handling myself and embrace who I really was without care.
So how do you go from depending on others for validation one day to not giving a single care and living and loving yourself the next day? I’m not quite sure, but for me, I honestly just woke up that way (no Beyonce pun intended).
And as all great self discoveries happen, the change didn’t happen all at once but instead in little ways. I started to care less and less about getting dressed only for the compliments of others and instead focused on looking good for myself and because I felt like it.
I started taking myself on dates and doing things I wanted to do — seeing movies and experiencing things I wanted to whether I had a partner to participate with or not.
The most drastic of all though was that I started to really speak up for myself.
I never liked confrontation and whenever I was presented with it, whether I was right or wrong, I would take the blame or bolt for the nearest exit.
There’s a certain level of confidence you gain when you speak up for yourself and stand your ground and after 29 years I was finally doing it. Maybe I just got fed up with people’s crap, but whatever it was, now I was speaking up.
If someone did something out of pocket or crossed the “respect me” line, I let it be known whether they got angry with me or not. I told myself that I care more about sticking up for myself and being happy and at peace with myself over someone being angry with me.
If they get angry, so be it. I was finally choosing myself over everyone else and it felt great.
I’m still exploring my newfound confidence and learning to embrace being me. Such a relief has been lifted off my shoulders now that I no longer look for others to validate who I am — a queen.
I no longer wake up in the morning looking to look cute for others, but I wake up and want to look good for me.
So thank you to everyone for your advice on enjoying my last year in my twenties while it lasts, but if you ask me, I’ve only just begun.