23 has been on my mind lately, albeit the fact that it is a little over a month away. Trust me though-if adulting so far is anything to go by, I am in no hurry. No sir. However, there is one fitting mood as I make my entree: #Iaintsorry. Thank you Bey!
23 things you should never apologise for:
- Being you, really you. Whoever that is. As long as you ain’t harming nobody, by all means (say it with me): do you boo-boo!
- Your faith. Whatever spiritual beliefs you have, know that you are going to encounter others with different convictions; some who may even disrespect yours. Your faith is as personal and as valuable as it gets; do not ever, never ever, apologise for it nor shy away from it on that account.
- Your purpose. We are all here for a reason and a season. No one knows your purpose as well as you do, no one feels it as deep as you do and no one sees it as clearly as you do. Your purpose is a process, trust it. When people try (many out of love and lack of understanding, some out of angst and unfulfillment) to pull you away from it, stand your ground. See it through. Allow yourself to live your best life.
- Your love. Can all the lovers in the house wave their hands in the air like they just don’t care! HA! I believe that we are all essentially, lovers. It is in our being. Embrace the love in you and the way you give love as widely and warmly as possible. Stand in your light, unashamedly.
- Every and anything you are passionate about. No, I do not have to logically explain why writing makes my heart leap in bounds or why good conversation gives me a rush. I am passionate about so much. I know that my enthusiasm is art. However small, however big-anything that gives you fuzzy feelings should be embraced, completely.
- Your laughter. Your happy. Have you seen me laugh, like really laugh? I’ll either be slapping my thigh, your back, make beats on the table, arch my back if I’m standing-sometimes all at once (only if you’re really funny). I find hearty laughter such an out of body experience; one that reminds me that I have so much to be grateful for. Laugh your pretty little heart out as often as you can. Happiness is a choice, make it often and make it, proud.
- Your personal style. As I paraphrase Marc Jacobs, there are hints of who you are in what you choose to wear. Your personal style is a statement. It is self expression. Follow trends if you’d like to but make your own rules. Put your spin on it. Own it.
- Your past mistakes and wrong choices. I distinguish between the two because the former is out of knowing no better whereas the latter, well, out of the silly bone we sometimes choose to exercise. Both should serve to make you better and none should ever define who you are.
- The process. We all start from somewhere. Dear twenty somethings highlights everything that is wrong with the instant gratification proliferated in today’s generation. It is not about the short game, it’s about everything you’re learning between where you are and where you are going. Make no apologies for your journey, no matter how many times you fall (and get back up). Remember, it is your life. You steer the wheel.
- Me time. I am yet to be convinced otherwise: there’s no time like me time. This is the absolute best time to connect with God and yourself. To rejuvenate your spirits. To reflect. To grow. To stay sane. No apologies here.
- Your pain. Pain is part of the human experience, unavoidable and universal. It truly is okay not to be okay. It is okay to feel heartbroken. It is okay to hurt and heal. Let no one convince you otherwise. Do not drown in your pain though: you deserve to choose happiness (or at the very least, optimistic endurance).
- Your flaws. None of us wakes up flawless, who are we kidding? Not one of us is perfect. Embrace your flaws. Manage your weaknesses to the best of your abilities. Most importantly, give you all the love, flaws and all.
- Saying “no”. You can be a good, loving and generous person and still say no. Be clear about when you can and cannot give. You cannot be everything to everyone at the same time. Make sure your cup is full first. Take care of you. It is okay and might I add, necessary to say no. People will love and respect you for it (at most, the ones who matter).
- Conscious, careful selection about your spaces. If our vibes do not mix, they do not. If your energy doesn’t feel right to me, it does not. It is not by force. Do not by any means give people hate (it is counterproductive) but do by all means, make conscious choices about who you keep close. Quality over quantity is the beat of this drum.
- Self promotion and passionate aggression. I am learning that many of the opportunities that will propel you higher, you will have to create yourself. You have to put yourself in their path. Create opportunities. Want your goals badly enough to put in the work. Believe in yourself and your value. You got this. Promote, promote, promote yourself and your work. Make yourself seen, for the right reasons.
- Uncertainty. I read somewhere that there are experiences which will be named in later chapters of our lives (loose translation). You do not have to figure everything out at once. Embrace the uncertainty. Sometimes, let life surprise you. Keep it moving, one foot in front of the other. Breathe. Eventually, everything connects.
- Others’ perceptions of you. You are not for everyone. You will be misunderstood, plenty. Protect your energy and do not wear yourself thin trying to please others. It is a losing battle because 1) you will never please everyone and 2) if you do not stand in your truth and live for you, you will forever be unfulfilled. What is important is this: what do you think of you? What do your loved ones think of you? Positive criticism should in fact be welcome, but that is as far as it goes.
- Not attending every party you’re invited to. Dear millennials, your lungs will be pumping fine if you do not go out every single Friday night. You do not have to be at every scene. It is okay to sit at home for movie night and save some money while you’re at it. Parties are a good time but please do not let that be all you do for fun; the world is big and beautiful and waiting on you to explore.
- Having responsibilities and priorities. Sacrifices have to be made. If you want to be and do better, prioritise. Be responsible. Do not apologise for a tighter schedule as a result of creating a better life for yourself.
- Your story. Share your story if and when you want to, honestly. Release. Build someone up in the process. Let things, people and experiences that do not serve your spirit, go. Also, surrender to the will of your life.
- Your quirks. Pink sang it best.
- Your voice. Think for yourself. Speak for yourself. Represent yourself. Express yourself. (Admittedly, I need to put in extra work for this one).
- Living. Unapologetically.
Despite knowing all we know, it sometimes is difficult practice. Keep going though. Keep trying. Keep pushing. The only real failure is quitting; all else is lessons and blessings.
Love and Love,