I am officially 24 years old!
I can’t quite remember the last time I was THIS excited for my birthday. It must have been my 7th. A lavish celebration at Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi. Then there was 21. 21 felt close to God, recharged and more sure of myself. And then came 23. A train wreck. A beautiful, messy, difficult trip into adulthood. I wasn’t ready.
23 was like being thrown off a cliff with nothing but patterned clouds screaming “survive!”. I was more confused than ever. I felt more pressure than in my first 22 years combined and I am certain I had more moody days than none. Everything felt like foreign terrain. I lost my sense of self. I wanted to be alone most of the time. It all felt like a rat race. A never ending transition. Turns out I hadn’t really figured life out as much as I thought. So many limbos, not enough preparedness. Growing pains kept growing. I was stretched in ways I had never been before.
A year later, extra is the name of my game, because if 23 was the tunnel, 24 is the light. I am here for it. I am here for the return of my surety, the strength of my resolve, the opportunity to reclaim all I have lost, find my footing, run with it and to the stars. I am here to learn as I go. I am here for the glow up that comes with the grow up. I am here to push myself beyond comfort. I am here with the knowledge that life is the furthest from perfect and I will never have it all figured out. I am here to bounce back from my setbacks, strength to strength.
Your twenties can be all round difficult and uncomfortable. It is however my credence, that there is beauty in the cracks.
If I had to pick just 24 reminders from my 23 to strengthen my 24, it would be these:
- Stop policing yourself. Your freedom to express and be yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give to you. You have the right. You have the permission. You are worthy.
- Let go. This is one of the most frequent, most fulfilling practices you will ever need. Try often to let go of anger, bitterness, negative relationships and whatever is beyond your control. Stay as far away from fights and bad vibes as you can. Negativity breeds negativity. Don’t give your joy away so easy.
- Have a solid self care routine. Whatever you do, please take care of yourself.
- Nurture your relationships. Meaningful relationships become harder to maintain with the years. However, their importance is worth the hassle; worth open, honest and loving communication. People who want nothing but the best for you, who choose you despite your weaknesses and are instrumental to your growth: keep them. Make an effort with your family.
- Be gentle with yourself. Breathe. You don’t get there all at once. Failure is an opportunity, if you allow it to be. And you better. Because her and her bestie fear? They are here to stay. Courage is doing it afraid, even if/when you fail. Especially then. Be courageous.
- Work on your 10,000 hours. There is absolutely no substitute for effort, now I know. I know that I cannot get results from the work that I do not do. I know that I need to work smarter than whatever gets in my way.
- Stop comparing yourself and your journey to others. It’s a losing battle. You will find your true value when you focus on your strengths. Whenever you catch yourself comparing, pause, recognize what you’re doing and change focus.
- Treat yourself. I made sure to do just this in October. Without giving too much away (I’ll divulge the details in my October Faves post), one of the highlights was the most relaxing massage and dinner at the beautiful Royal Tulip Hotel, Nairobi. Have you guys been there? If not, I suggest you pay them a visit. Whether it be for date night with your mum or your man, you will not regret it. I have made a note to make a little more time to spoil myself. Nothing extravagant, but life is too short.
- Do things alone. Maybe I enjoy my own company a little too much, or maybe sweet solitude is the plug to your low charge points.
- Be as present as possible, as often as possible. Life is lived in the now.
- Work with your gifts and the universe, and they will work with you too. “When you want something (bad enough), the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”-Paulo Coehlo
- Never underestimate the power of a made up mind. If you’re willing to put up with anything, that is exactly what you will get. Stand by your values and standards, and you will be in the driver’s seat of your life.
- Keep your quirks. Those odd characteristics? They are gold. You wouldn’t be you without them. So what if I laugh like a seal learning to play the West African drums? I will laugh. hard. Pink sang it best, “Raise a glass if you are wrong, in all the right ways…”
- You are not always right. Try to see it from others’ perspective. Apologize when you need to.
- Self love. Loving yourself can be difficult when you’re trying to figure out who that is; when you’re seeing sides of yourself that you don’t particularly like. Those parts will always be there; just spotlight your good and learn to manage your weaknesses. Love on yourself but call yourself out too.
- Life is harsh. The world owes you nothing. Toughen up and roll with the punches because you’re still here. You’re here for a reason, and a season. Get back up and kick as much ass as you can.
- Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do. One of the greatest lessons learnt from Queen O. You’ve got to be strategic about your dreams and goals. If you’re not in a position to jump, then don’t jump yet. Be patient. Grind. If you want it bad enough, it will happen. If not now, exactly when it’s supposed to.
- Save and invest your money. The importance of managing your money will never be made as real as in your 20s. It doesn’t come as easy as it goes. Sacrifice as much as you need to, to live the life you want to.
- Stay curious. When you cannot figure out where your passion lies (which is most times), hold on to your curiosity. Curiosity > Passion.
- You will become older and wiser, but you will never have it all figured out. Live anyway. Trust yourself. Listen to your voice. Seek advice less, especially when you’re doing it out of self mistrust. Own your decisions and messes alike. You got this.
- No matter how bad it seems, it will be okay. It will always be okay.
- Be kind. People are going through difficulties; it doesn’t hurt to smile. Despite which, it costs nothing to be a kind person–other than a damaging sense of pride. The light you give matters and will always come back to you.
- Patience. Be patient with you and your journey, but careful not to make “waiting on the Lord” an excuse. You really have to push yourself because when it comes to the manifestation of your work and dreams, you are replaceable.
- PRAY. God is everything.
Your twenties are an experience. Your twenties are for figuring out the best way to make it through the mud. As I always say, just keep going!
Love and Love,