In 12 days I will be 32. I feel 31 has been a profound year of growth and maturity and Yes, there were a lot of crash and burn moments, but I rose out of them stronger. So, here’s what I’ve learned:
I’ve learned to accept the fact that I am not perfect. MY PCOS has been a bitch this year with acne coming and going, hair loss, and weight fluctuations. I’ve come to realize how the world sees me holds no real bearing on how I see myself. I’m still beautiful. And yes, I’m working on my weight loss and hormone control, but just because I no longer had clear skin or a great physique shouldn’t mean I should walk with my head held low.
That I’ll never be that super popular girl with thousands of friends constantly throwing dinner parties or going out to events. I’m an Introvert. When my mother would forget my birthday or put me down(which was often) I would fantasize about what my life would be like as an adult. In those fantasies I’m wearing an A-line skirt with a string of pearls and heels and I have tons of friends sitting around a dinner table smiling while I bring out a fabulous meal. Maybe my love of Norman Rockwell”s art in middle school led me to this fantasy, but it was a fantasy that kept me going. The reality is that I have maybe 5 friends. I don’t throw parties, I hate parties and I’m exhausted being around people for long periods of time. A good time for me is a great book, a good meal, or maybe a good movie.
I’m probably never going to leave the country or travel: When I was a little girl I would steal National Geographic magazines from my school.It was Another coping mechanism I used to escape my unhappy childhood. I looked at images of deserts, tropical islands, small romantic towns that didn’t have electricity, I looked inside the homes of caves and tent dwellers. I wanted so badly to see these places and to be a world famous artist traveling all over the world, but at nearly 32. I don’t even have a drivers license. I don’t know how to drive a car! And I’m not ashamed of that. I’m working class woman who spends her money on different things. Yes, I would love to travel! but that isn’t in the budget for me right now.
It’s my fault I am Alone: This epiphany has been the most helpful. I’m a heavily guarded person, so much so that I don’t let people in anymore. I don’t smile at strangers, sharing circles piss me off, and if a person rubs me wrong I have no interest in talking them. I don’t force myself to communicate with others because as a black woman people rush to their own conclusions about me and I’m in no rush to prove them wrong. Believe what you want.
I’ll never give people the power to hurt me ever again: When I was planning my graduation I had severe anxiety over who was going to come to my graduation, who was going to say “yes” or “no” who was going to make or break this experience for me. I got a few disappointments, and one person showed up. That one person had been there for EVERYTHING for the past 12 years. She wasn’t family, she felt like it. She always showed me love and genuinely cared about me.I felt a separation that day of who I was, who I wanted to be, and who I wanted to have in my life.
Having a man in my life couldn’t be further from my mind- I’m not sad that I’m single. I’m not even lonely anymore. I’m not defined by who wants me. I haven’t met a man yet and that’s okay. I’ll be someone who probably marries later in age and that’s also okay.