I turn 30 today… and it feels bittersweet. I have dreaded 30 for so long because I have been fed that this is when the aging starts and that this is when my mother’s kidney health began to decline due to our “genetic kidney dysfunction”. Now here it is… I’m 30. Though as much as I want to be upset about it, I can’t be. Instead I am filled with gratitude and completely in awe with my own life like someone who has reached the top of Mount Everest; out of breath, a bit scuffed up, tired but in absolute awe of the view and proud of the accomplishment.
My 20’s felt like an eternity. It was a never ending climb. While most of everyone else was discovering themselves, changing their college majors, navigating their serial dating experiences and healing the wounds of their adolescent years the “normal” way… I felt my 20’s looked different.
I stepped into 20 years old with enough adolescent trauma and a few months in I got pregnant out of wedlock by a boyfriend of 3 years whom I had just broken up with. Gasp! A church youth leader “gone bad” for her mistakes. Hell hath no fury like a disappointed church congregation. Mix in some family expectations and well, you have yourself marriage number one that lasted all but less than a year because I at least knew that it had me fucked up.
Genesis was diagnosed with a super morphed version of our genetic kidney dysfunction in the womb to the point where they urged me to abort her, when I didn’t they shrugged and asked me not to be surprised if she comes up without a heartbeat at any given moment. Heck of a way to console a young mother, huh? Every single day I would ask my little girl to kick and move just so that I had proof she was still alive.
While everyone took shots on their 21st birthdays I went to watch Madagascar at the movies and a couple days later was admitted to the hospital antepartum for 3 months (all holidays!), gave birth on New Year’s Day and my daughter stayed in NICU fighting for her life for 3 months. Once I took her home, I walked away from her father and went on with my life.
“I will make sure that you live the hard life of a single mother since that’s what you chose.”
…he said to me. It didn’t stop me. I met my second husband in the middle of that “hard single mother life” and it was what I felt I wanted at the time. Being in the middle of a family war zone that had been ongoing since adolescence, the peaceful Christian family dynamic that he had was what my soul was craving. At first, a single mother like me was no good for their son. Soon enough, after proving myself… I was loved and accepted.
I got married, moved away to a different city and started “fresh”. I became more and more myself… which didn’t go over well with my then husband. I wasn’t the clean and pristine Christian I was expected to be. I didn’t want to be. To be honest, he wasn’t either… but he wanted to be. This put us at odds. It put me in a cage of expectations. It became toxic and disagreements became filled with anger. He didn’t want to grow past that and who was I to tell him he had to? I had my son with him and walking away from that marriage was not easy.
I started my business and began doing well for myself. Dug deeper into my identity. Shed off the expectations and took on more of who I was. I met someone who pushed me harder into striving for bigger and better things. I loved him more than I loved myself… and it got complicated. My heart broke over and over again.
I was able to achieve something I hadn’t up to that point; I got my first place all on my own. My business kept thriving. I had it all down. Maybe now I’ll be good enough for him. Wrong.
“If this is me choosing, I choose her.”
He said to me one night at my place as I begged him to be with me after he asked me to be vulnerable with him.
I remember closing the door behind him and laying on the floor not able to breathe from the amount of physical pain that I didn’t know a heartbreak can cause.
I went down the rabbit hole. I was tired of getting hit after hit. Then, I was sexually harassed. I got clinically depressed. I began cutting again. I wanted to die. My business failed as a result. I let so many clients down as I shut down and it was just me and all my demons rushing in.
I was to either face them… or end my life. There was no other choice. I had hit rock bottom emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically and financially. I ended up jailed for a day when I got busted driving with a suspended license in a car with an expired tag.
That was as low as I had ever been. I was done. I could only go up and so I did.
I decided to get a job so that I didn’t have the pressure of running a business. My ex husband, whom I still have an excellent co-parenting relationship with, offered to have the kids more often in order for me to get better. So I made the unpopular decision to be the 40% parent. I said fuck all the “expectations”… it has only brought me here after all. I went all in on practicing my truth. I faced my demons head on, I traced back to their roots, I pulled those bitches and found the hidden beauty behind them all.
I found my worth down there buried in the dirt of people’s expectations and approval. I found solid ground to stand on and I peeled off every single painful layer of me that wasn’t mine. I found the very core of me and I loved it so damn hard that it strengthened enough to help me crawl out of the deep dark well I was in.
Toward the end of my 20’s I answered the call of my name. I healed myself from the inside out. I found a man who saw the core of me and loved every bit of it. One who saw me as THE option not AN option. I love myself before anyone else as does he. I rooted my identity on the Sacred Self that I discovered in the well. The radiant me. Not the men I have dated and married. Not what others think of me. Not my failures. None of it. I relaunched my business rooted in truth, purpose and authenticity. I dance to the best of my own drum. I answer to the call of only my name. I am alive.
Not only did I survive… I thrived. So here I am turning the long dreaded age of 30 and I’m feeling thankful and grateful toward it. I am successful in my own terms. I am purposeful in my endeavors. I love and am loved without reservations. I am a mother, and a step mother, who is whole and healthy. I am not perfect and I wouldn’t want to be… but damn do I feel good.
This is my rebirth. I’m just getting started.
To celebrate, I’ve placed my intuitive sessions at 30% off for the entire month of November.
Just click here and enter coupon code: BIRTHDAYGIRL!