I am turning 30 next month (gasp!). Please don’t tell me that ‘I don’t look a day over 21’ because I know y’all be lying! I don’t have the stamina for the late nights and all nighters anymore. When it gets to 11pm, I am practically in my bed, snoring away. I think about those days when I was 21 when I could stay up to 3 am and still get to work at 8:30am and would still be coherent and smiling. Now, if I lost my sanity and decided to stay past 1am, I am not going to work the next day. Full stop. And if I have to get to work, best believe I am downing cups of strong coffee like a water to a dehydrated person. My sleep is so important to me now. If you make me lose my necessary sleep hours, then you must definitely be an enemy of my progress, and I’ve got to cut you off quick!
Going to the gym becomes more essential to keep your figure in shape. When I was younger, when I put on an extra couple of pounds, I could lose it really quickly without going to the gym. Now, it actually takes effort to lose those pounds. I’ve always hated going to the gym, but now I have no choice. I love my food, and do not believe in eating leaves constantly to stay trim…I am not a horse! So I need to go to the gym regularly and to keep active to ensure that I am burning those calories.
When you have a child, there are no more lie-ins. You know how you look forward to lazy weekends, where you can wake up at 10am sometimes 11am, get out of bed lazily and just chill throughout the day? Babies do not get that memo, my daughter does not get that memo. She wakes up bright eyed and as energetic as ever at 6am on a Saturday! Sometimes I tell her to go to sleep, but now she has figured out how to climb out of her cot, so that doesn’t work. When she was younger, I would bring her back to bed with me, but now she pulls my hair, nose, ears whatever and refuses to go back to sleep. I miss those lie-ins in ways you won’t even understand. Dark circles under my eyes are my new found look! Don’t see them as dark circles more like dark toned eye-enhancers!
Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bills? Can you pay my automobile bills? Then maybe we can chill! As you grow older, you take on more responsibilities which equals bills. You get paid, and before you can barely sniff that money, it has disappeared into different buckets i.e. rent, mortgage, electricity, gas, council tax, service charge, broadband and sky, childcare, savings, TV license, mobile phone, food, transport, water…did I miss anything? Those days when I used to leave all the lights in my house on, even during the day without a care in the world. Or leave the tap running while washing the dishes are long gone. I miss those days of living with my parents even though they can drive me up the wall!
Love is not enough. When I was young, I used to feel that all you need is love between two people, and nothing else matters. Now, I am not saying that this is not true. Yes, the main reason you should be in a relationship is because of love. But let me say something…love does not pay the bills! There are other things that are needed to ensure a healthy and fruitful relationship, being compatibility in your goals and aspirations, both of the people in the relationship being hardworking and serving each other. Learning the art of compromise, respecting each other and partnership. These things all work together to make your relationship healthier and stronger.
You realise that things are not always black & white, there are several shades of grey in between….not 50 shades though! If you get my drift! There are situations that cannot be solved by one straight answer. Human beings can be complex beings, and the emotions we experience can be complex. Have you ever felt thankful, yet depressed at the same time? Have you ever felt loved, yet hated at the same time? Loving and almost hating something in one breath? Things are not always as simple as they first appear to be. My awareness in the complexities of mental health has increased as well. It is not enough to tell someone who is going through depression to ‘just snap out of it’ there is usually more to the story.
You start realise that the advice from people is opinion, sometimes presented as fact. You have a choice whether to take that advice or not. When I was younger, I would get really upset if I gave my friend some insightful and deep piece of advice and they just carried on the way they were without acknowledging my advice. Now, I believe it is up to the person whether they want to take the advice or not. They also have a choice, like I have a choice to accept the advice or not to.
You understand how important it is to embrace your God-given features and who you are. I used to hate my features when I was growing up because I felt they were ‘too African’. Life is wayyyyy too short for this, now I embrace these full undefined lips and high ‘alienesque’ cheekbones. I embrace the curve of my hips and the thickness of my thighs. No, not because it is now the new ‘trend’ in society, but because that is who I am, this is how I was created. I have spent far too much time and energy consumed in self-hate that I no longer want to spend any more of my precious time, doing the same thing.
The grass is not necessarily greener on the other side – you can spend so much of your time looking at someone else’s life and thinking they have everything you have always wanted. This isn’t always the case. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. No-one ever puts up their worst face on social media, I mean why would they? No one is interested in that. Everyone is interested in #relationshipgoals #babygoals #careergoals #yummymummygoals #designerhandbaggoals
You are really and truly in charge of the things that you let enter your mind. You choose what you want to influence you, either positively or negatively.