Queen, your girl is a whole twenty-nine years old now. Where has the time gone? JK! I'm neither happy nor sad to be twenty-nine as it's just one of those years that doesn't mean as much. I am still grateful for another spin around the sun, though.
This year, my birthday celebrations kicked off with my longtime mentor, Lisa. Now, every time Lisa and I get together we have deep metaphysical and philosophical conversations. Our conversation on the day of my birthday celebration is our topic for today’s #BOLD blog post. When Lisa asked me how I felt about becoming twenty-nine I told her that this entire year has been a year of growing pains. I feel like I’m finally stepping into adulthood and making mature decisions that my younger self would have avoided.
Let me explain.
I turned eighteen eleven years ago. However, I feel like I just started acting like an adult this year. I spent so long focused on instant gratification and having fun while ignoring my responsibilities. I am finally starting to understand that when you take care of your responsibilities FIRST, you can have more fun in the long run. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done; which is why it’s called growing pains.
Growing pains, from a mental standpoint, describe the difficulties one has when adopting new ways of acting and thinking that differ from what they are used to. Similar to the soreness you feel when you start lifting weights to build muscle, your brain can go into overdrive helping you mentally stay focused on your new belief. This can cause discomforts like stress, anxiety, or just negative feelings associated with the change.
For that reason, I would like to share with you some of my biggest revelations this year. Change is not easy by any means, however, it’s necessary. The sooner you start putting on your big girl pants, the easier it’s going to be. Here’s a list of things I wished I would have grasped sooner but was too busy living young and wild and free to understand.
1. A budget does not hold you back, it sets you free
Having a money plan, in general, gives you more freedom. I mean, how often have you been afraid to check your bank account balance? Why are you afraid? Because you’ve been spending and spending and now you’re scared to see just how much you’ve spent. Or how often have you thought, my goodness where does all of my money go?
When I was younger, I used to think it didn’t matter how much money I spent, I was just going to make more anyways. However, the older I get the more I’ve learned the importance of working smarter and not harder. Instead of working 80 hours a week for a lifestyle I can’t afford, how about budgeting the money I make in half that time to fit what I can afford. This way every dollar I earn is assigned and I no longer have to worry about how much money I have because I know how much money I have. There’s no question.
2. Therapy is a REQUIREMENT
Whether you’re happy, sad, angry, depressed it’s always good to talk with a professional at least once per month. Get it all out of your head and release it into the world. Learn thoughtful and professional ways to manage your emotions. This way you’re not holding on to people, emotions, or incidents but processing them and learning from them.
3. Investing in the Stock Market isn't as scary as it sounds
It’s not as hard as it seems, Queen. Especially when you have a great teacher. I learned from Chris Johnson (IG: @chrissssjohnson ) who broke the stock market down so well, a kindergartener could understand it. This year, I’ve made thousands of dollars through the stock market and even became a real estate investor. I anticipate being a millionaire in the next 5 years just off of this one stream of income alone.
4. Building a routine helps you stay disciplined and consistent even when the motivation and inspiration have worn off
I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it until I am blue in the face. Queen, routine, routine, routine. Set a plan, get started, and stick to it. I’m telling you even when you don’t feel like doing it, your body will crave the familiarity of the routine, so you’ll do it anyway.
5. The Bible says "respect" thy mother and father...and you can respect someone from afar
This one was a hard pill to swallow. Neither of my parents is reliable. Neither of them knows how to love their children in a healthy way. They are both struggling with their own demons yet refuse to admit they even have demons. Because I am vibrating at a higher level and working through all of my trauma to find healing, I can no longer stomach even being around a person who refuses to elevate. It’s draining. So, for my mental health, I have said goodbye to both of my parents. Until they reach the point where they are ready to help themselves, they cannot be parents to me. And that’s okay!
6. Life is easier when you learn to be alone rather than surrounding yourself with people who drain your energy
Ignoring red flags so that you can say you have a significant other or a friend is not healthy. Learning to be alone and taking that time to love on yourself a little more is more beneficial for you. Learning yourself inside and out allows you to begin recognizing your worth. That way you can set a bar. When someone steps up to that bar and doesn’t meet the height requirement, you know they are not the right person for you. Learning yourself and practicing self-care make it easier for you to say no to the wrong people. It’s harder to get to that level of self-confidence and self–love if you’re surrounded by the wrong people.
7. Self-Care is Selfish and that's okay. We need to learn to put ourselves first.
You should ALWAYS be your number 1 priority. You cannot pour into someone else’s cup if your cup is empty. Take time to take care of yourself and make sure you are set first, then start blessing others.
8. A FICO score is just a number that measures how good you can manage debt
Set a plan for your financial health and stick to it Queen. If you need a good credit score because you’re looking to buy a house, be strategic. Use secured credit cards and never spend more than you can afford to pay back. Use the 15/3 rule for paying your cards off and bumping your credit score faster. Use other methods like reporting your rent payments on your credit report to help you boost your credit score. I’ve used the SELF credit-builder account for a year now and have already boosted my score by 86 points.
If you don’t need to build credit then you don’t need to use credit. Cut up your cards and say goodbye to debt and hello to financial freedom.
9. Everybody doesn’t need to know your business
Sometimes we don’t have anyone to talk to so we talk to everyone we come across. However, you never know what someone is really going through. Some people may be going through a difficult time in their lives and may feed into your struggles just so that they can have someone to struggle with. Other times, people are just not good people and will do everything they can to tear you down. These people will take the happiest of news and break it down into something that makes you feel horrible. The solution, stop telling any and everybody your business. Be selective about who you give that access to. If you don’t have anyone to talk to a therapist is a great first step. Outside of that, I would recommend joining Facebook groups with like-minded people and sharing your news there. The great thing about these groups is that they are all in the same place as you or similar and they don’t have anyone to talk to either. So these groups end up being very supportive of you and your endeavors. One of my favorite groups I’ve joined recently is Black Girl Healing House on Facebook. Whenever I have a question about how to deal with something especially difficult, I know I can post my question in that group and get an answer from tens if not hundreds of women with useful tips and support.
10. If you ignore a problem, it won’t magically go away
It’ll just come back to haunt you at the most inopportune moment in your life. Stop putting it off and just face it head-on when it appears. 9 times out of 10 the problem is not as big as you made it out to be in your head and there’s a simple solution. However, if you ignore it and let it fester for too long a simple solution can turn into a major pain. Take care of it now.
If you’re in a situation like me, where you’re learning to put on your big girl pants one pant leg at a time, I hope these revelations have sparked some sort of inspiration within you. If you’re already a grown Queen, please share more revelations with us down in the comments below. What did I miss?
Grow into the Queen you’re Meant to Be, today, and SLAY!!!