8 Things I Learned at 28
Another year around the sun and a New Moon on my 29th birthday. This past weekend, I celebrated turning 29 with my family. I hadn’t seen them in a year due to the pandemic and celebrated my birthday in quarantine last year. We finally got vaccinated and were able to see each other off FaceTime. There were times where I went full Hung Games Peta and asked…Real or not real? This Panini really did a number on me.
We celebrated with food and plant stores. It wore us out. After a year of not going out, a trip to a couple of food trucks put us all in a food coma and long, restful nights in. It’s funny how things change over time. You really do get wiser as you get older and in need of fewer things. Well, at least that’s my personal experience. This year, I really just wanted good food and my favorite company.
I usually try and put together a list of things I learned the past year. Last year, I was a completely different person. I’m excited to look back and see what are the things that I learned and I can tell you right now, there are probably some things I had to learn again. My hope is that these lovely lessons help you in some way. Here are 8 things I learned at 28.
Being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely.
I started this past birth year in quarantine. I made myself a cake and did some yoga. I’ve been focusing on myself for years but this seemed to be the year where all that hard work was put to use. I had to be alone. I spent 12 months alone in my apartment and I learned that being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. I think it’s a hard concept to understand if you haven’t allowed yourself the luxury of spending time with you. A lot of us ignore and fight that. I know I did, for many years.
Were there times in the pandemic where I felt lonely? Sure, of course, I’m human. But I can honestly say, there was a significant change from wrestling the unknown in the beginning and letting go juuuussst a little bit towards the end. We will always face times in our lives where we are in the unknown. You might even be doing it alone. But do not define that as loneliness. Define it as sacred and powerful.
Spirituality is hard work.
Through that wrestling, I did a lot of spiritual work. I had the time to learn new things that I connected with and unlearn damaging things that kept me from knowing my own power and worth. I read a lot of books and practiced new spiritual routines this past year. Some stuck, others didn’t. I think there’s a misconception with spirituality. Sure, there are times of peace and bliss but in order to have those moments, you’re gonna have to go deep within yourself and heal things.
I spent a lot of time with my inner child this past year. We know each other well now. I learned how to live with my scattered mind and how to approach my fears and anxieties. The method of those learnings again, had to come from within. Spirituality is hard work but alignment and knowledge is priceless.
You are the motivation for discipline.
It was super hard to find motivation this past year. I went easy on myself, knowing that I was surviving a pandemic. I was doing the best I could. You were too. Still are. One of my constant struggles with writing is the illusion of new ideas and not staying committed to a project. I hop around. Maybe it’s the Aries in me.
This past year I dug deep and committed to finishing the first draft. That first draft got revisions and then feedback from three different perspectives. At the moment I am querying my first novel. It was a chugga-chugga-choo-choo process. One day at a time until I had something. My motivation came from wanting the life I visualized. The discipline followed. I wrestled with it until I made something. Do you want that lovely life? You’re the one that’s gonna have to go out there and get it.
Feedback is great but ultimately, you know best.
While embarking on that first draft, I had to let it go. I selected three beta readers and got great feedback. There were some things I agreed with. Usually things that I thought about along the way and felt good about changing. There were other things that didn’t fit with my vision for the story and instead of bending over backwards to please that feedback or friend, I stood my ground and left it as is. I continued and kept moving forward.
Sometimes when we ask for feedback, we don’t always hear what we want to hear. It’s a different perspective that can help inspire change or it can validate your own perspective and remind you that you’re on the right track. Next time feedback is presented to you, check in with yourself and see if it resonates. You don’t have to take everything with you. If it’s meant for you, it’ll resonate. If not, just let it go and keep going.
There is no such thing as rejection, only protection.
I have always struggled with rejection. May that rejection present itself to me as a person, a job, or a life change, I used to curl up and keep that door shut tight. Throughout this year, I’ve learned to continue. I healed past traumas and kept going. That’s not to say it happened immediately. It takes time to heal, but you gotta feel the heal, remember?
Next time life presents you with rejection, remember that The Universe only has three responses: yes, not yet, or I have something better. It is always on your side. No is not a word in The Universe’s dictionary. When rejection comes your way, think of it as protection. The Universe knows you deserve better.
Self-love is an ongoing journey.
I talk about self-love a lot. You should know by now that it’s more than a face mask and a bubble bath. While these things are still important to self-care, I’ve leveled up the past year and have brought more action to my self-love journey. There are days where I feel as if I am not enough. I am human. I still have time to grow and heal. There are days I don’t feel pretty. This is normal. You are fine.
What helps me keep going is incorporating a day of rest in my week. I have always struggled with resting and now I rest on Saturdays. This is something new. It reminds me that our self-love journey is ongoing. It might change, I will adapt. The whole point of self-love is to love yourself the way you need to be loved now. In this moment. You will change and the love you have for yourself will continue to grow.
Keep opening doors.
Remember the lesson of rejection? One of the best remedies I found to help me overcome that is to continue to open doors. Keep saying yes (with boundaries of course). The more doors you open for yourself, the more The Universe will reward you for it. Sometimes the doors will open but you won’t be able to go through. That’s okay. Remember? Rejection is protection. Just open another door. Keep going.
Now, I’m not suggesting you open a million doors. That’s just exhausting. A few will do. Some will close, some will remain open forever. It’s up to you. You can always walk away. Have open doors and know when to close them. Letting go is part of this lovely lesson. Pay attention to where The Universe guides you. Sometimes it won’t be a door that you necessarily expect. Try it. Who knows what lovely things await.
Great things take time.
If you know me, you know I struggle with patience. My mind moves at 100 mph and I want the world to move the same speed. That’s not how The Divine works. I’m still reminding myself of this lesson. I even tried to buy a necklace that would help remind me to be patient. I think it’s working. Lawd I hope it is.
I want to remind you that you are on the right track. I know looking at other people’s timelines make you feel worse but you can unfollow people that make you feel like you’re running behind. You may have bought into the algorithm but that doesn’t mean you’re not in control of what you choose to see. Protect yourself. Cleanse your timeline. Keep your eyes on your own painting and remember that great things take time.