I’ve just turned 33, and I have been sitting in solitude this weekend thinking about what that means. A few days before my impending day of becoming older I was stressed about what seemed to be everything in my life. From things failed in my love life, to my career, finances, and relationships with various people. I was being very hard on myself and began to panick.

Every year at my birthday I write about what lessons the last year brought me. This year is no different, but perhaps I am. The last years, I’ve become more aware of who I am and what that means. I have become aware of what’s going on around me, and how I feel when I am in different circumstances. As an emotional person it gets a little cloudy sometimes as to overcoming what you feel and attempting to remain one foot in your power and confidence. I lose my balance all the time, which brings me to the first thing I have learned.

    SOCIAL MEDIA AIN’T SHIT, IT’S OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY- IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE PERFECT

There’s a lot of folks out here living normal lives like all of us with normal problems but who still insist on flaunting around online like they are a Kardashian clan member. It’s not real. The minute you remind yourself that you will stop feeling pressure from looking at it. I am super clumsy in real life and I feel like my instagram also reflects that. I have depression from time to time, I am anxious, I am also a nice girl who works cool jobs and travels from time to time, but I will not color code and pre plan photoshoots weekly to lie about my life for you or commercial value/appeal. Somedays, I get sad and need a couch day and it’s hard for me to take a shower. Somedays, I am sitting front row at a fashion show in Paris. I am still the same girl from Atlanta who won’t take anyones shit. I have problems. And most importantly, I don’t consider myself better than anyone. I am just having an experience of life, just like you.

My advice to people who feel sad because of social media, is treat it like a movie or fashion magazine. Don’t be too hard on yourself or your life. And to those who earn money from being an internet personality… my advice is be authentic. Try to. Being authentic is more important than money and you won’t lose money standing up for that. Also pick up some other talents, or skills. This won’t last forever. Find what you are good at creatively and build on that.

That brings me the next lesson I have learned this year. One that has been really beautiful but also hard to swallow at times. The older we get the harder it is to manage our times and lives with ourselves, our “possible” spouses, our family and lastly our friends. Friendships to me hold so much weight in my life because I have met so many kindred spirits. Living abroad and traveling so much makes it really hard to keep some of those friendships going and I have learned that the hard way.

    SOME PEOPLE COME IN YOUR LIFE FOR MOMENTS

Do you remember those friends who you had such great moments with, and you used to speak to on the phone with daily. Well it gets harder when life gets busy. I have come to just appreciate any real moments I get with my friends, and I miss and often things about those with who I have lost touch with over the years. This is a sad part of life, but I have a very open communication with letting the people who mean something to me know it. I am not such a overbearing friendly person to everyone. It takes time to make an impression on me, so if I appreciate someone or they helped me in some way I try to always be sure to let them know it.

AGING IS SCARY, BUT YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

    It’s funny when for so many years you’ve been the girl, but then all of a sudden people around you starting getting and you start feeling less fresh, need more time for rest and looking/feeling good is a lucky occasional occurring thing rather than your daily reality. It happens fast, and it happens to the best of us. I’ve taken a rather different approach to battling this. I started working on my power and strength from the inside out– and something happened as far as my aging goes. Half the time it’s all in my head and I’m having a rather good day without knowing it.

    I’ve come to notice that when aging even if just in your thirties- skincare, hydration, moisturizing, and rest are really ideal to slowing down and preventing certain things. I have also been wrestling with depleting my alcohol usage which is something that has proven very beneficial.

    Sure, when I am really tired I can feel, and see it but I’ve learned to not fight myself and always do things that will help. Being in your thirties is still young after all even if you can be a little jaded with the world at times go in it with some humour. One day we will be wishing for these days and realize that they were really our best. In your thirties you have your head on straight, you know what’s important and what has to stop.

    Kourtney Kardashian has been my inspo lately. At age 39, dating a 25 year old and a strong mother of three.

    For beauty, skincare and self-care tips, check out my beauty platform;@realgirlglow

      LOVE WILL BE SOMETHING YOU MIGHT NEVER UNDERSTAND

    I put my hands up and slowly proceed to say out loud; I do not understand men. They blow my minds. I really don’t get it. Women are so great, but men still feel like they have to keep the control. I am sure not all men are like that, but I am just going to plead the fifth when it comes to love. I believe in it with my whole heart, but why it has to be so complicated and hurt so deep I will never understand.

    Until I meet my husband, I guess I will never understand.

    But one thing I can say is I have retired to my younger self beliefs about praying about that. Ultimately, I think G-d is the one who know who you need, so if someone cannot love me the way I need and deserve to be loved I will bravely remind myself about who the fuck I am and have faith that something 10x better than what I am currently upset over is on the way to me. (Thank you Jesus)


      SAY WHAT YOU MEAN, SAY OUT LOUD THE THINGS YOU HOPE TO MANIFEST

    I guess this is the thing I am always wrestling with practicing but lately was brought back to my attention. Sometimes, we are so sure of what we want- but a lot of that has to do with circumstances about other things we think we want so we control our “wants”. For instance, maybe we hate a city but love a man that lives there so we think moving to the city will make us happy because we can also have the man. Or perhaps we want a job for a cool company, but don’t really love the position lined up for us. You have to be really clear about what you ask G-d (or the universe) for. I think a lot of the times our very own minds get in our way. You have to envision things as you’d like them to be, be fearless, and believe in that.

    Meditations, vision boards, writing, new/full moon rituals (goal setting), list keeping (trello), and prayer are all small ways I keep focused on the things I really want. Last, but not least believing in what you want also means changing self sabotaging behaviors, letting go of friends and people that no longer serve you, and ways that do not support your goals. If you say you want something don’t accept less. Hold yourself accountable to getting the thing you say you want.

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    styling/scenario: Aurielle Sayeh for @kickz93

    photography: Esmerelda Engels