This Is 31.

 

Somewhere between psychotic and Iconic

Somewhere between I want it and I got it

Somewhere between I’m sober & I’m lifted

Somewhere between a mistress & commitment

But I stayed down

I always stay down

Get down, Never lay down

Promise to break everybody off before I break down

Everyone just wait now, So much on my plate now

People I believed in?

They don’t even show their face now

What they got to say now?

What more can I say now?

-Furthest Thing, Drake.

30 was good to me. Great to me honestly. But if 30 felt like “Furthest Thing”, then 31 feels like “Do Not Disturb.” Why?

“I need 40,000 people to see what I’m on.”

“More blessings, because I’m generous.”

“Always trying to let go of anything that will burden me,

that’s the reason you sense the tension & the urgency.

Last chance I get to make sure you take it personally.”

“I swear I told you I’m in the bitch for eternity”

“I am a reflection of all of your insecurities.”

“There’s real ones around me, I want to make sure they learn from me.”

“I’ll be back 2018 to give you the summary”

Another 6 hours in the air equals another 6 hours of self-reflection and repositioning. You can guess the artist to the soundtrack on today’s flight. Yep, back on my Drake bullshit. Today, I turn 31 years old. I told myself I was going to keep the number associated with this birthday quiet, but I’ll be honest, as ugly as the number sounds. I’m excited to see what 31 brings.

I took a second this morning to look back and see what I thought 30 would be.

“Guess what? Once you turn 30, all of a sudden the timer you put on yourself has expired and you realize the world has not ended. You are not a failure and NOW you get to LIVE!”

A friend shared that with me right before my 30th birthday. She was right. Everyone had told me that something happens internally when you turn 30 but of course my 20 something brain just couldn’t fathom. Everyone… mom, aunts, friends, cousins, even the strange women in the dollar store who love to chat… they’re right. Every single one of them.

30 felt like J. Cole “Friday Night Lights.” I threw Jeezy’s “Thug Motivation 101” back in rotation several times this year. Obviously, Drake was on heavy rotation, old Drake, hungry Drake. I was hungry again too. When I look back at 30, I can see major areas of progress in every single facet of my life. Family, Friendships, Love, & Career.

I fell back in love with my family. I fell back in love with all their crazies. I remembered what it felt like for someone to love you unconditionally, for no reason other than; you are apart of them. All of a sudden I was no longer “different” or “too cool” for my family. Family is not going anywhere. Anddddd for the first time in many years, I celebrated more weddings than I did funerals. HALLELUJAH!

I ended two friendships that still hurt at my core. Ladies who I love and think of often, but who I realized may not be best for my life moving forward. In my 30th year, I realized that no matter how much a friend supports you when you need it or how much you may laugh until your tummy hurts, not everyone is equally as good for you as you are for them. I struggled with it deeply, I talked to God, and turned over a new leaf. All things go. If we’re lucky, we grow from the experience. I still miss them.

At 30, I made ME a priority. I set financial and fitness goals that I did not let slip. I began to care about a skin regime and started buying myself flowers when I was feeling blue. I learned to listen to my gut and leave people, places, and things before it’s too late.

Dating at 30 was kind of badass. I loved every time a man asked me “how old are you?” I would confidently say “30.” As if that meant “Yeahhhhh dude, don’t come this way with the games.” Somehow, more games than ever happened. *Rolls eyes. But either way, this amazing IDGAF attitude showed it’s head during my first year as a 30 something and I loved it. A guy didn’t call me back after he said he would? So?!?!? LOL We had date plans and he had to cancel them? Oh good news, now I can put on a facemask and throw on sweats. The shoes I picked out were going to hurt my feet anyway. I find out he’s married after he drops gifts for a week straight at my door? Write a blog about him. 🙂

Like Sis Nicki Minaj, “I had to reinvent, I put the V in vent.” Instead of texting a guy a fury of text message that detail exactly why he has no respect for me because he disappeared for 72 hours. I would write a blog about the unfortunate event, and somewhere in that process I would smile & laugh. All of a sudden, I would see the opening for my growth. Young queen, It’s been magical.

In Alessia Cara’s Scars To Your Beautiful, she sings, “To all the girls that’s hurting. Let me be your mirror, and help you see a little clearer, the light that shines within. There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark. You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are.”

That exactly what happened. I learned to appreciate my beauty. I learned to appreciate my flaws. I stopped trying to be anyone other than myself. I stopped being sad. I stopped missing things that aren’t anymore. I finally accepted: “I don’t have to change a thing, I will let the world change it’s heart.” Thank you Young Queen Alessia.

To all my young queens who haven’t hit 30 yet, get excited. 30 is as good as they tell you it is. But for now?

Hello 31.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Beautifully written and super thoughtful/informative. takes notes

    1. ha! 🙂 Thank you!

  2. This was soooo good. Esp like the line: “I realized that no matter how much a friend supports you when you need it or how much you may laugh until your tummy hurts, not everyone is equally as good for you as you are for them.” Sharing that with my sister.

    1. Thank you! 🙂 It’s not easy to admit, but true.

  3. This was amazing….I’m turning 31 this June and I cannot wait. I am no longer afraid to be myself, no longer afraid of rejection and quite happy enjoying me the way I am. Basking in my glory and ending all things that aren’t good for me. Thank you Ashley for this motivation.

    -Lizan

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