The 30’s by O’Leta Swift-Reed

Wow! I can’t believe I’m here! The ripe age of 34! OMG! I am at the place in life that as a young child I thought was ancient! I am one year before 35 (an age I use to dread turning because I assumed after that everything goes downhill including body parts (wink, wink) . However, as I reflect back on the time I’ve had on this earth I realize how far I’ve come and how much more I have yet to go.

I have experienced a lot of greatness in life; I’ll never forget the national solo competition at Disney World (where I was selected as one of the two people representing the state of Indiana), Auditioning for American Idol, Our family meetings I use to call because someone was being unfair when I didn’t get my way! Making my brother or sister laugh really hard at night when we were suppose to be sleep so that they could get the wolpin! Leaving for college, coming home from college, leaving back out for college and glad to be getting away from my parents AGAIN!!! I can recall my All Girl Song Group (and the manger of Krispy Crème letting us come after school and perform in his store faithfully! LOL! I can recall growing up with some of the best and coolest people on planet earth, meeting my soul mate (thinking…LAWD PALEAZZE! I hope he doesn’t ask me for my number…not knowing he would one day make me the happiest girl alive and I would vow to spend the rest of my life with him) and if nothing else bringing life into this world…the most loving and cherished memory of them all.

But I have also had many misfortunes, made wrong decisions, took a lot of the low roads. I have minimized my gifts and my talents to make others comfortable around me. I have allowed people to break my spirit because of their own insecurities with themselves. I have laughed with some on the outside to keep from crying on the inside because I knew they didn’t have my best interest at heart! I have befriended people who I KNEW didn’t mean me any good and I have departed ways with people who probably did! I have closed the door on many great opportunities and at times opened the door to very few.

There was a time (particularly in my 20’s) when I would have believed I had lived to make a complete mess of things. But in my 30’s I realize I have a greater since of purpose and I admire the way I’ve overcome! There was a time (particularly in my 20’s) when I would say, “Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve But in my 30’s I realize that God too has a since of humor! And as I say all the time, if you wanna make him laugh tell him your plans are! So in my 30’s I say, (in my Martin Lawrence voice) “Let’s just KEEP IT MOVING PEOPLE!”

But as I reflect back over my life I am okay with where I am and I am even grateful for all of life’s experiences. I believe EVERY thing that has happened thus far has been intentional! It’s been purposeful!

I now thank God for my experiences with people. I believe the people who have wanted to see me fail have taught me to succeed, the people who have lied on me or talked about me behind my back have taught me to be real! The people who didn’t believe in me have taught me to believe in myself! The people who tried to break my spirit have taught me to encourage others to be the best that they can be no matter who said they couldn’t! And the people who can’t stand me, “BETTER SIT DOWN OR MOVE AROUND!!!”

I’ve learned that:

Life is all about waking us up! And it will bring whatever it takes to keep us from holding on to the past, grudges, resentfulness, bad experiences and start living in what IS happening right now!

I’ve learned that:

I can accept or reject the way I am treated by other people. And I have a choice what I will allow in my circle, my life and my space!

I’ve learned to:

LISTEN TO MY GUT. My instinct speaks to me in different ways. And when that red light goes off and starts flashing, ( NO MATTER how much I try to ignore it) I listen! And I’m okay with not falling for anything, standing for something, EVEN IF I stand alone!

I’m reminded of the song by Erika Badu:

(Bag lady, you gone hurt your back, dragging all those bags like that. I guess nobody ever told you, all you must hold on to, is you, is you, is you…YOU KNOW THE REST!)

I’ve learned to L.I.G it! LET IT GO! Don’t let anyone steal my joy, don’t let anyone have so much control over the who that I am and the who that I am becoming by holding grudges and being angry. And I REFUSE to let anyone make me loose my mind..UP IN HERE….UP IN HERE!

And ULTIMATELY I’ve learned to:

Be ready when that door opens and NOT wait for the door to open to get ready!

I have learned to be comfortable in the skin that I’m in. I LOVE BEING IN MY THIRTIES! I LOVE BEING ME! I no longer regret life’s mishaps, I rise to life’s challenges. I LOVE BEING IN MY THIRTIES and I am ecstatic about my life, and the decisions I’ve made.

I no longer allow others opinions of me to have any bearings on what I think of myself! I know who I am, I am confident in who I am and I can TEACH one how to treat me! I am determined to be the best me that I can be! Every day I am evolving into the women that God wants me to be. I am a confident, voluptuous, beautifully made Christian women, mother, sister, wife, friend and the list goes on! I am in a new place (mentally and physically), a content and happy place, doing new things, with new outlooks! I may now be 34 but, I feel like I’m just getting started! This is ONLY the beginning of what’s in store!

Sometimes, I cringe at the many possibilities that life can bring because I now know and believe they are waiting on me to reach out and grab them to make them realities! You know, I use to laugh at the quote by Forrest Gump. But I now realize the validity of it, “Life REALLY IS like a box of chocolates, you really don’t ever know what you’re gonna get! But I know whatever it is…it’s gonna be delicious!

Scriptures I’ve come to live by:

Romans 8:10 If Christ is in you, your spirit lives because you are right with God, and yet your body is dead because of sin

Romans 8:31 What can we say about all these things? Since God is for us, who can be against us?

James 1: 1-9 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Psalms 139: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.

Thanks for reading my written thoughts! I know it’s long but that’s what’s on my heart! LOL!

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