i am less than one week away from starting to work with my wellness coach/trainer. someone asked me how i was feeling about it today and i answered honestly – i was terrified. i know that i am in the right place at the right time PLUS i truly believe this is the right person to facilitate this journey with me. even still, there was this fear.
when thinking about where that fear stemmed from, i realized that on some level, i was comparing myself to others. whether it was people i knew personally or what i was ingesting through media, i had temporarily lost sight of what i truly needed to be focused on. the only person i need to be in competition with is myself – as long as i am better than i was the day before, that is more than enough. it made me think of this quote i ran across last month:
“when you’re in your own lane, there’s no traffic.” -ava duvernay
i couldn’t have said it better.
first, i cannot believe i am 31. there was such a build up to turning 30 followed by an epic celebration in sin city. this year looked a lot different but i would argue it was equally (if not more) impactful. my mom and i flew for the first time in almost a year and celebrated my birthday in the bay area. since it was home for 10 years, so many of my favorite humans are here. it just made sense (to me) to do a series of outdoor dining dates in small groups. you will get a chance to read about an absolute must for brunch tomorrow.
anyway, each year, i pick a theme for the year centered around one word. in previous years, i have focused on themes like: hustle, vulnerability, unapologetic, etc. back in december, i was driving home from the bay and someone asked me what my plans were for my 31st birthday. while i hadn’t ironed out plans, i knew my theme for 31 ahead of time. 31 was going to be all about reciprocity.
merriam webster defines reciprocity as the quality or state of being reciprocal: mutual dependence, action, or influence. i realized that while i was (and still am) certainly blessed beyond measure when it comes to my friends, there were still some relationships where i was giving much more than i was receiving. being that i give so much of myself at work, i truly don’t have the capacity for anything that i am choosing outside of that to be one sided.
i made sure to make this weekend all about spending time with people i love dearly who love me back in ways that feel good to me. i was out of my hotel room for over 10 hours today but somehow feel rejuvenated. that’s the beauty of reciprocal relationships.
do you have reciprocal relationships in your life? what is your theme for this year of your life?
i am feeling excited about 31.
even when i was younger, as my birthday drew closer, i found myself being reflective on how my last year of life went. what spots were the brightest? what spots were the darkest? what would i do differently with the wisdom that i had at the exact moment of reflection? well, even though i spent most of 30 being locked up due to quarantine, my 31st birthday is less than a month away. unlike most years, i was not feeling as reflective. it might be because so many of the days since last march have felt the same as all of the other days that week or month. it could also be because january was jam packed with the capitol being stormed by domestic terrorists, returning back to work after winter break and the inauguration of biden and harris. i think i almost forgot that february was just around the corner.
recently, i was asked about my ability to not just show up, but celebrate others. i almost thought perhaps i was misunderstanding the question. a dear friend of mine was talking to me about a series of things that did not go my way in 2020. all of them had one thing in common: terrible timing. while there were still many things for me to be grateful for, i started to understand what she meant. there were definitely things i set out to accomplish that did not come to fruition. but for me, that was (and is still) completely separate from showing up and celebrating my loved ones.
instagram clearly heard our conversation because within 24 hours, i stumbled across this quote:
“my own desire to succeed does not prevent me from celebrating others people’s success” -adam j. kurtz
i am not only happy to show up for the success of my loved ones, i celebrate it. so many of the people in my orbit are the hardest workers i know. they are also kind and compassionate beings. if there is an area of my life where i have yet to find success and they have, i celebrate them. once the celebration has subsided, i then turn to them as a resource. maybe there is something they have tried that i have yet to discover.
even if there isn’t, i view a win for a loved one as a win for us all. there are plenty of seats at the table and seeing my tribe do their thing inspires me even more.
do you show up to celebrate other people’s success?
2020 certainly has not been a walk in the park. january kicked off with the loss of kobe and gigi bryant (along with multiple other passengers) in a fatal plane crash. i can actually remember saying out loud that 2020 couldn’t get any worse. fast forward to march – a full blown pandemic had swept through not just the nation, but multiple continents. once closer to summer, more senseless killings of unarmed black people at the hands of police officers had sparked a revolution. revolutions are not always pretty. and just a week or so ago, we wrapped up the gnarliest presidential election to date. it would be easy for me to say that 2020 was the worst year of all time. but honestly speaking, that would be a lie.
2020 was certainly rough on a grander scale, but when i look at the lives of some of those nearest and dearest to me, 2020 has been a year of growth, new beginnings, stepping outside of comfort zones and pausing to be more reflective and grateful. amidst this pandemic, i have had multiple friends give birth to beautiful baby boys, several friends close on their first homes, many others became dog moms/dads (myself included), countless promotions at work, one of my very best friends got married to the love of her life yesterday, a couple have launched businesses, many have taken time to invest in their mental/emotional health/wellness and a ridiculous amount of other awesome things i know i am forgetting. one of the biggest shifts i have seen are people being more expressive to those they love on any day ending in the letter y. there is no longer this need to wait until a birthday or celebration to express love and gratitude. that has arguably been one of the best things to come out of this pandemic.
even with all of the aforementioned, i have had several conversations with loved ones in recent weeks about feeling guilt or shame around the things that are going well. some have even said they have downplayed what is going well for them to friends and family after realizing that they do not seem particularly happy for them. here is a sad reality: not all people are capable of celebrating the accomplishments of their loved ones if they do not have something they feel is also worth celebrating in their own lives.
i came across this quote on instagram from wctherapygroup and felt compelled to write this post and share it:
“not everyone is going to be celebrating and cheering you on. know you’re killing it anyway.”
don’t allow a lack of outside validation stop you from doing the damn thing. sometimes, you have to be your own biggest cheerleader. and i will let you in on a little secret – when you’ve curated a dope inner circle, there will ALWAYS be at least one other person happy to cheer alongside you and toast to your greatness.
what have you accomplished this year that we should be cheering for?