girl looking out window

Damn. A whole new decade already?

They say “time flies when you’re having fun,” but I’ll be the first to tell you that that shit flies regardless of what you’re doing with your life. As a new year and decade rolls in, I find myself in this weird space of feeling like I haven’t done enough with the last three decades I’ve been alive. Then as soon as I have that thought my inner voice tells me to ‘shut the hell up’ because I’ve done the things that truly matter and I still have breath in my body. The nerve of me, right?

In a way, I feel like my brain and my spirit are in a little spat because on one hand, I’m not married. I’m not fully submerged in my career. I’m a single mother. I don’t own my own home. I mean, I’m not really adulting the “traditional” way. On the other hand, I’m in love with myself. I’m unapologetically pursuing my dreams. I have an unbreakable bond with my daughter. I’m fulfilled with who I have become and how my nontraditional path helped me reach such a satisfaction. Am I wrong for feeling either way? Maybe I’m having a mid-life crisis… who knows.

Usually, at the beginning of the new year, I’d always write about being super prepared and excited about the new year. This time, I want to be more transparent. I don’t have it all together. I’m not always rolling with the punches… sometimes life knocks me TF out. And I figured I couldn’t be the only one who is going into 2020 feeling this way.

So, if you feel like you’re not quite ready for a new decade, here are a few things I want to remind you to help you get through it.

We all have different paths in life.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout these three decades it’s that there is no one-way path to doing life the right way. Whether we like it or not, we all will come to a place in life where we have to choose a path to journey. For some, that path is straight and narrow. For others, it can be quite the detour. The beauty in it all is having a choice of which road you take. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to explore which path works best for you.

Identify what being fulfilled means to you.

For quite a while, I didn’t know how to answer when someone asked me what I wanted out of life. One day, I was having a crazy ass conversation with a woman in her 40s who literally revolted at the thought of marriage and children and I thought for sure she was fronting. I continued to listen to her reasons and later found that her love for fashion and travel was what fulfilled her most. She said she’d never want to share her closet with a husband or her plane seat with a baby and while it was crazy to me that she felt that way, I understood.

She didn’t feel like she was missing out on shit because she identified what fulfilled her and didn’t let how people felt change her mind about it. Before then, I never considered that success or fulfillment could be achieved in more ways than simply living out the “American Dream.” Everything isn’t for everybody.

Stop comparing yourself.

I’ll say it so that you don’t have to. Every now and again—usually when I’m having a bad day—I have these really irritating moments where I’ll be scrolling through one of my social media accounts and for a split second, I’ll find myself asking why I don’t have what it appears someone else does. Shit. It was really hard to write that… but it’s true. If you’ve never done that before, kudos to you! However, I’m sure at least one of you is right there with me. Trust me, heading into a new decade while you’re worried about what someone else has won’t help you get anywhere. The grass is never as green as it looks on the other side… unless it’s fake.

Acknowledge what you have accomplished.

I started to attach this point to the previous, but it’s so important I wanted to be sure to highlight it individually. One of the best ways to overcome the feeling of not having done enough is to truly acknowledge what you have done! It took me longer than I’m willing to admit, to learn that I was my own worst enemy.

When I felt down, I beat myself up. I blamed myself for all of the things I hadn’t accomplished. Granted, some things were my fault, but some things were way beyond my control. Still, I never took the time to pat myself on the back about the things I did do. Even the little things—especially the little things. Now, I make sure that I praise myself every chance I get. It makes accepting the temporary fails so much easier.

You’re right. You can do better.

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with feeling like you could do better. To be honest, you can. We all can. And we should. We should all strive to do better tomorrow than we’ve done today—or for the sake of the article, better with the next decade than we’ve done with the previous. Be sure to surround yourself with the people and things that bring you the most peace and motivation. Remind yourself of what you want and why you want it and don’t allow anyone or anything to negatively influence that. If you truly want it, you can achieve it. People forget to tell you that it may be hard as hell, but you can do it.

You’re not where you want to be, but you’re not where you used to be.

If nothing else I’ve said matters, please take to heart as long as your progressing you’re doing more than you think. I’m sure we can all think back to when we weren’t as wise as we are heading into this new decade. Even if you don’t want to admit it, you are doing better than you once were. Don’t take that away from yourself.

It’s okay to want more, but be grateful for what you have now as well. Regardless of what you think you should have or even what your friends and family think you should have, you’re doing just fine as long as your taking things one day at a time. All is not lost and the best is definitely yet to come. There’s still plenty of time to get where you’re trying to go.

Here’s to a new decade, y’all. Cheers.