5 Things I’ve Learned The Hard Way In My 30s

My 35th birthday is coming up this weekend. Even though turning 35 isn’t a milestone birthday, enough has happened since I turned 30 that I’m in a pensive place mentally. Is there such a thing as having a mid-life crisis early? Does a mid-life crisis happen all at once or does it happen in stages like puberty? For me, it’s the latter. Turning 35 is a reminder of what I’ve accomplished in a short time. But it’s also a call-to-action on the things that I still have left to do.

I take into account the decisions made in the first part of my 30s and wonder have I made the second part of my 30s a bit harder than they should be. In a 5 year span, I’ve had relationships and ended relationships; both meaningful on their own way. I’ve changed jobs, and moved a few times. It’s funny how in the midst of the great times, life will humble you to let you know you ain’t sh!t yet. However, particular circumstances have left impressions on me about life lessons that I wish I’d learned earlier.


Know more about the roots I came from

Know more about the roots I came from

Coming from 2 immigrant parents, history and tradition is extremely important to hold onto. Unfortunately, my siblings and I never really had those “what was life like…?” conversations with either of my parents. With my father’s side of the family, I know less than a little. I plan to do some research this fall and try to locate any relatives, young or old, that my father has still in Jamaica. My mom’s side of the family is bigger and we’re tight. However, the details of my family’s lineage is fuzzy. Oral history is such a huge aspect to a person’s identity and their legacy. I want to learn more about who I am.

Just because you love her doesn’t mean you have to be with her

I think it’s important to have a solid friendship with someone before even discussing titles or commitments. I haven’t always been the best judge of character though. I’m not friends with any exes because the relationship exits weren’t amenable. People sometimes have it in their head that if you get along and out of that love develops, then you should be together. Nah! In fact, sometimes moving a woman from the friend to girlfriend category will eliminate the possibility of you 2 ever being great friends again. You’ll miss the friendship way more than you’ll miss the relationship.

Loyalty only works if both people have the same definition

I don’t remember if I’ve ever written about it on here – but a friendship that meant a lot to me got cut off because the dude didn’t respect boundaries. He did something based on fleeting emotions that I neverrrr would have done to him. I held him in a high regard like I do with all my close homeys. So the anger that the rift created in our friendship forced to me to consider that loyalty isn’t a priority for every person in the same way. You can’t always expect people to react or think the same manner you do. The type of disappointment is nearly impossible to recover from.

The King always has 1 more move

Looking back, when I came up against a familiar situation that all of a sudden felt “hard”, I’ve walked away. I get to a point where I’ll make excuses about the fact that nothing should be hard if it’s meant to be. That whole “meant to be” way of thinking is BS. It’s a subtle form of self-doubt and usually leads to self-sabotage. Being more patient comes with wisdom. When you’re strong in your faith, you have to believe that God is always working on your behalf. Delays are sometimes God’s way of protecting you from yourself. I can look at specific requests and know that I wasn’t ready for the blessings I was praying feverishly for. The thing about being a Christian is as long as you see another sun rise, it’s not over yet. He’ll always show you through His actions that you can’t be defeated once you’re covered by the blood.

Balance love and money or you’ll eventually lose both

Whenever me and my ex would get into it about quality time, she’d bring up how the leader of the free world has date nights. I hate when women do that. KEVIN DURANT LEVEL REACHING! It’s easy to get date nights when you have an entire support staff and a whole plane at your disposal. But if you’re running your own company or trying to put in time so you can get that promotion, 14 hour work days and long weekends are mandatory. The hard part about that is no amount of love will keep a woman cool with playing 2nd fiddle to a career. Kareem Abdul Jabbar touched on this in a piece in Esquire last year. He said “the better you are at your job, the more you’re rewarded, financially and spiritually, by doing it. You know how to solve problems for which you receive praise and money. Home life is more chaotic. Solving problems is less prescriptive and no one’s applauding or throwing money if you do it right.”  Being the best in your career shouldn’t come at the sacrifice or expense of an equally prosperous family life.


I’m blessed to be looking at another birthday. What I’ve lost in time wasted I’ve gained in lessons learned. Something my cousin texted me struck a nerve and was really the prompt for this reflection. What’s for you won’t go past you. And that’s all that I needed to read.


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