Today is my last day as a 31 year old so I have scheduled this post to go up during the eleventh hour as opposed to my usual 11:14 a.m.
31 has been the best year of my life. Hands down!
But it did not start out that way. As much as my people came all the way through for my birthday last year, it was shrouded in sadness as it was the first one without the woman who taught me to love my birthday. That was followed by the run up to my mum’s one year anniversary and those five months were so hard for me I even had to see a therapist at one point.
But come January 2019 and for some reason my heart was no longer as heavy. I explained it in a previous post as:
It makes me think of a grieving widow(er) taking off their wedding ring. I imagine that even as they do so they are still grieving, but taking off their ring is a symbol that one is ready to begin moving on with their life … My grief may always be a part of me but that does not mean it will always define me.
And Lawd has the rest of my 31st year delivered. Over the last seven months I:
- Went to Cape Town for the first time to see Ed Sheeran in concert
- Won a flash fiction writing competition and had my story published in Yummy Magazine
- Was promoted to Media Director
- Participated in the first panel of the PursePective Podcast with Scheaffer Okore, Mariga Thoithi, Marcus Olang and Adelle Onyango
But the greatest thing I have done in my 31st year is launch my blog. I say it all the time but Lwile the Leo is easily the hardest but most rewarding thing I do. More so now that I am receiving comments from people who do not personally know me. My people were the first readers of my blog and I am grateful for the support, but I am also aware that a big part of their support is tied to their love for me. So when I receive love from people who do not know me personally it really makes me feel some typa way.
I am receiving blog love more and more as the months go by and it really does affirm my belief that I am on the right track with what I have identified as my life’s purpose. I absolutely cannot wait to see where the blog will be This Time Next Year.
So, the reason this post is titled 13.31 is because:
- It is my last day as a 31 year old.
- 13 is a mirror image of 31. My mum died on the 13th and for some reason the number has been ubiquitous in my life since December 2017. Actually both 13 and 31 have been highly present in my 31st year, sometimes by choice but most times by chance.
This is weird AF but in honour of the last day that my age will be a mirror image of the date my mum died, I am sharing 13 things I know for sure. Because 31 is wayyy too many.
- Love yourself first.
There is a reason this is number one on my list. If there is one thing you must do in this life is love yourself first. It is only when we love ourselves that we are able to truly love others because love is not about receiving but about giving. You cannot give what you do not have.
Also, the same way you continually work at better loving the people in your life is the same way you should work at loving yourself better. Learn your love language(s) and speak it/them to yourself consistently.
2. Never waste a lewk.
There is a reason I spell it as lewk and not look, because with lewk you do not ati look good, you look fuego!
This year I have worn some sexy ass lewks! In fact I am planning to do a run down of all my favourite lewks this year for my Kwaheri 2019 post on December 31st (my content calendar runs deep yo!).
In Cape Town I was talking with my cousin about how I love to plan ahead for all the outfits I will wear in a given week. And she said “so like meal prep but for clothes.” Bright babe that one!
Whenever I come to work with a fuego lewk I make sure I go somewhere after even if it is just for one drink because:
Also, ladies if you wear shoes like the ones I wore yesterday:
Please wear them with nothing else on at some point in the evening/night. After all, why buy fuck me heels if you will not get nasty in them ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
3. You are the chief architect of your own happiness.
For International Day of Happiness on March 20th I wrote a post titled Find Your Happy that you can read here so I do not repeat myself. But the below quote from Agnes Repplier also reiterates my point:
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
4. Shoot your shot.
The worst that can happen is the object of your affection will say no. But life moves on and chances are that in a few weeks/months/years you will not even remember the occurrence. So trust me on this one; shoot your shot. Plus that way you do not waste time pining over someone who is not interested. Being rejected stings but the alternative is being strung along and that is much worse IMO because time is one of our most valuable assets. If it is money I can always make more, if it is a boo I can always get another one, but you can never get back wasted time.
5. Healing from grief is a not linear process.
Earlier in the month I was in the CBD and I happened to find myself on Biashara Street and saw a shop my mum had told me to check out when I was buying curtains for my house. Seeing that shop kicked me right in the guts mpaka I had to stop for a few seconds to gather myself.
While this year I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life, I still miss my mum so deeply because grief does not stop. It just moves behind other things instead of always being in front of them. That is why curtains can have me completely in my feelings. Till now I am conflicted on who to call first with good news because my mum was my person … But that is life and there is really nothing I can do but to keep soldiering on one day at a time.
6. The mind is supremely powerful and what you feed it is key.
If you think you cannot, that is exactly what will happen. The best thing I ever did was truly believe I could do anything I set my mind to as I have flourished abundantly since then, both personally and professionally. Of course there have been setbacks along the way, but as Rihanna’s tattoo reads “never a failure always a lesson”.
7. Never ask a question you do not really want the answer to.
8. Whatever you are not changing you are choosing.
9. Be very careful before you consider a colleague as a friend.
Adults spend most of their time at work meaning our colleagues are the people we spend the most time with. Before you consider a colleague as a friend take all the time in the world and get to know them first. Cool peeps ≠ good friends. I learnt this lesson the hard way last year (will write about it on Oct 23rd for Slap Your Annoying Coworker Day, lol) and I have no intention of learning it ever again.
10. Take the time to establish whether you are falling for someone as they really are or if you are falling for a version of them you have created in your head.
That is the intro to In My Head by Ariana Grande and that song is what helped me articulate this point. But enyewe this is a tough one because the initial stage when you are falling for someone is one of the most intoxicating feelings in the world. That moment when they are all you can think about and you look forward to spending as much time, both naked and clothed, as you possibly can with them.
But try however you can to step back from the situation and assess it because it is paramount that you protect your heart. I learnt this early in the year when I fell for a guy who turned out to be the biggest waste of my precious time.
11. Make a point to exercise at least three days a week.
Joining a gym is one of the best decisions I made this year, if not the best. I joined the gym on April 1st and in Q2 when I was on my booze and kush break I would work out four days a week without fail. Q3 came with the end of my break and now I go to the gym five days a week so that I can enjoy my wine without piling on the weight because booze is empty calories AF.
It is far from easy and there are days I do not feel like going to the gym for shit. But I made a commitment to myself and to me that is the most important commitment. Kuna venye a commitment to myself is tantamount to a blood oath. So those days that I do not feel like going to the gym are the ones I do not skip at all. Working out is not always fun but how you feel after the workout more than makes up for it. The gym has just really transformed both my body and mind and I feel so damn sexy and strong.
Now before you say “oh I do not have the time and/or money for the gym” allow me to call bullshit on your excuse. Because that is exactly what it is. An excuse. There are many types of exercises, from swimming, to jogging, to cycling, to Zumba, and if you find one that you enjoy it becomes easier to make time for it. Plus YouTube has a shitload of workouts you can try, some even as short as 10 minutes so saying you do not have the time to work out is simply not true. I mean, I am sure even President Obama had 10 minutes free here and there when he was in Office. Prioritise your physical health and you will find the time.
And the reason I say work out three days a week is because a week has seven days. Half of that is 3.5, so if you cannot round it up to four days a week then round it down to three.
12. Speaking things into existence works because there is power in the tongue.
I have spoken so many things into existence over the last few years that I am now one of its biggest advocates. Be intentional with what you put into the universe, be deliberate in your pursuit of it and watch the universe reward you.
Also, even if it is in jest, do not speak negativity into your life in any way, shape or form.
13. Life is for living.
I said in a previous post that after my mum died the phrase “life is short” is now laden with gravitas. Life is short dear reader so make sure you live it as fully and passionately as you can in a way that is truthful to you. This does not mean though that you make irresponsible decisions because you might be hit by a bus tomorrow 😐
In conclusion, obviously I know more than these 13 things (lol) but that is all I will share for today.
31 has been the absolute best year of my life but the funny thing is whenever I say that, my next (private) thought is always “it is the first year without the absolute love of my life but I am this happy” and I always feel a pang of sadness and guilt that I am this happy yet she died just the other day. But that is exactly what my mum wants. And since I believe that she is watching over me, another reason I unwaveringly choose happiness is because it also makes my mum happy in heaven.
Despite the rocky start 31 has unequivocally been the best year of my life and I cannot fucking wait to see what 32 has in store.