31 was hard. Like “someone slaps you in the face” hard. And it was partially because I’d made a huge decision: the decision to stop running away from the issues I had with myself and be real about it all. I decided that it needed to just stop and that I needed to work on it now.

But facing all my insecurities and problems was a much larger task than I’d realized. A lot of that stuff runs deep, y’all. Way deep. And even though I’m still working through some of the internal things I’ve tried to suppress much of my life, I feel like I’ve started to make a great foundation, and I can thank hard-ass 31 for that.

I’m just now learning to bloom, and these are 32 things I’m taking into 32:

1. You are more than enough.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with who you are today, right now, at this very moment.

2. Be in love with who you are today.

You can’t be the woman you want to be unless you learn to love on the one you are today.

3. You can be everything, but not all at once.

Give yourself some slack.

4. You build confidence by doing dope stuff.

Nas’ “Read more, learn more, change the globe” is still the motto.

5. Keep your cup full.

Good moms take care of their kids, but great moms know that they have to still come first.

6. Thrive with your tribe.

Choose carefully and make sure the whole squad wins.

7. Only rock with those who rock with you.

Stick with the real ones.

8. Every season isn’t a winning one.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and learn.

9. Things just fall apart.

Take advantage of when it does.

10. Always get the upgrade.

Whether it’s your morning coffee or your car, you’ll pay for it later if you don’t get what you want today.

11. Be kind to yourself.

Your longest relationship is and always will be with you.

12. Be more forgiving of others.

Because who doesn’t eff up?

13. People who are insecure look for insecurities in you.

Everybody hurts. Everybody.

14. Let it all go.

All of it.

15. It gets greater later.


16. Depression is real.

Period. Treat it. Continually.

17. When you need a break, take one.

It’s normal to be exhausted.

18. Compete sometimes, but don’t compare.

There’s nothing wrong with some healthy competition, but you are who you are. Leave the comparison at home.

19. See through the smoke screen.

Some people are just all talk.

20. Love is a verb.

It’s all about the come-through.

21. Celebrate all the small wins.

Shine on.

22. Trust your instinct.

And stop second-guessing it.

23. Ask for what you want and speak up when you feel you should.

Don’t silence your voice.

24. Always keep a piece of you to yourself.

Everything doesn’t have to be shared. People won’t understand anyway.

25. No one is a victim all the time.

Be real about the part you played.

26. However much you pray, pray even more.

Get closer, pray, and listen.

27. Keep the fire inside you lit.

Stay lit, girl, stay lit.

28. Your time is coming. Trust the process.

And now is pretty dope, too.

29. Take things at face value.

Most things just aren’t that complicated, so don’t overanalyze it.

30. Never stop dancing.

Like Josephine Baker said, “I shall dance all my life. . . . I would like to die, breathless, spent, at the end of a dance.”

31. Love starts with you.

Whether it’s with friends, family, or men, love starts with the love you give yourself.

32. At the end of the day, you’re unbreakable.

Give yourself some credit: With all that you’ve been through, you’re still standing. So, stand a little taller.

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