This one's more personal: 35 things I learned the year I turned 35
There's a popular meme floating around saying something to the effect of, "2019 is a weird year because I'm somehow living my best life and my worst life."
This year, I turned 35.
There's something about being 35, which means I'm officially an adult, with real advice to offer.
As part of my new-found confidence in adulthood, I've gathered the experiences I've learned the most from this past year.
And boy, it was a doozy of a year.
I'm not typically the type of blogger to pour my soul into a blog post. Mostly, I stick to social media topics.
That said, I also find myself with the unique opportunity of reaching new audiences recently. Namely, women who want more profound, more meaningful careers or some type of mentorship – even digitally.
To benefit those women, I'm jumping into the 35 lessons learned the year I turned 35.
Questioning my expertise vs. acknowledging my expertise. I've been doing what I do for well over a decade. There are very few, especially in the social media industry, who can say this.
More followers ≠ better than me. Read that again. Plus, this is true if you're an influencer, a business, or just a person. I am more than my follower count.
Diving head-first into philanthropy and giving. This year, I've been so blessed to work with incredible non-profits, and it's indeed affected my life and business for the better.
Instead of coming up with reasons as to why I couldn't do something, asking, "how can I make this happen?"
Tossing out the idea that # of hours worked = productivity. If there's one thing I'm not, it's a seat warmer.
The power of positive thinking and attitude. After the year I've experienced, I have never been more convinced of this.
A willingness to try new things can open so many doors personally and professionally.
Knowing that there are things I still need to learn how to do. It is beneficial for me to be in a constant state of learning.
Not only acknowledging my shortcomings but also doing something about them.
The importance of mentoring/mentorship. Whether it's a monthly call or an occasional cup of coffee, mentoring (giving and receiving) sustains me.
Asking for and being willing to receive help. This was a big lesson.
Knowing that experiences are important. But sometimes things = experiences. There's a particular brand of handbag I've wanted for the longest time. After achieving a financial goal this year, I bought myself the bag. It. Was. An. Experience.
Setting a number goal for something I wanted to accomplish this year vs. stepping into the identity of something. Writers know what I mean. Speakers do too. I set a number goal of speaking engagements this year, but the most important thing for me to learn was not whether or not I could accomplish this goal, but the fact that I am a speaker. Period.
How important a reputation is. This was a recurring theme this year. It made me reevaluate everything from public shaming to cancel culture to how I approach networking.
Allowing it to unfold. It. The thing. Just let it develop in its own time.
Making room for spontaneity. Do what you have to do when you have to do it, but shake things up every now and then.
Why it's important to become a better, more effective writer. If you work on one thing next year, work on this.
I learn by doing, but I learn best by teaching.
The importance of friends. And how difficult it is to maintain these relationships as we get older.
Kicking competition to the curb, and figuring out better, healthier ways to respond to competition and comparison.
Leaving something in better condition than I found it. This is true for homes, jobs, foster children, and so many other things.
There's nothing more important than love.
Appreciation and gratitude are a close second.
Acknowledging myself as an entrepreneur/intrapreneur. If you are innovative or think of a better way of doing something at your job, congratulations, you have a new title.
Outsourcing. Grocery store delivery changed my whole life. I'm trying to identify other ways I can outsource.
Having a spouse who is your cheerleader. If you're living with a partner who is not supportive, I'm so sorry. But I wouldn't have had nearly the amount of success I had this year without a spouse who has my back professionally as well as emotionally. Y'all should hear how he introduces me to people.
Calling out something that's broken. Note to self: do this more often.
Saying "no." I hate saying no because I want everyone to like me. But it's not just about the word. It's about setting boundaries so I can keep my sanity (and schedule) in check.
Stop saying, "busy." I want to do this more often. When people ask me how work is going, I have to come up with a better answer. We all do, you guys. Because busy is a four-letter word.
The fact that I really look forward to aging. I'm pretty sure I can thank Jennifer Lopez for this.
How quickly circumstances can change. Yep. For better or worse, too. Five years ago, my family and I moved from a one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom apartment in another state. A few more cross-country moves later, and now we're in a place I never thought I'd be.
Having a safety net. Not out of fear, though. But to better enable me to take more chances.
Drama isn't part of my story. Distancing myself from it has been a smart move.
While others wonder what I bring to the table, I sit confidently, knowing that I bought the table. In the past, I doubted my effectiveness. This year, I saw proof positive that I'm on the right track in a lot of areas.
Making time for spirituality and mental health. Take care of yourself, mind, body, and soul. Your entire world depends on this.
I'm excited that now I have an opportunity to embrace the next five years (until I turn 40!) as something extraordinary.
A time to enjoy life and enjoy the fruits of hard work.
And while I'll be back to post more about social media and digita