As I get closer and closer to the day I turn 30 (November 29th) I am going to be sharing a few important lessons I learned in the 2nd decade of my life. “Don’t cheat yourself, baby girl” is something I repeat in my mind anytime a bad thought or doubt tries to kill my vibe. It’s what I wish I would have told myself more because these five words transform the way I go about my life today.
As young children, we’re raised to believe that certain things are out of our reach. Why? Because our society has a way of categorizing us as either ‘rich’ or ‘poor.’ If you’re ‘rich’ you get to have it all, but if you’re ‘poor’ you’re doomed. My mom instilled in my mind for a very long time that I need to “hope for the best, but expect the worse” and we carry this concept of “I can’t have what I want because I was brought into this world with the limitation of not being rich.” This thinking is far, VERY far from the truth. Don’t get me wrong—it is because of my mom that I have an abundance of strength, loyalty and perseverance that I pride myself on every single day, but I can’t help but wonder how differently things would have been for me if I knew from day one that my opportunities are truly LIMITLESS.
I was in my early 20’s when I moved to San Antonio, Texas from Washington State (which my parents didn’t think I would actually do). I thought it was my calling to be a registered nurse because the income and opportunities seemed promising. Plus—I have a nurturing personality by nature so it seemed like a good fit. Did I actually stop to think about what I enjoy and what I can see myself doing for the rest of my life? No because I never learned that you can make good money and actually love what you do.
Fast forward to the end of my first year in Texas when I decided to change my major to public relations and marketing. I didn’t tell my parents until a year later (they found out on Facebook) and boy—were they disappointed. They supported my decision (out of what seemed like obligation), and I’m sure felt worried that I would get a degree I’d never use. The rookie in me went ahead and started applying for agencies with the tiny amount of experience I had through internships and when I never got any calls back, I started to doubt myself. “Maybe I’ll never get a job in this industry. Maybe I should go back to nursing. Maybe I’m not cut out for marketing…” I would tell myself all kinds of crazy things to convince myself that I’m not good enough for this. I was hoping to get a job, but I was not expecting to land anything.
Long story short, I showed my parents that I can be successful doing what I actually want to do. I worked 12-hour graveyard shifts at the hospital, went straight to school after work, interned during whatever spare time I had and I took naps in my car between classes. I worked my whole ass off to make something shake and whether people believed in me or not became completely irrelevant and insignificant.
Others will cheat you—but don’t ever cheat yourself. Don’t cheat yourself with negative thoughts about you. Don’t cheat yourself in what you know you’re capable of. People who tell you that you can’t do something, that you can’t have something and that you shouldn’t do something, say those things for their own personal reasons. There is enough wealth, health and success for everyone in this world. You have a powerful force within you and that force is called choice. You get to choose to be treated like a human being and you also get to choose who deserves to be in your life—how amazing is that? Respect your dreams, respect yourself and the world will return the favor.
Make a list of things you want to accomplish, things you want to learn, things you want to buy, et cetera. Then for each of those things, make another list of how you’re going to achieve what you want. Take it another step further by making a timeline and actually making the time to cross things off of your list. You aren’t getting the things you want because 1—you have to actually put forth the effort into believing that things are achievable (harder than you think), and 2—because you have to budget your time wisely. Don’t cheat yourself into thinking that everything you want is unattainable.
If I could go back to my early 20’s during the times when I had all kinds of people yelling absurd things in my ear trying to discourage me and disrespect my dreams, and cause me to question my choices, I would definitely say, “don’t cheat yourself, baby girl. Don’t let others cause you to cheat yourself and don’t let others question your own intention and your own potential.”
Dress: ASOS Boohoo Force is Female T-shirt Dress $27
Booties: Forever 21 Patent Faux Leather Sock Boots $35