Although there Ain’t No Nigga like THE one and only Jigga, I can’t help but compare myself to the masterful MC now that I’m 26. In the summer of 1996 at age 26, Jay-Z released his debut album, “Reasonable Doubt.” At this time, Jay was self-made starting his Roc-A-Fella roots without label help and still managed to craft the classic. Undoubtedly one of Brooklyn’s Finest, Jay-Z was persistent as he pursued his rap dreams, and let it known that “you can’t knock the hustle.” He remained steadfast and moved militant along his journey. I can’t help but wish and want the same thing for myself in making in my own moves maneuvering through the twenty-somethings.
However in the last few years, I’ve dreaded the idea of getting older, especially as I inch my way toward turning thirty. With each twenty-something age, I’ve set high expectations for myself and made Coming of Age apprehensive as opposed to appreciative. I’ve struggled in my twenties with finding balance in being overly ambitious and feeling disappointed with the actuality of my overall success. I assumed I was supposed to have it all together by now, and especially in my mid-twenties. “You see me stressed me right?… Can I live?!” In it’s entirety, I’ve treated my early twenties like it’s supposed to be the end of failure or questioning, when in fact, it’s only just beginning.
Turning 26 just a few days ago, I’ve taken on a different perspective instead. I’m not letting D’Evils of fear or doubt cross my mind anymore in dream chasing like I used to. I’m looking forward to living life with no Regrets as I’m after Dead Presidents. “I’m just trying to get mine, I don’t have the time to knock the hustle for real!” At age 26 with a new attitude, “I stepped it up another level, meditated like a Buddhist.” I’m Feelin It so much, I’ve made a bucket list of 26 habits, experiences, and ideas I’d like to try in my 26th year, way beyond a Reasonable Doubt.
Chapter 26, Bring It On….
1. Go to a therapist
We tend to turn the other cheek in terms of checking in on our mental health within the black community. But with noticing the rise of mental health awareness and my generation’s surprising statistics on depression and anxiety at this stage, I’m open to going to a therapist to talk one on one and organizing my thoughts out soon. I’m enjoying uncovering all the layers that are underneath the surface that lie with me. I’m sure with a therapist we can dig DEEP honey!
2. See a movie solo
I appreciate doing things and going out by myself. We can take it a step further and say that I LOVE it. Experiencing things for yourself and being on your own time is the best feeling but somehow, I haven’t seen a movie by myself yet. It’s just always been natural to have someone to see them with. Now, it’s time to shake things up.
3. Take myself out to a nice restaurant
I’ve gotten a quick bite by myself and sat down but I think I should treat myself to something better. I deserve it. I owe it to my most amazing self. Plus, I want to get use to the idea that I can do bad all by myself! One day I’m going to put on a super cute outfit, drive to a fine, fancy place to dine, and boldly say, “Table for 1 please.”
4. Vacation alone
Don’t get me wrong, I live for a good old fashioned Girls Trip and spending quality time with my loved ones. But flying solo on vacation is a MUST. I want to see the world from one perspective, MY OWN. My friends and family will always be there for another one.
5. Print out special photos
I NEED to print out photos so I can look back and say, “DAMN I WAS FINE AS HELL IN MY 20S.” I’m aspiring to still be fine forever, much like our black queen Angela Bassett.
6. Do something daring/death defying
I’m looking to get out of my comfort zone in my late 20s. Guess I gotta cheat death at this point in my life to make it interesting.
7. Delete un-used contacts
No matter what age I am, I don’t have time for people taking up space in my life or my phone. DELETE.
8. Apply to jobs I’m not “qualified” for
With “Agent Orange” in office, ain’t no way ANYONE can tell ME I’M under-qualified for something. Blue Ivy never seen a ceiling in her whole life, and why should I?!
9. Write a love letter
In this day and age, the art of communication is lost in misinterpreted text messages and expectations brought to us by the internet. I want to write a love letter to express my myself to the one I love. As talkative as I am, I’m not exactly expressive with my inner most feelings when I’m really into someone. I’m working through this “I hate being vulnerable thing,” it’s a work in progress. My concept of romance these days is saying, “You iight.” And if I ever fall in love again, I’ll be sure that I put all down with a pen.
10. Explore a sexual fantasy
I’m a young woman, a sexual being. Society has made it so women are shamed for being free sexually, and in some cases it’s not even psychically possible for most women to reach their sexual height. (Statistically only 1 in 4 women receive orgasms during intercourse.) But nah. Fuck that. I’m a woman, a creator, a child bearer. Mankind wouldn’t even exist if I wasn’t fucking, right? I mean…hello. SO, if I’m gonna be fucking, I’m gonna be fucking RIGHT and THAT MEANS exploring all the things that will help me reach my outright sexual height. Yeah orgasms ain’t enough anymore, we’re on a new level at age 26 and beyond. (Although, I am grateful for them, thanks guys.) I’m in the prime of my life, I got time to try what I want out of it, including my deepest fantasies and shit.
11. Learn the art of saying no
I say no all the time, but often, not often ENOUGH. I want to focus on taking the time to make myself a priority first and foremost, even if that means that “No” will hurt someone’s feelings. But honestly, you can’t fill someone else up from an empty cup. Sometimes, it’s best just to say no.
In the era of all things digital and during a time where niggas don’t read, I want to start becoming a Vlogger. I hear it at least once a week lately as a suggestion whether it’s from my mentor, my close friends, or just someone I happen to meet. But my answer has always been I’m scared of criticism and don’t think I’m cute or creative enough to be a YouTube personality. But who says I have to be the next Issa Rae. I think vlogging will help embrace my biggest fear of being camera shy and work towards being my most shameless self! I wanna show the world there’s something special about being your authentic self, my way.
13. Stop doubting and worrying
My post-grad life over the last 3 years has been filled with self-doubt and fear and I’m fucking tired of that shit. Straight up. I’m not expecting to eliminate every aspect of it but definitely keep it in check. I spend way too much energy setting myself up for failure when I could be preparing myself for a blessing. It all starts with faith. My name means faith, the answer is literally in ME.
14. Be shameless
No letting go, no holding back, and that’s word to Wayne Wonder. Hope that ain’t go over your head.
15. Social media detox
I waste a lot of my time on social media. Although I feel like my habits are in check because I’m not socially inept and know when to disconnect from the internet and connect with people right in front of me, I feel like I need a big break from it. I use it in unhealthy situations in my life. I use it as a coping mechanisms because I’m that unhappy with my job. I use it as a ruler, measuring myself up to standards of beauty or lifestyle. I treat is as a ritual, instead of just a thing. While I do ruse the internet as a helpful tool to build my content and my brand, I could just step away from time to time.
16. Fall in love with myself
I’m my biggest critic when I need to be my best cheerleader, simple as that. I want to work on loving and embracing the journey I’m on and the blueprint to a better me.
17. Learn how to do a full beat: eye makeup, eyebrows, E V E R Y T H I N G!
Although being my authentic self means staying true to my tomboy tendencies, I want to learn the craft of doing makeup myself. I don’t want to depend on someone else all the time. In the spirit of being more self-sufficient at twenty six, I want to be versatile in my femininity and teach myself how to do a FULL beat and look absolutely fabulous with it.
18. Open a separate bank account and SAVE
I’ve been working towards a few of my finance goals at 25 but to take it a step FURTHER at 26, I want to desperately save my money. I think opening another account at a different bank will help my urge to splurge.
19. Dye my hair
The most shocking thing I’ve ever done to my hair was cut it shoulder length and my over dramatic ass cried about it being short for way too long in the process. I don’t think it would hurt add a little color, or at least I hope not.
20. Take more photos
I want to not ONLY live in the moment but also savor it for later.
21. Create a budget and stick to it
“Financial freedom my only hope.” I understand that money is just a thing, but ain’t nothing wrong with saving it. Shit if anything I’m TOO happy to throw it away. It’s time to stick to a financial plan and be more prepared.
22. Redecorate my living space
I could use a change, change is good. Aesthetics matter. You know.
23. Seek help for my skin
Hormonal acne has been the most humbling experience in the last 3 years. It’s the one thing I really can’t stand about myself. No matter how I try to fix it on my own, nothing has worked. I need some professional help in this department. After all, your skin is a vital organ and you need to take care of yourself.
24. Create MORE
In my post-grad journey, I’ve also found a love in just making things. I made a blog, I make posts for it, pictures, playlists etc. I’m ready to just create in abundance and have an overwhelming amount of joy come from it.
25. Get in the habit of cooking more
Being away from home at college might’ve helped sharpen my cooking skills but now that I’m home, I’ve been putting those on the back burner. Time to turn up the flame! In the spirit of self-sufficiency, I have to take the necessary steps before I leave the nest again. Plus eating out all the time is so expensive.
26. Be more gracious
I want to make an even better effort to show gratitude in everything I do and in everything I am. I have a lot to be thankful for, especially at this day and age and at my age. “We wasn’t ‘posed to make it past 25, jokes on you, we still alive.” 26, yall niggas get ready.
Want to share a goal or aspiration this year in comment? Let’s get this world together and make this whole world believe us.