My birthday was pretty lowkey, well spent brunching and sipping watered down mimosas in the AM and stressing about my final papers in the afternoon. When late night hit, I spent majority of it reminiscing, going through old journals and realizing just how far I’ve come, it’s all so dazzling and hard to fathom tbh. Last year for my birthday I came up with a giant list of what I’d learnt: The list , but this year, that proved to be a little harder. To tell you everything, I think I’d need more space, more than this page, a podast, a book even. I’ve changed so much; so much that I have to stop often, take inventory and recognize that I’m still me despite everything. Despite all these changes and the crazy growth, I’m still not perfect(shocker), I’m still learning and growing and I’m so darn grateful for that.  So today I won’t be doing a giant list, I’ll condense it to a smaller one, and hopefully manage to cram everything in. I’ll try make it short and sweet.

To anyone that made an impact in my life this year whether positive or negative,  

Thank you.

Well here goes:

  1. Trust that it gets BETTER, it always does. I lost count of how many times I sat there and thought, Wow this is the moment I die, and I’ll never recover…. But I’m still here, I powered through it all, every hard moment, cringy moment, confusing moment, HERE WE ARE.
  2. Comparison is natural and at times it’s motivating but majority of the time, it strips away joy. This has been so huge this year y’all. I’ve been such a horrible person to myself just because I had moments where I believed every other person was doing significantly better than I was. I’d think to myself, why am I’m not as successful as they are?….I’ve continuously let negative self-talk into my life and allowed myself to feel less than and incompetent just cause I wasn’t like the next person. I’ve received complememts and literally given them back thinking, Wow why is hemflattering me?’ I’ve down-played my personal achievements countless times. Here’s the thing I remind myself though: Someone will always be better off, smarter, prettier, richer etc. the work comes in trying to love you for you. That shit takes too much work, literally the hardest thing, but in end it’s all worth it.
  3. Be bold- and NO I’m not bold, I’m seriously the biggest coward that there ever was. I have so many regrets in this aspect coming out of 20. I wish I said more yeses and doubted my abilities less, I wish I signed up for more, I wish I started all those projects that I hoped to start, I wish I made a move on that one guy I crushed on for MONTHS; should have taken my own ‘make the first move’ advice, I wish I did so much more but being the person that I am, I know that I’ll most likely never stop feeling like this. Here’s to a new year of being bold, just doing it, pushing my own boundaries, saying more yeses, saying how I feel when I feel it, being less guarded, and making the first move in very single way.
  4. Be Kind to you. I’m my biggest enemy and a lot of times I disguise all this ‘hatred’ with the ‘I’m pushing myself to be better conversation’ I’ve realized the importance of stopping and thinking, ‘ Would I say the same things to a friend?” In a world where so much hatred exists, STAY KIND AND GRACIOUS TO YOU, it goes a long way.
  5. So much anxiety comes with not knowing what next. I don’t think anyone warned me about the feelings of in-betweenness that come with being at this stage in life. Everything feels messy, inconclusive, incomplete, and that causes so much anxiety. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make sure my trajectory is exactly the same as everyone else’s (the Carlson curse or blessing depending on how you look at it) And less time focusing on my unique abilities and ways of thought. I don’t think this in-betweenness will go away soon considering just how much everything is shifting, but I can only hope to manage this shit better.

It’s been ages since I posted anything new, I’m sorry to my loyal readers, I see you, I remember y’all, I’m back and hopefully here to stay, I missed this like alooootttttttttt. Glad to see you back on my page.

And 21, please treat me right.

Love, Imani.