This I Believe

Ebony - New York, New York
Entered on October 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that your age does not define you; rather your experiences mold you into the person you become. I thought that turning 30 would be some type of monumental moment, a day that would bring me to some kind of subliminal understanding. Turns out, it’s just another day in my life that I determine how I will live out the time. I can’t believe I actually threw a birthday party for my thirtieth. I invited people that I thought were my friends, folks that I’ve known my whole life, and I actually expected them to show up. By 1:30 in the morning, not one person I knew had arrived except an ex-coworker of mine, and she was the last person I thought I’d ever spend my birthday with. I am a young black woman with no degree, two kids, and tons of baggage. She is an older white, Jewish woman with a PhD degree and no kids. It’s taken me up to this point in my life to realize that you don’t have to know someone since birth to make them a good friend nor do they have to be the same age, race or religion. I was a little embarrassed and disappointed that my friends didn’t show up, but after careful thought, I realized that those people don’t determine whether I have a good time. Furthermore, I didn’t need to throw a party to acknowledge or celebrate my life.

I am proud of everything that I’ve accomplished up to this point. As a single mother of two, I work a regular nine to five job and deal with the everyday hassles that no one seems to elude. I am a student who may have taken a bit longer than most to come to the realization that a piece a paper can, in fact, make or break your success. I am an author who wants to share her stories with the world and be the next Terri McMillan, Maya Angelou or Zane.

I am thirty now and I am open to new things, to meeting new people, and am able to say “I’m sorry.” I am thirty now and I feel that I am turning out to be a better mother than previous generations of mothers in my family. I do not feel old or “over-the-hill”; my life is just beginning. I choose to act more maturely and correct the not-so-pretty character flaws. I will surround myself with people who live righteously. I have a better understanding of friendship. I am thirty now and when I look in the mirror, I have no regrets and am pleased with myself. Next year, I will be stronger, more resilient, and wiser. I will not look for any bells or whistles, but I will be grateful that I’ve made it to thirty-one.