They say something happens to you when you turn 30- at least that is what my mom always said. It sounded crazy to me, what could possibly be the difference- or the magic- with the age of thirty? I mean sure you are older and hopefully that means added maturity but I had always been mature despite my young age. My mom, who has always been a straight forward woman said, ‘when you hit 30, you just don’t care much about what people say and do. It’s like it really just doesn’t matter anymore.’ I shrugged it off because hey, my mom was already a tough cookie unlike me. I was more like a brownie; you know with a crunchy outer part and gooey middle (at least that’s how I enjoy my brownies) - I wanted people to be happy. Yes, I was a people pleaser.
Don’t get me wrong, making people happy is a good thing but being enslaved to the feeling is wrong- horrible actually. I was stuck, mentally; thinking about who was and was not happy with me and it affected every area of my life. Academically I hindered myself so that peers felt better about lower grade markings, I put up with emotional abuse in relationships for the sake of not being alone and making the other person happy, and I kept my mouth shut when friends hurt me because I hated confrontation. To me confrontation meant that if I disagreed I would no longer be liked. I needed every opinion about me to be a good one. That in itself was a hard and heavy cross to bear, one that also scarred me. The pressure of the desire to be always liked added to high esteem praise from others created an uneasy atmosphere in which I became terrified to let anyone down. What a torturous cycle!
But baby! Let me tell you, when my 30th birthday came and I decided to have a staycation in New York City with two of my best girl friends, something in me changed. It felt instantaneous, the clock stuck twelve o’clock midnight and a load of cares just fell away. Fast forward to two years later, present day, those song lyrics that say ‘I feel free…’ excellently describes my current experiences. Recently, I’ve been speaking with God about what He’s been doing in my life, though it is not all rainbows and puppies, I feel such euphoria and freedom. He revealed to me that I had been holding myself back the entire time, who the Son sets free is free indeed but somehow I tied myself to the expectations and opinions of mankind. I’m almost at the point of total “water off a duck’s back” status and it feels great!
For the first time, I danced like I didn’t care, at two events celebrating love and life unconcerned with who watched me and who thought anything about me. I wore what I wanted to and looked great doing it. I freely pat myself on the back because God’s opinion of me is what matters and because of that I can have the proper opinion of myself and walk in that truth.
What are you facing today that you have allowed to control your life for way too long? FREEDOM AWAITS, ASK GOD HOW.
Pictured below: Me realizing freedom and growth at age 30 to present. Enjoy (thank God megapixels improve yearly)!