Turning 27 was never an age that I considered as anything beyond a filler between 25 and 30. Those big, festive, super lit birthday years like 16, 18, 21, 25, 30, golden year, etc. are appropriately big deals. Maybe I’m a Debbie Downer, but all those other years never warranted celebration. Yet, a few days into 27 coupled with a few conversations with trusted amigos, I realize that celebration of this age can be seen through a different lens.
Instead of clubbing, an expensive dinner, or even going on a shopping spree – I sat down with myself and wrote. It was clear that my mindset had changed from even a year prior, in ways that I hadn’t been paying any attention to. I did my best to whittle the list down to 5 — but there are more and may be added later! Let me know your thoughts, should you have any 🙂
Surrounded by Quality
There’s something to be said of the paraphrased truth serum quote by Jim Rohn, you are who you are with. At 27, it’s time to cut the fat if you haven’t already. You |hopefully| are no longer who you were at 17, therefore your friendships and your views on relationships of all sorts should grow alongside you. IMO, by this point, it’s high time to have nothing but quality in your inner circle. The 5 people who are on your favorites speed dial list – people that inspire you, motivate you, understand you, mentor you, and believe in you |yall know who you are for moi|. It’s YOUR life and only you meticulously curate who you become, no excuse is acceptable to not take accountability for that life you’re living, if the consequence is stagnancy. You are what you think as well as who you’re with most of the time.
It can be argued that my bias is heavy on this golden nugget, but these are MY opinions on MY blog, so it is what it is. The point is, why else are we here on this planet if it is not to glean as much knowledge as possible and potentially further the collective unconscious of humankind? Deep, but take a breath to think about that. Traveling this gargantuan planet is just a start to the most authentic understanding of all that we know – humans, environment, academia, institutions, The Man, the isms, etc. Only with travel could I have understood the deeply visceral upset that affected Muslims in the mere days before the eruption of Arab Spring, only with travel could I have traversed into the forests of Guatemala and realized that Mayan was spoken more fluently than Spanish, and only with travel could I have seen the Great American Bison roam semi-freely in their ancestral lands of Wyoming and the Dakotas. These experiences taught me more than that piece of paper I “worked so hard on” for three years. No shade to college, but I would have done it differently. Life long learning is the way to freedom.
To me, confidence is now a trendy buzzword that annoys me to no end. By 27, self-assurance might not be entirely natural just yet, but working on it will pay off. Allowing the prompts of social media to dictate who you are, how you feel, what to think, and all that nasty jazz should be something of the past by this point. If not, take a tech-free weekend to reassess your priorities. Social media is made to give you what you most often seek – which is why you see those sandals you were eyeing on Zappos, suddenly in the margin of Facebook. AI is here. Shooo. But seriously, who are you without the veil of social media and/or technology? As a woman in particular, can you go out to eat by yourself and enjoy your meal without reading the phone in your free hand? Can you go to the movies alone? Can you take a weekend trip alone? How about, can you engage in conversation about what’s happening in the world and not just what’s happening on Love & Hip Hop or GoT |had to even it out|? Self assurance, most aptly, comes from within, not without. It is an internal journey that takes a lifetime, but has hopefully started to blossom by 27.
Get Smart About Money
Before my birthday, I had quit my first job and obtained an offer from another. Financial changes would commence soon enough and it hit me like a slap after missing curfew in the 9th grade — I should probably learn a bit more about money AND become comfortable with its flow. I picked up books |essentially anything by Robert Kiyosaki’s|, started listening to podcasts |Bigger Pockets & Planet Money| and made an appointment with my bank to review my financial strategy going forward |shout out to Charles Schwab|. That singular appointment changed my mindset on money – pay yourself before you pay anyone else. AKA make sure your savings/retirement fund is automated. I opened a ROTH IRA and discussed how to maximize the benefits annually as well as why it even mattered. I asked for recommendations on how to gain financial freedom without delving into the stock market, I asked about what the real deal is on credit ratings and equity, and I was offered reading materials on residential investment properties. The list goes on yet the point remains, get smart. Ignorance is no longer bliss at 27 – if you don’t know, that’s your fault.
Good lord if nothing else is sticking, please trust yourself enough to make decisions. I’ve noticed |especially my millennial compatriots| simply can not make a decision — whether it be where we should all gather for dinner to what movie to which flight we should book. MAKE THE DAMN DECISION. If it was a poor decision, you’ll figure it out at a later time and fix it then. But it’s time to be self-assured enough to stand behind a decision and see what happens. If it falters, IT’S OKAY. There are so many other quality fears to choose from, like the pedes |centipedes, millipedes, I’m already revolted even thinking about them|, please do not let the fear of decision making hinder you at this point. Put some QT into altering this preset.
*Cover photo: Me in Daintree Rainforest, Australia 2014