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Go Shawty, It’s Your Birthday: Growing Pains and Gains of Turning 27

My gift from Facebook. Thanks Tom.

My gift from Facebook. Thanks Tom.

Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake! After a long 364 days, the time has finally come to turn my biological clock forward one more year.

When you think about it, 27 is kind of a tricky age. It’s just close enough to your college days that you can almost touch them, and a hop and a skip away from the big 3-0 and legit adulthood.

While I’m thankful and grateful to celebrate 27 years, if I’m being completely honest I must say life hasn’t turned out quite how I imagined. 27 years and still no vacays in Paris, swanky New York crib, Pulitzer Prize, or NBA-player husband. Yes I’ve had plenty of accomplishments and things to be proud of, but like most millennials, I want more and I want it now. Now where am I going to find the time to manage this “more?” I have no idea. Between work, writing, friends and life, time is becoming scarcer than sanity. But I digress.

Today, at least for a few hours, I’m taking a break from the grind, the hustle, the “where is my life going?” to thank God for another year and reflect on some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years. So take a gander and join me in chilling the f**k out; if only for a little while.

Make new friends, keep most of the old and really keep the loyal ones.

Great, she’s been your BFF since first grade, but she’s also flirted with 3 out of 5 boyfriends and was noticeably absent from your girls’ night out to celebrate your promotion. Decent friends aren’t that hard to come by but true BFFS are far and few. Got a good one? Hold on to them tight.

It’s okay to turn up.

Turn down for what? Life is stressful. But thankfully turning up has no age cap, therefore do it as often as needed.

Have a go-to spiritual ritual.

Whether it’s a broken heel on your favorite pair of stilettos, a summer sunset or the loss of a loved one, in the rough times and the good times, it’s good to have a special spiritual place or routine you can call your own. Church, a morning affirmation, a mediation space, a wall of Deepak Chopra quotes, or a simple “thank you” in the morning, find the time and a place to seek comfort, healing, guidance and express your gratitude.

Make a mistake once and learn from it. Make the same mistake twice, well, you get a side eye.

Take an occasional cheat day, but only if you’ve earned it.

I truly believe in the work hard, play harder motto. The grind can oftentimes get tough so make sure to take a break every once in a while. What’s the point of burning yourself out for 60+ hours each week if you never reap the rewards of the hustle? Unfortunately we can’t have Chipotles, margaritas, and Nordstrom binges every day, however once week is cool.

Pack your lunch; you’ll save a lot of money.

It’s amazing the things you can do with a single bag of frozen chicken breasts.

You’re allowed to have a bad day.

There’s no rule that says you have to be happy all of the time. Now too many back-to-back off-days is cause for concern, but every blue moon it’s okay to poke your lip out, Netflix binge and drown your sorrows in Ben & Jerry’s.

Define what happiness is for you and ask yourself if you’re meeting the standards.

Good credit matters.

Like really matters. Like REALLY, REALLY matters.

No success is too small.

Worked out today, organized your closet, saved a $100 from your last paycheck or added another degree to the mantle? Hooray, you’ve accomplished something! Give yourself a high five, #Picstitch the heck out of it, and celebrate yourself.

Begin and end your day with prayer.

It works people.

Try not to lie, it isn’t cute the older you get.

Hey, Jiminy Cricket knew what he was talking about. Besides, nine times out of ten you’ll probably get caught so why even bother.

Don’t just have a vision, write it and make it plain.

Don’t just set a goal. Strategize, make a plan and set a timeline.

Pay your student loans.

They’ll always find you. And if they can’t you, they’ll find a close relative.

Don’t compare yourself to others because it rarely yields good results.

You’re you for a reason, and who you are is pretty awesome.

All those things you’ve dreamed for yourself can still happen.

For some reason I’ve formed this notion that Oprah, Beyonce and all the other uber successful people of the world woke up like this. It’s hard to appreciate the process of success while you’re smack dab in the middle of it. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your career, bank account, start-up company or whatever your goal is. As crazy as it sounds, time is on your side and your hard work has no choice but to pay off.  Until then, relax, kick back, keep grinding and enjoy these moments before you’re on to the next one.

Weigh in and tell us some of your favorite life lessons!

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