Today, at 7:44 AM, I turned 30 years old.
I recently discussed the significance and meaning behind the number 30, so there’s no need to go into that any further. Today, just for a moment, I’ll reflect back on the last decade of my life.
In the last ten years, I’ve been and become so many things. In retrospect, I feel like I was more bad than good. From age 20 until 26, my life was riddled with so much self-imposed mess. I contemplated suicide, loved men I had no business loving, gave my body away to people who were undeserving. I searched to fill age-old voids in people, places, and things that were toxic and hurtful and downright excessive. I served a short stint as someone’s mistress and an even shorter stint in jail.
Here’s the photo to prove it. (When I’m famous, TMZ won’t have anything on me. You got it here first. I swear the people who take your picture in jail intentionally tussles your hair to make you look insane.)
Loving the wrong person (and not loving myself enough) got me in jail. It took me 9 months to beat those charges (they were eventually dropped), something I could have never done without my family and God. I’ll tell that entire story another day, though. (New York Times Best Sellers book, maybe?)
I remember being six months pregnant (I think I was 22 years old) and being chased out my apartment by a knife wielding lover. I was in my night gown. Neighbors heard the ruckus and called the cops. By the time they arrived, I was back in the apartment accepting profuse apologies. The cop never knocked on the door and I wasn’t brave enough to run out to him to be rescued. These were the moments of my twenties.
Most people would have never known these things happened unless they read the book I wrote in 2010, Pieces: Finding the Missing Piece is Easier than You Think. I was 27 years old. It was the first time in my life I felt okay with being freakishly transparent. I spent so many years hiding my flaws and idiosyncrasies that writing that book and being transparent was one of the most liberating, freeing, and probably one of the most impactful things I’d done so far in my life.
And I became addicted to it.
I promised God that every time I had an opportunity to write, I’d let two things happen: say whatever He wanted to say and be brave enough to let my dirt show. Although I agreed to this, I asked, “Why do I have to be so transparent? Why do I have to let everyone know my ‘business’?” He gently replied, “The uncovering of “dirt” isn’t for you, it’s for them. People are looking, searching for transparency. I’ll give you the ability and courage to be it.”
As I got closer to ending my twenties, proverbial light bulbs began to go off; I started to actually walk the talk, dig into why I was put on this earth, and focus my energy into people, places, and things that were in line with that purpose. If you follow me on Twitter or if we’re friends on Facebook, you know what the last couple of years have looked like for me. God’s grace and favor has shown itself in ways unimaginable.
Now that I’m 30 years old, the year of “the right moment” and “dedication”, I’m thankful for every moment in my twenties, good and bad. I’m thankful for the growth, the hurt, the joys, the successes, and epic failures. I’m thankful for a patient family and a gracious God. Lord knows I don’t deserve either.
Today is the first day of the best decade of my life… so far.
Thank you for being apart of it, near or far, intentionally or by accident, by divine appointment or random occurrence.
On the Chase,