I don’t know why I thought entering 30 was so bad. It’s actually quite great besides the back pain waking up in the morning. I am now 31 and it’s a new elevation. Through different experiences, I look back and realize I want to do better and live better for my single self.
Bianca in her 20s was people-pleasing and sought a lot of validation. I believe she wanted to be loved sooo much that she was willing to just forget herself most of the time. I really expressed my truth last year at the height of last summer. I told a lot of truths and personal stories that no one knew. Inside, I felt like I lied for a whole decade to many people. To be honest, I was just trying to survive. Surviving was enough…but fully living wasn’t something I considered.
Now turning 31, I am unlearning…unlearning a lot. Yes, I fall back into old habits. But you know what? I am a work in progress. Life is not about perfection but progression. Even as a Christian, I have to constantly remind myself perfection is not the goal but spiritual growth matters. God is not expecting me to be perfect but to be obedient when I fall short.
My Unlearning has been this:
I am learning what I do matters.
God comes first and Bianca comes afterwards and then everyone else.
I need to honor my time and space.
Toxicity hurts and does not help.
Outside voices do not live my life, thus they do not matter.
God’s truth is infallible. Man’s truth changes.
That’s what I got. Like I said, it’s progression. The more I realize, the more I elevate when I do something about it. I just want this post to encourage you to elevate no matter how old you are. I was growing in my 20s but this new decade has had its lessons. So keep elevating.
A person like myself wants to please often. I would rather limit my wants for someone else to be comfortable. #peoplepleasingproblems. I will alter my boundaries to accommodate someone else…at my own expense. And for what? discomfort and for my needs to not be met. Really Bianca!?!
To some like me, this is the norm but not for Simone Biles nor Naomi Osaka. It seems revolutionary but it is the essence of self care. Even at the height of greatness, choose yourself. They both choose self and self preservation over society. You would think to have fame, resources, and access would mean you are set and happy…absolutely NOT! If two beautiful, talented, great athletes need a break, then even little ole me, can figure out ways to choose myself.
Were people outraged? Yes
Were people disappointed? Yes.
Did they die? No.
No one lives your life. Ultimately, no one is living in your body but you. If saying no saves your life and sanity, do it. I’m learning to choose me. Whether it be taking intentional breaks at work, eating alone to recharge, saying no, therapy, breathing exercises, etc. etc…I choose myself. Some people are willing to take and take and take…and they could care less about your needs. Act on what you need. Now we are all not like Ms. Biles nor Ms. Osaka, but find a way to choose yourself in the spaces you inhabit. To some, you are replaceable. But you are only you for a moment in time.
I am such a people pleaser and seek to be validated. I always felt the need to serve and go above and beyond to prove my worth even at the expense of being drained and not being given back the same service. This is true in all facets of my life. It is the same vicious cycle.
I am not appreciated nor valued though my work is unmatched. My work ethic is solid. My energy is positive and good. So why do I sell myself so short?–probably because I do not think I can do better or I’ve been disappointed so much that I would take scraps than nothing at all…the need to be wanted. A whole lot of things…
Until a defining moment where I left a situation that did not serve me nor appreciate my abilities–it was scary but there is no reason to stay in the situation. I gave my all but came up with little. I received and accepted scrap metal when I was giving gold. I was physically, emotionally, mentally, and emotionally drained. Then my dear mom said, “Leave.”
Leave? I thought my mom was crazy. But there is truth in that one word.
I am learning I don’t need to stay where I am not wanted nor valued. If people do not understand, you do not owe them an explanation. Just leave.
I wish it could be easy to do. I wish I could tell you that all answers will be solved. I wish I could say there will be an easy transition.
All I can say is to trust God and yourself for the next step. You have to leap in faith and know that God’s got you . Sometimes you need to leave to see and know your worth. Hold your head high and move forward. Leave and know your value and be brave to leave something that does not add to you.
It’s ok to leave when something doesn’t serve you.
I am experiencing a harvest that I did not expect.
Year 30 has been an interesting start to a new decade of living. Last year, I turned a new age at the height of the pandemic. I was in an identity-crisis like everyone else, just trying to navigate life and figure out, “What am I going to do?” I thought that it would be fruitless to be honest. I thought that I would be in waiting for a harvest. But you know what? I was yielding a harvest I did not realize. I was growing, changing, and evolving.
Mental health was a defining moment for Year 30. Going to therapy was a BIG STEP in my growth process. To divulge hurts, disappointments, and traumas that I knew or did not realize that I kept in. I LOVE MY THERAPIST. I do believe God hand-picked her for me: a black Christian therapist. She has been a great, guiding facilitator in my growth and development. I do feel a sense of ownership in my narrative.
Knowing my worth is a lesson in all facets of my life. I made very big decisions to walk away because I realized that I deserved more. I did not deserve to be ostracized, criticized, nor belittled for who I am. I can eliminate the situation or the person. I don’t need to feel bad at all for protecting my soul. My worth is defined by God in every facet of my life as a black, Haiti-American Christian. So I can hire and fire people and situations accordingly.
My story is worth telling. During the pandemic was the height of racial tension and reckoning. I had two choices: hide and destroy myself internally or be about change and open myself up. It was hard to be honest, sharing racial traumas in my life. I had people reach out because they honestly thought I was fine but I was just trying to survive. Yes, people gave me flack and tried to explain away my experiences but I stood in my truth. I had to let go and it felt good in the end because I had real dialogues with people about race and gave people perspective. My hope was to make people think.. and I believe I did that.
I am curating my quality tribe. I have had great people come in my life in Year 30. Quality, salt of the earth people. I am learning to ask for help and prayer. Not just be a friend to someone but allow my friends to be my friend (or at least rise to the occasion). I am quite stubborn with friendships; I give all of myself but I don’t allow people to do the same. But I am trying to be better. Not everyone who is my friend on social media is my friend. There are levels of “friendship” but then there is my tribe and village. That is special to me and I am curating that. They know who they are. I feel loved and supported by them. It’s pretty awesome.
My life has teachable moments for others. Alongside my story is worth telling, my story is worth helping others. I guess I am old enough to give wisdom. God has given me opportunities to invest in the future generations. Young adults and kids are listening and looking up to me for advice and guidance. I was once in their shoes so it is amazing how God can use “little old me” to show me how far He has brought me.
***BONUS***– Back pain is real in your 30s. Like I have to give myself a moment to prepare my body to wake up. My body is changing I guess.
That is my 30 Year Audit. It’s been a great start so we will see where it goes in Year 31.
So dating…am I right!?! It’s hard. To find a descent, quality Christian guy, HARDER!! You try to put yourself out there and come up empty.
For the longest time, during my 20s, I thought there was something truly wrong with me. I did not know how to flirt nor play the “game.” I just could not attract anyone. If I did, short-lived and never went pass a few dates. After such failure in the dating realm, you start thinking “Is there something wrong with me?” “What do I need to change?” “Am I worthy?” Though your friends, peers, and family tell you, “Bianca, you are awesome. You are *insert kind compliment*” Are they bluffing? Are they being nice? If I’m so great, then why can’t a guy see that? What is wrong with me?
Even now, dating sucks just a new decade. BUT I have a realization: I have standards that most men cannot keep up with. I get that we are all a work in progress but there has to be some striving. I am a driven, determined woman and I guess it shows. I have big dreams I want to experience but have existing accomplishments to be proud of. I am loyal to my family, my Lord, and my responsibilities. I am sure of myself. I am intentional about how I act. I will not be pressured to do anything nor lower my standards for a guy.
Call me intense or really committed but I just call it being about something. I guess some guys can’t hang and that is on them, not me.
I am told sometimes, “Bianca, you are so lucky to be single. Don’t waste it.
I’m not lucky to be single just because. I am blessed to know myself well enough to know what I will not stand for. I don’t want to settle. Guys tend to dismiss themselves from me and that saves me time. I don’t want to sell myself short for someone who does not appreciate who I am and my standards. I’m single cause I want God’s best addition to my life. To grow with someone, to be challenged by someone to be the best version I can, to be myself with, and to just be with.
If it takes a lifetime, ok. I will work on myself and keep going. If God has a husband for me, awesome sauce! If not, I will be fine because my standards for my well-being have brought me this far (plus I will get a dog). God’s got me and I will keep it moving.
I love my space. I have learned to do things on my own. I thought that I had to be around people to be filled. But it actually is the opposite. For many years, I would give myself to the world until no end then just be drained and depressed afterwards. I was more dependent on people than myself. I always thought that being alone meant that I was introverted and a hermit. I just did not want to be alone because I would be with myself and it scared me.
But that was then…
It was when I moved to Florida for law school where my perception changed. I was on my own. I was definitely fearful to explore. Finding a church by myself, shopping by myself, exploring Jacksonville, etc. But it is the uncomfortable moments where we really have to challenge ourselves to grow. So, I took a leap of faith and tried to do activities alone. AND I LOVED IT!
I lived by myself for two years in Jax. I would go painting on my own. I visited churches and eventually found a church home. I would eat out on my own. The list goes on…
I just tried. Yes, it felt uncomfortable at first but once you get out of your head, you settle down. It gets better.
I know alone time can be different for everyone. We all have lives and busyness to do deal with. We all have responsibilities and obligations. BUT it is important to refresh and refill.
My Declaration for Me Time: Everyone deserves a moment, whether its five minutes or a few hours, to be alone to refresh and not think too hard.
I have fallen victim to the burn out. I pour myself out only to be empty. So find that time. Ways I Unwind: Paint (of course), Window shopping, Nap, Take a walk/run, Reading, Just sit down in my room, etc.
Just something to yourself. Now only you can determine what works for you BUT do it. For sanity, for the people around you, and for your mind, body, and soul.
It is very easy to look at social media, television, and magazines and look at yourself thinking “Uh…why can’t I look like that. Ugh…she is so pretty and I look like crap.” Like it would make life better if you or I fit the perfect, ideal type.
I say this because that was me. For my teenage years till a few years ago, I just wanted to fit a mold where I could fit in and be worthy. I thought if I had the “ideal whatever”, I would be popular, get that job, get that man, and live my best life. But you know? No matter how much I tried to “change,” I hated myself more. I lived with that insecurity and lack of confidence when I was pretending for the rest of the world.
But overtime, I had to learn my value in God’s eyes than my own perceptions and societal pressures. My mom says you can’t embrace your life and others if you don’t love yourself.#FACTS.
Keep this in mind: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.-Psalm 139:13-16
I’m not saying that I am completely cured from my insecurities but I know how to redirect that insecurity with positivity and with God’s words of truth. You and myself are works in progress. We are learning as we go along. But, the societal ideal rules do not matter because God matters. There is freedom in knowing you created in God’s image.You and I are God-designed and God-purposed for the here and now. God saw fit that you and I exist…wow really!?! Yes, really! You are growing in your own way but just know that God defines you.
So I know what you thinking: Yeah, nice words, Bianca. Really preaching but how do I live this out? I’m glad you asked.
Thus, here is my declaration about keeping you mind, body, and soul more God-defined in your life.
Do not consent to toxic people’s opinions, attitudes, and outlook on your life.
If things and people don’t add life or growth in your journey, you have the right to remove and move on.
Your body is a God-designed temple and treasure so take of your body like a priceless gem.
There is no perfect person, thing, or ideal to live up to EXCEPT Jesus.
Have silent moments to breath, think, and reevaluate YOUR life. Like I said, you and I are trying to work out this thing called life out.
It’s ok to turn off the social media, television, etc. to clear your mind and soul of negativity.
Look at yourself in the mirror and say good things to that person looking back at you. You are somebody.
This is a small microcosm of self love. But just know you matter. You are worthy because God said you are. He made you. There is no one else like you. Love yourself.
I leave you with this awesome song by India Arie, Video. I remember this song from my teen years but the message is relevant and true. You don’t need to be like someone else. Your mind, body, and soul matter. Be your God-designed self unapologetically. Be blissfully you.
The older I get, the more wiser I am in valuing myself. As I have said before, I really struggled with beauty and confidence to find a man. I really thought that there was fulfillment in a relationship. But there was an issue in desiring a man: I was not confident in myself. I just was trying to figure myself out in my early 20’s.
I saw the trend of dating and relationships that I wanted in. I wanted a relationship because everyone else had a relationship. WRONG!
As I realized that it was not God’s plan, I had deal with myself. I had know for myself: what are my values and standards? Yes, I grew up with biblical values but did I really know what my values were or was I just piggy-backing off my strict parents.
During my freshman year of college, I went on a quest to read the bible in its entirety to know what I believe for me. In addition, I read a book called, Lady In Waiting: Becoming God’s Best While Waiting For Mr. Right (I recommend it!). This quest opened the door and laid a foundation to really knowing who I am and whose I am.
Yes, I had real standards towards love and relationships and being an authentic Christ follower. And I am still growing.
As long as my values were aligned with God’s Word, then that is what mattered. That was where my value was. I did not need to prove myself to be worthy of love with a man.
For most of life, I felt that if I proved myself worthy to be loved, I would be loved. If I was lovable, pretty, reliable, loyal, and helpful, I would be guaranteed girlfriend material. But I was not. I was overlooked and unappreciated as a sister or reliable friend. WHAT WAS I DOING WRONG!?!
But like I said, that was then. With my maturity in Christ, I realized that my values were my lifestyle. I was not norm but am set apart. With the few men I have dated, my standards did not match theirs. There was conflict and differences in our Biblical values and social values. There was no compatibility and I was not backing down my values to conform to something that I was not.
I know what you are thinking…Bianca, what are your values for dating and relationship and living a God-centered life?I am glad you asked. Here are some of the following standards and values I have:
A consistent relationship with the local church–you can’t walk this Christian life alone. Being involved in a local church and bible study is like putting on my glasses in the morning. I need it to live so I can see.
No sex before marriage. Kissing is fine. But there must be boundaries so we are not tempted by each other.
No clubbing, smoking, drinking, drugs, recklessness of the world, etc.—In this world but not of this world mentality. I have gotten grief about “living your life” but to me, I believe that Christians are tempted by the enemy in certain places and I choose to flee rather go to the temptation. I can’t be a witness if I act just like the people I need to reach (that’s just me.). I know I lose guys in this more than anything because I am looking for a man who is set apart and is trying to live in a manner worthy of Christ.
Culturally, I don’t celebrate Halloween and don’t associate with skull-like things and events. Yes, I know I live in America. But I have learned about my Haitian culture and those things/events align with devil-worshipping. So I don’t celebrate Halloween at all…don’t even want to go to the Christian alternative either because it’s trying to incorporate Jesus with a pagan belief. Again, just my beliefs.
I only want a Christ-follower…no exceptions. Yup, I have heard: Bianca, what if your true love is not a Christian. I just say I don’t think God would hold out his best for me. His best would be someone equally yoked and aligned with Him. So no I don’t believe you.
Yes, I am aware most of the male population does not agree with my values.
But to value myself, I have to stand up for myself and be my authentic self. Once I loved myself, valued myself, and set standards for myself, God would honor my obedience.
Yes, I am still single and growing but I know what I want and God knows what I desire. So I wait and wait…
But at least I love myself enough while waiting for God’s best.
YES, Complaining is easy to do . If we could all go around the room and complain about our lives, we would be here till the world ended.
Last year, I was in a dark space.
My psyche consisted of depression and anxiety of : “My plans to a first time bar passer was destroyed. I was going to be in limbo again. I was not going to be like everyone else. I was not to be sworn in with my peers. I did not have the attorney job of my dreams. I was not the strong, independent career girl that I claimed to be. I was a post-grad living with my parents and being sister Uber for my siblings for school, work, church, etc. I had an extended season with uncertainty.”
I know my psyche is exhausting. But, I was so run down and hurt.
It’s ok to be upset and have a pity party but the importance is not staying there.
Complaining is a spinning hamster wheel. Your mind is going a mile a minute. Your mouth just keeps going about all the things going wrong. Your energy is depleting because you are exerting so much negative energy.
A Word from the Wise: STOP!!!
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.-Isaiah 40:28-31
Yes, you feel weak and down. But God will not allow you to stay there UNLESS you decide to stay there. God covers a multitude of pain.
Yes, I cry. I get upset. I wallow. BUT God helps me to soar to newer heights.
Remember that God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:20-21).
Try to think of blessings to combat things going wrong. Each day, no matter how hard it is, is a new opportunity for blessings. Value the blessings…for me, it is as simple as God giving me breath and the ability to wake up, my family, my talents, and my friends.
It may not be easy but try. Give energy to the blessings. Don’t dwell in what is going wrong–God may be saving you from something else.
So devalue the negativity that can easily cloud your life. Value your blessings.
A Word from Mama B: Don’t Let Someone’s Insecurity Stop Your Greatness.
I realize how insecure people can be. They have this cloud and attitude to bring people to their lowly, miserable level. Know that there will be people who don’t wish success for you, who wait for your demise and failure like a season finale, who find a “dig” to make you feel less, who try to find ways to silence you, who call you by your name.
Don’t be bothered by their hatred. Sometimes people are jealous that they did not live up to your now successes. They hold a bitterness which holds them back. It should not affect you.
A higher level of you will come with a level of haters. But, stand firm in who you are and whose you are. You have purpose and a spot that God put you in for a reason.
Don’t disappoint yourself due to a person’s insecurity and small opinion.