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  • Writer's pictureBrandi Nikkale

Thirty and Flirty and Thriving

When I turned 20, I was going through my first depressive episode.

I was not happy with my love life.

I was not happy with my body.

I was not happy with my friendships.

I was unhappy and had the hardest time dragging myself out of the dark hole I found myself in.

I eventually found my way out but found my way back there several times throughout my 20s.

My 20s beat me up and built me up at the same time.

I lost a lot but I gained even more.

If I had to say what my 20s was about in a nutshell, it was about me learning one fundamental lesson:


This changes the way that I deal with advice, criticism, and validation from others.

I love the people in my life and I also understand that I am the only one responsible and accountable for me.

What does this look like as I go into my 30s?

I am done worrying about things that I cannot control.

My 30s will be for me.

I am not attempting to control my friends, my family or anyone else.

I am not crushing people with the weight of my expectation.

I am also not allowing myself to be crushed with the weight of societal expectation.

With that being said, when it is officially my birthday at 12:00am on July 10, 2020, count me out of the mad dash for love.

I have spent my 20s feeling the pressure of marriage and children and hearing people around me promising me that "the one" is on the way as soon as I do some arbitrary thing or accomplish something in particular. Their intentions were good but I have come to realize that this is not true.

I am not single because I lack some good thing that makes me unworthy.

I am not single because I haven't prayed hard enough.

That kind of thinking and belief will drag you into depression because when you do not find it happening for you, you feel like you are inadequate and unworthy. Trust me, I've been there.

We live in a world where people assume that being single is unhappy. So much so that as a single woman, I have felt that I could not truly be happy until there was a man and some kids to complete me.

I am officially letting go of this narrative.

I have dated and dated and dated searching high and low for my husband until I was physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally exhausted.

As I move into my 30s, I am shifting my focus.

I am taking my hands off of it.

I am focusing on enjoying my life and truly experiencing life.

I am done waiting.

I am done stressing.

I am done explaining.

If I am to be married, my husband will find me living my life.

If marriage doesn't happen for me, you can catch me somewhere living my best single life.

I am responsible and accountable for what happens in my life.

That means that I am responsible for making my life count, even if it is alone.

I am accountable for the decisions I make and I decide to find meaning in my life that is not attached to another human.

Farewell loneliness.

Farewell expectations.

Farewell 20s.

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Kiara Swanigan
Sep 01, 2020

Whew, the self awareness!


Jul 12, 2020

So proud of you! This is a monumental moment and you shared some valuable lessons. Wishing you love and happiness during this season in every way you choose to experience it.

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