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by vivrant thang on all about me

It’s getting better with time
Getting better baby so much better baby
Getting better with time
Just like an old fine wine
So much better baby
Like an old soul record baby

– Boney James f/Bilal

Today, I’m celebrating my 31st birthday.

Last year around this time I was in Miami preparing for a day at the spa followed by a night of partying in South Beach. Leading up to the big day, I remember feeling a slight sense of panic at leaving my twenties behind. It was very slight though. Most of my friends are well over thirty and assure me that my thirties will be the best time of my life.

I’m only one year in and I can already reflect back on my twenties and say that I have certainly gotten better with time. I spent much of the decade trapped inside a fat suit that was prevented me from being as fly and fabulous as I am now…although I did a helluva job at pretending. I spent a large chunk of that period stuck in a job that was comfortable and safe but after a while, no longer challenged me or allowed me to showcase all of my professional talents. I allowed myself to be in a series of relationships with issue-laden commitment-phobes and fools that probably weren’t good for much more than what dangled between their legs. I now realize a lot of the time I lived in fear…fear of success, fear of being who the hell I am and demanding that everybody in my world accept that girl. Truth be told, I was still figuring out who that girl is. The picture is getting clearer everyday.

I don’t know what the rest of the year or the next five holds. I have a vision of what I would like to see happen but I know that ultimately I’m not completely in control. A girlfriend and former co-worker sent me a note today to say that her forty-something year old brother died of a heart attack in his sleep a few weeks ago. You just don’t know when your number will come up. She’s handling it as best she can because she has faith in God and his reasoning, although it must be hard.

That level of faith really inspires me and puts some things in perspective. As cliche as it is, I am going to continue to embrace what is present in my life and not focus on what’s lacking or what I’ve lost. I’ve been given another year. I’m able to pay my mortgage with weekly paychecks from my new job. I’m able to treat myself to the things that make me happy like concerts, new music, and vacations. I have a very close relationship with my mother and a few true lifetime friends. Doors are opening that will allow me to continue to pursue what I’ve been put here to do.

Most importantly, at 31, I’ve learned from the mistakes of my twenties. I am always cognizant of the fact that my time here can be up at any moment. I don’t want to look back when I’m old and gray (if I’m so fortunate) and realize I wasted my life stuck on repeat. Scared to step into my destiny. Dealing with the same fuckery in my relationships. Stagnant in my career.

So far, so good. Just like a fine wine, I’m just getting better with time.

What age or period of time in your life did you start coming into your own? If you’re not there yet, are you on your way?