Throughout your lifetime, you encounter various phases where you learn things about yourself that often have a lasting impact on your existence. When I was eight, I was told that I was “too bossy”. I realized that my “bossiness” would make me an excellent teacher. When I was seventeen, the boy I gave my “everything” to, broke my heart and my world imploded. Several months later, I realized, after a week away at college, I didn’t even think about him anymore. When I was twenty-one, I requested that my former step-mom stop contacting me. I had finally come to the realization that the woman had caused my father enough pain, as well as impeded my access to education, and I had witnessed enough. I wasn’t going to allow my fear of being “motherless” be more important that caring for the man who has given me everything he has.
But the things I realized after turning twenty-five, well those things turned my world upside down.
At the age of twenty-five I encountered a need for a life-changing kind of independence. It came crashing into my world without notice, and without apology. It forced me to reevaluate everything I thought I knew. I experienced this independence in various forms. I decorated my apartment in all white. I ate frozen pizza for dinner and washed it down with a bottle of wine (more than once). I spent an entire day watching Netflix and never even bothered to put on pants. I ended my marriage. I sobbed endlessly on my kitchen floor, Fireball in one hand, chocolate in the other. I went super broke and had no one to bail me out. I experienced dark, all-consuming loneliness. I gave in to anxiety and fear to the point I felt I was drowning in it. I gave that overwhelming anxiety a name and sought out help for the first time.
You see, independence isn’t always pretty. There were times it took every ounce of energy I had, just to smile. But light, no matter how dim, will always brighten the darkness, and the age of twenty-five presented me with a light that cast away every shadow that ever dared to appear.
I call it How to Live Bougie, Without Really Trying, a motto rooted in the ideas of eternal optimism. That all of life’s moments, good and bad, should be lived to the fullest—brilliantly, fiercely, and well—bougie.
Stay tuned for tips, tricks, and personal reviews of what the second half of my twenties has brought me, where I’m going from here, and how to do it all—bougie.