I’d turned 24 almost four weeks ago, and I am STILL reminiscing on how incredible, fun and adventurous my birthday weekend was. Prior to that weekend, I felt like my life was in shambles. August felt so heavy + I was overwhelmed with stress from work, school, birthday preparations, and other obligations I had during the time. In addition to juggling my priorities, I was going through personal and mental health-related issues. August was so ghetto for me that I started to feel disinterested in my birthday. Thankfully, I was able to pull myself out of the funk + fully enjoy my two-week celebration.
Let me talk about what I actually did that is causing me to STILL think about my birthday for (almost) a month now.
As a starter to my birthday celebration, I went to Washington D.C. with my mom, spent the weekend in a gorgeous hotel called the Melrose Hotel, and explored the different places in the Georgetown area. We stayed in D.C. from Saturday, August 27th to Sunday, August 28th---the weekend before my actual birthday. When we first headed down., I was in a terrible mood. However, once I came back, I felt a sense of peace and sincerity that I was constantly searching in the entire month of August. We stayed in D.C. from Saturday, August 27th to Sunday, August 28th. What I enjoyed most about this weekend getaway was the food! We went to three restaurants (Thunder Bar, Founding Farmers, and Busboys and Poets) and everything I’d ordered from these three places were delicious and rich with taste! In addition to trying new restaurants, my mom and I also went to an interactive fashion museum called “Inside The Wardrobe”. This place was so much FUN---we took pictures, cat-walked down a runway and learned more about fashion! This D.C. trip definitely uplifted my spirits and felt like home. I enjoyed D.C. so much that I’m thinking about relocating down there!
Next thing I did was threw myself a birthday party. I knew how much I loved being surrounded by my loved ones, so I thought it would be perfect to bring them altogether with a birthday bash at my apartment. The theme was Y2K/90s party, and everyone was required to dress up in that specific area. Party-planning was SO stressful, however, once I let go the need to make everything ‘perfect’ and ask for help from my loved ones, it was much easier + enjoyable! The party was a SUCCESS—The party was on my actual birthday (September 3rd) and that was the best decision ever because I’d felt genuine love + support on my special day, which was the greatest gift I could’ve received! The night was perfect. I was able to dance, joke, laugh and—most importantly—be my free-spirited, bubbly and vivacious self. I danced the night away with my friends and family and was immersed in pure love.
To continue, my birthday weekend ended on a spontaneous, interesting note! I randomly went to a Netflix Reality Casting call in NYC with my podcast co-hosts and friends, Sunny and Becky, on Sunday, 9/5. This experience was so exhilarating yet scary at the same time because I was out of my comfort zone. I was on a high at first, but then my nerves began to get the best of me. The auditioning process was easy: we were able to get everything done within 30 minutes of being there. Due to Sunny already reserving tickets for this audition, we were able to skip to the front of the line! While waiting in line, we were able to meet Netflix reality stars like Chase DeMoor from Too Hot to Handle and Sean from the Circle. Everything felt so light until I finished my one-minute audition tape and ultimately began to overthink EVERYTHING.
Will the directors like me?
Should I have done or said more?
I completely tainted that experience because I was criticizing everything I’d done. Eventually, I was able to take myself from that negative, downward spiral of thoughts (thank God!). I focused on the present moment + focused on the fact that I stepped out of my comfort zone + was able to experience something like this! Later that day, I hang out with my best friend, Imani, and her friends in Philly. There was a U, Me + RNB event that we attended, and it was fun! The venue itself was extremely hot, and I felt like I was going to faint at times. Other than that, I was able to enjoy myself, dance all night, see my cousin and Sunny (they went to the same event) and Kehlani surprisedly popped up at the venue + performed!
Overall, my birthday celebration was just the best. Not only was it fun and LITERALLY one of the best birthdays I’ve had yet, but I’d learned some powerful lessons when entering another chapter of my life.
Lessons Learned from My Birthday Celebrations
1. D.C. Trip: What I learned about the D.C. trip with my mom is the importance of staying in the present moment. Being with my mom made me realize how vital it is to live your life IRL, not just for social media and pretty pictures. When heading down to D.C., I was so worried about what was going on back in NJ + getting enough footage for TikTok. During my time there, I was able to fully immerse myself into the experience, make friends and just be. I wasn’t worried about anything in regards to the past or the future; I allowed myself to be in the present moment. I was able to have a great time because I was able to connect with the D.C. experience. We still took pictures and videos, however, we put our phones down afterwards + refocused ourselves back into the present.
2. Birthday Party: To begin, the first lesson I’d learned from my birthday party is to focus more on the good + less on the bad. I have an incredible group of friends and family who love + support me and—for that—I’m forever grateful. I kept focusing on people that I didn’t like + circumstances I couldn’t control that I forgot about the people I love + what I could control. Another lesson I’d learned is to just be love. The best way to fully enjoy life is to be love. And, to be love is to be my most authentic self without apology and focus on the love, support and goodness in my life. When you focus on the good, more good will show up in your life. When you focus on the bad---get ready for Hell on Earth. To continue, the third lesson I’d learned is to lean more into gratitude. As I settle into Chapter 24, I want to intentionally practice daily gratitude. This past summer, I was so ungrateful for the blessings in my life (i.e. my apartment + other things) because I was too busy focusing on issues I couldn’t control, however, just a year ago, I was praying + dreaming for an apartment as amazing as the one I currently live in.
3. Netflix Casting + Sunday Outing: The biggest lesson I’d learned is to show up + realize that I am more than enough. I do not have to do the most in order to obtain certain opportunities. Whatever is for me, WILL be for me. There’s no mistake I can made or doubt I can have---if God wanted you to have it, you would have it. All I have to do is be myself + take inspired action. That is it, that is all. Therefore, I do not have to worry about receiving validation from others because, as long as I’m having fun, I am good. That’s all that matters. This experience also taught me to start being available for fun + incredible opportunities like the Netflix casting call!
My birthday was truly beautiful, and I am so excited for what 24 has in store for me!
Definitely needed this entry.
Until next time!