On this day I decided to start something new. I decided that for year thirty, I would step into my full potential. And not in a cliche' sort of way but a way in which I would identify my weaknesses and actively work on them while also addressing my insecurities head on. I have always been sort of transparent in a way that I remained humble enough to know my place in the world but never brave enough to fully engulf myself in my abilities. I allowed my weaknesses, my insecurities, and my failures to limit how far I would allow my humility to go. Meaning, I settled. I accepted my fate. I decided for everyone and myself that because I was a young mother, because I was raised by a young mother, and because I knew nothing about nothing; I did not deserve certain freedoms. I did not deserve to be supported or loved. How dare I want a man to love a woman like me. 29, 2 kids, and a bag full of past failures. And then something clicked. Hear me out. We all have failures right? No like we all have failures. If we did not, we would not need God. So I began to think like this, with each child, I have acquired a degree and certain level of respect for myself. A whole young black female officer with two children and two degrees. What is there not to like? I have a good heart and a propose to give. And I have been told that my love feels like home. So what makes thirty so different. Thirty feels like, I am who I am; but better. It feels like now I can be confident even when I am wrong. Even when I am not making the best decision or when I don’t always look or feel my best. For so long, I thought I was unattractive. I have had acne from age 12, stretch marks since 15, and then when you add enamel discoloration to the mix, I just did not feel like America’s Next Top Model. But the reality is, I can work on these insecurities for the improvement of my story. I get to rewrite my narrative. I get to focus on what I can change and the things that I cannot, I will not allow to steal my joy. Thirty feels like the feel good blues. The joy that comes from understanding that life is about this. It is about adjusting, growing, changing, and developing. You should never stay in one place with one person for too long because there is no wisdom in that. I have grown to understand the statements like, “date up” or “when you know better, you do better”. I understand the elements of bending but never to be broken. As dark of times that I have had, God has never saw fit that I break. And at thirty years of life, this is just the beginning. Can you believe it? I think I like it here. And if this is your story, you should too!
De'dria Louise Bynum