I’ve crossed the golden sands.

Yesterday I celebrated 30 beautiful years on this earth and I am so thankful. If my 20s were any indicator of the magic that my 30s hold I cannot wait for the ride. But of course with time comes lessons and I wanted to share 7 lessons that my 20s taught me about life.


Lesson 1:

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Many people don’t know this but I have been married.

Yep. I was married in 2009 after dating a guy for 6 months. We were so incompatible that we ended up separating 7 months later and eventually divorcing. (It sounds crazy but my parents married after knowing each other for 5 months and have been married for 33 years!)

I was heartbroken at the time of the divorce. I felt like a failure and I thought that love had given up on me. Fast forward a few months later and despite my resistance I found myself in the most beautiful relationship I have ever experienced. Not only did I find a mate but I found someone who inspired me with their creativity. Someone who believed in me with all their heart and allowed me to love without the fear of failing at love.

Lesson 2:

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You know that saying , your excellence exists right outside of your comfort zone?

Well I found that to be true after moving to NYC. Making the move gave me even more courage to do things I never thought I could do. I didn’t have a solid game plan but I developed it as life reveled to me my purpose. Amazing things begin to happen when you trust yourself and your power.

Lesson 3:

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During my 20s I spent a lot of time and energy on people I thought were my friends. After years of friendships come and gone I learned that knowing who you can count on and who you can’t will help you appropriately manage your expectations of folks. Even during my late 20s I came across people that I thought we genuinely interested in friendship yet they either didn’t know how to correctly be a friend or didn’t care to.

Time is precious. Be helpful when you can, but at times its important that you reserve the real energy for people who deserve it from you.

 Lesson 4:

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I recall running away from calls from bill collectors and putting off payments until I could make that one big payment and pay things off for good. Boy was I wrong. At the end of the day I do advise that card balances are kept below 30% of the credit limit.

However! If you find yourself above that and need to make payments do so until you can afford to pay larger sums down the line.

Lesson 5:

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I don’t think I really need to expand upon this. I recall worrying about who liked me and why they didn’t and being troubled with attempting to like people that I just didn’t care for. I don’t necessarily call it phony, I call it being a people pleaser.

There are millions of people on this planet and you are bound not to enjoy the company of more than a few of them. Accept it and begin to worry about things that really matter in your life.

Lesson 6:

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I had to learn this the hard way. I recall trying to convince my mom that a past boyfriend was actually a good guy only to find out he was full of crap. My mom gave me my first lessons on race relations and what it meant to be a women of color in this world. She schooled me on people and how some people are devious and driven by their lower self.

At time I would roll my eyes and think that her experience was unique or she was “trippin”  but over time I began to learn that my mom was right all along. I now consult her before every major decision and discussion my thoughts and plans with her. When she’s on board I know I have a winner.

Lesson 7:

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I’m guilty of capturing moments for social media and not completely basking in the experience. But I’ve also learned that this lesson has more meaning than being present. I saved it for last because of its varied meaning. It means respecting the power of the internet. Day after day I see young women documenting their lives as if they’re Rihanna when in fact they are far from it and need to rely on traditional sources of income to support their family.

In the words of my sisSTAR the Budgetnista “It’s your younger selfs responsibility to take care of your older self”. That could be your finances or your reputation.

So enjoy the raise and enjoy the opportunities your salary affords. But also be thinking about retirement and putting money aside for a rainy day.


What valuable lessons did you learn during your 20s? Please share your lesson int he comments below. 




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Created by nationally recognized millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, My Fab Finance is a leading financial education and lifestyle blog for millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love.