Bevy Smith recently turned 47, and she celebrated by dropping a few gems on her Twitter followers this weekend. The New York media socialite, lifestyle mentor and host of “Fashion Queens” often talks about the freedom that creating your own life affords (she also hosts dinner parties for the best and brightest stars). She’s a vet in the game, so I was surprised to read her tweets saying it wasn’t until after age 35 that she really began to have a concrete vision for her life beyond just wanting to live well. I continued to scroll and saw this:
Oh, so it’s not just me?
I, along with many other women sighed with relief because finally she’d said what no one else dared to say: Age doesn’t imply that you’ll have it all figured out.
After college, I read The Quarterlife Crisis and became enthralled with the concept because I could definitely relate (I even named my first blog after it ). If you were having a Quarterlife Crisis, you were likely a recent college graduate just trying to figure out life and quickly because the world expected you to.
Then somewhere around 27 or so, I pitched ESSENCE to cover what it means for young black women to turn the big 3-0 because I was so excited about this new feeling of self-assurance and “I’m on my shit-ness” that every woman post-29 talked about. Ultimately, it was rejected because no one cared about what I thought was such a monumental moment. Looking back, I see why. Those women knew 30 year-olds have a lot more life to live. Now, I chuckle to myself when I hear younger women talk about the total transformation that turning 30 will bring. Yes, I had a bit more awareness, and I took time to reflect on changes I needed and wanted to make, but I do that every year. I gave myself a hard look in the mirror and practiced saying I was anything other than 20-something (took atleast four months for me to master that), but honestly, within the next month or so, I took the “I’m 30, B****” tiara off and went back to the old me.
Every part of our lives, for women especially, has to be considered an era or a phase. We’re told that your 20s is reserved for falling in love, indulging in risky behavior, poor decisions that you can hopefully rebound from and taking impromptu adventures. It’s expected and celebrated even. But when the clock strikes 12 on our 30th birthday, we should automatically know what our life’s purpose is, how and where we want to live our lives and love and act on that. No bad decisions allowed. I’ve also heard women swear that ages 40 and 50 are THE ages where you “just know *insert whatever you need to know.*” Who made this stuff up?
No one tells you that some days you wake up, you can’t tell if you’re 34, 24 or 44, and that sets up an unfulfilled expectation. We forget that LIFE in its entirety if God blesses us to live long enough, is an evolution. You will hit walls that rattle or knock you down. You may desire a career or relationship change, a new environment for yourself and/or your family. There will be times when you won’t know what to do or what to say, how to move forward. Those things will happen no matter if you’re 20 or 65. And that’s okay.
So I was especially glad to read Bevy’s candid tweets. I wish more women would be honest with younger women and share their experiences (insecurities and failures included), instead of giving the impression that all is well all of the time. Maybe the real idea that should be pushed is, you hopefully get wiser and learn something NEW with every year. Those growing pains she talked about don’t stop at a certain age, but hopefully, we’ll know how to navigate through them with better vision until the next one comes along.