Birthday Post: Remembering that ALL Things...

Birthday Post: Remembering that ALL Things...

Every birthday I take time to reflect on the past year by thinking about lessons learned and insights I gained.  I turned 33 last Friday and just looking back 10 years in the past, I am such a different woman today than I was at 23. I am more confident, more sure of my intrinsic worth and more aware my values. The woman I am today came as a result of growing pains, self-reflection, and  intentionally deciding to engage in personal development.  T

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Celebrating My 32nd Birthday

Celebrating My 32nd Birthday

Last week I celebrated my 32nd birthday. Birthdays mean a lot to me and I usually take time to reflect on my life, my goals, and my desires around my birthday. This birthday I felt incredibly grateful, I feel incredibly blessed in too many ways to count, and I thank God everyday for that. I remember a time in my life where I felt pressured to meet certain milestones within a specific period of time.

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Thoughts on My 31st Birthday

The last year brought about significant life changes and events, resulting in more introspection and self-reflection than I've done in a long time. If Zora Neale Hurtson was right then there are indeed, "years that ask questions and years that answer." The past year provided answers and insights, I did not know I needed. I close "my year of 30" a wiser and much more thoughtful woman and as always I embrace the future knowing that God's plans for me are to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11. Here's to 31! The number 31 is personally significant, because I've always admired the description of the Proverbs 31 woman. My goal for this year is to develop more into the Proverbs 31 woman. Below I share events, happenings, thoughts and lessons from my year of 30.

I moved back to New York:

A little over a month after my 30th birthday, I moved from L.A. back to my home city, New York. Two years in L.A. and three years in D.C. meant that it had been five years since I had lived in my beloved New York. I spent hours thinking about my decision to move back, unsure about whether or not I was making the right choice. I stepped out on faith and in hindsight, I am so glad I did. Everyday I wake up  with the reality that I am an Attorney, living in New York City, doing work that I find extremely fulfilling. This is the stuff that my dreams are made of. The journey to today was not easy, I worked hard and overcame a lot of difficulties. Given my journey, I am incredibly grateful to be able to do the work that I do and have a real impact on people's lives. This past year, I experienced tremendous professional growth and expect to continue to develop as I establish myself as an attorney in my favorite city.

I became an Aunt:

In April, my sister and brother-in-love welcomed the most beautiful and perfect baby boy, and I fell in love. Becoming an aunt has been nothing but joy. I will never forget the first time I held my nephew and looked into his bright eyes. When my mother placed the blanket on my shoulder and my sister handed him to me, I felt a rush of overwhelming love wash over me. Each time I look at his chubby little face or he smiles at me when I FaceTime with my sister, I melt. My nephew truly expanded my capacity to love.

On Vulnerability:

Last year I wrote that I was still learning the art of vulnerability and I came face-to-face with it in an intimate relationship. For me, we build trust day-by-day, moment-by-moment. It's slow and steady, and it takes time. Jumping into anything with both feet scares me. I am that person who must first test the water with one toe in before I jump, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. I am not saying this is the right way to do things or to love or to build relationships. I’m still trying to figure that out. For now, it’s the right way for me. Not too long ago, I purchased Brene Brown's book, Daring Greatly, where she writes about vulnerability, among other things (I highly recommend the book, it contains a wealth of inspiration and lightbulb takeaways). Brown writes that you share your story with folks who have earned the right to hear it. I agree. For me, you share your whole self and your heart with the people who have earned the right to truly know and love the flawed and beautiful you. Yet, I also agree with Brene when she wrote that in order for connection to happen we have to allow ourselves to be seen, “really seen.” I am working on the timing and the trusting aspects of truly being seen. As you can probably decipher, this vulnerability thing is more difficult than I imagined, but day-by-day, I’m working it out.

Relationships:

I don’t know if it’s a part of getting older or just getting clearer about what I want, but today I am much more firm about the kind of relationships - both platonic and romantic - I desire than I have ever been in my life. I don’t expect perfection of anyone, including myself, but there are some non-negotiables like integrity, honesty, reciprocity and open communication. I understand and know I must also give those things in order to receive them. In truth, I have always valued depth in my most personal relationships so here’s to more deeper connection and authenticity.

My year of 30, as I lovingly peg it, brought tremendous growth; this was not always easy. I cried real tears, at some times, lots of them. I experienced hurt and pain and moments filled with unanswered questions. Thankfully there were much more moments of real and hearty laughter, and authentic connections, special moments where I gave and received love and moments where I asked questions and got the answers that I needed. More importantly, I am tremendously thankful and grateful. Looking at all that I achieved, the things that I have been blessed to do and the people I am able to impact are all sobering for me. I am truly blessed. I took a moment today to reflect and say thanks. My life is far from perfect, but life does not have to be perfect to be beautiful, and each day I am learning to revel in the beautiful imperfections of life.

I enter 31, optimistic and with the faith that "All things work together for good...."

Cheers,

Nika

Instagrammed: 30th Birthday Weekend

As I noted in my previous post, I spent my 30th birthday in San Francisco's Bay area. My weekend was full and fun and captured on my instagram page. I spent my time dancing (and "DJing") at an African-Caribbean party, wine tasting in Napa Valley, sight seeing on a boat cruise and taking the view of the city at the Top of the Mark hotel.