Sometime over the last five years, I shifted into a new phase of life.  In a very general sense I am no longer ‘young,’ but anyone older than me rolls their eyes when I say that. Somehow, I have become a middle-schooler all over again and this is how I know…

My music isn’t old enough to be considered old school, but I can’t vibe with most of the new music on the radio. When I do feel adventurous and listen to the radio instead of my phone, I can pick out every song that has been “sampled” and know exactly where that sample came from. Here’s looking at you, DJ Khalid.

I am too old to wear anything too tight, too short or too low cut, but I still like to show off every once in a while. I mean, things don’t look the same as they did back then but with the right outfit, makeup, lighting, spackle, spanks and camera filters I can pass for 10 years younger. If it’s date night do not expect appropriate outfits from me. I am my husband’s side chick, ok?

I enjoy adult beverages, but overindulging comes with a punishment of a full 24-hour recovery period. Not to mention there are still two little people who really don’t care if my head is pounding and the room is spinning, they want to be fed at least 3 times a day. How rude!

I am adult enough to work a full-time job, pay my bills (mostly) on time, and manage a household, but I still look for adult-ier adults when I really need it. I mean, seriously, how am I supposed to know how long before potatoes go bad? How on God’s green earth do I choose the best investment plan for my IRA?

I felt surprised to realize that I had transitioned into this “middle school” place. When did this happen and why didn’t anyone warn me? Nevertheless, I realized that this phase also comes with some real pleasantries.

I am wise enough to know that I do not know it all. Contrary to what my husband may say, I enjoy feedback. I understand that in order to grow I need to hear from other people. I don’t have all the answers and it’s nice to hear how other people have handled similar situations. If my 3-year-old is on punishment, do I have to cancel his weekend with Nana? I really need a break from him!

I understand the correlation between what I do right now and how it will affect me long term. I appreciate being strategic when it comes to making life decisions. When I was younger, I would quickly get frustrated or overwhelmed. In my old age, I have gotten very good at looking at a large goal and breaking it down into smaller and more manageable chunks.

I know that I must enjoy the journey regardless of what it looks like.  Even on the worst of days, I can go to bed satisfied that I gave the day my best. I no longer feel that a bad moment means a bad day or week or a rut. I know that, right around the corner, there is another opportunity to have a great day or even just a great moment. I have no trouble laughing at myself, dancing (without rhythm) with my babies or sitting silently next to my husband.

I am more confident in who I am than I was a decade ago. Yes, there are still insecurities and some unsureness, but I am more self-aware than I have ever been before. I know exactly what I bring to the table and won’t let anyone undervalue me. I have a good understanding of my strengths and weaknesses. I am not pretending to be anything that I am not and anyone who doesn’t like me…doesn’t matter. I am sure that I used to say that 15 years ago too, but now I mean it!

Yolanda Jenkins is a wife, mother of 2, and an introverted leader. She can sometimes be found sharing the good, the bad and the ugly on IG @thislibralife.


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