You Haven’t Done What? Since When? & Other Reflections On My 33rd Birthday

Today is my birthday! And what better way to start my 33rd year on this planet than by writing a new post talking about all the lessons I’ve learned. A word of caution: I’m not proud of everything in this post, but as long as it resulted in a lesson learned. It’s all good, right?

Here goes:

Success is correlated with your confidence (not always your competence).

We’ve all looked at someone in power and thought to ourselves, how did they get this position? They are not qualified. People in high positions – presidents, VP, CEO, general managers – have varying levels of education, experience, and temperaments, but one of the attributes they have in common is their confidence. They may not always be qualified for their position, but they do an excellent job pretending like they are. So, people submit to their authority.

I am a life-long learner, so I’ll always stay committed to learning new things and acquiring new skills, but one of the things I’m going to focus more on is increasing my confidence. I’m smart and experienced but often doubt my abilities. That doesn’t do me any good and it’s something I plan to work on this year.

Self-confidence starts with self-care (and good underwear).

I have not purchased a new bra in the last 3 years. In fact, my bra was getting so worn out that the underwire came loose and caused a minor scratch under my breasts. It hurt! But it taught me a very important lesson. Self-care is crucial.

Now, I know the whole purpose of S&T is to promote self-care and self-love, but if your life is anything like mine, then when things get busy, the first thing that is removed from your list of things to do is self-care.

But if I’m committed to building self-confidence, then I must be committed to my self-care routines. It looks different for everyone, but for me, it’s purchasing a new bra every 6 months, exercising daily, keeping appointments with an esthetician, and consistently updating my blog. These things seem minor, but they work wonders for my self-confidence.

Quality over quantity,

On previous birthdays, I valued the number of people that would show up to my parties more than who came to my parties. Nowadays, I focus on increasing the quality of my relationships than increasing the number of friends I have. A few good friends are all the company you need.

Keep a clever comeback in your back pocket.

People say the darndest things! They’ll point out your flaws and provide unnecessary feedback. They’ll tell you when to buy furniture and where to put it. I often ignore or laugh it off, but have learned that such responses aren’t always effective. You just got put them in their place with a clever comeback. Nice women finish last.

Stop planning and do it already.

I’m a big planner, but sometimes I forget that plans with action are ineffective. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been planning to make things happen, and at 33, I’m going to give myself permission to MAKE IT HAPPEN. Planning is ongoing and can occur while we’re doing. Planning and execution are better together.

Emotional intelligence is underrated.

I’d argue that emotional intelligence is more significant than being book smart. I see it in the workplace all the time. It’s the people who are self-aware and have insight on how to approach and relate to people that get the best results, not the people who had the highest GPA in school. I can’t tell you how annoyed I get with people who don’t know (or don’t care) about how their words and actions affect others. Being braggadocious, abrasive, ungrateful and condescending is not going to make people like you. It may also lessen the amount of influence you can have on others.


So S&T, what lessons have you learned this year at your age? Let’s chat in the comment section below!

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34 thoughts on “You Haven’t Done What? Since When? & Other Reflections On My 33rd Birthday

  1. First off … Happy Birthday!! 🎈🎈🎈

    Second off, I just turned something like 17 years older than you just turned and I’ve had a few lessons along the way. First, be Tom! Actually, don’t do that, that’s for me to do. You be Yaa Yaa. Letting ourself be ourself is the most important lesson I’ve learned, and it took me a while.

    And I’m pretty book smart, so that didn’t matter. 😉

    Secondly, and you touched upon it, negative people got no business ’round me! I kept negative family and friends around for a while, because … well … they were FAMILY and FRIENDS. The sooner I realized that didn’t matter the better Tom became.

    Lastly, focus on what matters to my positive self above all. I used to live my life in “shoulds” more than anything else, and all shoulds got me was down. Life is better than ever, and getting better every day!

    Great piece, and welcome back! Seems like forever since I’ve seen you around. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Tom! Thank you for the birthday wishes! We gotta call WordPress and ask them why they keep sending your comments to the trash. I’m going to make it habit to check there more often so I don’t miss any of your delightful comments!

      YES! Let Tom be Tom! I don’t know why such a simple philosophy is so hard to live. Society just pulls us in so many different directions and it can kill your spirit if you let it.

      YES! And when you let high-quality people around you, you become of higher quality too!

      YES! I had a therapist tell me that living in the “shoulds” doesn’t do us any good. In fact, she used to correct me every time I said the word “should.” I didn’t think it was a big deal at the time, but now I realize that it’s healthier to live in what is than what could be, you know?

      As always, Tom, it’s nice seeing you in my comments! And thank you; it’s good to be back 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First and foremost, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! ‘I hope you are enjoying your day and may all your birthday wishes come true!!

    Did you write this post for me? I feel like these lessons were screaming my name!! Self Love and Self Confidence have been my thing all of 2018! I’ve been working out, moisturizing and exfoliating all summer 18. I think we all have that one bra, speaking of which I got a coupon in the mail from VS so I’ll mosey on over there (thank you for that)

    Quality.. Quality Quality!!! When you said that, I felt all of it!!! I remember when having a crew used to be a “thing” now I see and understand why having a few good ones is all you need!! I loved this post, and jotted down some lessons of my own. Thank you for this and Happy Birthday again!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha! It’s funny how we’re always on the same page. Apparently it is recommended that we change our bras every 6 months. I had no idea! Meanwhile I’m over here using the same bra for years on end. Lol!

      I feel you on quality friendships. And have large friendship circles is time-consuming and expensive! I remember how much I used to spend on birthday dinners for the crew. Sheesh!

      Thank you, Tati, for the birthday love ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Birthday to YOU!!! I hope you have an amazing birthday and maybe get a new bra or 2!! Just teasing!! This really was a fantastic post that offered some great thoughts which you know we all always appreciate!!!


  4. “Self-confidence starts with self-care (and good underwear) […] But it taught me a very important lesson. Self-care is crucial. I know the whole purpose of S&T is to promote self-care and self-love, but if your life is anything like mine, then when things get busy, the first thing that is removed from your list of things to do is self-care.”

    That’s actually not the point of Self Care at all; the point of the craptastic wannabe version promoted by feel good bloggers, maybe… But definitely not the real medical self care methods its been co-opted from; basically if you’re throwing it out with the bathwater any time you’re getting “too busy”, then you’re doing it wrong in the first place. But that’s… A big ole rant I need to suck it up and just make a blog post on already -sighs-

    Happy birthday, honey!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Yes! I’ve been struggling to write a post about it, though, because it’s such a complicated topic to address; there just… Isn’t a good way to do it. But I’ll pass it along as soon as I finally managed to get it out, because it’s really important to people like me for health reasons, and that element of it (where it comes from, what it’s meant to do, and how it’s actually supposed to be practiced) needs to be understood.


    • I’m really interested in knowing more about the medical self care methods you referenced. Think before you respond with fancy words, I’m a physician.
      It is fascinating how people like you reference or use vague and big words to shit on other people’s work but yet fail to give a feed back that makes them better. I’ll say you are full of crap or better still use your own words craptastic.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I did none of what you accuse me of; your accusations are both absurd and without merit, and made without any context as to Ya-Ya and I’s relationship- nor any information as to my own personal history, knowledge, and capabilities.

        Explaining myself or my comments isn’t worth the time or effort it would take to do so- nor do I really care to explain myself to a faceless stranger who thinks spewing vitriol and meritless accusations is a good way to start a conversation… Or at least: Not a conversation that has any sort of purpose outside of clearly being meant to stroke their own ego and superiority complex.

        Furthermore, this is neither the time nor medium to have this discussion- which is one that ultimately demands a much larger space… Preferably a more appropriate one where it won’t further derail well wishes on someone’s birthday (a derailment I fully admit to starting, and recognize I shouldn’t have- hence why I never went into it with Ya Ya in the first place).

        Take that however you wish, but poison yourself with your own vitriol- and have a good day doing it.


  5. Hey Yaa Yaa! Hope your birthday was one of the best yet!!! Not because of how many people showed you love, but because WHO showed you love ❤️ Look at me applying your lessons already 😝

    Can I just say bravo! These were all so good! I especially liked the link between self confidence and self care!!! I can’t tell you how many interviews I’ve walked into knowing I was going to kill it just because my edges were laid… bahahahaaa!!! Sounds silly right?!? But there’s something to feeling good about yourself that translates through to other people!

    I think my self confidence is varying, stronger in some places and weaker in others. I’m learning to recognize those places and working on understanding those places in me 😌

    But boo— get the new bra please! We’ve all done it! Had that same bra for like 10 years 😂😂😂 It’s so easy, because they don’t really get dirty or worn out easily …. my advice… throw it out now—- the absence of it will push you to get one sooner!

    Best lesson I’ve learned at this age —-

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Mac! This year’s birthday was definitely more quiet than usual, but that’s a good thing. I had dinner with a couple of my favorite people. A stark contrast from the parties I used to throw in my 20’s.

      Yes, it’s so true! Do you think it’s unique for women to link their self-confidence to their outer appearance? I’m just not sure if men are the same way. I do the best interviews when I feel good too!

      I purchased 4 new bras! (Look at me?!?!) I was so proud of myself and I can’t tell you how much pep in my step I had once I put a new one on.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Omg. Happy belated!!! I love this post so much. I’m turning 33 in a few months and I have a few things to say myself lol and a lot that I’m not proud of!!! So I feel you!! I have the same issues with self-care and self-confidence. Like, we know what we need in order to be who we know we can BE, but life right?! And are we the same damn person?! It took me years to get a new bra, only to discover-thanks to the bra-gurus over at VS-that I’ve been wearing the wrong size basically my whole life and I’ve been living a LIE!!! lol!!! I can’t . Cheers to new bras and manicures and actually doing the shit we list in our pretty planners for the sake of filling them in!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy belated birthday! Hope this is a fantastic year ahead, and I second Mac, the best one yet.

    Yes! Loving the lessons, especially the ones about self-care and quality over quantity. We need to stop neglecting ourselves in 2018!

    P.S. That new bra feeling is the best – so much support!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I also turned 33 later this month! And emotional intelligence is my biggest lesson lately. Not just in myself, which has come a long way, but also recognizing it in others. As you mentioned, I’m trying to pare my social sphere. My goal is choose five high quality people to spend the bulk of my time with, and the most important quality in choosing this inner circle is EQ!


    • Hi Jessie!

      First, let me say: please excuse the delayyyyed response to your comment. It must have gotten lost in WordPress space because I only saw your comment this morning.

      Secondly, yes to EQ! I’m at the point where EQ is a requirement for me to have any type of meaningful relationship with you. I love your game plan about finding 5 people to spend your time with! How does the saying go? You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So, choosing such people wisely is a must!

      Thanks for stopping my blog!


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