The Finale: Good-Bye 20s Part I

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Jan. 18, 2015 (30th Birthday) in San Francisco, CA

Kicking and screaming is how I imagined leaving my twenties. I turned twenty-one four times and twenty-five twice. Celebrating twenty-nine umpteen times seemed imminent.

On Instagram I overused #twentysomething in attempt to suck twenty-something dry. Why though? Is being twenty-something really that great?

Let’s take a brief tour through my twenties. Short, petite, fresh-faced, naive, smarter than most people I knew, and mature for my age… that’s how I entered my twenties. I knew everything, thus ready to take the world by storm. The motto: Can’t tell me nothing!

At twenty-two, I rented a fire engine-red convertible mustang for my birthday extravaganza that rolled Thursday thru Monday. Yolo! I spent a day or two shopping with my brother and then bestie. More than thirty people celebrated with me on Saturday at my dinner party. My costume for the dinner included: Tri-color hair, this (Bebe), that (Juicy Couture), and the other (Hudson). Total cost for the costume? More than $350. Feeling like a baller? Priceless.

The early years were filled with more poor choices that equaled a boatload of mistakes including: losing myself, insecurity, financial ruin, heart-break, depression. My confidence went from 100 to 0 real quick! Unaware, I entered the mid-twenties disheveled, lost, bent, and almost broken. “Single Black female addicted to retail, and well…” I lived that retro Kanye music, like All Falls Down.

As the twenties flew by, I learned that I knew almost nothing I thought I knew. If you’re not there yet, just wait on it. Unlearning a relearning is easier said than done, but so necessary. If we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. That’s one of my all-time fave quotes.

My life begged for change. The last quarter of my twenties a light bulb came on and I began saying farewell to people, things, and [insert noun] that I allowed to disturb my happiness and stunt my growth. I chucked up the deuces to people before then, but it rarely included forgiveness. Forgiving others and ourselves is necessary to move forward. Listen to Get it Together by India Arie to get a better understanding of this chapter.

To be continued…

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Women Rock: Mara Brock Akil

6th Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon held at the Beverly Hills hotel

Who is Mara Brock Akil?

Mara puts pen to paper and creates real people who share (via television and film) authentic experiences we face in this thing called life. Girlfriends, The Game, Cougar Town, Sparkle, South Central, The Jamie Foxx Show, and Moesha… Mara’s had a hand in them all. Check her resume, she rocks!

Girlfriends, the first show created by Mara, is one of my all-time faves. It was so good that I had to buy boxed sets. I’m anxiously awaiting her new series Being Mary Jane, which debuts in 2014 and stars Gabrielle Union.

Mara captures the complex lives of individuals (esp. African American women) and serves them up on a plate of awesome with the help of her diverse team. That team includes her husband/partner Salim Akil.

You know they’re the bosses over at Akil Productions (formerly Happy Camper Productions), right? Let’s say it together: Power couple!

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of spending time with Mara and Salim as they honestly (not Hollywood honest) uncovered their relationship in a panel at the BET Experience. They shared how they keep their marriage in tact and manage their business relationship.

Aside from dynamic partner and skilled writer, Mara also proudly hold the titles; successful producer, devoted wife and nurturing mother. From where I stand, she does it all with style and grace.

Mara is an ah-MAy-zing Los Angeles born, Kansas City raised individual rocking the world. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Unlike Dorothy and Toto, Mara worked hard to create the life she lives, she didn’t just click her heels.

Fun Fact: (Cue Kanye West’s Through The Wire) She’s a Delta, so she’s been throwing up that dynasty sign.