I have arrived at the age of 29, and I have never, honestly, been in a happier place.
Being able to have the confidence and freedom to be able to share with others my writing, my travels, the real me and have in-depth conversations with people that matter about things that matter.
I very much am 29 and feeling fine!
In the last year I took it slow with the understanding that I was meeting parts of myself that I had denied for a long time, I realized how beautiful I was and not physically, my thoughts, my priorities, my worth. It was all beautiful, but I had spent far too long trying so hard to portray parts of me that were not really resonating with my true self. Now my worth is so much more evident.
I think we always know deep down what feels pure, natural and honest to the person we are inside, I spent many years living dreams I found hard to accept I had even accomplished, I was battling so much with expressing who I was and taking “guidance” and opinions of others far too literally.
Looking back now, had I just being true to my style, myself, my heart, I could of gone so much further. But I am so thankful for the process, because it has taught me so much about who I know I am and who I want to be without shame and without social pressure. I have understood my ego, my fears, my jealousy, the darker places and feel very liberated.
On my spiritual path I have been reminded many a time that spirituality is not staying happy and smiling all day, every day. Like everything balance is of utmost importance and vital. In order to arrive in a state of happiness and love we must accept the darkness. Working through the darkness is important and if you deny or avoid the hard work you may not be able to appreciate the sunshine for as long as you would imagine or like.
It certainly is not all meditation, aromatherapy and rubbing crystals. Reaching the root of your issue and processing everything can be painful, overwhelming and very fucking difficult but dammit is it worth it. Being honest with your pain can truly make you feel untouchable.
This year I have become exceptionally cautious of who I spend quality time with, not out of egotism but my energy and mental state is very import to me. I have developed much more profound connections with humans who enrich me with life. These people are the ones who I invest my time and emotion in. The connection with people I have met both in the last few years, and friendships I have been able to sustain over decades has made me so grateful, grounded and so proud of the success I have in the area of true friendship. I have realized that friendship is hard work, and like anything you work towards, effort and consistency is important and honesty and integrity are everything, and can make or break a friendship.
We all must walk our individual paths so we can explore without shame or without rushing. We must enjoy wholeheartedly where we are right now and celebrate our differences…who the fuck ever told us we should alter our journeys, appearances, minds to all synchronize and be the same! FUCK THAT!
I am conscious now more than ever that you cannot give something to someone you do not have, if you struggle with love, self love and care you cannot expect to be able to give love to others. Love is about becoming the right person, about getting to know yourself and doing what is right for you not for others. Become the person you want to share your life with and love will find you. Get to know yourself and fall in love with that person.
I seem to have cleared my mind of all the negative connotations and insecurities I held about relationships and love. Because of past relations I confronted love with either a warped idea or lots of self sabotage, lacking the want to look forward to the future and learn and grown with someone.
I was constantly in denial that I was good enough and always thought that the person would leave me. I have realized that I was looking for someone to fill an area of my life that I couldn’t even provide for myself, I didn’t know how to love Jamila Wardknott so looked for someone to do it for me whilst at the same time pushing them away (madness I know). I thought that I needed to be adored, loved, validated by a partner…and it wasn’t until I learnt to love myself was it so easy to be in such a calm and happy and unforced state with the person I want to spend my life with.
I have realized how brave and fearless I truly am. Moving from country to country is possibly the easiest part, but walking away from a life you have made for yourself, from a steady income, friends, family, to leave that comfort and start from scratch is where I realize that I am my own inspiration to start again, I know I have the ability to do this as many times necessary to find my own happiness.
I have worked hard to see many places around the world and meet people who have made me who I am today. I have dealt with rejection, homesickness, self doubt and hatred that with practice and influence from the adventures I have lived I have learned to overcome time and time again.
I have constantly put into practice to never accept “No” as answer to anything I truly want, trusting in my talent and abilities enough to courageously work and travel in many places.
“NEVER BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW BECAUSE LIFE GETS BORING WHEN YOU STAY IN THE LIMITS OF WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW.”
The recognition my family and younger brother deserve for being my major support system over the years. They have seen and helped me both at my highest and my lowest.
My younger brother constantly motivates me to be a better person and a better example, we have worked on creating such a deep friendship since we have grown up. We have danced, laughed, cried and sat in silence, but he is my joy and inspiration. My parents are just magnificent, I know they are the people to turn to whenever I need an answer or advice, the two that throw me on a plane and incessantly remind me life is for living and money comes and goes.
I have learnt the positive repercussions of being more sincere, candid and real online and in the real world. It can feel like such a terrifying idea to be so honest.
I constantly battled with myself wondering if I would be accepted and wondering if what I have is enough just being me, flaws, stories and all.
But once I liberated myself of the facade I had built , of who I tried to be and what person I tried to portray I realize there truly cannot be any other way to succeed in life than being your true self. Its inadvertently made me stronger, more carefree and so much more comfortable in terms of life and pursuing a future.
This year I have asked the universe to help me grow EVEN MORE!
What have you asked for this year in personal growth and development?...leave me a comment below!
Photography: Andrew Kuykendall