Framed In Excellence – 30 Realizations on my 30th Birthday

1. I’ve now been without Mom for half my life. No day has gone by without her crossing my mind.
2. My skills don’t always translate – I’ve run 2 marathons but still struggle to wash the dishes every night before bed.
3. What’s important to me has changed with time – At 15 it was clothes, at 22 it was money at 30 its family.
4. Consistency goes a long way – Friendships, romance, the gym, you name it!
5. Your word is your bond – Being a person who keeps their word is rare and I aim to appreciate that trait more.
6. Time with loved ones is precious – I tend to forget as I’ve gotten older my elders have aged too.
7. Speak Up – There are times I wish I had and other times I’m glad I did.
8. It’s okay to fail – Just don’t be defeated, I lost a poetry slam at SUNY Albany then went to write and publish two poetry books.
9. Sorry is not a solution – Changing a behavior is a better response.
10. I’m okay with not having a ton of friends – The handful of friends I do have been a part of my life in good times and bad.
11. My black-boy-joy is non-negotiable – No matter how difficult my life may get I will make it my business to smile.
12. Be comfortable being alone – If people don’t want to be a part of what you’re doing do it anyway. You’ll find like-minded people in route to it.
13. Silence can be louder than words – There were moments in my life when walking away was the best option.
14. No is a full sentence – I do not have to explain my actions and to do so is a choice.
15. Life happens outside of social media – Not every aspect of my life will be shared.
16. Being fired is not the end of the world – I’ve been fired from two jobs and both times they were gifts in disguise.
17. Tell your loved ones you love them – I still don’t always do this. I’m better when I write it down.
18. There is power in writing – Writing has always given me an avenue to be an agent of change.
19. Disconnect from the world sometimes – Stepping away from your phone or a simple walk in the park can do the trick.
20. Be your own advocate and friend – For years I was always hard on myself. If I did something others thought was great I always found something I could do better. Nah B, start clapping for yourself!!
21. Allocate your time – Once loved ones are gone, or sick you or moments are missed you can’t press rewind.
22. I love to talk – So what!
23. Step out my comfort zone – Finding ways to challenge myself has pushed me to grow.
24. People will choose to believe what they want.
25. Think about your decisions but when it’s time to act be BOLD.
26. My family tree is amazing – I never thought I would meet over 100 people who are my kinfolk.
27. Take Risks – I left a career with a fortune 500 company to pursue writing. The scariest and best decision at the same damn time.
28. Don’t go crazy over money – I missed out on a lot of great opportunities because I only put dollar signs on them.
29. The people who mean the world to me still mean the world to me.
30. My jokes are hit or miss. Lol!

Note – This is a repost of a status I wrote on my birthday.

Rashaun J. Allen (@rashaunjallen) received his MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from SUNY Stony Brook. He’s eyeing agents to help publish his coming of age story, Christine’s Dream – A Memoir of Love, Loss & Life. He is the author of A Walk Through Brooklyn & In The Moment and has been published in TSR: The South Hampton Review and is forth coming in The Tishman Review. When not writing he runs for the thrill of crossing the finish line. Find more of his work at

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