Reflecting on the Old, Looking Forward to the New

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Turning 25 is huge. It's a year of changes and progress into full-on adulthood, and cheaper insurance rates. A birthday is not only a time to celebrate, but a time to reflect and reminisce on the previous years. In lieu of her birthday, I sat down with Jode for some cloth talk to pick her brain on what turning 25 means to her. 

R: What changes have you seen in your relationships now that you’ve turned 25?

J: I believe when you turn 25 you enter a whole new part of womanhood. I’ve always been close with my mother, but getting older we’re experiencing a different kind of relationship, a type of mother-daughter sisterhood. I was grateful for everyone’s birthday wishes and all the love, but the one that stuck out to me the most was from my mother (quoted below). By the age of 25 my mother was married. In comparison, I'm not. To see the differences in both our lives at the age of 25, and for her to still be proud of the woman I have chosen to be is an amazing feeling.

“Happy birthday to a wonderful, intelligent, level-headed and spiritual young lady! You are strong, determined and I admire your push to succeed. I am a proud mother and I cannot forget the day you were born, you were such a beautiful baby. You have grown up to be such a lovely person inside and out. God blessed the day you were born. I wish for you a happy day, and may your life be of continual praise to God! Happy birthday my little ‘Jubie-dee.’ Love you now and always!!!”

R: What were your top goals last year? Did you accomplish them?

J: My top goal was just to be happy. I can see a huge difference in my life when looking back to this time last year. My job was forced, my relationships were forced; everything was forced. So, my top priority was to ensure that I took care of myself mentally, physically and spiritually.  

After graduating University, I had a difficult time deciding on the next step. Last year when I got into law school and business school, it really gave me the much-needed confidence to go out on a limb and further my academic career by going to business school. So, I'm in the process of attaining that goal.

It sounds cliché to say, but, to me age is really just a number. With that said, I sometimes forget that I’m 25. Some people turn 50 or 60 and begin to panic wishing they had done things when they were younger. But when you are okay with where you are, age means nothing. I'm just happy for the second and third chances God has granted me to be able to attain goals I've set out for myself in the past.

R: What would you tell your younger self at the age of 21?

J: I would tell my 21-year-old self not to worry so much about life. Everything will work itself out. I would also tell myself that change is okay. At that point in my life, I was scared to change career paths and scared to remove myself from some relationships. Basically, I was "scurred" of change. To combat this fear I would tell my 21-year-old self to calm down, relax and enjoy the ride.

"Jode leap, let go... The grass really is greener on the other side."

R: Is there any celebrity or public figure born in June that inspires you?

J: Yes! I would have to say, Solange Knowles. She's born on June 24. I am inspired by her independence and the way she seems so secure in herself. This year she turned 30 and she shared on Facebook various experiences she's had at different ages throughout her life. It was so dope because I felt like I could relate to some of her life experiences. I love her sense of style, I love how outspoken she is, I love her classiness, intelligence, and how woke she is. She seems mad cool, and I feel like if we met in person we’d be friends.

The love goes deep. From her first album back in her teens, I've been, and still am, with her all the way.  

R: What are some things you hope to accomplish by your next milestone birthday, the big 3-0?

J: When I was younger I had all these things planned out for my life. I had ideas about what I wanted to do and be by a certain age. In all honesty, when I look at my life right now and compare it to what I had originally planned, I can see that God’s plan is so much better. I could see that when I take things into my own hands, I don’t know what decisions to make, and I end up making horrible decisions. And, I've had to pay for those decisions later, so I think for me what’s important is being in tune with what God wants for me. And whatever He sees fit I’m wiling to do that, even when it comes to my career and everything that is most important. I have plans, but following what God wants for me is the most important thing. Once you’re living in line with God you’re at peace and not worrying about milestones because you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. Naturally, I’m very anxious and worrisome, and I tend to compare myself to expectations I set for myself. I can be overly analytical, but I'm learning to let God take control of those things because I am serious about knowing God’s plan for me. However, I am learning to take it day-by-day and allowing God to work out His plan in His time.

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Photographer: Samuel Blot

Thanks for reading! :)

Jode-Leigh & Rachael