Womanista Birthday: A Few Things I’ve Learned By 30

This sweet note and bottle of champagne arrived for my birthday!

Happy Monday, womanistas! it’s my birthday today! (woop! Cue the 50 cent song! “…go shawty, it’s your birthday…”) I’ve made it through 30 years of life with some successes and stumbles, lots of love and lessons.  So my fellow, fabulous womanistas, I wanted to reflect on a few truths in my life to celebrate this occasion (and I am thankful to each of you for reading and taking this journey with me!!)

1. Being nice is awesome.

It really just is. I can’t claim to always be nice (there are certainly days that I am frustrated, tired and having a moment and I’m sorry if you have ever encountered me then…) but in 30 years I have definitely learned that nice wins. No matter the situation. And no matter to whom. Being nice to one another allows us to travel down the path of human experience together without feeling alone. And that always, always makes our lives better.

2. Loving yourself will help guide you through every other relationship in your life.

There was certainly a time in my life when I didn’t love myself enough. I made concessions for boyfriends who were “eh” & not really that into me & friends who were flaky & self-centered. And not only that, I bent over backwards to make those relationships work! But eventually I realized that it’s OK to expect great things for yourself (it’s not just ok, it’s healthy and fabulous!) – loving yourself and expecting others to treat you with respect and love is OKAY!

After learning that lesson and loving & respecting the person who God made me to be (we are all beautifully & wonderfully made!), the relationships in my life became more fulfilled. I met a man who also loves who I am (and I love who he is, even though we are both far from perfect) and my friendships became deeper and more connected. Bottom line, when you love who you are, everyone else will too (and if they don’t, whatevs! Just keep doing your thing…)


Please, just wear sunscreen, ok? There is no backstory here. But I am now 30, and hope to ward off wrinkles and cancer for as long as possible and you should too. So just wear it.

4. Falling in love with the man of your dreams is worth the wait.

I have dated a LOT of dudes. When I lived in New York City after college and could barely afford a subway sandwich, much less a good meal and a glass of wine, any willing suitors who didn’t appear to be serial killers received a “yes” when asking me on a date. (Am I proud of this fact? Not really. But I’m also not ashamed of it exactly, either! A sista has to eat.)

And I’ve also had my heart broken (and smashed into smithereens on a few occasions). And those moments were the worst and I thought I would never recover at the time (yes, I’ve had a “sobbing on my bathroom floor” moment a time or two…) But all of that was ok. Because the first night I met my husband, I just knew. It felt different because it was different. I had encountered enough dates to know that not every guy is handsome, funny, attentive, kind, and smart! Because I knew what else was out there, I knew that my husband was special. And trust me, womanistas, that kind of special is worth wading through the doldrums and the crazydums of the dating pool. Open your heart to love, but be patient for the right person. Don’t settle. Wait for the one who is absolutely fabulous.

5. Wearing clothes that look good on you is way better than following trends.

Ok, I’m MAJORLY guilty of some fashion faux pas over the past 30 years and this lesson took a while to learn…(WHYYYY can’t I wear a midriff top and harem pants???) Well, because both of those items look terrible on me. That’s the sad fact that my midriff-loving heart has to face. And I generally want to look decent in this world. The reality is, when you look good you feel good.  So bottom line, wear clothes that look great on YOU, and not necessarily what is “on trend” at the moment.  You will always feel confident and look great! (PS – a great tailor is also your friend!)

6. There will always be storms in life…”left foot, right foot, breathe” 

As I was watching the fabulous and brave Robin Roberts tell her story to Diane Sawyer during an ABC special last week, she mentioned this incredible mantra (one that she said Pat Summit told her!). “Left foot, right foot, breathe”. She mentioned that each day with cancer is different, but on the hard days, this is what she focuses on – one step at a time, followed by a breath. No matter what you are facing in life that is difficult, try to keep moving forward. Breathe. Because I promise you will eventually walk through it to the other side. (Thank you, Robin Roberts for being such an inspiration!)

My mom, my sister Michaelanne, and me toasting in Paris

7. Be thankful for your role models

My very first friend (and #1 role model!) is my mom. We have known each other for my entire 30 years, (plus the 40 weeks that I was hanging out in her belly becoming her daughter!) For my entire life she has been a picture of strength & grace. She worked to provide for our family (as a single mom for a few years) and she was never too tired to give me the love that I needed, or to help with homework/attend a softball game/make a healthy dinner. and I’m so thankful for that.

My grandmother is another amazing role model. She and my grandfather shared the picture of a happy, loving and fulfilled marriage for 61 years and I look to their marriage as a model for my own. She continues to be vibrant and fabulous at 82 (she has an iphone, goes to pilates a few times a week, and gets together regularly with her friends!) These two women are incredible role models. I am so thankful for them, and thankful for the opportunity to learn from them!

What about you, womanistas? What life lessons have you learned along the way? How did you celebrate your most recent birthday??

xo, the Womanista

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46 Responses to “Womanista Birthday: A Few Things I’ve Learned By 30” Subscribe

  1. kwiaciarnia wysyłkowa March 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

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  2. christy March 2, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    beautiful post! important reminders…
    love that you love my baby brother so…
    happy 30 and it only gets better

    • Woman March 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

      Thanks sweet Christy! xxx

  3. Pikseen February 27, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Happy Birthday Cassie!

    Reading about your post totally put a smile on my face – after a rather long day at work. Have a fabulous day and may you be spoiled silly by your loved ones (especially your hubby!).

    Stay awesome xx

  4. Lindsey Skaggs February 26, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    Well said!! Happy birthday dear friend!! Miss you!!

    • Woman February 26, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      Thanks Linds! I miss you too! xx

  5. Sophia Pereira February 26, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    Happy Birthday :)

    • Woman February 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      Thanks, Sophia! xx

  6. Sarah February 26, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    Beautiful, fabulous, and inspiring post, my sweet friend. You are truly a gem! X

    • Woman February 26, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      Thank you my sweet friend! xxx

  7. Stephanie February 26, 2013 at 2:17 am #

    Happy birthday! And wow, is that Claudia? :)

    • Woman February 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      Thanks Stephanie, and it sure is! x

  8. Claudia February 25, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    What a perfect and relevant post for everyone of us! I am not sure what God was thinking when I was gifted with my daughters and son, but it was the biggest blessing of my life!
    With hugs, love and gratitude!xo

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

      Thanks Mom! I love you!

  9. sylvie February 25, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Great post ! love it ! Hope you will have a wonderful day !
    Joyeux anniversaire !!

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

      Merci beaucoup, Sylvie! xx

  10. nicole February 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Cassie i hope you have a awesome birthday hope u and Charles are doing well

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      Thanks, Nicole!

  11. Glenda Smith February 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    this is a great post. happy birthday beautiful lady

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      Thanks so much, Glenda!

  12. Veronica S February 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    First of all, Happy Birthday you beautiful person!
    I just cried from this, because this was a really beautiful blog post! Inspirational and some words of truth. If I’m half as reflected and wonderful as you seem to be when I’m 30 I’ll be so happy! (I have three years to go).

    My recent birthday were September 2012, I lost my dog to illness the day before so five of my friends decided to throw me a surprise party and my best friend came home from her studies in Ireland just to be a part of it. It was a sad but wonderful day.

    Happy rest of your birthday! Every birthday is a celebration to life and we should be so thankful for them! And 30 is a special one!

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

      You are so sweet, Veronica! And it sounds like you have some pretty great friends who made your birthday so special, despite the loss of your dog. Here’s to many more birthdays! xx

  13. Emily Butler February 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Lovely post – happy birthday, Cassie!

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

      Thanks, Em! x

  14. Rachelle Guiremand February 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Happy Birthday Cassie. I hope its as beautiful as you are. Too bad you’re not in Napa Valley today. It’s almost 70 and beautiful! Enjoy your day!

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

      Thanks, Rachelle! Napa sounds FAB right night! Can’t wait to get back there and sip some amazing wine! xx

  15. mimi February 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Whaat a wonderful post that brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. You are very special and I love you

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

      Thank you Mimi! I love you so!

  16. Michaelanne February 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    H from 30k feet!! Love this post and all the fabulous life lessons!! Enjoy your bubbly, I’ll toast you from the beach as soon as I land! Xo

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Thanks Mikey!! Safe travels! I expect an expert pizza the next time I see you! Love you

  17. Kelley F. February 25, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    Happy 30th Birthday Cassie!

    P.S. Since you mentioned you previously lived in NYC, do you have any restaurant recommendations? I’m planning my first trip to New York in May and would love some suggestions. Moderately priced. Thanks so much and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

  18. Kendra February 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Happy Birthday WOMANISTA :) Great post…..Hope you have a faboulos day filled with love!

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

      Thank you, Kendra! I hope you have a great day, too! xx

  19. Rita February 25, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    Happy Birthday!!! Great post… I always look forward to reading your updates. Have a fabulous day from 30A. :-)

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

      Thanks, Rita! xx

  20. Mandi February 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    Happy Birthday! A beautiful post for sure! Drink lots of bubbles today, and everyday!

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      Thanks, Mandi! I will for sure enjoy some champagne :-) xx

  21. Tiffany Bearden February 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Love it Cassie! Great reminders!

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      Thanks, Tiffany! xx

  22. Kelly February 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Great post! Happy Birthday! I enjoy your posts very much. You’re real, kind and beautiful and if I learn just one thing from you, it’s made me a better person. Cheers to love and happiness! <3

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      Kelly that is so sweet! Thanks for reading, and I really appreciate your kind words! xx

  23. Keltini February 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Best post yet! Thanks for sharing WOMANISTA! Enjoy your day. xoxo

    • Woman February 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Thanks Keltini! Love you! xx


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