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How To Spend Your Birthday Alone & Still Feel Like A Queen

Go girl, it's your birthday.

Life & Travel

I have had quite a few disappointing birthdays over the years. Every time I planned a dinner or a get-together, I always seemed to be let down. Something unexpected would always happen that had me feeling some type of way. Friends canceled after they R.S.V.P.'d or there were arguments over the restaurant bill. I was even kicked out of my 23rd birthday party because one of my girlfriends' guests lacked V.I.P. etiquette at our joint birthday party. I just didn't feel seen or celebrated by the group of people I chose to be my friends at that time. To be fair though, in your twenties, what do you really know about true friendship? But still, I knew I deserved so much more.

After a while, my birthday became a day I didn't look forward to. I used fear of getting hurt or being disappointed as a guard. Honestly, I didn't start enjoying birthdays until my 27th birthday. I was in a new city, with a new group of friends, who made me feel more seen and appreciated than some of my lifelong friends I currently have. It wasn't until my 33rd birthday I decided to spend my birthday alone.

Celebrating my birthday alone was the most uncomfortable yet empowering thing I had ever done. Why didn't I think of doing this sooner? Now, every year I typically spend my birthday alone. It's not that I don't enjoy the company of my friends–I do. But over the years, I learned to enjoy my own company. I know that I could never let myself down. I know that I would not give myself less than I deserve. And sometimes, in the end, you have to be your own best friend. Word to Beyoncé, y'all. Sometimes, "me, myself, and I" win.

Here are a few things you can do on your birthday alone.

Write Yourself A Love Letter

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Writing yourself a love letter is the ultimate form of self-intimacy and self-love. What better way to celebrate your birthday than to shower yourself with words of affirmation? I started this ritual a year ago. And I will continue to practice this ritual on every single birthday. There is something about using words to embrace the woman you are. We as women don't do this enough, we don't give ourselves enough credit for everything that we are. It's time we pay attention to how we speak to ourselves.

On this birthday, be gentle with yourself. Write about your qualities, flaws, and accomplishments. Make yourself a few promises because you know you will never break your own heart. Remember, pen to paper always wins.

Buy Yourself Flowers

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You deserve flowers at all times. Don't wait for a guy or a friend to give you flowers. Especially on your birthday. Head to your local florist and create your own bouquet. Did you know certain types of flowers can enhance your energy? Carnations symbolize commitment while Freesias exudes positive energy to everyone around it. Pay attention to colors – red symbolizes power, life, and vitality. Yellow builds self-confidence and encourages optimism. Green represents tranquility and helps you stay grounded.

Treat Yourself To A Fancy Brunch Or Dinner

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Like Drake said, "Oh, you fancy huh. Nails did, hair did, everything did." Reserve a table for one at your favorite restaurant or at the new trendy restaurant you have been dying to go to. You don't always need a group of friends to make you feel special on your birthday. You control your feelings. And making yourself feel special is your power. So, get your face beat, put on that outfit, throw on those heels, and pull up to that restaurant with C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-C-E. Don't give two fucks about the people staring at you just because you're sitting alone. They are probably admiring you anyways queen.

And if you'd prefer to do a quarantine-friendly version of this, prepare yourself a decadent meal or order in from one of your favorite restaurants. Treat yourself to a slice of luxury in the comforts of home.

Spend Your Day At A Day Spa

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Go ahead girl, and pamper yourself at a day spa. I mean, is there a better way to spend your birthday than getting your glow on? A fresh facial or clean skin just gives me all the feels. Book yourself a facial, massage, body treatment, manicure, or pedicure. If a day spa isn't your thing, try a Korean bathhouse or a Russian-Turkish bath. You can relax in different types of saunas, steam rooms, salt rooms, or aromatherapy rooms. Bathhouses offer all types of amenities and services for the ultimate day of self-care.

Wine Tasting

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Who doesn't love a good bottle of wine? Spend your special day in a beautiful vineyard and let your palate explore rich flavorful wines. While I have not done this for my own birthday, I did do a wine tasting safari at Malibu Wines by myself. I spent the day at this famous family-owned winery known for its scenery. I enjoyed picturesque views, feeding farm animals, and meeting new people. Of course, I enjoyed the wine, but I was in awe of the fact that someone owned 1,000 acres of land.

Travel

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Solo travel is life. Get you some sexy bikinis and take that solo birthday trip. Remember you are BAE. I took my first international solo trip for my 33rd birthday to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Mexico was a whole mood. It was tacos, tequila shots, and sunsets. On the eve of my birthday, I ordered room service; crème brûleé with a glass of Moscato. Just before midnight, room service delivered my decadent dessert. I brought in my birthday in the comfort of my hotel room bed.

On my 35th birthday, I flew solo to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico was even better than Mexico. I met up with a girl I connected with over a xoNecole Instagram post about solo travel. We slid in each other's DMs. And on the day of my arrival in Puerto Rico, homegirl scooped me up from the airport. She then connected me with another girl who had the same birthday as mine.

Coincidentally, this same girl was also staying in the same boutique hotel as me, The Dreamcatcher. This had to be a universal sign because from that point forward it was rooftop dinners, champagne bottles, salsa dancing, and island hopping. We even went for a night swim in the ocean butt naked. It was Sagittarius season, and we were lit AF. Oh, and for my 36th birthday, I commemorated my first solo trip by returning to Mexico.

So, on your birthday, celebrate yourself, QUEEN. You are BAE. You are the most important person on your born day. This is a celebration of your life. It's your day to shine even brighter. Don't let anyone even attempt to dim or steal your light. No one will love you more than you do. No one will treat you better than you do.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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