And welcome back. As I'm approaching my late 20's I've been thinking a lot about things I've learned as a 20 something that I'd love to share with you all. I have by no means figured "it" out (whatever "it" may be) and I'm certain there is a plethora of knowledge yet to be learned but this is a short list of things I wish I knew before hitting my 20s. This list is a reminder to myself but also to share things I've found as truth in my life that have shaped me and made me the woman I am today. Sending lots of love to you all and to my 20 somethings out there living the dream but also the real struggle.
1 | It's okay to not have it all figured out. And I think this extends past my 20's to life in general. That seems like a no brainer but coming out of college where there's a consistent schedule, constant timelines, and an abundance of community, it's easy to feel on top of the world and know exactly what you want. It's not uncommon however to start working the day job you've been planning for since college and realize..."oh shit, I don't want to do this everyday..". I've been there, I am there, and I'm learning what that balance is between what makes me happy and what makes me money.
2 | Failure is inevitable, but it's the reaction to failure that matters, not failure itself. Try to remember that each failure is a step that brings us closer to wherever the hell it is we're suppose to end up, and that the only true failures are the ones you learn nothing from.
3 | Choose friends wisely. Again, coming out of college where community is ample and finding a new friend is easy, it's hard to know which friends to choose when people come in and out of your life. Something I've learned is that people move through my life frequently. Sometimes they stay for a long time and sometimes it's only a season. It's important to be able to recognize characteristics you want in friendship for a long term friendship and characteristics you don't. Friendships in your 20's can be messy and sometimes you end up falling out, and that's okay. I've found that some of my closest friendships were the ones that didn't require a lot of maintenance. And by that I mean, the ones who text less frequently but are always back on the same page when we reconnect, as if life puts us through busy times, and when we meet again we're able to grow through each other's experiences, love, and encouragement. Look for these friendships and cherish those. Find the ones who have joy in your success and share in your sorrow, the ones who encourage you when life is hard.
4 | Equally important learning to be a good friend. Learning how many people I can realistically invest in while still maintaining my cup to give was and still is an important lesson. Now that I have a better understanding of how much I have to give and how much I can invest in others I am able to maintain and truly enrich and feel enriched from a close group of girlfriends.
5 | My mom became my soulmate of a best friend. Seriously, I've been fortunate enough to always have a close relationship with my mom but I've never experienced a friendship the way ours has deepened since graduating college and moving to the city. She knows so much about so much and is immediately kind and understanding with the problems I encounter. She seems to always have the answer even when it's just to listen. There is no one who understands the way a mom does and the shift from mom to friend, advisor, and confidant has been one of the most beautiful things about my 20's.
6 | Investing in skin care has been one of the best decisions I've made in my 20's. I've spent the time, trying to learn the best things for my skin and what it needs. I keep a routine that makes me love the skin I'm in without make up. Skin care lines I recommend, especially if you're just starting out, are Drunk Elephant and bioClarity. With Drunk Elephant I'm loving their Sukari Babyfacial and Lala Retro Whipped Cream. The Lala Retro Cream is an amazing moisturizer that has changed my dry skin on my face. I always feel well hydrated but not too heavy. The Babyfacial is an incredible mask that I seriously don't know what I did with out. Also, super can't wait to try their new D-Bronzi Sunshine Serum....I think I foresee a new blog post coming soon!
| Check out my review of bioClarity and what products I use below |
7 | Don't waste the money invested on a skin care line without also investing in the nutrients being consumed. Our food industry is out of control and our bodies crave proper nutrition. The physical signs show up on our skin. Looking healthy is external, but looking healthy comes from being healthy, and that mostly comes down to what we eat and drink. This is something I always thought didn't apply to me but the difference I feel when I eat well is night and day. I sleep better, I focus better, and I'm generally in a better mood and more motivated. I also notice it on my face. When I consume less sugar and processed foods I break out less and have an overall better complection. If you're unsure of what to be eating I recommend binging some food documentaries on Netflix. I personally love "In the defense of food". It's informative but not backed by larger companies trying to make a profit. It is important to note who, if anyone makes a profit off of a particular documentary and to steer clear because the information might be skewed to actually promote negative consumption.
8 | Anxiety is real and it hits most women really hard in their 20's...AND NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT! I never experienced anxiety through college but a few break ups later, added stressors, and hormonal swings through the 20's create a breeding ground for anxiety. It's okay to feel this way. It's not crazy, and learning how to handle these situations is the bigger picture for the best life has in store. I recommend finding things that reduce anxiety i.e. working out. I want to note that if these feelings become consuming and more challenging to handle, reach out. Which is scary and not a seemingly tangible solution but speaking with someone can help give you some relief. There's nothing to be ashamed of and no one is ever alone in these moments. There's a beautiful community of women blossoming in this generation and it's a joy to watch the formation of these strong ladies coming together and sharing in the vulnerability and struggles that we all face.
9 | Learning new skills is important and also enriching. It's also a time thing. In your 20's you have some time to invest in some great skills that you enjoy. Test the waters and try things you've always wanted to. For example; I've always wanted to take baking classes. I bake now but only on occasion for special events (i.e. Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc...). I want to learn how to make macaroons and have it as a special trick up my sleeve. Plus they're super delicious. I suggest making a list of things you want to try, think bucket list but more skill based, something interesting that can add value and enrichment to your life outside of work.
10 | Travel everywhere and experience new cultures! There are ways to travel cheap and on a budget. Check out my budget friendly guide to traveling to learn more!
11 | Arguing in your relationship is healthy. I love being independent but I love being with David a little bit more. (: Something I've learned the hard way in my 20's is relationships are hard work. The beginning is easy and it should be but as the relationship progresses it's important to know how to handle bigger issues together. I used to dread arguing with David. I always thought in the back of my mind, "okay, this is it, he's gonna leave me." LOL But, now, after we argue or have a discussion where we don't agree in the beginning, I see the beautiful movement closer together each time. We are able communicate more effectively now and grow together through each argument. I no longer worry about him leaving but I see the future and I'm excited to continue the journey and love him better and deeper.
12 | Let go of the little things. This is a big one for me. I have SUCH a hard time letting go of little frustrations. But, those only cause me more stress and in the end aren't worth it. It is a daily struggle of not taking myself too seriously. I try to always ask myself "is this big picture problems or small minded problems?"
13 | Grow some plants! Seeing the growth over time reminds me to reflect on the growth in my own life and helps me reduce anxiety. I love my little orchid garden. My grandmother grew award winning orchids so I feel I am doing her proud with my little green house. (:
14 | When shit hits the fan the best thing to do is laugh about it over a big glass of wine and a cheese plate...and then eventually figure it out. Somehow the universe always has a way of keeping you on the right track just the way it was meant to be. It's okay to feel the stress but in a year, or even less, life may be in a complete different and better place and the stress of it wasn't even necessary. Life is gonna throw some curve balls so learning to catch em in style, wine and all, is the best way to a happier future.
15 | And finally, love yourself. Invest in the woman (or man!) you're becoming and love her so well. Do things daily that your future self will appreciate. Some things that I do for my future self are sticking to a sleep schedule, waking up early, working out, enjoying a cup of coffee, not over scheduling myself, sharing with others and you all here, binging Parks and Rec for the 8th time, loving on my sweetheart of a boyfriend, cooking dinner but sometimes ordering out, and drinking a glass of champagne at the end of a long but productive week.