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And just like that, I’m no longer a 20-something! (Insert terrified emoji here) But, seriously — That was one hell of a ride! From fraternity parties, to graduating college, moving downtown Chicago (on my own!) & getting my first ‘big girl job’ (Olive Garden not included) — Heartbreak, oh-so-much heartbreak & meeting my soon-to-be-husband. Finding my identity, and learning to love myself // These years brought an abundance of happiness & memories that I will forever cherish to my retirement home. (Ha!) They also brought a lot of sadness, and pain — Like, watching my mom lose her house through a heart-rending bankruptcy, and an agonizing divorce that shattered us all. But, if there’s anything I’ve learned during this decade: It’s determination. (Thanks, mom!)
Update: My mom just bought her own home in the happiest ending ever! We just moved her in last week: Eeeek!
30 LIFE LESSONS
In honor of the big 3-0 — I’m sharing 30 life lessons that I’ve picked up along the way! I’m certain that this year will be one for the books. I’m getting married! We’re also chatting kids (which is crazy exciting!) // I’ve always dreamt of being a mommy! There’s just so much to look forward to, and I can’t wait to see what the next 30 years bring! I’ve also got a few blogging updates/announcements that I’ll share soon!
- Love: You’ve got to fall in love with yourself first; Be your own best friend, and enjoy independence before you get into a relationship.
- You’ll find love again: Whew! Heartbreak is a bitch! Especially as you get older, it seems to hurt more and more. Relationships come and go, and with each one — we learn. If you’re fresh out of a breakup, it gets SO much better, and it always makes sense later on. Get back on the saddle, and put your best foot forward.
- Quality over Quantity: Something I wasn’t necessarily prepared for; you’ll say goodbye to countless friends/acquaintances throughout the years. Personally, these people didn’t fit into my lifestyle, or support my journey. But, they’ll always have a special place in my heart. (The memories will never fade!) As we grow older, we grow/change/adapt — Don’t take it personally, as everything happens for a reason.
- It always gets better: Life gets tough, but it always gets better. When everything feels ‘trapped’ and dark, it’ll pass. Promise.
- Travel more: There is so much of this beautiful world to see, and I definitely want to take advantage of it (before kids especially!) // It will help you realize that ‘life’ isn’t as bad as you make it sometimes — You’ll always find your way back home.
- Follow happy: Life is too short to be at a dead-end job you absolutely dread going to everyday. Guess what — You can do anything you want! If you’re unhappy with your current situation, do something about it. Quit. You’ll figure it out, but sometimes, that involves making erratic decisions to conquer your fears. (I did it!) YOLO.
- People will Talk: This past year was especially tough for me // Not everyone is going to like you, and I’ve learned to accept that. You can’t let the opinions of others bring you down; Use them as motivation for the ultimate determination. You’re better than that.
- Make time for the people you love: Careers, families, busy to-do lists — Always make time for the people you love, as it’s so easy to get lost in the daily shuffle. Keep making memories!
- Spread Love: Always spread love, it’s so much sweeter. There’s been countless situations in the blogging industry (and beyond) where people openly bash/judge one another. Girls, we’re better than that. We’re all worthy of success together.
- Buy fresh flowers: I’m serious — Fresh flowers are the answer to your bad day! They’re worth the mini-splurge!
- Never give up: My mom is a prime example of not giving up. When you’re dealt a hand of shitty-cards, what are you doing with it? Are you throwing the hand in, or doing everything in your power to change it? Be resilient, be courageous, be determined — You’ve totally got this!
- Pay off your debt: Yup, your credit scores will matter when you’re looking for a home. Spend within your means, and keep track of your credit-score. There’s no better feeling than being debt-free! (I’m only $1,000 away!)
- Put your phone away: I’m learning to spend less time on my phone & live in the moment. (Sorry, snapchat!) It’s not easy, but I’m definitely taking strides to improve my life.
- Talk to someone: Invest in a life-coach, or therapist. (Even if your life is going A-OK!) // It’s a great way to check-in with ‘yourself’ and improve your well-being.
- Wear sunscreen: Because, I’m currently burnt as I write this! Your skin will not be happy with you, protect it! Your older self will thank-you.
- Work smarter, not harder: Prioritize your time, and eliminate any distractions while you work. The ‘Four Hour Work Week’ is one of my favorite books, make sure to check it out! Seriously, life changing.
- Embrace the skin you’re in: Your body goes through a LOT of changes throughout your 20’s — Embrace it. Every inch, curve and bone.
- Positivity: It goes such a long way, always have a silver lining.
- Surround yourself with amazing: You are who you hangout with // Are the people in your life your biggest fan? Do they support you, and help you through the tough stuff? For many people in my life, the answer was no (hence the friend re-brand). Life is so much more enjoyable with laughter, and support. There’s so many good people out there. Find em!
- Workout: Workout, and keep your body active, it’s mentally/physically important. Those metabolisms don’t work like they used to!
- Embrace change: Embrace the changes that come your way, for that’s what makes life interesting and adventurous. Say no to boring!
- Confidence: Confidence will carry you through just about anything! From professional goals, to relationships — As you grow older, you just learn not to care anymore. All those other ‘opinions’ don’t mean a damn thing.
- Invest in quality: Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a bargain buy — But, lately: I’m learning to invest in quality pieces. These pieces will carry you through life (Chanel included!)
- Choose your time wisely: Yes, work is important, but so are the relationships in your life. Like I said above, life gets busy. Make sure you’re spending time with the people who matter to you. Utilize your time wisely, because as we grow older — it goes a ton faster! Am I right?!
- Experiences over things: Spend your money on memories, not things. When you look back at your life, what stands out most? A new bag, or that trip to San Francisco?
- Live in the present: Personally, I tend to live in the pretend ‘future’ at times, I’m learning to embrace the moment we’re in now. These moments are what matters, as we can’t tell the future.
- You’re doing the best you can: We’re our own worst critics, and I’m guilty of being very tough on myself. I’ve learned to accept where I am, no matter how tough that may be!
- Take time for yourself: It’s important to spend time with ourselves. Whether it’s diving into a new book, or taking a bath. Enjoy these little moments, as they’ll help center you.
- Comparison: Stop comparing yourself! Your timeline is different from the person next to you — It’s the thief of joy, and it’ll rob you countless times. You’re doing amazing! Remember that!
- Set goals: Something I should have done in my earlier years, but make sure you’re setting goals to hold yourself accountable and advance to the next level. Always push, and challenge yourself.