Happy birthday to me! Today marks another year added to the craziness that is my life, and I couldn’t be more excited! For my birthday, Nha Khanh offered to let me play princess for a day in this stunning dress from their Ready-To-Wear Spring/Summer 2016 collection, and even though it’s definitely a diversion from my usual style, I think a birthday is as good of an occasion as any to play dress up, and even so, I could never stray too far from my sartorial aesthetic… hello, suede leather jacket!
With just a couple years of my 20s left, I’m starting to be a little more reflective about my experiences of the past few years. It’s crazy how quickly time flies, and when it think about it, it’s even crazier to remember all of the things I’ve gone through in just 10 years! Just like any other young adult, I’m still figuring things out along the way, but I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to share 20 things I would tell my 20-year old self… even though I can’t go back in time and change things, hopefully they’ll inspire you!
- Trust your process. Life is crazy and unexpected at every single turn, and there’s absolutely no way you’ll ever be in the same place (financially, professionally, emotionally, etc.) as your peers all the time. Spend less time comparing yourself to others, and more time working on yourself… trusting that everything will be okay in the end. Because it will be!
- You may never want to admit it, but your parents are always right.
- Go to the gym and eat healthy — start taking care of yourself now!
- Everything happens for a reason. I know, it sounds so cliché, but it’s true. I’ve tried to turn every experience in my life into a lesson, and it’s really helped me see things differently — even when things didn’t turn out the way I hoped they would.
- There’s no easy path to get to where you want to be, and there will always be someone better than you. Keep working hard!
- Never apologize for what you feel, and never let anyone invalidate your intuition. Your life and experiences are yours… don’t let someone else rewrite your story.
- Traveling is ALWAYS worth the money spent. Bonus points if it’s a solo trip!
- That thing you’ve always wanted to to… do it now. You won’t regret it.
- If he (or she) wants to leave, let them. Losing friends and ending relationships is hard, but you know what’s worse? Bending over backwards to keep someone around when they don’t value you.
- Invest in yourself and what you believe in. Whether it’s your time or your money, start putting it where your heart is — it’s the most rewarding feeling!
- Don’t be afraid to say no or change your mind. But also, don’t be afraid to say YES to new experiences!
- Never stop learning!
- Quality over quantity is key — especially when it comes to shoes, cocktails, friends… and calories.
- You learn a lot about yourself when you’re alone, so always remember to take some “me time” — love yourself, forgive yourself and learn to enjoy your own company.
- Navigating post-college friendships will probably be one of the most eye-opening experiences you’ll ever have in your 20s. As you start your journey as an independent adult, you’ll probably realize that your friendships will change… drastically. Know that it’s OK to let people go, especially if they bring unnecessary negative energy to your life.
- Family is everything — even on my shittiest day, I cannot believe how blessed I am to have such an amazing support system in my parents and siblings!
- Pursue real happiness over “things”. Material wealth is great to have (who doesn’t like nice things?), but it won’t bring you true happiness.
- The right person for you will empower you to be exactly who you are, without needing to be perfect all the time. Drop the act!
- Trust your gut. If it feels a little “off” or “too good to be true” it most likely is.
- Nobody’s got it all figured out. Just do your best and enjoy the ride!
I still have a couple more years in my 20s to go, but as I’m starting a brand new journey around the sun today, I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to reflect on how far I’ve come and how EVERY experience I’ve been through — both good and bad — have shaped me into the person I am right now. I’m especially grateful to my family and true friends, who are making my life a more enriching experience every single year… and of course, I’m thankful to YOU for following along right along with me. THANK YOU! xx
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shot by: Udee B.