Kissing the early twenties goodbye! 😘
With every year that passes, each birthday we celebrate serves as a reminder of how quickly life moves. As my birthday approaches, I always feel that it is important to reflect on the moments that brought me closer to the big day once again. So much happens in one year, and it is amazing to consider all of the things that you experienced, the trials you faced, the people you met, and the unexpected events that you now cherish.
Every year, for a few weeks leading up to the big day (my birthday) , I face a variety of emotions . First, I come to the subtle realization that life does indeed move quicker the older you get, then a wave of excitement once party planning begins, and then suddenly I find myself curled up in bed in tears on the eve of the big day. Don't ask me why, but when the clock ticks midnight, I'm a big emotional ball of uncertainty.
For me, each birthday represents a sort of closure for the year also. (The big day is December 26th, in case you didn't know.) As the year comes to a close, and I get closer to the day that I will start counting my age backwards (LOL), I start to reflect on how I got to this point. The end of each year, and the beginning of a new chapter in my own life always reminds me of how much has changed. Despite all of the ups and downs, the tears, the break ups, the losses, the excitement, and life's surprises, I have made it. Another year of lessons, of challenges, and of accomplishments. I always want to tell myself that each year is going to be the best year yet. The greatest thing of all? Each year has only gotten better and better.
Looking back over just the last few years of my early twenties, I have accomplished many great things, faced many emotional struggles, and discovered a stronger, more motivated, and passionate version of myself.
See ya 25.
In all honesty, the early twenties were a bit crazy. I faced my first major loss of a loved one, my first big break up, graduated college with three degrees, and started my own business. I started out as a shy insecure young girl, and grew into an intelligent, strong-willed, confident, woman. It was not the easiest road or a painless process, but it was exactly what I needed. You don't know it at the time, but the lessons you are learning along the way will be very valuable in the years to come.
In the moments where the pain is at it's worst and you don't feel like you can take it any longer, that's when you must push. That is when you learn new things about yourself, and when you begin to grow and change. As we get older, we fear change. We fear that growth will take us out of our comfort zone and thrust us into an unknown world of possibilities. We are correct, but what we don't realize at first is that when this happens, new doors will open, and we will seek new opportunities that we would never have before.
P.S. I love you.
Let's talk about loss. I have lost a few family members over the years, but nobody as special or as close to my heart as my grandmother. She was, and still is, my favorite person, my inspiration, and a strong influence on who I am today. A lot of who I am today can be attributed to her and the countless hours we would spend together learning, playing, and growing. My grandmother was not a perfect person by any means, but she lived a life that I still admired. She did not give in to what others wanted her to do, she stood her ground, she was strong and brave, and best of all, stubborn as hell, just like me no doubt. This was a woman that belonged to a generation of do it yourselfers, and was never anything short of care free and wild. This lifestyle did not always lead to the best outcomes, but through watching her face the trials of life, I learned so much about living the right way. Losing someone who was so influential in your life does one of two things, it tears you down, or it pushes you to pick up the pieces and keep going. I did take quite an emotional hit after her passing, but always being resilient just like she was, I was back to working hard and finishing all of the goals that she watched me start, in no time at all. Here's to hoping that she is peacefully resting somewhere high above cheering me on like she always did.
Love yourself first.
Now let's talk about love. I'm no expert, but I have definitely had my share of heartbreak. I've had the intense crushes, the unrequited "love", and the two weeks of whirlwind dates that lead to nothing. In between that, I also had one experience that was not like the rest. In a matter of months somewhere between 22 and 23, I quickly learned that there is indeed a difference between love and infatuation. There is a difference between being obsessed with someone and caring for someone. There is a difference between loving someone and not wanting to lose them, and needing someone because you don't think you can be on your own without them.
My tip: Never believe that you cannot live without someone. You can.
My greatest love lessons learned? Always know that you can be alone, you can love yourself even if someone else does not love you, and your worth is not determined by how someone else views you, or how they feel about you. Boy did I make the mistake of letting someone else bring me down, determine my worth, and shatter my world all because of...love? No my dear friends, that is not love. Love does not tear you down, it doesn't break you, and it doesn't leave you begging for who you used to be when it's all over. Real love at least.
So what did the early twenties teach me about love?
Wait to date until your thirties. 😜
Just kidding!!! 😂
What it actually taught me, is that no matter how old you are, no matter how much you try, how much experience you have, or how much love you have to give, you cannot force someone to love you back. That's a lesson for everyone to learn.
Just Google it...
Let's bring this back to a more positive note. Well, if you can consider mountains of homework, crashed computers, and enough tears to fill an entire ocean, positive. 🤷🏼♀️ If you did not guess already, I am talking about college. A big LOL. 🤣 Seriously though, if you have ever attended college, you know that no matter how studious you are, how prepared you feel, or how much you love your major, it's going to have it's rough days. FYI, I have three degrees in IT related areas. My greatest accomplishment of my college career was receiving my Master's degree. Now before I make it all sound like the worst experience of my life, it was definitely worth all of the frustration, all of the nightmares that I was going to forget to turn in my papers on time, and all of the times that Microsoft Word so conveniently crashed when I was done with page 14. 🤦🏼♀️ It isn't just about the piece of paper, like most people might think, but what completing college in my early twenties taught me, was that I could do anything I set my mind to. I could kick and scream and cry ,and still get up and rewrite all 14 of those lost pages. I could miss an assignment, and the world would not end. I could complain about the late nights, the unread chapters, the lack of a social life, and still reach the ultimate goal at the end. I learned hard work, perseverance, and the art of bullshit. Whoops, did I say that? Yes, a lot of college work teaches you how to say the right things, and Google the right things, but the funny thing is, the more you think you are bullshitting, the more you are actually learning. Crazy how that works right?
College does actually somewhat prepare you for life, and I don't just mean by teaching you how to master the art of drinking endless amounts of coffee without having an actual heart attack. 😂 I mean that all of that unnecessary homework and seemingly useless math ( my personal enemy LOL) teaches you a lot about yourself. It teaches you how strong you can be, how dedicated you can be, and how Google will always be there in your time of need (very important to remember that one! 😉) Thank you college for driving me insane, and singlehandedly killing my social life in my early twenties. Who am I kidding, I never really wanted one. I am bit of a homebody. 🤷🏼♀️😜
Trust, listen, dream, love...
Of all of the things that I have learned over the last few years, a few of my favorite things to remember are:
Listen to your gut.
Never give up.
You are enough.
Each day is a fresh start.
You control your happiness. ( Truly)
Chase your dreams no matter how scary it is.
True love cannot be forced.
Family is everything.
The sound of the ocean waves and the sand between your toes cures anything.
Life moves FAST.
Don't take anything or anyone for granted.
Enjoy the little things.
P.S. I didn't copy and paste these from Pinterest. This is my life. 😉
These are just a few of my favorite recent photos/memories. There are way too many good times to share over the last few years, and I have been so beyond blessed with amazing friends, family, opportunities, and memories!
⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️
The most important lesson of all? Just love your life. All of it. Every messy, exciting, complicated, day of it. You never know when it will all be gone.
Here's to the next chapter of my twenties. I know they are going to be the best years yet. 😉🎉