On this 30th trip around the sun, I have been reflecting on my 20s, and all the incredible building blocks that have happened- whether it was a blessing in disguise or a hard learned lesson- my 20s have established so much of my life and will continue to hold value for the rest of my time on this Earth.
I got to thinking about what advice I'd give myself in retrospect, and figure I'd write them in a blog. So this one goes out to all of you 20-something-year-olds.
Listen to your heart and intuition
We have all heard it before, but we all disregard it like a pebble in the sand. Listen to your heart and follow your intuition. Manyyy many times I had gut feelings about something- whether for good or for bad. Too many to list, and I don't want to keep you here all day.
Your internal reactions to opportunities is so very important. Listen to it. If you are asked to go out and you're not feeling it/ something feels off- don't go. If you are asked into someone's home and for whatever reason you don't feel safe- leave. If you stumble upon a new job opportunity and you just feel like you need to go for it, you go and do it. You owe NO ONE explanations on why you do what you do. You listen to your intuition, your gut, and your heart and do what is best for you.
2. It's okay to not fit in.
Going off the last one- even if doing something that feels right to you leaves you as an outcast- own it. You were not born to fit in- you were born to be a leader. Unfortunately/fortunately in your 20s, people show their true colors and you might lose some friendships. Growing up is hard, but if you feel like a friendship (or even a relationship) is based on the wrong things, let it go.
If you like to wear your grandpa's hand-me-down sweatshirts then do it. And own it and don't you DARE apologize for it because if something makes you happy and feel good, then there's nothing to apologize for. Someone once said we are all slowly decaying meat sacks- decorate yours the way you want, not what anyone else does. I love that so much.
Something I am personally drawn to as a mission (in the works!!) is helping change in the fashion industry to be more inclusive, less judgy, and less destructive. We are constantly consuming ads about how to be beautiful and brilliant and model-like. And it is not fair. We are human. We have beautiful flaws, come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and we should embrace it and love ourselves for who we are, not what the media tells us to be. Fill out your every inch and learn to love the incredible things your body is.
Another thing- say you are at a party and everyone has been drinking then decide to leave and you personally do not feel comfortable, don't buy into that peer pressure. Your peace of mind is worth SO MUCH MORE than being "cool" and following the crowd.
3. Mornings are Magical
Oftentimes, we try to please everyone. We meet deadlines for work, be polite day in and day out, go out with friends, give a listening ear to others when they are stressed, and constantly put ourselves on the back burner time and time again juggling 100 things at once. Try and start a morning routine to give yourself time for you. You can't keep pouring from an empty bucket- you need to fill yourself up with time alone to reflect, to sit easy, or just to get away from the noise. That resetted mindset means more than you know, and will help you carry on with the crazy busy days life throws at you.
4. Call someone you love at LEAST once a week
The comforting sound of your best friends voice, your sibling laughing, or your parent giving you guidance will help with anxiety and stress. I just learned this one a few months ago (I still was 29 so it counts!!). When you feel stressed out and anxious and like, everything in the world is going wrong, think about someone who- in your eyes- even if they failed majorly- they could never do wrong by you. For me, it's my longtime Best friend Casey, my momma, and my brothers. I know if I ever need a good chuckle and melt some anxiety, I could call any of them.
5. Yes, you should get that dog/cat
ONLY if you keep them furever and give that animal all the sweet love and treats possible. Having a companion is important. I couldn't imagine coming home without a greeting at the door by Onyx. She makes my day every day and makes things better. She will sit with me when I am sad, get hyped with me when I'm excited, and is overall a good girl. Plus! She's my responsibility- which builds more life lessons. So if you need some company- instead of opening up Tinder, maybe open up adopt a pet instead! Also, when you find someone special in your life, pets can be pretty damn good at reading people. Our pets listen to their intuition; We should trust them on that! And if your dog is grumbling at your latest fling, maaaaybe stop seeing them.
6. You will make it through this. You really truly will.
Being in your 20s is hard work. It's usually a time where you are dating, buying your first home, figuring out your career, trying to start a new business, finding your style, and discovering the things in life that bring you endless amount of joy AND endless amounts of pain. But be certain with every storm, you are becoming stronger meaning the next one won't be so tough. And when it feels like nothing is working and everything is messed up, remember what you've already been through and how you conquered that. And if that STILL doesn't do it- I personally invite you to message me to talk about it. I'm all ears and always here to help one way or another.
7. Growth is NOT linear. Growth is NOT materialized.
We get so caught up in comparing where we are in life to where other people are- we are alllllwaaaays comparing and trapped in the comparison game, and we need to STOP and realize our growth is not the same as others. Tradition says, "there's a pattern you should follow," but I say EFF that pattern! Who said walking to the beat of your own drum is wrong? Definitely not me! There are so many successful individuals who left everything they had to start over- and that is fine. You CAN start over if it's best for you. You can have a baby and not be married. You can have a gr