Today I turn 29. Twenty eight flew by and was a year of learning for me. I look back and am in awe of how much i've emotionally matured in the last 365 days. I went through some ups and downs and have learned so much. I want to share some of my biggest learnings.
Being single is ok
This past year most of my friends either got in to a serious relationship, moved in with their significant other, got engaged, or married.. some even had kids. It’s totally normal for people to ask me if I’m seeing anyone, and then I get sucked in to a conversation about it. To be super honest with you guys, I was in a relationship for a while & after that I had to do a bit of soul searching to find out what I really want for ME. This year I also realized so many people are in relationships that aren’t healthy or positive; relationships are work & if you’re in it with the wrong person it can be super tough. I soul searched a lot this year so if/when I do meet the right person, I’m a completely happy me on my own before I jump in to anything. It’s super key to have a happy relationship with YOU before you commit yourself to a relationship with someone else.
Comparing yourself to others is dream crushing
We live in a time where social media never turns off. We’re on our phones 24/7 & if you’re a guy or a girl it doesn’t matter, you’re being marketed towards. Social media makes you think you need that persons car, designer bag or lavish life. I got to know a few “big named people” this year and when I got to know them more, I realized how normal and not-so-amazing their real lives vs social media lives actually are. People portray themselves the way they want to be seen, it doesn’t mean that’s how they truly are. When I learned how to consciously work on not comparing myself to others (I’m not perfect, it still happens sometimes), I realized how great my life actually is.
Weeding out “bad eggs” in your friend group is necessary
I vividly remember a conversation I had with my mom when I was in high school balling my eyes out telling her how mean a friend was being. Her response has stuck with me ever since. She said, “Thea your friends will come and go, you don’t need a lot of friends to be happy. You just need good friends”. At the time I didn’t believe her, I was/am a social butterfly and I love having tons of friends. I learned over time and especially this year that I need just a few amazing friends and that makes me happy. The friends I want in my life are the type of friends that insist on picking you up from the airport instead of you taking an Uber. The friends that listen when you’ve had a bad day, and then follow up to see how you’re doing a few days later. Friends who you show up for you in both your worst moments and your best. This year I found out who those friends are.
Loving your body is hard, but you are strong
Everyone has insecurities. We all have moments where we wish we could change something about ourselves and that’s totally normal. Loving yourself in spite of your insecurities, however, is tough. This year I realized by being open about my body and the ups and downs I’ve been through, I was able to release so much negative energy I was holding towards myself. I can now talk about weight gain, weight loss, dieting, eating donuts and everything in between and be 100% open and comfortable with it. It’s hard to get to a place like this and I’m so grateful to be in a self-love space.
Not knowing your path is ok too
So many people ask me “so you like your job, but what’s next?”. Sometimes it’s ok to 1. Put people in their place and 2. Not know. I’ve had to tell people that I’m happy with where I’m at and not sure where I’m going, and that’s ok. People want you to not be content. If you are happy people want to know what will make you more happy & if you’re sad people want you to figure it out. It’s all good stuff to be thinking about, but it’s also ok to not know. You don’t have to know what you want to do 5 years from now. We live in a generation where we have more opportunities than ever to do whatever we want, so for now be ok with knowing that if you’re not sure right now you’ll figure it out soon enough.
Venting is necessary
I am a talker. I vent all the time to my friends and family on my late night walks (bless their hearts). I’m the type of person who needs to talk things out or they will eat me up. Venting is one of my ways I release stress and anxiety. When I talk things out, I am able to gather my thoughts & come up with solutions to my problems. I try to vent to friends outside of work (and one friend who I can trust at work), so when I do decide to deal with things head on I’m certain about what I want to say. Venting and even talking to a therapist a few times when I didn't want to burden my friends helped me so much & this year I realize how much those people listening helped me grow. I’m extremely grateful.
Own your shit
This one was for sure the toughest for me this year. Realizing that I’m not perfect & I make mistakes can be a hard thing to own and accept. This year was humbling to say the least, but I’m also so so grateful for making the mistakes I did. I felt pretty down on myself for a few weeks & I was being really hard on myself, but by being honest with myself and deciding that things are in my power to fix I grew a ton. I really started cutting things out that weren’t serving me & feel like I gained a whole new sense of self. Once you can face your wrongdoings in the eye and acknowledge them, you can start planning a life that you're more proud of.
Saying yes to everything is fun, but saying no to some things is necessary. I am the yes girl. I will literally book myself to go to 3 events in one day so I don’t let anyone down. What I realized this year is that it was draining me. I was so focused on making others happy and saying yes to them, that I was actually at the same time saying no to myself. I had to change things towards the end of this year and practice saying no to things that would be too much or drain me. Funny enough, despite what my mind was telling me originally, my friends were so cool and understanding about it.
Material things won't make you happy
I’m a blogger. I love to shop & I love nice things. There is for sure a slippery slope we can go down to just want to buy buy buy. Consuming so much isn’t cool though & I started working on this because I realized whether I’m wearing a $10 Old Navy shirt or a $80 Anthropologie shirt, no one cares. No seriously, people don’t care how nice your stuff is. People care way more about how you style your life than how you spend money on it. You can go to a thrift store and find an amazing holiday outfit for $20 or you can go buy a whole new look at Nordstrom’s for $200 and no one will be able to tell the difference but you. So many bloggers I know have $7,000 purses, $800 boots and fancy cars, but I realized this year I could really give two shits about having those things. I’d rather spend my money on a trip, on a nice experience with friends or in my savings.
It's been so nice to reflect on all that i've learned this year. I can't wait to see how twenty nine treats me.