Ce’st Ca NY Lilac Tulle Skirt + 29 Things I learned in my 20’s. . .
I’ve talked about how terrified I was to turn 30 for months. I couldn’t believe that my 20’s were coming to a close. How did this happen? I had so much more I wanted to accomplish… So does this mean my body and skin are going to fall apart now? I know that sounds incredibly dramatic, but it was something I feared. We shot this last Thursday… and Luke said something that really stuck with me… and it helped me make the weekend a positive one. He said… “this is the time we start being taken seriously… and it’s the beginning of a new chapter. That’s good! Your twenties were not easy… aren’t you ready to close that chapter and move forward?”. Wow… I hadn’t thought about it that way. This is good. I should be excited.
My 20’s were incredibly hard. From a serious chain of scary events, bad relationships. moving A LOT, losing my Mom, and losing my grandfather… there were some serious hard times! I’m so glad that I was able to spend my late 20’s with Luke by my side… cheering me on and pushing me. He really changed my life. I also got to start this blog and turn it into a business. I developed relationships with other amazing ladies and my readers have been so kind and supportive of me. That is something to cherish and be proud of. It’s also just the foundation. We’re just getting started ya’ll!
The gals at C’est CA New York sent over this gorgeous lilac tulle skirt. I’m in love! It fits so incredibly well and the length is perfect! I’m 5’4″ and I’ve tried some in the past that just didn’t hit in the right places! This one is gorgeous and they have a TON of other color options! They also have a bridal collection that is so pretty! I wish that I’d found them before my wedding! I paired it with the cutest dress I’ll have up this week! It just looked too cute together. So you get a sneak peek now. Paired with my new favorite shoes from Asos this was the perfect look for my birthday. Just because you go over the 30-hump doesn’t mean things have to get boring! I’ll probably be rocking tulle well through my 30’s and I have no shame!
I thought it would be fun to share a couple of posts to recap my 20’s and preview my 30’s. I wanted to share some lessons I learned in my 20’s. I think we all have a story worth sharing and I hope some of this helps you either through some similar situations, or helps you to avoid them altogether.
Take the risk: I spent so much of my 20’s in fear.. fear of the unknown, what other people would think, fear of failure… you name it! I held back and didn’t chase my dreams when I should have. This isn’t a known fact, but I actually started a blog in 2011. Way before starting this one. Literally NO ONE was blogging at the time that I knew… so I knew it would be perceived as weird… so I didn’t pursue it. That is at the top of my regrets list. JUST GO FOR IT!
Stop caring so much: I spent so much of my life caring… what did other people think, what did they want me to do, and worst of all… who did they want me to be? Truth is, I focused so much on this I lost little pieces of myself along the way. I think this also affected my friendships and relationships. It’s kind of hard to find the right people to center yourself with when the relationships aren’t really based on who you are. I wish sometimes that I could go back and do it over. I would focus more on those people who liked me for the real me, and I would forget the ones I had to try so hard for. No wonder my anxiety went through the roof during this time period… TOO MUCH PRESSURE!
Don’t waste your time on people who wouldn’t waste theirs on you: That may sound harsh, but it’s true. I learned even more about this this past weekend. Learn who your real friends are. They’re the ones who go out of their way and show up for you even when it isn’t convenient for them. They’re the ones that give you friendship without expecting something back from you. They’re the people that don’t say they’re “too busy” or flake on you at the last minute. They’re the ride or dies. I think I’ve finally learned who those people are. I feel like a weight has been lifted.
Love Yourself: I have spent so much time thinking if I’m skinnier, or my skin is clearer, or I make this much money, or have this… I will be enough. Here’s the thing… I am enough. When you realize that and focus your energy on what you love… you shine. You actually thrive. This past year has really shown me that.
Save, Save, Save: It’s no secret that I love to shop, but I never really understood the importance of saving. I could seriously slap myself for not taking more initiative to save during my 20’s when I was making really great money and had minimal expenses. Put that 20% back and save those bonuses! I’m actually obsessed with watching savings grow now… and man does that make you feel more comfort knowing that when things come up, you’re good.
Work isn’t the most important thing: This is such a big one! Wow! I missed out on so much in my 20’s. Things I can’t get back. All because I worked ALL THE TIME. Seriously. Work hard ya’ll, but don’t miss Christmases, birthdays, important moments… just don’t. You can’t get them back.
Pace Yourself: I have always had an all or nothing mentality when it comes to most things. I want to run… I must run marathons… I want this… so I have to get the best… it goes on and on! Pacing yourself is so important. You can’t finish the race if you don’t pace yourself. You will become way to worn down. I’ve found myself doing this over and over… when if I had just started slow and kept on going I would have already crossed the finish line.
Your Dreams are within Reach (with a little work): If you want something… you can do it. I think people forget that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Most successful people didn’t start out that way. Many celebrities and even A-list bloggers came from incredibly humble beginnings. Most were very poor. They built what they have with hustle… and you can hustle too!
SLEEP: OMG. Sleep is the cure for all. Don’t skimp on it. I can’t tell you how many hours I missed because I was working some crazy schedule, driving way too far to commute, or just suffering from serious anxiety that made it hard to sleep. SLEEP IS A MUST! You can’t go without sleep!
Skincare is a Necessity: If you have an affection for the finer things in life… start with skincare. A cute pair of shoes will only go so far. Your skin is your largest organ… and it takes a lot to keep it looking good. Skip the shoes, buy the moisturizer! Also see your dermatologist regularly!
Steer Clear of the tanning bed!: I talked about this recently, but I used to go almost every single day. YEP. You heard that right. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. What? It’s so bad ya’ll. Sunless tanner has come leaps and bounds. Just opt for a spray tan or do it at home. Seriously. Your skin is going to scream thank you! SPF is yo friend!
Breathe: You have to relax. Just breathe it out. It’s so funny to me to look back at things that I thought were legit ending my world. Learn this: every single thing happens for a reason. That boy was not right for you, those friends were not supposed to be in your life, money will work itself out. Just do your best and breathe! It will all be okay!
Major in what you like to do, but can also make into a career: Most of my friends are in the same boat as me. We majored in something we were “passionate” about. Well… I’m here to tell you that a degree in something that you can’t make lucrative… isn’t a good idea. I majored in fashion merchandising and minored in marketing and spanish… the issue? I went to a state school in TN with limited internship opportunities or any career guidance. I needed lucrative internship and that didn’t happen for me. That results in you going into a pool of millions who did them and went to bigger and better schools. I highly DO NOT recommend doing that. Plan it out, get counsel from someone in the field. Be wise and choose a career you LOVE. You will need to… You’ll be there more than you will be anywhere else.
Don’t fear being alone: I was always so scared to be alone. TBH I always had a boyfriend. Always. I wish I had taken more time to just learn who I was and what I liked. You don’t need someone else to be happy. You simply need to love yourself… the rest will fall into place.
PUT JESUS FIRST!: I, like many, was not as involved in church activities during college. I wholeheartedly regret that. I will say though, even though I wasn’t as active… my sorority led some amazing women in my life… and since our entire history was based on Christian values… I got a good dose there. After college I was able to focus back. Even though things were not always easy… when I turned my heart to Christ for the answers I was searching for or the comfort I needed, he always delivered. Always. Put Jesus first, the rest will work out.
Stop Stressing: This is a little me, and a little anxiety. I stress over EVERY. LITTLE. THING. It doesn’t help.. it makes the issue worse! Just relax and come up with a game plan. Stop saying what if… if you are constantly willing bad things to happen, they will! Just be positive and make lemonade out of the lemons life hands you!
Be Picky when it comes to dating: I never really dated losers. Honestly… I didn’t! I just dated guys who just were not right for me. They were either too controlling, not supportive, too self involved, or we just didn’t have enough in common. I would turn those situations into me thinking that I wasn’t good enough… fact is; neither of us were… for each other!
Prioritize your family: This came full circle last Spring when I lost my Pop. I always thought he would be there. He was my Hercules. He was invincible! Well, he wasn’t. I remember the last time I was there to visit for actual quality time. I split my time between being with them and going to NYFW for a couple days. I would give anything to go back and do it over. I would have stayed there or just lengthened my trip. Don’t take time with your family for granted. Soak up all you can.
Be careful with Birth Control: For some this may be TMI, but I keep it real here. I never took birth control until I was about to graduate college. My mom was very concerned about my health as I was coming off my step-dad’s insurance (we didn’t get the 26 grace period then…) so she asked if I would get an IUD so that I could ensure that I had my career established and was married before I had kids. Not like it was a major issue or anything… I wasn’t planning to have kids, I was actually engaged at the time, and always in a committed relationship… she was just worried. She wanted better for me than what she had at my age. I now wish I had investigated more… I didn’t have a period for 5 years. While my IUD was copper and non-hormonal… which I thought was good, it was still UN-natural to not have a period…. and I’m now seeing the aftermath of that trying to regulate my cycle and have a baby of my own. Educate yourself before you take any sort of birth control. That’s from real life experience!
Stop living in the past: I struggle a lot with this. I feel a lot of guilt from losing my mother in such a tragic way (will be talking about this soon). I beat myself up for a long time and turned to my eating disorder to deal with it. You have to learn that what was.. is. You can’t time machine it back and make things different. You have to move on… and if you made a mistake, make better decisions in the future. Living in the past will do nothing but make you miserable no matter the situation. It’s better to just move on.
Have fun!: I have had a job since I was 16. I worked A LOT. In college I had multiple jobs. I usually worked over 40 hours each week… and I didn’t have to. I did get some help from my family, but I also had grants and scholarships and actually got paid to go to school… so IDK why I felt the need to work so much. I definitely wish I could go back and do it all again. I would have scaled back to make sure that college was all it could have been… instead of a blur of rushing from place to place and not always being able to give 100%.
Say No: If you don’t want something… politely say no. If you don’t want to go on that date… politely say no. If you have too much going on… politely say no. Stop saying yes to everything! It takes away from you doing your best and being your best. Always remember: “You can do ANYTHING, but you can’t do EVERYTHING.” Say yes to the things you really should do and really want to do. It will make life much easier!
Spend time getting to know yourself: That may seem a little odd, but trust me. You need to take some time and figure yourself out. Who are you? What do you want to do with your life? What makes you happy? Even down to food choices I think your 20’s are all about self-discovery. You need to know those things to really thrive. For me? I don’t really like your generic radio content… I like alternative. I love watching teen shows (guilty pleasure) like Secret Life of the American Teenager and Pretty Little Liars, but documentaries are my fave. I like to sleep with the TV on. I hate when socks, bra straps, or underwear show (pet peeve). I love indian food. Meat is gross to me. I hate being the the car when not driving. The last seat on the plane was not made for me (I get crazy clostrophobic!). I learned these things and so much more in my 20’s.
Don’t wait for tomorrow: Don’t put things off that you can do now for later. If you need to go to the gym… go. If you have a dream to start a business… jump start that action plan today and set a launch date. Want to be a blogger… it takes like 15 minutes to start one… seriously. Don’t think time or days on your calendar will always be there. Who wants to wake up at 50 and realize they missed out on an opportunity? I can’t count myself in on that team, but I do put things off way more than I should.
Splurge on staples, save on the rest: Stick to timeless pieces that will last forever to invest in. Save on trendy items. Otherwise you are really wasting money. Don’t spend tons of money on items you won’t wear more than once. Use Rent the Runway for special events… just stop wasting money. Save that money for a nice bag or some amazing jeans that fit you like a glove. It’s way better that way, I promise!
Work out!: Even if you hate working out, find something you like to do for physical activity. I have been so bad at this the last few years… it’s tough when your schedule is all over the place. Plan it out so you can get your exercise. Your body, your skin, and your mind will seriously thank you.
Drink Water: I’m probably starting to sound like I’m in mom-mode here, but for real! If I could change one thing in my 20’s routine it would be water! I never drank enough. Hydrate all day, after working out, and before you go to sleep. It makes SUCH a big difference in how you look and how you feel! Bye bye dark under eye circles! (yep… dehydration is the main culprit for those gems!)
Simplify: This is still a daily work in progress, but man does simplification make a world of difference. From cleaning out the clutter, to making processes easier, to planning out meals and activities: simplifying your life will change everything for the better and make your life so much easier. Even the tiniest things like saving presets for editing my photos have rocked my world the last few months. Keep it simple, ya’ll!
“Buy the shoes”: If you want something… work for it… and then get it. I remember when I bought my first Louis Vuitton. It was such an amazing experience. I felt so accomplished. If you want nice things… you gotta work girl. Work, hustle, repeat. While you don’t have to go in overdrive 24/7, anything amazing in life takes work. That doesn’t happen from the couch. Don’t be envious of women who have nicer things than you… they worked for it girl!
Shop the Look:
So here we go… cheers to 30! May this be the best chapter yet! I really do have a feeling it will be! Stay Tuned!