To be completely honest, this was the first birthday I didn’t think too much about. Every year I envision a huge BASH but adulting this year hit HARD and there came a point the day before my birthday when my dad said, “I hope to talk to you tomorrow” I thought “What’s tomorrow?”
What I have made time for is to reflect. The good, the bad and the ugly. And overall, good things BUT things I have learned from and grown because of it, and moments that at a later point in time, I realized continue to keep me grounded. SO. If I could share my most important reflections looking back at 26 and heading into 27, these would be it:
Don’t feel like you have to be at a certain point in your life by a certain age in order to keep up or fit in. This one was TOUGH for me to accept for the longest time, but after changing my attitude and turning it into a positive, I now know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
I used to think I needed to be at a certain level within my job, I needed to have a certain number of followers, I needed to be married by a certain age! Wrong wrong and WRONG. Levels at work do NOT matter because you have to love what you do first and foremost and the rest will fall into place. Evaluate your goals, where you want to be and how you are going to get there and stay on that path, and good things will follow.
Followers? I don’t care anymore and it isn’t a thing. When I reach out to brands and they respond with “they have a threshold or minimum follower count” I respond politely but note that my actual numbers and my effort and time dedicated to make sure this partnership benefits both the brand and myself is noticeably more than those with a higher follower number. This doesn’t apply to everyone I know, but what I do know is that I am my own brand and I have to advocate for myself and what I am advocating is true and polite. I am not going to stop going after top tier brand partnerships because while “small” on paper, I know I can do it.
Marriage. Ask me 4 years ago and I would have told you I wanted to be married by 27 and have kids by 29. Fast forward to the present and I comfortable with myself and my relationship to not rush marriage – and so is Bill! I love Bill deeply, and I know he loves me. We both want kids around 33 and being “older” parents doesn’t scare us one bit. We are so driven in our jobs and want to do so much before children, we know the time will come and are comfortable with waiting.
Continue to remind yourself that social media is not reality. I have pushed myself to think outside the box and be creative with my posts because that is who I am – but does that mean that it is reality? No chance. I am the same person on social media as I am in person, but if something makes you doubt yourself (this happens to me all the time), jealous or honestly just disheartened, please know that there is ALWAYS more to the story and there is so much more to a person beyond a photo or video. They are only showing you a part of their life.
Cherish the little moments. Drinking wine with friends, taking in the flowers on your walk to work, laughing until it HURTS. You know the moments I am talking about and trust me when I encourage you to cherish them. These are truly the moments that are going to stick and impact you in ways you don’t even realize! I encourage you to put your phone away, look up, and enjoy the moments that are in the NOW because that is what is most important.
Quality over quantity. My early 20s are light years different than my mid-twenties and one thing that is noticeable and NORMAL is your friend group gets smaller. I used to think this was a bad thing but over the past few years, it is honestly so refreshing to have quality people in my life and I accept the fact that not all people are going to support you and love you forever. This is OK because as you get older, the time you have to give to others becomes more and more slim due to the fact of growing up, but the people who stand by you and support you no matter what, are the quality friends you never want to let go of. I love my friends and would do anything for them, and I know they would do the same for me.
So! If you are in your mid-twenties, I need you to know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, know that social media is NOT reality but cherish those little moments that come your way. Oh, and hug those quality friends extra close.
27 is nothing but a number right? Clinking my wine glass to yours – and cheers to the year ahead.