21 Thoughts on Turning 21
Celebrated my 21st birthday amidst a CRAZY busy week last week.
Some friends and I went to an Austin restaurant and bar called Grizzelda’s for cocktails, food, and this AMAZING cake made for me by Hailey Shuster (insta: @cakesbyhayshu).
The whole week got me thinking about how much I’ve grown in the last few years and all I’ve learned from it. After seeing Taylor Swift’s amazing Elle article, I decided to compile a few thoughts of my own to bid 20 farewell…
Traveling brings me immense joy. It surpasses just about any tangible gift anyone could give me. I’ve learned that I get incredibly claustrophobic when I stay in the same place for too long, so getting out anywhere is a huge breath of fresh air. Some of my favorite trips I’ve been on were to Paris, Salem (on Halloween!), Denver, Newport Beach, DC, and Chicago. I could go on and on!
It’s okay to let go of people in your life. There are toxic relationships and friendships, and they can take huge tolls on you. People can be your best friend one day and not the next. And that’s okay. I’ve moved around so many times, and the best ones will always stick around. We’re all on our own personal journeys.
A girl’s night is the best medicine. Wine? The Bachelor? Catching up on drama that isn’t relevant to you? Its truly the perfect combo.
In my experience, everything happens for a reason. I lean on my faith and spirituality and it has gotten me through so many hard trials in life. This mindset keeps me going in the best and worst of times. Even if something doesn’t seem relevant to you, it could ripple into someone else’s life. Looking back on times where I was so angry at the world, I can see how those moments made me who I am and got me where I am today.
Call your grandparents. Call your parents. Tell them you love them. Don’t take advantage of the time you have, because you never know how long that’ll be.
Don’t waste your money on cheap quality clothes and shoes if you can. Invest in one or two items a month that will last you forever. Your feet don’t change sizes. Owning a few nice go-to pairs of shoes makes your life SO much easier.
You can change your mind. This applies to so many things. Take from it what you will.
Set aside twenty minutes of your day to read something you love for FUN. It will take you on so many adventures. I like to sneak in my minutes on the bus, when I’m nannying, and right before bed.
Don’t let the thought of doing something alone keep you from doing it. I’m such an introvert, but I want to do SO MANY THINGS. All the time. People are busy, and I never want to let the fear of doing something alone keep me from living my best life!
If you don’t know it by midnight, you don’t know it. Or, just go to sleep and pick up where you left off in the morning. Your brain can’t function when your body is tired.
I will always be my own harshest critic. This is something my mom pointed out in me when I was younger that has always stuck with me.
Fitness is much more fun when you find something that excites you! My favorites are Zumba, Pilates, dance, and group workout classes. Having people to keep me accountable motivates me to give it my best and finish things out! I’m working up to a barre class right now.
I’ve learned that diets aren’t worth it. Completely cutting things out of my diet is only going to throw my body off and center my thoughts on how I look. Eating healthy foods and indulging when I want to helps me focus more on how I feel. Counting calories was the worst thing I ever did for my mental health. Moving forward, I’m the happiest I’ve been regardless of what I look like in the mirror.
Its extremely important to keep the environment in mind. I take mental notice of how much electricity and water I use or how much trash I’m producing on a daily basis. I’m not the only person living in this world. I try getting books from the library/used bookstores, not using straws, drinking from reusable coffee mugs, taking my reusable bags, and recycling old clothes through Goodwill instead of tossing them out. I also only eat meat maybe three times a week.
I can’t say yes to everything. This has especially affected me this year, tackling three different jobs on top of a full class load. I’ve always been a people pleaser, so it’s incredibly difficult for me to turn people down. However, I know that in order to take care of my mental health, I need to say no sometimes.
I’ve learned not to let myself be pressured by society’s expectations of dating and relationships in the modern age. I really hate dating apps. I see the benefits, but I just can’t get behind them. And I really don’t mind being single!! We live in a super exciting age, and there are more things to do than ever, so it’s VERY annoying when people pity me or think I’m missing out. I’m not! People will have opinions of single people, but a recent post by Meghan Donovan on whit and whimsy really put it into words for me and my approach to it all.
Sometimes its best to just block out social media. We all know that everyone shares the best parts of their lives and makes it seem 10x more glamorous than it really is. I went on a social media cleanse back in 2018 and it changed my perspective on how we’re influenced by people’s posts everyday. I still love it, but acknowledging the fantasy of it makes it easier for me not to compare myself and my life to other’s.
Acknowledging things from your past can help you sort through elements of yourself in the present. This is something I’ve been struggling a lot with over the last year, but putting the words out into the world has been a big step toward personal healing.
Writing is creative, emotional, and mental escape for me. I channel my sprinting thoughts and waves of deep emotions into a journal that I’ve kept for 10 years, and I type my wildest dreams into plays or songs or poems. And yes, I did write a fan fic when I was 15 that’s been read over a million times. It’s my greatest accomplishment to date.
Its so important to be educated about politics and whats going on in the world. This doesn’t mean taking people’s opinions from Twitter, which can be a dangerous rabbit hole. Knowing current events has contributed to many intelligent conversations, some with important individuals that definitely made me stand out. I like to get the Skimm in the inbox every weekday morning, and I read it on the bus or in bed when I wake up.
I am incredibly indecisive, but there are three things I’m absolutely sure of. “First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him-and I didn’t know how potent that part might be-that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.” (Who didn’t go through a vampire phase?)