Throughout my early twenties, there were so many times when I doubted myself and what I was capable of. I was stuck in this rut of a mindset wondering how it could be possible to just start over from the beginning and create a life I could be unashamedly and unapologetically proud of. Where would I even begin?
Just pick a place, and start.
My life was an established safe zone. No breaking the rules, no sharing too much of my opinion, no taking too many chances, no pushing limits, no trying too hard. Everything was safe and comfortable.
All I remember thinking during that time was, “this isn’t what I want” or “this doesn’t feel right”. I felt stuck in life in my early twenties; stuck in this pre-determined timeline of all of the things I need to accomplish, or boxes I need to check off the list, by x, y, and z date(s).
Society and the world around me seemed to have already created a plan for how my life should pan out — graduate from college, land the perfect full-time job and the boy, get an apartment, get engaged, get married. We’ve all heard that annoying voice in the back of our head telling us this is how things should be. Well, society, appreciate the kind gesture and proactive planning, but seriously no thanks!
Somewhere along the line, I realized I wasn’t even living my life for myself. I was living a life I thought I was supposed to be living — safe and comfortable.
So, I picked a place and started from the very beginning.
This is how I have transformed my life from one that was just passing me by, into one I am unashamedly and unapologetically proud of.
- I put myself as my #1 priority.
I make it a priority to take good care of my mind, body, and spirit. Trying new things to keep a positive and optimistic outlook on life day in and out. Becoming my own best friend, knowing I am good enough all on my own.
- I focus on what makes me happy.
I invest time, effort, and happiness in the things (tangible or not) that make me feel accomplished and fulfilling. I invest in everything that makes me the best version of myself.
- I say yes to new opportunities.
I love new. I love exciting, challenging, and taking chances. I love saying yes to anything and everything that is so far out of my comfort zone in order to become stronger and wiser; to make myself an overall better human being.
- I learn, forgive, and move forward.
Something didn’t work out? I tried and I failed? I loved and I lost? Great, lesson learned and onto the next. I try, I fail, I learn, I grow, I succeed. I forgive my past and embrace what’s to come. I move forward.
- I travel.
I don’t get too comfortable in one place. I don’t stick to a clique. I travel to learn about the world, hear and share stories from varying ways and walks of life. I become a better, well-rounded, human learning to embrace the gift of life. Cherishing those who lift me up, and inspiring those who need some uplifting in their lives.
- I embrace different cultures.
Through travel and sharing adventures with individuals from all over the world, I have learned that I have a gift – a gift of sharing my love with not just one person, but many people. With places, ideas, passions. With everything this world has to offer.
- I trust the process.
I’ve learned that there is no reason to dwell on the what coulda shoulda woulda. Learning to do the best I can possibly do in everything that I do; everything will find a way to work out in the end.
- I have faith.
When I’m having an off day, or I’m just not feeling inspired or happy, I lean on my faith. I open the bible and read God’s uplifting and generous words, and that alone brings me back to where I need to be. Every day, I write down three things I’m grateful for because, in my experience, a positive attitude begins with a grateful spirit.
- I surround myself with quality, positive people.
I have vowed to live an unapologetic life filled with people who allow me to be the best version of myself. Those toxic relationships in your life? You don’t need them, I promise you that.
- I prioritize self-love over dating.
This alone completely transformed my life; how I live my life and how I view my life. I have found more love and appreciation for the woman I am and the things I’ve accomplished. I’ve found more worth and purpose from a positive, driven, charismatic spirit than I could ever find from one man. I have learned that men may come and go until the right one comes along, but even so, I am enough all on my own.
- I don’t settle.
I don’t put my life on hold for him. I don’t wait for him; I don’t wait for him to change, for him to choose me, for him to treat me better. I don’t settle for less than I deserve.
- I willingly do things that scare me.
I push my limits and take in everything life has to offer, because life is too short not to.
- I don’t take myself, or life, too seriously.
From personal experience, the only way I really know how to deal with the ups and downs is by anticipating plot twists, and finding humor whenever possible.
- I spend more money on experiences than “stuff”.
In 60 years from now, I want to look back on a life filled with love, experiences, and moments from around the world. I want to garner enough wisdom in my life through experiences to share with/inspire friends, family, children, grandchildren.
- I invested in my company’s 401(k) and savings account.
Ok yes, this is a very responsible and safe thing to do. But I definitely know future me will appreciate this 10-20 years from now.
- I work hard on the things I’m passionate about.
I make time for photography, writing, creating content. Even running, dancing like a fool in my apartment, singing Whitney Houston as loud as I want — investing time in the things that inspire me and trying something new every now and then to keep myself on my toes.
- I voice my opinion with the intention of making an impact.
In just 25 years, I’ve experienced more than many people can say at that age. Both good and bad, and everything in between. But I’ve learned from every experience and have gained an immense amount of wisdom — too much to not share with the people going through similar experiences. I want to be the voice for those who can’t speak up; be the light for those who can’t find it in themselves; the encouragement for those who don’t feel it.
- I party on the weekends.
I’m still young, wild, and reckless. I work hard and party harder. I live life on the wild side like a typical 25-year old single woman. And honestly, you should too, because the reality is time passes by all too quickly, and your twenties are the years to be wild for a while.
- I appreciate the woman I’ve become.
I love being with friends and family, but I love time to myself just as much. I appreciate the person I’ve become — I appreciate taking time to grow independently, spiritually, physically, emotionally. Taking the time to enjoy my own company and simply be in the moment. Learning from my mistakes and achievements, accepting the past and embracing the future. Welcoming each new day as exactly that — a new day. A new day to learn, grow, fail, and succeed.