31 years. I know I'm not old by any means, even though I often joke about it and have way more gray hairs than I'd like. But, I can honestly say I think I'm finally comfortable in my skin and it only took me 30 years to get there. Not to say there isn't more personal growth to be had, but I'm finally in a good place all around.
I have a good friend that married her high school sweetheart. They have two kids a nice big house and pool and for a long time I was envious of her life. But I've come to realize that's not what I want right now, I know I'll get there someday. I've had my fair share of relationships and wow have I grown and learned from all of them - not one single regret. I'm really glad I went through bad break ups because it made me step back and look at what I want in a partner and what I don't want. They've all helped me to be a better person too. I've also really come to love being on my own: making all the decisions for myself and not having to factor in a second person.
Most of us girls go through that baby moon phase - you really want one but the situation isn't right. My advice? Be envious, give in to it (but not for long!), then realize you'll have all that - when the time is right.
Embrace your weird. Find it, then own it and don't be scared to go after it.
I used to always want to be part of the norm but slowly over the years I've become more braver than I thought I'd ever be. A lot of what's helped me grow are other bloggers and influencers - watching them and really wanting to be them. I used to always worry about what people thought of me - are they going to think I'm a weirdo? Will they still want to be my friend? And, for the first time ever, I can say (90% of the time, haha) I don't care what people think of me! To be able to say that is so rewarding.
I traveled all the way across the world all by myself. I love to travel and I didn't want to keep waiting for someone else to come along so I just did it. Was it scary? Hell yes but I'd do it again in a heart beat. There's so much out there to see and I don't want to miss one single thing. My promise to myself: an international trip at least every other year is a requirement!
For someone of 30, I've experienced a lot of things someone my age may not have. Some of them great, some of them not so great. I was lucky and got a job right from my internship out of college so I didn't struggle with landing my first job. I slowly grew as an in-house designer stengthing my design aesthetic and skills by working closely with a senior design team down in NYC. I assisted on photoshoots and developed product management skills - that all slowly morphed into personally growing and organically learning photography & set styling.
I've also experience 2 company acquisitions, an (almost) company-wide layoff and moved cross country (TWICE!) for my job. Can we call that dedication? Not a lot of people go through this so early on in their career and while it was very stressful, I've learned SO MUCH from it all. My advice if you're going through it: Ask questions as much as possible, don't add to the rumor train and find someone to talk to about your stresses & concerns. You'll feel so much better & be healthier in the end.
One skill I'm most proud of: Ask for what you're worth.
A close friend really helped me develop this. She was my sounding board for all my career related frustrations and really pushed me to develop this. Want to know the secret? You just need to do it once. Yes it's very scary and yes you may feel like you're going to throw up. Just think to yourself: What's the worst that can happen? They say no, then you're no worse off but you'll always be better off because once you do it, it becomes easier and easier to do.
I have a wonderful day job, but with that comes the not fun stuff that comes with ANY job. Last year, I started taking on freelance work - giving me the opportunity to really expand my design skills outside of being an inhouse designer. I've slowly gained new clients through word of mouth and it's been both rewarding and exciting to branch out in my portfolio. This year, I've also forced myself to just get creative on my own and blog about my passion projects. I'm so much happier now and both avenues are helping me in my professional career too!
Most of all, I've learned that if you do you, you'll love you.
*insert fist pump here*
Here's a few personal goals I have for the next year:
- Keep blogging - from DIY projects, to exploring new recipes and WAY more travel guides
- Have a 3-5 regular freelance clients
- Learn or expand on 1 new skill in my day job
- Do at least 5 photo shoots for clients
- Take a pottery class
- Develop my writing skills - both personally & creatively
- Get more active (this has always been at the bottom of my list, sigh)
I'm so excited to see what year 31 brings and how much more I'll grow - plus all the fun to be had!
P.S. You know how wedding anniversaries have a theme every year? I think birthdays should too. I declare year 31 is all about pineapples.