10 Things You Learn in Your 20's

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Let me preface this post by saying that I don't know everything about being in my 20's, most evidently because I am only 22.  That being said, I have learned what it means to not be a teenager anymore.  For a while I didn't desire the responsibilities of being independent, but now that i'm out here, I wouldn't change anything. 

Don't let "Your 20's" be a cringe-worthy phrase associated with uncertainty and being broke. In the past two years I have strengthened friendships, lived in two new cities, defined my personal style, & travelled with some of the people I love most. I look forward to eight more years of growth. Here's what i've learned so far: 

1. Working multiple jobs at once is an incomparable experience

While living in New York City, I worked as a server, bartender, nanny, and I volunteered at the dance studio where I studied to get discounted classes.  Although the hustle was all too real at times, my schedule gave me the motivation I needed to feel productive every single day. 


2. Vulnerability is Necessary 

Once I realized I didn't know everything, it was like a weight had been lifted.  Learn things. Ask questions. Don't feel inferior  because you don't yet know how to file an insurance claim or do your taxes. 

3. Stop saying "I would never do that"

More importantly, how do you know you don't like something if you've never tried it? News flash, if you're waiting on the right time to change the way you live, this is the opportune moment.  

4. People don't judge you as much as you think

To say that I am a people pleaser is an understatement.  I still struggle with the "what will they think" question, but just grasping the fact that people are more concentrated on themselves than anyone else is crucial. Knowing this can help you choose things YOU love & make you more confident in your own decisions.  

5. It's okay to change your mind (and your dreams)

Don't keep doing something because you "feel like you should".  Follow what makes you so passionate that you have no choice but to speak about it.  Give yourself outlets.  Make change, even when the outcome is uncertain.  

6. Travel whenever you get the chance

Whether it be overseas or simply to another state, putting yourself in a new environment is refreshing & can change your perspective on life. 

7. Love can hurt, but...

It can also be the greatest. Getting to know someone & connecting with them on a deep level is something I take for granted sometimes.  

8. Nurture your values

Even if you are in a room of people who hate everything that you are, stay true to what you know is right.  Stand firm in what you believe is good, trustworthy, & praiseworthy. 

9. Stop saying sorry all the time

Be genuine with your feelings. Walking on eggshells & trying to keep everyone happy is simply impossible.  


10. Live transparently

 Think about who you are.  When you get home.  When you sing in the shower. With the lights off.  When you're not around other people.  Being fully honest & unapologetically yourself can be scary, & i'm still getting there, but so far it has made me feel incredibly liberated & empowered.  




To the Girl Who Feels a Little Lost

As I reflect on my young adulthood so far, I smile because I am part of a generation of risk takers. Go getters.  Rule breakers & re-makers.  Despite these labels, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the future.  I wish I could see myself in ten years to get a clear picture of the road ahead, when, in reality, the road is foggy & sometimes I end up feeling off-course.  There is so much possibility in my life right now, & yet, maybe that's what scares me a bit.  With all of these social experiences, aspirations, passions, & seemingly high expectations, it's easy to feel like I haven't found my place yet. 

So, to the girl who feels a little lost...

I was you.  I am still you, when something doesn't go as planned and it feels like life is becoming unfamiliar.  The truth is, feeling lost is a part of finding yourself, whatever that means to you.  I have thought long and hard about what that actually implies, & I have come to the conclusion that finding yourself is simply knowing yourself.  It's about getting to know yourself on the deepest level...the parts you openly share with others, as well as those you keep hidden from the people you love, sometimes even yourself.  

I think that to know yourself, you must find what you truly love, without persuasion or bias.  Find what you love, do what you love, & share that love with others.  After a while, I realized I could do the things that made me happy, & so I felt happy.  It's amazing how simple that sounds.  Do what you love, not what you think will make your life look better.  As far as getting there, I will say this: Instead of worrying about who you will be when you find yourself, enjoy the journey.  

Here's another thing i've learned: don't do what other people do.  Maybe it's because I live in a big city where individuality is common, encouraged even.  Maybe it's because I've been let down too many times by doing what I thought someone else wanted, trying to appease them in the process.  It's your life, so why would you want it  to be a carbon copy of someone else's? 

Lastly, you should take chances.  Read books that make you laugh & cry.  Explore the planet we have been carefully placed on.  Plan a trip with someone & save up for it.  Learn what it's like to feel completely careless, rich, broke, elated & exhausted.  Exercise your soul in a way that exposes yourself. Be giving & light up every room you enter.  Walk slow & take everything in.  Take these moments to realize what makes you who you are, & you have found it.  Center yourself in this most comfortable state of you.  Relish in it & embody it & never let anyone take it from you.  Because even though you have felt lost, you have in fact been right where you needed to be all along.  






The Cold Tangerines Mantra

I've been feeling inspired lately.  By art. By this city. By people & the words they put together to create something meaningful.  I recently finished a wonderful book called Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, recommended by a dear friend.  Now, this is in no way a book review, i'm just flat out telling you to trust me & go buy the thing. You can purchase online here.  

Anyway, on the back cover of the book there is a paragraph which can only be described as the most amazing, smile-inducing life mantra I have ever read.  Here it is:

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”

The first time I read this, I got chills. Not because I wasn't living my life this way, but because Niequist describes life as a "gift".  We are presented with the chance to squeeze every ounce of opportunity from our time here on earth, so why not do it? In response to these words, I wrote my own affirmation:

"I'd like to be able to close my eyes & see all the good things about my life, without even thinking about it. I want to feel full of love, so full that I have to send it back out to others in response. I want to grow & travel & try every flavor of ice cream at least once. I want to write about things that make you remember the times you laughed the longest, cried the hardest, & felt like you were exactly where you were supposed to be. I want to move in a way that speaks to you and shakes you and makes you want to hold on tight.  I want to play music without headphones & take the stairs three at a time & learn something about this life from every person I meet."

Few feelings are better than the one you get when you know exactly what you want.  Write your affirmation. Type it. Scribble it. Tweet it.  Tape it to your bathroom mirror. And never forget it.



Sledding Champ, Germany 2015

Sledding Champ, Germany 2015



The Possibility in Possibility

Hi all-

  Many posts here at C&C are geared toward the fearless fashionista with confidence of steel and four-inch heels, but I thought it necessary to switch things up a little.

Why? Because not everyone is born with the innate ability to conquer the world, or even a hot yoga class for that matter.  Sometimes you feel unsure, unsteady, or like the world is working against you. Sometimes you let someone cut in front of you at Starbucks and they order the very last chocolate croissant. Sometimes you walk into work and wonder why your manager is in a bad mood for the THIRD day in a row.  You wonder why some people don’t like you. You question your adulthood because you have no idea how to clean an oven. You try hard, but it isn’t paying off.

Well i’ve got some news for you: it’s okay. 

Not to sound so sagacious here or anything.  I’m one hundred percent in the same boat.  However, this year in particular has taught me that it’s okay to not have it all figured out right now.  At twenty, i’m at the opportune age to make the biggest, and arguably the best mistakes of my life.  The ones that will teach me who I am, what I want, and hopefully lead me straight to a fully satisfying and excitingly enjoyable life. View the uncertainty as prospect. Take a second to see the possibility in possibility.  Put off school for one year.  Move to a new city.  Make new friends.  Wear what you want without caring what anyone thinks. Do things the wrong way. Eat a doughnut.  Read.  Travel.  Document the journey.  Make confident* decisions knowing that there is a reason why you are where you are right now.

*(a note on confidence: the dictionary describes this word as certitude and/or assurance. Now, I don’t mean to correct the dictionary people here [by the way, who actually writes the definitions for dictionaries?? Brackets are supposed to go inside here right? I think they’re the second level of secondary information. The “parentheses of parentheses”, if you will.] Anyway, in my book [or dictionary], confidence has absolutely nothing to do with being ABSOLUTELY sure. About anything.  It’s about having enough faith in something to give it your full trust, and LOOKING like you’re sure on the outside. For instance, I was completely confident a few minutes ago while ordering a grande nonfat caramel macchiato no whipped cream with an extra shot of expresso, when in reality I just heard that in a movie once and was hoping it would turn out like the creamy brown and white beverage i’d been imagining ever since…[it did, by the way].  The point is, being confident is a choice and a state of mind, as well as a fabulous asset.)

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “For what it’s worth, it’s never too late to be who you want to be. I hope you live a life you are proud of.  If you find you are not, I hope you find the strength to start all over again”.

Don’t wait for it! Your life is waiting to be filled.  Think: What do you really want to do? How will you get there? What will you wear?

Thanks for listening.  Now go ahead and jump into all that possibility (and look good while doing it!)