Hey, hello, hi! I can’t believe how long it’s been, how much has happened, who I’ve become since the last. time I posted. So many freaking life changes that there truly isn’t enough time to go through every major update since May. I know I say it all the time, but I’m really going to try and deliver you content more regularly (and not just on the ‘gram). I could never give up this whole blogger/ influencer/ stream-of-conciousness storytelling thing completely so bear with me as I come into my own, like any good human, in my own time in this pretty little corner of the internet I’ve curated. We each have our own incredible, messy, chaotic and beautiful stories to tell and I feel so incredibly blessed that you’re even taking the time to read this (and whatever other posts you’ve discovered). You really have no idea what it means to have kept this platform alive for SEVEN years.
Speaking of milestones, today I turn 3-0. Yea, it’s true, I can’t believe it either. I could measure this life so far in friends, jobs, places I’ve traveled, but instead I’m sharing with you some of the best things I’ve done and learned from a list mostly inspired by Jessica Misener and her book which was given to me by a friend on another magical birthday…
Have your portrait taken. Okay, I feel like I do this every six weeks or so, whether its for my own use or collaborating with a brand but either way, I love it. I love seeing the changes in my style and channeling my creative energy into creating something and using it as a memory later. We all know how sentimental I can be. (#thingscancerssay)
Learn how to rock climb. Okay, to be fair, I’ve known how to rock climb for a while. It wasn’t until I crossed that existential bridge somewhere in my psyche that I started being afraid of things like heights. And since you asked, I find it very unfair that we are the most fearless when we have the least amount of responsibility because what did eleven year old me really need with all that fearlessness? What I would give to live my life with reckless abandon now.
Start a blog. “How did you start your blog” has to be the question I am asked most often and somehow it’s the trickiest to answer. In 2012, I was just starting to find my way in the professional world and was so inspired by those around me; who they were becoming, what they were wearing and where they were going. There was so much happening personally and I was so stimulated by a life that was moving a mile a minute. I knew I wanted to make something and that I liked to write and the rest is herstory.
Work for a boss you truly admire. As many of you already know, I spent the majority of the beginning of my career in politics and if it taught me one thing, it’s that you should only work for something or someone you truly believe in. Seven campaigns, two legislative staff positions and a Congressional staff role reinforced that for me every single day and for every day I was there, I was incredibly proud to serve with and for people who gave up their nights, weekends and spare moments developing ideas as to how they could make life better for others.
Cut out friends who don’t add any value to your life. This was a tough one, perhaps the hardest. When you’re young and friendships fall apart because of distance or other life changes, it somehow feels more like a rite of passage. And your bounce back rate from a setback is pretty solid. When you’re older and making the conscious decision to not associate with someone, it almost feels more unfair and also something no one prepared you for. But it’s the first of many lessons where you have to decide to put your mental health or wellness or peace of mind first. It s a good, and totally normal, thing to learn to establish boundaries but it’s not easy. Be kind to yourself in these moments.
Quit a terrible job. Similar to breaking up with a friend, breaking up with a job is hard. Not to sound like a broken record but if you were only just skimming and this bullet caught your eye, I want to be very clear about something right now: you will never regret putting yourself first. Sure, some decisions suck to make and there might be consequences you don’t anticipate but saying no to something that isn’t serving you (and yes, whatever you spend most of your time doing should benefit you in more than one way) is an okay thing to walk away from. I learned this after a flurry of truly crappy life experiences and the fallout was pretty soul-crushing but if nothing else it made me really grateful to have a supportive partner, friends who love me no matter what and the ability to forgive and love myself when I needed it most.
Have a side hustle. At one point in my twenties I was balancing three jobs. Yes, you read that right and yes, it was wild because at this point in my life, my blog wasn't even really monetized. I’ve always had to balance a strong work ethic with the desire to be in bed by 9pm because student loans are a real thing and they remind you as such, every month, like clockwork. So now I try to keep myself under 75 hours a week thanks to my brand partners, Patreon and my Amazon storefront which are, in case you didn’t know, affiliate partners that provide me with a small commission when you give, use my referral link, referral code or unique link when you check out. It’s so important shop local and in my case, to support your local blogger!
Turn off your phone for twenty-four hours. I’m going to be honest with you guys, I have done this and for more than 24 hours consecutively but it was only/ most because I was traveling and therefore was not trying to incur all the roaming charges. That being said, it was a weird experience, filled with phantom ringtones going off (my phone is on vibrate 99% of the time) and me constantly reminding myself that there was no Instagram to check just because. All in all, it was a cathartic experience I would recommend trying if, for no other reason, to challenge yourself to be a little more present.
Drink coconut water from a fresh coconut.Probably the only reason I survived a double-deck bus tour of Old San Juan the last time I was in Puerto Rico.
Do yoga every day for a full month. Fun fact about me: Since the end of March, I’ve logged 57 hours on my mat at Sweet Balance Yoga Studio, my home-away-from home. Some of you may know that I’ve been a dancer for the better part of my life so I always just assumed that barre, or something like it, would be the natural choice for a fitness routine. But thank goodness I found Sweet Balance and just when I needed it most. I still remember walking into my first class with Emily would brought the exact energy I needed to feel welcome and ready to start my practice. And I haven’t stopped.
Adopt a rescue pet. Unless you’ve been living under a rock on my social, #lucythecuriouskitten is my feline sidekick on this crazy adventure called life. We don’t know for certain, but somewhere around here is her sixth birthday so here’s to being the same zodiac sign as my ride-or-die chick. Pretty thankful that I found something to love this adorable, gentle with head butts, a professional at snuggling and a queen at telling me when it’s time for bed. Lucy is the queen of self-care and she doesn’t even know it.
Accept your “flaws” as part of what makes you you. Similar to yoga, loving yourself and practicing self-care is a practice. I was noting tot someone the other day how cheated I feel by our education system which teaches you to take on as much as possible but not how to let go. If we really are more than our grades, our jobs, our circumstances, we really ought to be teaching ourselves and others how to be more compassionate, patient and forgiving. I got really good at beating myself for not being what e everybody else needed all the time and really glorified being busy to the point of defining myself by my pursuits. Now and in my 30th year, I hope I’ll be a little kinder to myself and be a reminder to others that they should be as well.
Here’s to you for reading & all the adventures ahead…