This past year seemed like the year of trial and error. It was one thing after another and time after time I caught myself saying, “When will I learn?” I was constantly surprised by my naivety of the every day world, reminded how young I am, and that the older we get, the more we need our parents. (Love you mom and dad.)
While I learned something every day, there were some moments, big and small, that stood out. From learning the right degree to bake my chicken, to finances, to understanding deeper levels of myself, 2015 was a year of lessons–and valuable ones at best.
1. Be yourself.
And be GENUINE. Better yet, find new energy in being yourself. Any other energy is just drained and it pulls you away from who you are. Let’s use social media for example: I used to be over conscientious about posting too many Instagrams in a day (because apparently that’s frowned upon in a particular generation), being too responsive to people’s comments, or having the perfect caption every single time. Oh my, that’s a lot of energy drained on not being ME! When I decided to express myself more genuinely through Instagram and social media, I have found that my following and engagement has increased–and I find joy in engaging with people. This may be “millennial” of me, but I am energized by positive engagement through social outlets. (More on the human connection: Continue reading.)
It took some growing up but I started asking myself what message do I want to send and who do I want to be? While there is much more to me than I am able to express in photos or a blog post, I intend to be authentic and absolutely myself. So humor me, and humor me often.
2. The concept of pre-dating a check is false.
And also illegal. Whoops. Note to self: Don’t send Ford three pre-dated checks. They will all be deposited at the time they are received. And you will go negative in your bank account and call daddy. And there ain’t nothing you can do it about it!
If you want to get ahead, schedule your payments online. (Yes, I still write checks. And they have Jayhawks on them. #RCJH)
3. If it’s in the apartment lease you signed, that’s that.
So have your carpets cleaned before you move out. Because it will be worth it $600 later. Unlike the apartments I lived in in college, I should have hired a professional cleaner upon move-out of my first “adult” apartment… or rented equipment from the grocery. Paying your apartment complex when you no longer live there is like throwing a $100 bill on the floor, stomping all over it and walking away for everyone else to stomp on it. Notes taken: Don’t just sign; READ your apartment lease.
4. Questioning a ticket scalper about fake tickets isn’t enough.
You need to hound them all the way to the ticket line, to the scanner and through the gate before you even consider buying the tickets. You can say I’m dumb, naive, okay, okay. I believe in the goodness of humanity, assume the best and that everything is going to be fine (more on that, continue reading.) In some cases, this mentality works in my favor, and in some, it doesn’t. Some people have the nerve to sell fake tickets–even after they’re questioned a dozen times if they’re real. Although that Panthers vs. Redskins game was still enjoyable from the bar… it would have been nice from section 125! Notes taken: take ’em to the gate.
5. I lead with Type 7.
My Enneagram leads with Type 7. Simply put, I value logic, am an internal thinker and assume everything is going to be fine. I am also fun-loving and am scattered (accurate.) Understanding my tendencies has helped me embrace my strengths and explore different ways to better cope with things that challenge (and frustrate) me. Take time to get to know yourself, and I mean really know yourself–how your brain works, what you enjoy, what you don’t enjoy. That thing you don’t feel like you’re so good at may start to make sense!
6. Negative energy is contagious.
And positive energy is contagious! So spread more of it with hellos and thank yous and smiles and I love yous and good jobs and congratulations and just thinking of yous and good mornings and good nights and sweet dreams and sunrises and sunsets and kind Instagram comments and chocolate and cake pops and “I bought you a doughnut just becauses.” When you give the love, you’ll feel the love.
7. Cooking is easier than I thought.
And I’m just really #basic, soooo. I’m not one for following recipes but meals don’t have to be extravagant. Just some olive oil, salt and pepper and throw your chicken in the oven for 20 minutes on 400º. Ok, I’ve got more than salt and pepper up my sleeves–thanks to flavored sea salts from Whole Foods. #gamechanger
8. Your opinion isn’t as important as you think.
Yet, here I am voicing mine with a list of my life experiences. But my intent is that you can relate with me–understand the flawed sides of being human and every day challenges of being a “grown up” (or at least trying to be.) The problem often is that we listen with the intent to respond, rather than with intent to understand (guilty! but working on it.) We’re human, so it’s only normal to reflect on our own experiences. Challenge yourself to actively listen with the intent to truly understand what someone is saying to you.
9. It’s true: everything is good in moderation.
But they lied. Everything is seriously good in moderation. Including new clothes, uncertainty, doughnuts, expenses, wine, attitude, the internet, texting and even dieting. I went on a hardcore Paleo diet. While it helped me get on track and determine what my body likes and doesn’t like, our body needs some amount of nutrients from all food groups. Note to self: When you cut out bread and grains, replace the lost energy with something else! Like doughnuts. That’s when you discover that everything is seriously good in moderation. The only thing I’m still debating that’s good in moderation: Snapchat. TBD–currently off Snapchat (and okay with it.)
10. Your perception is your reality.
So tone it down a notch. How you perceive a situation isn’t really how it is–it’s only your perception. Whether you’re on your high-horse or feeling hopeless and defeated, take a minute and seek to understand. It’s simple: Don’t take it (whatever it is) personally. Mixing emotions with logic can skew our perceptions, and the simplicity of a solution or situation is often buried in the complexities of our minds. Some situations are more challenging than others, and there’s always those exceptions, but that’s life. The key is how you handle it, and if we’re doing it right we should always learn something. Evaluate the situation, use logic, leave the drama out and rationalize your emotions later. (What is, psychological bias for $500?)
11. Crime shows are my jam.
And Mariska Hargitay is Queen and can do no wrong. Why did I never watch drama series until I saw my first SVU episode in 2015? It only took me 24 years and I understand more about the justice system and life because of it. Notes taken: the justice system is both amazing and incredibly fucked. And this world is filled with brilliant and also twisted people. But there are a lot of people who want to do right by this world. So let’s believe in them.
12. Don’t overdo it on iPad games.
Because you’ll eventually get to a point where you’re like, I could have used the last two hours to catch up on the Skimm, read that new book I spent $25 on (that has the potential to change my life,) work out, cook dinner, or go to bed and get a decent night’s sleep. Since getting over my phase of carelessly playing iPad games, I now treat playing them as a “reward” or positive brain activity. I prefer games that involve strategy anyway, but I now attempt a level after I shower in the morning to get my brain going or wait until after I workout. I know you’re wondering what this game is. Best Fiends–download it now, you won’t regret it! (Gene and JoJo are my favorites.)
13. Fake it til you make it.
That’s what they say, but my new thing is Fake it till you become it. And if that’s too hard, just send a Bitmoji. If you aren’t sure how to express yourself or can’t seem to force a smile and get on with the day, a Bitmoji can and it’s bound to make anyone’s day better. Including your own. Even if you’re sitting right next to someone, send a Bitmoji. You’ll both LOL.
14. Celebrate the small things.
Celebrate Friday (or whatever day your weekend starts.) Celebrate the end of the day on Monday. Celebrate the nice thing the lady told you at the grocery store. Celebrate one new follower on Instagram. Celebrate your favorite lipstick coming out in a new color. Celebrate your best friend’s birthday. Celebrate being positive in your bank account. Celebrate your favorite song coming on the radio. Celebrate the mini milestones, and celebrate the big milestones. Celebrate a new season of House of Cards, New Girl, Orange is the New Black and How to Get Away with Murder coming out. Whatever it is, celebrate it and make THAT the new norm. It can be so easy for our focus to be on the things we didn’t get done today, or how that one thing could have been better. But when you take a minute to change your mindset and celebrate what you DID do (even the simple things), it makes the getting done that much better.
15. Be more just like YOU.
And less like that girl or that girl. Because that girl isn’t as awesome as you. Be inspired, but be yourself.
16. Blogging is hard.
But if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. I started this blog because I am inspired by the human connection. For me, I connect with people through style–and more than just the clothes we wear. Style is how you carry yourself, how you choose to express yourself moment to moment, your manners, the way you communicate, the way you listen, the way you engage with others, the way you order your coffee, and your authenticity. My intentions have become so much clearer with my essence of self-acceptance, and the energy that has been generated and centralized because of it is enticing. The purpose of my blog has become clearer and I am so excited to connect with you through my passions–style, music and personal wellness.
Like my favorite digital influencers have inspired me, I am just one more person in this world hoping to inspire and connect with you. But hey, the more of us there are, the more positive energy there is to go around.
Welcome to my little corner of the internet! Xx