Wednesday, August 7, 2019

final takeaways from 25

25—what a weird age. Halfway to 30, but feeling so far away from 20. 

I turn 26 years old today and I’ve spent some time these past few days reflecting back on my 25th year. 25, for me, was the most challenging year of my life. However, it was also the most rewarding. 

Final takeaways from 25:
  1. If you want to feel like you’re worthy, you have to act like it.
  2. There is no healthier drug than creativity. 
  3. You’re not intimidating. They’re intimidated. There’s a big difference.
  4. Happy people don’t hate.
  5. 3 ride-or-die, trustworthy friends > 30 acquaintances 
  6. Bigger hoops + higher heels.
  7. Listen more, talk less.
  8. You’re unhappy because you’re not in alignment with who you are. Not because of what anyone else is doing.
  9. Say yikes and move on. 
  10. 99 problems. 99,000 blessings.
  11. Don’t settle. Wait for the real deal. 
  12. Don’t be afraid to be the full package. 
  13. You are exactly where you need to be.
  14. Be the attitude you want to be around.
  15. Bad vibes don’t go with cute outfits. 
  16. The sun doesn’t care if it blinds you. Don’t be afraid to shine.
  17. “What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” —Brené Brown
  18. Be enough for yourself first.
  19. Don’t seek validation from people who aren’t even valid. 
  20. You will never be too much for someone who can’t get enough of you.
  21. Respect > Attention
  22. You can’t buy love, but you can buy wine. 
  23. Be obsessively grateful.
  24. No grit. No pearl. 
  25. Speak your truth.
I’d Rather Be Anything But Vanilla 
Although the majority of people tend to like vanilla flavored anything, vanilla is pretty, shall we say, basic?! Maybe a little boring. Maybe even a little blah?! Vanilla doesn’t have the pizzazz that rocky road or chocolate chip cookie dough has. They’ve got a little extra sumthin sumthin to them. I use to try and be the vanilla girl, to hide all my extra add in’s and toppings (lol). I wanted to appeal to everyone, try not to be disliked. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that vanilla ain’t shit. It’s really everything you add into ice cream that makes a flavor stand out. I would 100% rather go out and be a girl that someone says, “OMG I LOVE HER,” or, “OMG I CAN’T STAND HER,” than be a girl described as, “She’s nice.” Talk about a snooze fest. I think this has definitely come with age, but it’s been one of the most profound and life changing things to happen to me this year—to go out into the world and be my own crazy flavor.

Be Humble but Don’t Hide 
I thank the Lord that my parents raised my sister and I to be humble human beings. However, in the past I was almost overly humble that I kind of devalued myself. I kid you not, when I was younger I use to straight up lie about things in my life just so I could fit in. It was a learned behavior for me. As soon as someone found out too much about my life, they would look at me differently. So, I coped by lying and downplaying anything that I thought might make people uncomfortable. I look back and feel sad for that girl that she felt like she had to hide who she was. To fit in with who? and for what? I’ve now learned that it’s not my job to protect someone else’s ego. Being humble has nothing to do with being lesser than or shrinking yourself or your life to “not make others feel uncomfortable,” but being so content and at peace that you don’t feel the need to hide who you are or prove your worthiness to anything or anyone. 

Growth is Uncomfortable AF… but so worth it 
This is something that no one really ever talks about. The price you pay for growth isn’t all happy and fun. It’s hard f*cking work. It’s lonely, it’s isolating, it’s confusing. My friends joke that I have a tendency to disappear come wintertime. For the past 3-4 years, I kind of have. I hate using the term “lost” but I kind of was. I didn’t know what or who was true in my life anymore, or where I was suppose to be, or what I was suppose to be doing. More than once, I felt like I was completely losing my sh*t. So, the past few years I spent some serious time soul searching and deep diving into who I am. It was painful AF at times, not going to lie. When you really take the time to look at who you are—your faults, your dark side, your childhood, your upbringing, your relationships, traumatic things that happened to you, etc…it’s deep and it’s dark. But once you acknowledge all of that, own it, work through it, and heal… the other side is so damn worth it. Hands down, the best and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done for myself.

Near, far, across the country, to a different continent…travel, anywhere. It keeps you curious about life and gives you something to look forward to. The places you go, the people you meet, the food you eat, the wine you drink… there is nothing in the world like it. Traveling opens your mind, inspires you, gives you new perspectives, and leaves you wanting for more. Travel is theeee most important luxury to me.

Judging Ain’t My Style
People have a lot to say about lives they’ve never lived. There’s some gurus out there that will tell you that it’s natural to “judge,” and I’m not saying they’re wrong…but I’m saying that I don’t believe it does anyone any good. Life is hard AF. We all come from such different backgrounds, situations, heartaches, etc. We were all raised differently, we all think differently. We were all put here on this earth, for whatever reason, with whatever circumstances were given to us…and we’re all just out here living, doing the best we can. Anyone who thinks they know best is full of sh*t. Nobody has all the answers, except maybe God. Everyone is on their own journey, let them experience it, let them figure it out. You truly never know what’s going on in someone’s inner world. We all sin differently, make mistakes differently, learn differently, live differently, love differently. The differences are what makes life so damn cool. 

You Do You and Imma Do Me
Following the above statement, I definitely use to be more of a judger than I am now. Not going to lie, I use to hardcore judge the girls that wedge their bikini bottoms so high up their ass and then turn around to “get a pic for the gram.” But I mean, honestly… I got to thinking, if that TRULY makes them feel good, what does it matter to me if they shove their bikini bottoms up their ass crack for a couple of likes on Instagram? Does that impact me? Does that affect my life? Obviously, not—not in the slightest. So WTF do I care for? What am I wasting my time thinking about their wedgie pic for? I’m sure there’s people out there that are like OMG, Laura…another dog pic? Another quote? Another food pic? It’s much easier to go through life allowing and accepting people to do whatever they want. Different strokes for different folks. 

You + You = Greatest Relationship You’ll Ever Have 
When people ask me what’s changed my life the most, it’s truly been by spending time alone and falling in love with myself (I know that sounds corny AF). I was deeply insecure when I was younger and never really knew it. Even in long term relationships with men who loved me, I never felt like I was enough. I always felt pressure (in my own mind) to be everything I thought they wanted me to be, instead of just being who I was. Following the above point, spending time with me, myself, and I over these past few years has made ALL the difference. A trip out west followed by a ski season in Park City, UT was really the turning point for me. Everyone thought I was living the dream in Park City, which I most definitely was, but I was there completely alone. If you’ve ever moved somewhere where you know absolutely no one, you know how lonely that can be. Like, PAINFULLY lonely. That was a growing season for me, for sure, baby. Ever since that winter, I’m no longer afraid to be alone. I’m completely okay with it because I truly learned to love my own company. I say with complete humility that I really like who I am now. I know the amount of time and work I've put in trying to better myself and become a better human being. No way am I even close to the girl that I was a few years ago. And I’ll tell you what, after you learn to love yourself and your life, your taste in the company you keep will change as well. 

Sexy is Being A Good Woman/Man 
In my humble little opinion, I think in today’s society, being a good woman or a good man is SO undervalued, overlooked, and underrated. I think sometimes we get so focused on the superficial shit and being the best and being the baddest..when really, just being a good, classic, wholesome, down to earth, kind person is what’s really sexy.

When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them 
When I think back on people and relationships I’ve had in my life, I tend to have this bad habit of overlooking how they first act, their reputation or what they share with me. I like to think, “They only act this way because of this,” or “Oh no, they definitely meant what they said.” I’m a “but you don’t see what I see in them,” kind of gal. I ignore the, “Laura, you really shouldn’t waste your time,” or “Laura, they’re not a good person.” I honestly can’t help it. I choose to see the good in people. However, I learned from a good friend of mine that when people show you who they are, believe them the first time. People will show, and sometimes tell, you point blank. Don’t try to twist and turn and figure out what you think they might have meant. When people show you who they are, believe them. 

Roots Will Always Be Tangled
As we grow and change through life, I think it’s only natural that the people and places in our lives inevitably change as well. One of my favorite Nicholas Sparks quotes states, “I think it happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. And so you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.” That’s the beautiful thing about life—that history can’t be changed. Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time, you grew side by side together. Your roots will always be tangled. 

Getting A Pet Truly Does Change Your Life
This past Christmas, I got myself a miniature golden doodle puppy named, Peanut. It was actually more my parents’ idea than it was mine. I was in no way, shape, or form ready for a dog. Like, at all… but my baby boy, Peanut, ended up being a nice little spontaneous Christmas surprise. Holy hell, does a puppy turn your world upside down!! My life went from cool, calm, collected and CLEAN—to lots of pee, poop, and patience. Waaaaay more work than anticipated, but so so worth it. He is the little love of my life. He’s brought me more love, laughs, joy and comfort than I could have ever imagined. He is my constant companion. 

Looking back, 25 ended up being one of the best years of my life for many reasons, but mainly because it shaped me into a better woman. I appreciate where I'm at right now. I have never felt more self-assured, secure, and unafraid to be myself than I do now. I'm excited for this next half of my twenties and all of the uncertainty and new chapters to come with. 

25- thank u, next. Here's to 26.
XOXO, Laura

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