Turning 25 last year actually made me sad and made me feel old, yes I know that seems crazy, but now looking back at this past year it doesn't seem so old and I feel more like an adult now than ever. Does it seem like a miracle I've lived to be almost 26 now? Some days it does!! What's crazy is I still have many more years to go.
I've been compiling this list of things I've learned and how my life has changed since becoming 25.
My confidence improved
With my history of battling depression and anxiety, this was a surprise to me. I've never been extremely confident in myself and I always seek reassurance from others whether I'm picking out a new outfit or making a business decision. I like to talk things over with others and, although that hasn't changed, I've started to believe in myself and my decisions more. I trust myself more and I hope my confidence continues to grow. I'll never be super arrogant, but believing in myself and my decisions is extremely important to me.
I started wearing makeup
This is a weird one. I have never worn makeup and I've never seen the point of it. However, this year I did discover that some tinted moisturizer, lovely blush, neutral eyeshadow and eye roller concealer does absolute wonders. I started this winter when I literally looked like a ghost and had a talk with some new friends, who then took me to a local shop where my eyes were (literally) opened to how simple makeup can be and how it can make you look a little more prepared for the day. Do I wear makeup every day? Nope and I probably never will, but I do like the way I look when I wear it and it can be fun! Favorite simple products: Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller Concealer (THE BEST), Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream from bareMinerals and dandelion face powder from benefit cosmetics. Hydration and SPF for your face is VERY important so even when I'm not wearing makeup I wear Aveeno's daily moisturizer with SPF. Invest!
I have figured out working in the city isn't for me
I do love visiting NYC, but working in a big city and living in a big city just isn't for me. I love driving to work every day and I never have to take the subway! I still visit NYC and have several client meetings there, but the best part is that I get to leave later in the day.
I'm slowly figuring out what I want to do
I have a few plans and ideas, but my ideal jobs would involve PR/marketing/advertising/social media combined with farming/growing my own things and giving back to charity, running for local offices to make a difference in the community and advocating on behalf of women around the world. So even though I'm not there now, that's where I'm hopefully headed and I know I'll get there one day. Flexibility is really important to me and a true work/life balance is something I hope to find and achieve. I'll never be the person who lives to work, and I'll always know I'm supposed to work to live.
I'm giving myself time to breathe
I love volunteering, giving back and being super busy, but at some point I realized I was involved in enough things. This past year I decided to better dedicate myself to the few things I truly care about rather than spreading myself so thin. I'm able to dedicate more time and attention to a few things rather than little time to many things. It's been GREAT.
I'm going after what I want
I used to talk myself out of things and never give myself a chance to go after something or take risks, but I'm going after what i want now. Do the risks always pay off? Nope, but I learn from them and I'm giving myself chances.
I'm letting my bad decisions from the past go
Let me tell you, I have made some horrible decisions in the past. I'm not perfect and I never will be. I used to sometimes let those decisions and mistakes eat me up, but I'm growing past them and really letting them go. There's nothing I can do about what happened, but I can continue to move forward and make sure I don't make those same mistakes again. Boy have I learned A LOT!
I'm making decisions for me now
I let my high school boyfriend decide what color prom dress I would wear to my senior prom AND let him pick out our college (do not do this). Jarrett ultimately decided we were moving to Connecticut (which has turned out well). This year, I started to make decisions for me and really let myself go after what I wanted. Is that selfish? I don't see it that way. I give so much of myself to others that I wanted to start to take time to do things for me. I didn't get to do a study abroad program in college because I didn't have the funds or confidence to go away to London for a semester, even though I was accepted into London Metropolitan University.
Traveling is my favorite thing to do. And I love getting out of the country even more. So for me, and just for me, I decided to take 6 weeks to go live in Spain from June through the end of July. I'll be teaching English programs in the morning and participating in an au pair program with a family I'm already in love with, and I could NOT be more excited! This is just for me and I can't wait to get to know myself even better. After I leave Spain, Jarrett is coming to meet me in Milan and we're traveling through Italy and Greece then spending a little time in Dubai before heading back. It's going to be life changing and it frankly couldn't come at a better time for me!
I turn 26 on June 13 and I can't wait to see what the next year holds and what develops. Stay tuned!