I only have a few days left before I turn 30, and it’s made me a bit nostalgic. Because not only has the world changed immensely since I was 20, but so have I. I’m a different person than I was 10 years ago, and all that change has been for the better. The past decade of my life has been like roller coaster ride: exhilarating highs, devastating lows, and everything in between- it has all made me into the woman I am today.
I’m not the first person who’s done this, and I’m not the most insightful, but I wanted to share with you some of the most important things that I’ve learned, things that have not only shaped how I see myself but how I see the world.
Don’t chase after people who don’t want to chase you back.’
For years, as far back as middle school and high school, I was always chasing after the people who I thought were my friends. By my late 20s, myself and the girls I had considered my best friends since 12 no longer spoke to one another. Friendship is a two-way road and I was tired of being the only one on it. It broke my heart, but I realized that I deserved more, that my friendship was worth more what I was getting from them. Since then, I’ve found friends whom I couldn’t imagine life without; they are family, my ride or die bitches, and I love them dearly.
Be loud and be proud about what you love, but don’t be a dick about it.
Whatever it is that you love, don’t be shy about it. Whether it’s comic books, sports, the Renaissance, or meteorology, don’t be ashamed! Talk about it, find others who like the same thing, learn more about it! For so long I never really talked about my passions. I was embarrassed and sad because no one would really understand what I was talking about or where I was coming from. But as I got older and my passion for these things grew, I realized that I was being silly! So I started talking more about them (when the timing was appropriate). It made me happy to talk about the stuff I loved. It makes me even happier to explain or teach someone else the finer points of it. But I am never conceited. I may love Harry Potter but I am no expert, nor do I pretend to be, about that or anything else. Your knowledge on a subject does not give you the right to look down on others who don’t like the same thing or who don’t know everything about it. Nobody likes a know-it-all who is as also a dick. Besides, half the fun of having a passion is to continually be learning more about it. That way the fun never stops!
Don’t feel guilty about taking care of yourself.
Self-care is something that I thought I did pretty well but have only recently realized how I was lacking in certain areas. Life is often so busy and hectic that we can grow so used to just powering through the exhaustion. Whether it’s making time for yoga or the gym, a quiet night at home, or a journaling session once a week, it is exceptionally important to do whatever it is that centers and re-energizes you. Mentally, physically, emotionally- making sure that you are healthy and happy should always be a priority. You should never feel bad or ashamed for taking care of yourself, in whatever form that may be. Because are friends who make you feel bad for turning down invitation really friends at all? I don’t think so.
Designer is nice, but it isn’t always better.
I’m a sucker for a good designer bag or pair of sunglasses. When looking for new skin care products or makeup, my instinctive first move is to go to a designer line of products. After hundreds of dollar, some of it wasted, I know that designer isn’t always better. I’m rough on my sunglasses, so although I love Ray-Bans, it makes more sense to buy knockoffs (thank you Target!). Through years of experimentation, I’ve learned oily-acne prone skin looks best with a combination of designer and drugstore products (the $16 NYX primer works just as well as the $36 Smashbox one!). The big exception is handbags and staple wardrobe pieces; it is generally true that that designer satchel or business suit will handle wear and tear better than the a store brand one, making it worth the investment. At the end of the day, it’s all about trial and error and figuring out what works best for you, to try and get the best return for your investment. Designer doesn’t make you better; it just means that you have money.