26 Things I’ve Learned @26

While there are lots of days that I still feel 16, it seems as though an entire decade has passed since then, and honestly I’ve learned a lot. Full disclosure? I was obviously inspired to write this because of Taylor Swift’s article for Elle magazine! So, if you wanted to know the 26 things I’ve learned at 26, keep reading!

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  1. Be kind to your nails – I’m starting with the silliest and working my way to most serious, but honestly I’ve destroyed my finger nails far too many times over the years and the thing I’ve come to know, I’m not an acrylic, dip, or gel person. I’m a regular polish type of girl. I do lots of stuff with my hands (like typing away on a keyboard in all my free time) and I like to have healthy nails with just a top coat on a regular day – so while I love going for a mani and having my nails perfectly shaped and trimmed, that and a baby blue polish are really all I’m looking for, plus I’m not the type to spend so frivolously, or to want to sit still for so many hours! Also, I’ve finally found a regular polish that lasts more than a day, actually more than five, thank you Olive & June (review coming soon)!
  2. Put moisturizer on the moment you are out of the shower – It took me 26 years to figure out how to make my dry skin soft and glow-y and the big secret? I put lotion on as soon as I hop out of the shower, whereas I used to wait until I was dried off. Also, I put coconut oil on my whole life – I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about the length of my eyelashes? The only thing I’ve done differently? I take my eye-makeup off with coconut oil and always leave a bit on to moisturize my lids and lashes!
  3. Texturizing spray – if you hadn’t been using it, start and if you need more proof, or a reason why, check out my journey to super model hair on Instagram. Also, one area of my life I do spend pretty frivolously? Find a hair dresser that makes your hair gorg, but also healthy!
  4. There is nothing and I mean nothing a bath, a cup of tea, and a facemask can’t fix. Trust me. Have a soak and all will be alright.
  5. Have the margarita, buy the home decor thing from Target, and get the damn latte. I know, you’re probably a penny pincher like me, but if you don’t buy the little thing you want, what’s the point of working so hard?
  6. I’ve made a list of everything that is actually important this past year, here it is in it’s entirety 1. The people you love.
  7. Be nice to animals and babies and waitresses and telemarketers, you don’t know anyone else’s story, so be nice to the girl at Best Buy, she’s trying her best.
  8. As sweet and kind as you try to be, you might trigger certain people and that’s not really a you issue. You might have been absolutely sincere and someone thought you were sarcastic as could be, but you don’t need to convince anyone of you, so don’t be so hard on yourself.
  9. Sleep with your phone on the opposite side of the room, and don’t check it until you’ve had your coffee, this one is for your mental health.
  10. The universe is not against you, even when you’re sure it is. Things aren’t happening to you, they’re happening for you. So, regardless of how many bad things stack up, know that good things come to those who believe in them.
  11. Working in retail will show you the absolute best in people, and the absolute worst.
  12. There will be people you meet who have the same story as you, or strangers who know exactly what you need without you ever saying.
  13. There will be people who ask you to speak slower, or softer, or to “tone it down” and while 21 year-old you saw this as an attack on who and what and everything you are, it’s not. To show more grace than the person asking is your real super power, so be patient, and don’t take it as a personal insult if someone thinks you’re too LOUD, or sparkly, or bright.
  14. Growing old is a privilege; so see a movie in the middle of the afternoon. Someone asked me recently if my dad’s diagnosis makes me want to travel more, or skydive, and the truth is, it makes me want to see a movie in the afternoon. Nothing makes me tear up faster than seeing an 80 year-old couple on their way to a 2 o’clock showing, knowing my parents will never have that.
  15. Fair-weather friends are not friends at all, but tragedy brings people together. As much as I’ve changed my opinion about certain “friends” in hard times, other people have offered me help and love and forgiveness and come back from my past, and I’ve met new people in unexpected ways, making fast friendships that feel like they’ll last a life time, your tribe will come, be patient and don’t settle.
  16. The past is just that. I’ve spent so much time wishing to go back, I want to apologize to the girl I said mean things about, I want to stay friends with some of my childhood ones, the ones I thought would be my bridesmaids someday, but the universe has a funny way of working itself out, and those who are supposed to be around have a way of showing back up.
  17. Have a bank account you don’t touch. I’m no financial guru, but in trying to save for a down payment on a house, I’ve learned to have an account where you deposit part of your paycheck that you don’t let yourself use, or even see.
  18. At 26, you’ll wish you realized how pretty you were at 18. So, feel pretty NOW. Stop waiting for tomorrow, or for that perfect foundation. Pretty is on the inside anyway.
  19. People who talk about how “perfect” their lives are don’t have perfect lives; they don’t believe it, so you shouldn’t either.
  20. Vacations are good for the soul. So sit beachside, read a book, and get lost in the waves of having absolutely nothing on your to-do list, while sipping a margarita.
  21. Elle Woods was right, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” 
  22. You will find him the second you stop looking. I met Darren when I was sooo not looking for a boyfriend, I was focusing on making myself happy and wouldn’t you know, that’s exactly what made him interested in me! 
  23. You choose your family, and they probably don’t have the same last name as you. You get old enough to stop answering calls from the brother who lets you down, and that’s okay because the co-worker’s daughter who you think of as your adopted niece absolutely adores you, and to be called Fi-fi by her is just about the best thing to ever happen. 
  24. If I’ve learned anything from Marie Kondo it’s that you need to clear out and make room; and I’m not just talking about your closet, people who don’t bring you joy shouldn’t be in your life, just like that sweater you wore once ten years ago, and once you realize that, people start showing up who do bring joy and who support you and lift you up, so recycle the ones who tear you down.
  25. Your personal style is YOUR personal style. So, no matter what anyone says about your pom-poms, polka-dots, rainbow stripes, or mom jeans, think about how happy five-year-old you was in those smiley face “be happy” jeans and know that she would be so pleased to see you walking around the world, wearing your happiness on your sweater! 
  26. Stop waiting for tomorrow, next year, when school is over, when things calm down; if you want something, go and get it. I believe in you!

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