Twenty Nine

Hello! First of all, it's been awhile. I don't quite know why I haven't blogged lately; I guess I haven't felt very inspired, laziness, tired, etc. etc. etc. Well, I decided to post today.

I'm 29 today. Whoa. I'm constantly trying to figure out where the time went. I'm like, how did I get here? How am I already 29? My 20s (although not over yet) have been eventful. I've learned a lot. I've fallen in love. I've grown up. I've gone through self hate and self love. I've learned what it means to take care of myself, to be a good person, to be loving.

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You don't realize how much you've gone through until you look back, and so, without further ado, I want to reflect on all the things I've experienced throughout my 20s.

I remember turning 20. WHOA Liz, you're 20! You're no longer a teenager, you're, like, a real adult. I remember this is the year I met Chris (actually I was 19, but this is the year shit got real). This is the year I remember getting my first car (which I still have), the year I fell in love, the year I thought I was making a shitload of money and worked at the coolest place, the year I felt with it, the year that I was like, yeah Liz, you're a real adult.

Twenty-one. I mean, hello! 21's a big year. I could drink, legally, I could go to bars, Vegas, do the things I dreamt about before turning 21. I remember having a BBQ for my 21st birthday, tacos and beer, perfect birthday, right? I also remember my the first job I had with weekends off, guaranteed vacation and sick time-that felt so adult. Like sweet, I work Monday through Friday, have weekends off, and get vacation time, and if I am really sick, I can call out and still get paid for it! I also remember not having hangovers because man, those were the days...no hangovers. And if I did, it'd be cured with massive amounts of breakfast from Kimmies.

Twenty-two. I was still at Fullerton College. Trying to figure shit out. Thinking, shit, I'm supposed to have graduated from college by now and have a real job, yet here I am working part time and still in community college. But, this year I also transferred to Cal State Fullerton and pursued my bachelor's degree. It took me longer than my friends (they all graduated earlier than me), but I finally got there and continued to progress a degree.

Twenty-three. 23 is kind of a blur. I'm trying to remember the eventful times. I remember thinking, oh I'm 23. Older, more mature, life is figured out-ish (HA!), still in college, still working my part-time Monday through Friday gig (which I loved), still in love, still having fun, still not getting hangovers, still enjoying life, because let's be real-I'm in school still trying to figure out my life. Like, oh, I've still got time!

Twenty-four. I went to Europe. That was a learning experience, and I grew up a bit. Up until this time I was still living at home with my parents and my only responsibilities were to pay my bills (car and gas, and credit card), go to school, get good grades, and go to work. I hadn't experienced traveling on my own with a group of friends let alone traveling to a foreign country. This definitely was an experience. We were gone for a little over a month and I had never been away from Chris or my family for that long. At week 4 I broke down. I was homesick, and I missed Chris and my mom. I remember Facetiming my mom and crying (which is funny to think about now) because I was so homesick. I was emotional, I just wanted to be home. That was a learning experience for me-realizing that actually I was still quite young and not as independent as I thought. Or, I guess I was independent, but traveling really opened my eyes to quote on quote adulthood and figuring shit out for myself.

Twenty-five. I remember feeling like, how am I already 25?!?!! This was a good year, a growing and learning year. This year Chris and I moved in together in our first cute, teeny tiny, one bedroom, old ass apartment (which we still live in). This is the year that it was actually really hard for me to move out. I remember Chris asking me if I wanted to move in together, and feeling so excited thinking he wanted to live with me. ME! And saying yes, of course! But I remember also feeling really scared. How will I budget? Will I be able to afford things, groceries? What the hell kind of groceries do I buy? I remember the first week we moved in it was around my 25th birthday and Chris had gone to Texas, so I was literally alone for a few days. My dad was living in Arkansas for work and my mom had gone to visit him for the Holidays, so I couldn't just go over to their house and hang out. The apartment had no groceries so I needed to pick some up. I remember having a meltdown in the store because I literally did not know what the fuck to buy. Up until that point my parents had done all the grocery shopping, and yeah, I would request stuff and I'd cook my own meals from time to time, but I was never the one to go to the grocery store and buy things. I remember calling my mom to figure out what to buy, and she didn't answer, so I was on my own. I remember picking up random shit...eggs (crucial), but also like an olive baguette (???) because it felt adult. HAHA, that was a weird trip, because I really didn't know what to buy, I didn't know what it truly meant to grocery shop. Times have definitely changed. The first few months of living with Chris were also hard, not because we didn't live well together but just because leaving the nest was hard (I'm really bad with change).

Twenty-six. I was acclimated to living with Chris. We were doing well. I figured out grocery shopping and what to buy. I was paying bills, enjoying living in an apartment where I could decorate on my own, etc. I also remember feeling freaked the fuck out to turn 26. I was no longer going to be on my parents insurance and I hadn't found a full time job. This year was also the year I had my mid-twenties life crisis. Like, fuck, what am I doing with my life? I had graduated college but wasn't passionate about the subject I got my degree in. I applied for grad school, got in, but realized I wasn't passionate about it either and took a semester off. I got semi-promoted to the Monday-Friday gig but those few months were tough and I felt really unhappy, so I decided to quit. This is the year Chris and I went on a 3-week long road trip from New Hampshire back to California. That was a really good three weeks-I wasn't stressed and I didn't feel like I had to figure out life. While in grad school I found a part time gig at school that I took but the money was significantly less than what I was making in my M-F job, so I remembering feeling like I was failing because 1. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do and 2. My income was a lot less than before. I then had the idea of wanting to become a fashion stylist. I always loved fashion and thought, if I want to do this, now is the time. I got a job working retail at Free People thinking it would be the right step into the direction I wanted going into the stylist life. I also tried to connect with local online brands to see if I could come out and get experience. I was able to get some, but I wasn't feeling it. I remember Free People wasn't fun for me, it was just selling, and I ultimately wanted to style. The girls and the atmosphere were awesome, but selling just wasn't all that fun. So, I quit and decided to go back to the M-F gig. I reapplied and got offered to be a boss. I had the previous experience, so I figured why not? Let's do this.

Twenty-seven. Okay, whoa, I am officially in my late 20s. I decided grad school wasn't for me. I didn't love it. In fact, I despised it. I didn't want to do it anymore, so I stopped. It didn't feel right, and quite honestly if it didn't feel right I didn't want to continue. I was working as this new boss and trying to figure it out. It was fun, weird, exciting, hard, new, but I was doing it and I liked it. It was a full time gig so I was able to my get my benefits, and that felt comforting. This is the year though I remember my self-esteem had taken a low. I was so focused on my looks. For work, I pretty much had a uniform-jeans, a work t-shirt and tennis shoes. On the weekend I would try to dress cute and be 'with it'. I remember trying to emulate a particular blogger and literally try to look just like her, and when I didn't I felt defeated. I remember on the weekends when Chris and I would go out I would have a melt down because I didn't feel cute and thin. I felt ugly, fat, ashamed. I remember trying so hard to look like her because I was trying to figure out who I still was. I realized I was so focused on my professional growth earlier that once I kind of had that figured out (and literally, kind of) my new obsession was my appearance. It was overwhelming and more days than not I felt unhappy with myself. This is the year I was trying really hard to get thin, and so I'd count all my calories and try to be strict, but then the weekends would hit and I'd have fun but feel guilty and it was a vicious cycle of giving myself a break but also to have fun. 27 was a really weird year for me. It was a year just figuring out how to understand who I was and figuring out self-love.

Twenty-eight. I can say with confidence I learned to love myself. 28 was actually a really good year for me. I felt genuinely happy. I really liked my job, I was discovering self love and was realizing that I am a beautiful, awesome person. I was feeling comfortable with myself. Mine and Chris's life had also slowed down a bit. We were spending the weekends at home, cooking, and not going out. I wasn't exploiting my self-worth by my looks but what I was doing in my life and if it was making me happy. I started writing, on this blog, but also getting side gigs. I love to write, and this has been a really rewarding passion for me to have found. I used to hate writing because I associated it with writing papers for college. But when I found this blog I had fun and found a voice. I tend to be the quiet one in the group, so being able to express my thoughts through words feels really, really good. 28 I've really learned to love who I am. My life is somewhat figured out, and I feel good, and mostly I feel confident.

Twenty-nine. Let's do this. I plan to make this last year of my twenties the absolute best. I am in a much better place than I've ever been before. I am truly confident, I love who I am as a person, I love the hobbies I have, although I don't want to feel like I am settling in work I am content where I am. My goal is save more, make more money, enjoy life, spend copious amounts of time with the people I love the most in my life, to be more social, self loving, and to really enjoy the ride. I can only see good things from here on out.

The best gift I can give to myself is to feel constantly inspired, to continue to love myself, and to live in the moments, because I'm not getting any younger. I just want to continually enjoy the ride.

Happy Birthday to Me!