10 Things I Learned in my Twenties

June 8, 2017

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10 Things I Learned in my Twenties- M Loves M @marmar

Today is my birthday and I’m not just one year older, but I’m also entering a new decade…my 30s! To be honest, it’s a little scary to think about. I feel like every major birthday milestone up until this point has been really exciting {double digits, sixteen, eighteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-five}, but now thirty.

While this birthday has mixed emotions for me, it’s amazing to think how much I’ve grown and changed in the past ten years. I’ve graduated from college, got my first real job, got engaged, married, adopted a dog, and had a baby. There’s definitely a lot to be grateful for and I feel very lucky to be exactly where I am right at this moment. To stop any sort of 30th birthday blues, I thought I’d reflect a little bit and share 10 things I learned in my twenties.

10 things I learned in my twenties - M Loves M @marmar these white tassel earrings add such a fun touch to your spring outfits casual spring outfit inspiration on the go in la with this outfit styling white sunglasses for summer - M Loves M @marmar classic and feminine spring outfit inspiration can't get enough of stripes - M Loves M @marmar

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10 Things I Learned in my Twenties

  1. There is no “perfect time.” When Matthew and I were dating we sometimes talked about getting married. Yet, when we talked about getting engaged I was like, “No let’s wait until I’m 6 months into my career.” I was living the confused post-grad life, not sure what I wanted to do yet. Did I want to be a lawyer? A teacher? An editor? I didn’t know. I felt like marriage needed to happen when I was in a place for marriage. I thought that meant having the 9 to 5 professional job. That thought process was so silly, though, because there’s really no perfect time for anything. I shouldn’t have cared so much about what it looked like to anyone else. Yes, I was young. Yes, I didn’t have a “real” job, but that wasn’t going to stop me from marrying the person I knew I wanted to be with. It wasn’t until about 9 months later that I started my first real job, but, funny enough, the one I’m doing now with blogging started well before Matthew and I even talked about getting married.
  2. Games don’t work. One thing I learned very early in my young 20s dating life is that games don’t work. In high school, there were a lot of games where you’d like someone, pretend like you didn’t, say things you didn’t mean to, and manipulate situations to get what you wanted. I’ve realized that games really don’t work in a relationship. It’s much better to be honest and upfront, communicating exactly how you feel. More often than not, you’ll get what you want, and both partners will feel happier and more confident in the relationship. Honesty gets you so much further!
  3. Cultivate friendships with people that matter to you. I graduated high school with my three best friends knowing we’d make the time for each other despite college and our post-grad lives. Some people probably thought it was naive of us to think we’d stay close, especially with the distance, but you know what? We’re still best friends and we still see each other. Sure it’s harder these days. Hanna is in Houston, Lizzie is getting ready to move to the East Coast, and Pauline and I are manning the fort in Los Angeles. But over the years we’ve made time for our monthly girls nights, phone calls, text messages, and have gone on trips together. This commitment isn’t easy, especially when you’re living in other cities and working full-time. Friendships take work. But the ones that mean something are so incredibly worth it. I have three girls who are more like sisters to me and I know that no matter where life takes us we’ll always stay close. While meeting and making new friends is important to me, it’s not as important as cultivating relationships with the friends I currently have.
  4. Sometimes the scariest things to do are the ones that are the most worthwhile. One lesson I learned right at the beginning of my 20th year was that sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone and do the things that scare you the most. When I got accepted to Berkeley, I was scared to leave behind the life I had been living in Seattle. I was nervous about starting over and making such a big change. Yet, that change was probably the best thing I ever did. I knew what my life in Seattle would be like if I stayed, whereas I didn’t know what life in Berkeley would be life. If I hadn’t moved I might not have met Matthew!
  5. Things don’t come easy. Jobs. Money. Happiness. You have to work for what you want. I feel like we live in this world of instant gratification. We have so much information at our fingertips. If a website takes more than 2 seconds to load, we get frustrated and lose interest. {Side Note: sorry if this has happened on my site!} We get stuck behind an accident and think about what an inconvenience it is for us. We see other people doing things that we think we should be doing and deserve to be doing. I’ve realized that nothing comes easy in life, and it really shouldn’t. We have to work hard at the things we want and care for. It’s much more enjoyable that way, too! Similarly,  if you want something to change, you have to do something about it. You can’t be complacent and hope that things will be different.
  6. Always pursue the things that make you tick. I’ve noticed a lot of personal growth happens when I put energy towards the things I love and enjoy. Making time for hobbies, like baking, have been so enjoyable for me.
  7. Define your own version of success. I’ve realized that for me personally success doesn’t necessarily mean having a lot of money, or having a huge social media following. For me, success is being happy with where I am at that moment. As long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing and who I’m with, then that’s a success. Sometimes it can be easy to play that comparison game, especially on Instagram. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have though, I’ve been trying to focus on what I do have.
  8. When one door closes, another one opens. There are so many possibilities out there. When I didn’t get this one job I applied for, I thought that my life was over. Ok, a little dramatic, but you get the idea! I was devastated! But then I got a job I liked even more, that was a much better fit for me. I wish I could go back to that moment of feeling rejected, and comfort myself with the knowledge that I was on the right path, even if it was hard to see at the moment.
  9. You can’t do it all. This is one I’m learning more and more each day. I can’t do it all, and that’s ok. As a new mom, I often feel that pressure to do it all, and look amazing doing it. I really don’t think there is such thing as a perfect mom, just like there’s no such thing as a perfect person. My hope is to do my best and remind myself that my best is good enough!
  10. Motherhood is about being selfless. Up until 9 months ago, I was able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. While I wouldn’t call that selfishness, it was a time where I was able to satisfy my own needs first.  Now, as a mom, I have a baby who rules my world. I’ve learned to give up a lot as a mother, but also be ok with it. This is my season to be selfless, to focus on raising my baby and being the best mother that I can be. Of course self-care is important, but in general, this new chapter of life isn’t about me.

Last night I took a walk with Augustine, holding him close in my baby carrier. The sky was cloudy and gray and it made me think how we can always count on June Gloom. It made me think about where we’d be a year from now, two years from now, and even ten years from now. On my next big decade birthday Augustine will almost be ten years old. There might be a few other kids, but most likely they won’t be babies anymore. I already miss carrying Augustine and I know before I know it I won’t be able to. I want to savor this time with him as my baby. Some days it’s so hard you guys, but I know how fleeting it is! At some point I’ll miss even the hardest days.

I can only imagine all the things I’m going to learn in this new decade ahead. Some things I’d love to focus on, though, are to learn to trust my intuition, be easy on myself, and not to obsess over perfection.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and thanks so much for reading and being a part of my 20s! I have a feeling this decade will be my favorite yet!

xox

photos by Felicia Lasala