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What I Learned In My Twenties

From my blog archives with a few new edits, I originally wrote this on December 26th, 2016. Enjoy!

I woke up this morning as I do any other day. Sleepily rising from my bed & wiping my eyes, as I unrolled my pink yoga mat & laid it out on the floor. Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara) followed by 20 minutes of meditation allows me to set my intentions for the day, feel at one with the universe, & just fills me with positive vibes overall. But as I eased out of my meditative state, reality struck me. It is exactly one week until my 30th birthday!

I’ll be in Vegas on January 2nd, probably drunk & filled with all you can eat sushi. It feels as if it was just yesterday that I was blogging about being 29 & doing things that scare me. This year has been a whirlwind of adventure & immense personal growth. I am so happy to say that I am nothing like my insecure, overly-cautious, early 20-something-year-old self.

In this past decade, I started my own YouTube channel, blog, & built my own personal brand from the ground up across many social media platforms. I’ve also entered into a career in the Beauty Industry, which I never thought I’d do.

If you’re in your early or mid-20s, struggling with finding yourself & forging your own path, don’t worry – I’ve been there too. I’ve learned that the universe tends to unfold as it should, so there’s no use in getting too anxious or worried about what your future will hold. Stay positive, keep moving forward, & never give up hope! If you still don’t believe me, here’s a list of the most important things I’ve learned in my 20s in no particular order.

WE ALL DESERVE TO BE HEARD WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. 

At an early age, my dad instilled the importance of developing my arguments. During family dinners, we would discuss various topics, & I’d only be allowed to participate in the discussion if I was able to provide reasoning for my beliefs & be open to hearing the opposing point of view. I’ve learned that the common phrase “everyone is entitled to their opinion” has become shorthand for “I can say or do anything I want.” This is often why 20-somethings engage in unnecessary arguments ultimately leaving opponents unable to reconcile. Even if you disagree with someone, you should only be entitled to your opinion if you can back it up with good reason.

YOU DON’T NEED TO EXPLAIN YOUR DECISIONS TO ANYONE. 

Don’t be afraid to forge your own path. Not everyone will understand the choices that you make, but they don’t have to. It’s your life, & you’re the only one in charge of your happiness. Don’t ever feel guilty for doing what you think will be best for you. And even if others continue to dissuade you,  you shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes. (Don’t let anyone hold your mistakes over your head either!) Be willing to fail early & often. It’s better to take risks while you’re still young.

BE YOU. 

Be unapologetic of who you are, because, at the end of the day, you’ll be happier. You should never feel the need to hide any parts of yourself. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for you. So don’t try to force it if it doesn’t feel right. Be genuine & authentic. The right people will still be around & like you for who you are.

APOLOGIZE AND FORGIVE. 

Holding onto our past mistakes causes a lot of unnecessary turmoil. I’ve learned that holding onto these negative emotions only makes you complacent and petty. Don’t be afraid to apologize to anyone you’ve hurt & forgive anyone who has hurt you. Letting go & taking the high road allows you to grow & become a better person.

TRAVELING IS THE QUICKEST WAY TO REALIZE HOW INSIGNIFICANT YOUR PROBLEMS ARE. 

The life you lead is minuscule in the grand scheme of things. In France, I saw miles of Syrian refugees with nowhere to call home. It made not being able to afford to buy my own home before turning 30 pretty trivial. With so much pain & suffering in the world, be grateful for what you have.

I’ve learned & grown so much in this past decade. I can’t wait to see what my 30s have in store for me. Whether you’re in your early, mid, or late twenties, what are the most valuable things you’ve learned?

XO Denise

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