Tomorrow is my 26th birthday. I've never written about my birthday on the blog before but as a sit in a hotel room in Berlin, I can't help but to feel the need to reflect on the past year—heck, the past 26 years.
Maybe this is crazy to say or maybe even an obvious statement but life is so precious. And that is one reason I have strayed away from ever reflecting about my personal life—the real inner workings of my brain—on the blog. Not because it is something I want to keep to myself but because I've never been sure how to put it into words—my life and how I've changed, grown (not in height...though I'm convinced I grew an inch recently), and found my way over the years. But I think its time, on the eve of my 26th birthday (did that sound too dramatic?), to chat a little bit about it.
Getting older is something that used to really bother me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my birthday (ask anyone close to me...its more like a birthday month). I just didn't like the idea of years slipping away and moving further away from the ease of childhood. What I didn't realize were those fears had nothing to do with actually getting older but more about making sure I was living the life I wanted to live. Maybe saying I was scared to let go of childhood sounds well...strangebut I always knew deep down that I didn't belong in the typically defined adult world. I wasn't meant to go to a 9-5 job. I wasn't meant to roll through the stages of settling in, buying a house, having children right away, and so on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing any of those things. Like my girl Amy Poehler says "good for you, not for me."
I think most creatives can relate to wanting to carve your own unique path. And, I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged this and to then find someone that supported my wild ways (yeah, I'm talking about my main man Ricardo). So here I am, just about 26 and looking back on all the curves, bumps, and smooth parts along the road that have got me to where I am today and I can honestly say I am happy. The happiest I have ever been. Just true and pure happiness running right through me.
People like to tell me I'm lucky but I don't think it has anything to do with luck. I've worked hard and kept my determination in order to get myself where I am today. When I couldn't land a job out of college, I hopped around in-house freelance gigs to help build my skills. When I wasn't creatively satisfied just being a graphic designer any longer, I started my own company to reflect what my creative soul was after and built it from the ground up. When my husband and I decided we wanted to live abroad and travel through Europe, we found a way to get sponsored and move to London. Whenever we felt unhappy, we pushed ourselves to define what happiness was for us to work hard towards it.
So, here is what I've learned through all of that. I've learned that its important to set goals for yourself and its okay if they change while you are working for them. That things take time to build, work, and evolve to be where you want them to be deep down. Hard work and determination are two of the key components to success and conquering our goals. What you want (most likely) will not just fall into your hands. You must continue to push yourself even when things seem too hard or too much. And lastly, I've found that I am stronger and more capable than I have ever thought.
While there are some major points throughout my youth and teenage years that shaped who I am today, I feel like my life really started when I got out of college and moved to Boston with Rico. Relocating to Boston was scary to me. Laugh all you want (I'll join you) but I had never lived in a city before. I was nervous to take the T by myself and to leave our cozy neighborhood. But once I did it. I felt empowered. There were points that you would have found me commuting to work using two trains and a bus (I know...skillz). Living in Boston helped me realize what I was personally capable of doing. Now living in London, Boston seems harmless and easy. London is, after all, basically a billion times larger than Boston. Living in both these cities though made me tough, they've made me step outside my comfort zone constantly, push my limits, and most importantly they have shown me a larger picture of the world.
Cities and traveling really make you realize how small you really are. And maybe that sounds sad but that is something key to grasp (especially in todays world) in order for us to understand each others differences. This is one of the greatest lessons I have learned in my 26 years of life—that I am small. That there are much larger and greater things in the world. So be kind to others, love with all your heart, explore new places, define your own meaning of happiness and success because whats important is we all be our true best selves so that as a whole, we can bring more peace to this wild world.
Cheers to 26!