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hi!

so today is a very special day because it’s the last day i will ever say my age out loud! ha but really.. 25 seems like a big deal and i feel so lucky to hit this milestone and that i have a ton of great experiences to look back on already. this post is a list of some of my favorite things that i’ve done, mixed in with some of the most important lessons i’ve learned so far.

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1. do 360’s in an airplane

it’s not a substitute for skydiving (still planning to do that ASAP), but this past summer my dad’s friend and i did quite a few loops and rollovers in his plane.. so fun.

2. drive through big sur

this is something that absolutely everyone must do at least once!! i can’t even describe it - just go see for yourself. magic.

3. lesson learned: hard work and passion makes you unstoppable

i’m fascinated by seeing people live out their passions, and i love hearing about the hard work that goes into successes. as i’ve grown up, i’ve learned that there are many, many jobs outside of the “doctor, lawyer, teacher” choices that are usually presented to you in school (not that there is anything wrong with those professions!). i owe the success of my accomplishments so far to hard work, but i have found that injecting a sense of passion (self-motivation is big) really does make you unstoppable. and i’m still allergic to settling so there’s that 💁🏻‍♀️

4. graduate college.

i graduated from UCSB in 2016 and college made a huge impact on me as a person - you can learn more about that here. just a disclaimer: i don’t think everyone needs to go to college, but it was the right choice for me, and led to me to meeting a lot of people and having certain experiences that i wouldn’t have had otherwise.

and a spoiler alert for anyone still in school: the learning doesn’t stop when you graduate :)

5. rescue Ruby and Charlie (and Max)

my dogs and cat have truly changed me - they are my whole world and i cannot imagine not having them! i got max when i was in high school and ruby and charlie right before i graduated college. i could talk about them for far too long, but i will say that my favorite thing about max is that he is a healthy 17 pounds and just a big fur ball. i love how ruby howls or whimpers to get her way (she is a very vocal little girl) even though it drives everyone else nuts, and charlie is obsessed with all of his toys and has a special bond with each of them, which sounds lame but it’s so cute that he is so particular. they are my favoriteeeee 💛

6. experience Day of the Dead in Mexico

the biggest part of traveling for me is getting to see and learn about other cultures; it’s amazing how you can do something as simple as cross the street and experience something so different (take new york, for example). last october, i went to Mexico with my mom and we were able to see how Day of the Dead is celebrated there, and it is one of my favorite memories, and probably always will be.

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7. lesson learned: nothing is forever

kind of a bittersweet lesson. pretty much everything in life is transient - the harder times don’t last as long as you think they will. but on the other hand, the people you love won’t be around forever, either. i don’t think mortality truly hit me until about two years ago, but it has definitely impacted the way i view life and the way i live it ever since.

8. tumble

this one is slightly a stretch (no pun intended) because it’s been yearsssss since i’ve done any kind of spectacular pass. i started cheer and tumbling when i was little - like before i was old enough to recognize i could potentially break my neck doing what i was doing - and i remember it being so fun. even if you don’t want to monkey around and walk on your hands, developing a physical skill is so important and worthwhile. and maybe i will end up getting a pass back within the next few years.. maybe.

9. live with roommates..

what a trying time haha. i know some people LOVE living with roommates and then others hate it. i think it has its moments where both feel true. i never picked my roommates when i lived with others; it was always random. it’s an experience i’m grateful for, and i would try it again with people i know beforehand, but at the same time.. it’s a lotttt. but you really learn so much about yourself when you live with other people.

10. .. and live alone.

i lived alone my senior year of college and it was such a treat - i genuinely see it as a gift because it’s obviously more expensive than living with others. i think i learned how to be more resourceful when i lived alone (nothing quite like trying to open a jar late at night), but you can also become a little ridiculous. hence where my cookies for breakfast behavior began...

and one more thing - being able to say i lived on the beach for two years is just kind of sickening. like how spoiled am i? i swear.

11. pink hair, blue hair, teal hair, purple hair..

i’ve had it all! clearly i’ve had fun with hair color (never my whole head though!). i tried to go neon green this year which is my ultimate dream and it ended up being the biggest fail ever. maybe it’s my fault for trying to do it myself, but there’s always next year, right? or grey, since i’m old now? hmmm..

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12. lesson learned: make time for play

one thing i’ve learned about myself is that while big life changes can make me a little anxious, the thought of getting stuck in routine and not making time for play, travel, or anything fun is just so sad! work hard, play hard. whether it’s taking a different route home, going to the beach at the last minute to see the sunset, or trying a new food, you have to make time for fun. getting out of your routine is what leads to some really great memories.

13. give back

writing this list, it was so fun to look back on some of my favorite memories and things I’ve done. but I think what matters more is what you do for others, not just yourself. I think there’s this misconception with younger people that you’ll give back to others when you have a more stable career and more money and time to spare, but there’s no guarantee that will ever be a thing. you don’t have to have it all figured out to connect with someone in need. i am so grateful that my parents taught me to give back no matter what. there’s no age requirement, no net worth requirement, no time requirement. getting in the habit of humanizing others and lending a helping hand is one thing I’m so proud of and something that will never lose its spark to me.

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14. adventure alone

so i haven’t backpacked across Europe or anything particularly wild, but i think going out and exploring by yourself is important. i’m an only child so i’ve never really hesitated to do things alone - i made a point to wander around different parts of Santa Barbara by myself on Friday mornings when i went to school there, and i always try to go off by myself when i’m traveling with others. going on adventures by yourself and really being able to do exactly what you want to do on your own schedule is such an important part of growing up and figuring out who you are.

15. figure out my finances

obviously this is boring but it also matters SO much. knowing how to budget, learning about loans and financing options, building your credit (!!).. it all adds up and impacts your future whether you like it or not. i may just be a self-made thousandaire, but taking the time to ask questions, read finance books, and even negotiate a little has helped made me more confident going forward. and a little cheat-sheet for all of you:

- you’ll never regret saving money.

- setting aside a “rainy day” fund for special occasions (separate from your emergency fund) is worth it.

- don’t let anyone borrow money unless you’re ok with never getting it back.

- money is 100% what you make of it. (aka it isn’t everything, but being without can make things a lot harder than it seems).

16. 48 hours in NYC

one of my favorite trips ever - this past summer i flew to NYC for a weekend while I was in Boston (same coast, quick flight, yeah?) and it. was. soooooo. fun. i met up with my friends amanda and jamey, and it was such a full-circle moment since they are both living there now and i remember when we drove to vegas for the night right after we graduated high school ♥️ as i get older, my friends mean more and more to me and there is really nothing better than having true, loyal friends who bring out the best in you (and then push you to be better).

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17. find a home away from home

do you ever go somewhere so many times that it becomes familiar in the best way? for me, i’ve been to tahoe and vegas enough that both places feel like a second home to me. as much as i love a new adventure, i also love knowing that when i go to tahoe or vegas it just feels like home: i know where to eat, what the fun things to do are, and even recognize a few familiar faces. as anti-settling as i am, having those homes away from home are so special.

18. create something

ok i know this one is a little random, but i am not into arts and crafts or DIY at ALL. anytime i heard someone say they “created something,” i was just in awe because it never seemed like my brain was wired that way. anyways, i set out to challenge myself earlier this year to make a website, which resulted in me creating something. it’s been so cool to grow something from the ground up, and i’ve found that i am more creative than i thought i was. i still haven’t learned to code (eventually!) but this has been a constant learning process and so fun as well.

19. lesson learned: no is a full sentence

while i may have a reputation in my family for being a little headstrong, i can also be a people pleaser. one really important lesson i’ve learned is that when you say no to someone, and you give excuses to justify why you are saying no, sometimes they use those reasons to break down your argument and get you to do something you aren’t wanting to do. “no” is a full sentence and i’ve learned to not only believe it, but act on it, too.

20. hold a 5 minute plank

cher can do it in her 70’s.. so there was no way i was not going to do it too ;) it took a little bit of time to work up the ability to hold a solid plank with no shaking for five minutes, but reaching fitness goals is always gratifying. and now i can say cher and i have something in common. 💃

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21. face my fears - snakes, blood, and guts

i wouldn’t consider myself to be the most fearful person around, but there are a few things that i would describe as “not a good time.” this includes anything with shots and snakes. i had a blood test done two days into the new year this year.. with no prior warning. i was by myself (no mom with me 😭), and totally wanted to postpone it, but knew i needed to just get it over with. it really wasn’t that bad and now i would do it again without hesitation.

snakes were a different story on the other hand.. just figuring out the logistics of getting near one made me want to chicken out (i was not about to chance it with some wild snake, and i for sure do not come across as some snake enthusiast in a reptile store, either).. this was a total one and done with me. i initially wanted to hold or touch one but just going into the reptile house made me want to cry. i still hate snakes, but sometimes you just have to do something that freaks you out so you can say you’ve done it. check.

(also i waited until literally yesterday to get near a snake.. and ryan was a total trooper for putting up with me through this haha)

22. lesson learned: health is wealth

100%, end of story. i feel like as i get older, each day i am more and more grateful for my health - it’s one of the few things you cannot buy.

23. parasail

my mom and i parasailed in mexico last year and it’s a cute little memory to think back on because it was a spur of the moment, “why not” type of thing :) aren’t those usually the best memories? not to mention you had to get on a couple boats (literally crawl from one boat to the other in the middle of the ocean) to do it, which.. terrible.

24. a whole lotta travel…

i am so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to travel (and travel frequently!) in life. my parents have always included me in their trips growing up, and i’ve been able to travel even more as of late (see some of it documented here). travel makes me so appreciative and i’ll never be nonchalant about it. even going thirty minutes outside of where you live can lead to some pretty big adventures.

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25. … and all of the little things in between

when i sat down to make this list it felt a little strange because it almost seemed like i needed to fill it with the biggest and best, most grandiose and exciting things that have happened so far. don’t get me wrong - i am so lucky to have experienced everything that i have so far. but i have learned that i am definitely not a fancy person and when I sit and think back it’s really just the little things that come to the front of my mind. the times when me and family or friends are laughing so hard and won’t stop. or being able to sit outside for 15 minutes every day and enjoy the sunshine. or when you are riding the struggle bus and then things click and you feel the biggest relief when it all works out. I have said it lots of times on my blog but I am never going to stop feeling lucky and like I have received way more than anyone deserves. so 25 is for all of the little things.. that are actually the big things :)

thank you so much for reading ♥️

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