If you’ve been by the YC recently, you will have noticed that I took an unannounced break. Being in New York on my 21st birthday weekend, I really just wanted to enjoy the city and being with my mom. Sometimes, you have to appreciate the moments and staying up late to push out a post — as much as it killed me — wasn’t as important as getting a good night’s sleep so I could enjoy our special weekend. And it was just that — sublimely special. I am sitting here typing it, replaying every moment in my head because it was all just so perfectly perfect. New York always will and currently does have my heart, and I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful birthday. Expect a full recap on Friday but I wanted to talk about turning 21 today — and give you 21 words I think sum up this last year perfectly.
P.S. A birthday present to myself (who else treats themselves to a present now and again? hehe!) was shooting with the fabulous Allie from prêt-à-provost . I love her style, her blog, and just her as a person. We’ve chatted over Instagram (she is also a Chi O), and meeting her was such a treat! Plus, how pretty are the images she shot when Central Park was still blanketed in snow?
I found true friends over the course of this year. I’ve always been an every-friend…friends with everyone, bouncing from group to group. But finding a core group of girls I can confide in, cry to, celebrate with — it’s been a huge development in my year. I feel so lucky to have them.
I couldn’t not address YC, because it shaped so much of my year. I forced me to grow in so many creative directions and I’m eternally grateful to you for reading and following along.
I felt the most myself this year. At some point, you have to stop caring what people think of you, and be loud and take up space and let the world know you exist!
I found myself needing running more and more this year. It was just a cathartic outlet for me, and I love how far I’ve come with it.
There were so many moments I felt enlivened by creative juice over the last year. I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to get a new idea or concept, be it for a blog post, story, drawing — whatever! I survived on creative endeavors this year.
I see the world so differently when I think about how it can be photographed. That doesn’t necessarily mean I want to Instagram everything. I actually have a huge love/hate relationship with the app. Instead, I feel acutely aware of the beauty of everyday life.
This year was defined by learning so much about myself, especially how I deal with not feeling 100%. There was a moment before summer when I was feeling intensely anxious, doubting myself. I didn’t have a summer internship lined up, and rejection was getting the better of me. I felt super, super low. I overcame the feelings by acknowledging them and working proactively to enact change in my life. I’d say I learned a lot more in that experience and became a stronger individual than if I would have been interning.
This year feels so big for me, because I’m graduating in May. A common theme has been anticipating next steps. How I am going to make the most of senior year? What are my post-grad plans? Where will I be?
We are all consumers of massive amounts of information everyday. For me, this year was spent sifting through that and determining what I aspire to be and achieve. I feel my dream of moving to New York burn intensely within my heart, and I’m now faced with the task of making it happen.
I developed my style so much over the last year, and if I had to sum up my fashion sense in one word, it’d be feminine. I think there’s feminine power in tailored, unexpected looks like this and similarly in flouncy ensembles like here and here. Blogging has taught me that fashion has no bounds, and I should just try to be as artful and expressive as I want to be.
I’ve always been in love with the color, but I fell head-over-heels for it this year. Somehow, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from all variations of pink, and I realized that just like me, it ranges from more sophisticated nude shades to more passionate poppier hues. I feel like my personality runs this gamut too!
I really, really love almond croissants. I used to feel bad about eating them, because they were buttery and indulgent. But heck, if I want to eat one every Sunday, I should enjoy it and stop kicking myself for it. And I’ve now sampled at least a dozen in San Francisco. 🙂 (highly recommend b. patisserie!)
I think there were so many moments I pinched myself for no reason. I really don’t want to take life for granted. I experience days that are low, but I made an effort to put everything into perspective this year.
I used to journal regularly. All the time. It was my outlet. Blogging is similar but not quite the same. I connected with my writing in a new way after I took a creative writing class semester. It challenged me to dig deep introspectively, and I loved exploring new facets of myself.
I’m a giggly person, and I just found that embracing that has made for a more joy-filled, lighter life.
I accepted that I am 100% a sap. I just get emotionally moved about the littlest things. I kind of love this though — I feel things deeply, and I wear my heart on my sleeve.
I spent being 20 becoming so much more comfortable without make-up. I just realized how much better I felt when I went without it. Letting my skin breath and putting an extra effort into skin care has been such a refreshing change for me.
I said “yes” to so many more things over the year! And it paid off. I got to visit with friends in New York City, travel with them to Carmel and Apple Hill, have some fun nights sometimes at a restaurant or movie night or 11 p.m. grocery run, earned an internship, grew YC, and so much more.
I’m stubborn about almost everything, but I think I tried to channel that strong will into a determined and persistent work ethic this year…and made great personal strides doing so.
I had the pleasure of experiencing three cities in new and unexpected ways this year: San Francisco, Boston, and New York. I’ve spent a good deal of my college career studying the rise of the American city, and I dove headfirst into better understanding these who metropolises. I think I’m a city girl at heart.
Pop the bubbly! Turning 21 is a fun milestone to have hit — it’s a reason to celebrate! And I think my year could be summed up as bubbly, sweet, and optimistic. Cheers to 21!
Madewell Cream Tiered Sweater // Cream Mock Turtleneck (similar found here!) // J.Crew Houndstooth Skirt // Black Tights // Unisa Dendrii Over-the-Knee Boots // Kate Spade Cedar Street Hayden // Brown Crochet Beret (similar found here!) // KJP Pearlfect Necklace
Comment below if you love these snowy pictures as much as I do! Let’s show Allie some love. 🙂