26 Years of Life
Me in 5 words at the age of (almost) 26: Creative, Inspired, Focused, Balanced & Curious.
(I’m going to start writing these every year to see how I evolve ^ Also, I’m going to write a “26 Things I’m Grateful for at 26” post on my actual bday in two days, so stay tuned for that if you love lists as much as I do!)
As I write this, I’m sitting in bed at The Standard East Village in NYC, sipping on an iced coffee with almond milk, (yes, after having taken a self-timer photo in bed with a bathrobe on – peep it below!), watching the rain pour down over the city from 15 floors above, marveling at the idea that I am going to have TWENTY SIX years of life under my belt in two short days.
Oh, and did I mention it’s 1:46 p.m. and this adventurholic, workaholic, Type A chica is in b-e-d ?!
I decided to have a slow day today. Whenever I come to the city, my schedule is jam-packed to the BONE. I squeeze in as many meetings, coffee dates, workouts, dinners, nights out, photo shoots, events, and friend rendezvous’ as possible. Which, by the way, is all a lot of fun for me – that’s why I do it.
BUT by yesterday afternoon I started feeling sort of weird. Headachey, a little nauseous and dizzy, and SUPER mofo-ing exhausted. I went out in Brooklyn with some of my closest friends, and by midnight (9p.m. PST, keep in mind) I was wiped the F out.
Basically what I needed was rest, and a good healthy dose of me-time. So I have been in bed ever since, and holy mother of god does it feel good. Reading, having room service, catching up on Insta scrolling (#realness), zenning out, and conserving energy for the rest of my filled-to-the-brim trip here.
This is something I never would have done at 22. Or 23, 24, or the early stages of 25, for that matter.
This newfound, “kapha” state of mind (Ayurveda, bb) is very, very, well… NEW in my life. I’ve known I’ve needed to slow down for a while, for my mental and physical health and sanity, but I am finally putting that slowdown to the test.
I did my first Panchakarma this year, which you can read about here, here & here if you’d like to. 🙂 Beyond healing from some very deep and heavy emotional wounds (not to be dramatic – but only the truth) during that detox, I gained a strong appreciation for rest.
And guess what? It’s proving to motivate me TENFOLD when it comes to actually accomplishing things I want to do and sustain the go-go-go type of lifestyle that I like to keep up for the most part.
We all need a little chill time. It’s also the time when I think the most clearly and have access to the most innovative ideas in my brain… I’ve been working on my ebook, my next book ideas & my upcoming podcast in bed this morning. It’s all about BRAINSTORMING — which can happen anywhere, and mainly (for me) when you’re not cramming your schedule with coffee dates or sitting at your desk banging out work.
Anyway, I just had to make note of that in this post, because it’s been very hard for me over the years as a super social creature to accept that I need time to myself. At times, it has made me feel strange and even alienated from people close to me because I’ve felt DIFFERENT in a lot of ways.
For one, I can barely drink alcohol. If I do, I am down for the count for days afterward. I cannot stay out super late without being run down and “hungover” (even from tiredness) for, again, days.
I admire my friends who can do that — drink, stay out late, juggle their careers and fitness and passions on top of it. But I just can’t, or maybe it’s because it’s not a priority to me.
Now that I am nearly 26 (very nearly!), I have finally accepted it. I do get shit sometimes still from people who I’ve known forever who can’t believe I don’t really drink anymore — and here in NYC it does noticeably affect how I spend my time. Yoga classes instead of daytime bars, Flywheel events instead of night clubs, mornings in bed instead of hungover brunches.
But I like that. I’m cool with it. It might make me different than a lot of 20-somethings, but I know myself — I’m super sensitive, and I also have massive, massive goals for myself. I don’t think with my sensitivity I’d be able to explore all the creative endeavors that I want to AND live the old, going out, party lifestyle that I once did.
What I’ve Learned in my 20’s Thus Far //
Maybe that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned in my twenties. It’s okay to be different, and it’s actually radically awesome to be different.
Your true friends will always stay in your life. And creating space to be wholeheartedly YOU lands a lot of other awesome, likeminded kindred spirits in your life too.
Another thing I’ve learned… don’t try to do it ALL. Man, when I was 24 I had one hell of a year. I left grad school to be a full-time blogger and entrepreneur, launched an app, wrote a book, started running a clothing line, adopted a cat, moved into my own place, went on a few yoga retreats, traveled literally everywhere that was offered to me.
It was fun AF! But I did get a little out of touch with my heart and soul. I was all over the place, and I was rundown.
Now, I’m trying to focus on a few key things. Mainly: people closest to me (obviously), THIS blog, writing, starting new projects that I am head over heels about (like 110% or more, or else not worth my time), yoga training / teaching, and Hudson.
That’s about it. I am still traveling, but not nearly as much. And definitely trying not to say “yes” to every opp (no matter how exciting) that comes my way, and for SURE not saying “yes” to things that don’t align with my goals and vision completely.
Lastly… This is the hugest thing I’ve learned: to be happy with what I HAVE. It’s so easy to get caught up in wanting more, more, more with the way society (and the blogging / cyber world, especially) is these days.
I got lost in that for a while. I wanted my book to be a NY-Times Best-Seller or Oprah’s Book Club, ignoring the fact that it sold well and touched a lot of people’s lives.
I wanted to be a wellness blogger AND a fitness blogger AND a fashion blogger AND a healthy recipe blogger AND a yoga blogger… Without just accepting the fact that this blog is all about my lifestyle and doesn’t need to fall into one particular category to be meaningful and relevant.
I wanted certain people in my life to be “more” to me and for me — even when they were perfectly wonderful exactly as they’ve always been. I wanted unhealthy relationships in my life to be healthy — instead of just accepting that maybe they aren’t meant to be in my life.
I wanted to speed through my 300-hour yoga training and nail poses I’ve never been able to do before — maybe even for the sake of the awesome Insta that would come of it. (Cringe but true.)
The last 8 years of my TBB self condensed into 6 photos. 😉 I don’t know about you, but I feel myself moving in a more balanced and centered direction each year when I look at these. Although 8 and 7 years ago I was so young and carefree which also had it’s wonderful perks, and I think you can see it all over my face. <3
ANNNNDDD GUESS WHAT?!
Letting go of each of these expectations, one by one, and appreciating what I DO have has made me a hell of a lot happier.
Now I’m like — ummmm if I died tomorrow (morbid, I know), I would have so much to be proud of. I am pursuing my dreams. I’ve published a book. I am running a business. I’ve (hopefully) left a lasting impact on so many people I love and cherish and adore.
But morbidness aside, I am just really very stoked on what life has in store of 26. I feel so centered, balanced, whole, inspired, and in love with my life. More than ever before.
I know what I WANT, and I know what I want to accomplish. I’ve learned how to run a business, and I’ve also learned what it takes to grow a business… oh, and I’ve learned how NOT to run a biz and have learned from my mistakes. And I am really looking forward to expanding TBB in this next year in a lot of new, fun and fresh ways.
So, cheers to many more years with you guys. To letting go of expectations. To being exactly as we are, every day, no matter who we “aren’t.” To loving the people in our lives with reckless abandon, because they show up for us exactly as they are. To filling our time with things we love and being okay with ditching the things we don’t.
Also, all this rest & reflection has me feeling VERY motivated and excited for what’s ahead. It will be a constant push and pull for me between overexerting myself and then getting rundown, so cheers to BALANCE in this 26th year of life. <3
Lastly… Thanks for reading along with me for the last three and a half years. I can’t believe I was 22 when I started this blog and have been lucky enough to cultivate so many rad, inspiring readers who I consider my dearest friends and tribe.