twenty-six

It's true, I'm in my late twenties now.

Whatever that means.

25 was a year of change for us + sometimes I wish I could tell my one year younger self,

"hey, you are enough. your identity is not found in how much money you make or how clean your house is or what stuff you buy or how clear your skin is or even how "good" you are.

there's grace + you are your toughest (most of the time harshest) heckler. be kind to yourself. you are growing stronger. but remember that grace thing because you're not a perfect human, so stop trying to be."

So in a "hello, it's me" -but from the future- kind of style here's what I would remind myself of on those weeks that I struggled and cried and scraped through being a mid-twenties lady.

1/ Top knots + that white vneck will be your go-to. Forever + always. And no one cares or even notices if you wear makeup. Stop covering up + be yourself.

2/ You're going to have to go through a lot of Netflix movies to find those hidden gems everyone is always raving about. Usually on a four dud to one gem ratio. 

3/ You will get a substantial amount of new plant babies + they will flourish. 

4/ Steer clear of cilantro + shrimp. You are allergic. And don't encourage Caleb to eat that piece of chicken that fell out of his sandwich onto the ground - all of it was already covered with food poisoning bacterium anyway.

5/ You will read a book called Wild + Free that will stir + change your insides + the way you think about yourself.

6/ You will use emojis + then start to like them + your emoji game will be strong.

7/ You are a highly sensitive person + that is okay.

8/ You will quit a job + begin a new one. Be kind to yourself during this adjustment.

9/ Stay soft. It looks beautiful on you. -Nayyirah Waheed 

10/ You will attend a conference that will wreck you. Like a deep dive, ugly cry, sit-in-your-fear kind of wreck. But your eyes will open to God + hope + light + the cross. 

11/ You will never like Game of Thrones. Even if you hear about it over and over. And that is also okay.

12/ You will stumble upon your new favorite store + throw away all of your beauty products.

13/ You will discover your heart for fair labor + start changing your buying habits, realizing ethical fashion is less about the clothes + more about a conscious, intentional lifestyle. 

14/ You will travel to Maine + Indy + Boston via plane only to become more confident + independent in your traveling skills.

15/ You will start reading a trilogy only to realize that the third book doesn't come out until December 2016 + you will pitch a fit + vow to never read fictional trilogies again. But you will. 

16/ You will crush hard on One Direction only for them to break up so you will move onto Milk Carton Kids + The Lumineers + Volcano Choir + Coldplay + The National + that kid named Justin Bieber. 

17/ Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. It's in the eye of marketing + it's messed up. Be who you are because "the woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet" -Mohadesa Najumi

18/ You can cook things for yourself while Caleb is away. And your carbonara might be better than his. Just try it. 

19/ You will still have that longing for babies that you've always had + sometimes it hurts + sometimes you're content. But you can wait. Enjoy this moment.

20/ You'll save that stupid fiddle fig from a despicable yellow fungus in the winter that probably released all sorts of spores around your house. But it will have new growth in the spring + become your favorite. 

21/ You will deepen friendships + do life with people who encourage you + bake tedious birthday cakes for you because they get your flavor profile. (Earl grey cake with chocolate lavender frosting, i mean, come on.)

22/ Caleb will travel more + more to far away places. And it will suck for day one + day three the most but then it gets easier. And you, timid one, will slowly become more comfortable, putting away the stun gun/taser by your beside + your car keys on the nightstand. But keep the chairs under the door because, duh, safety. 

23/ You will finally start to feel strong + energized while working out. You have officially drank the kool-aid. 

24/ You'll discover that tailoring your clothes is like, the best thing ever + you will save a pair of pants + jean shorts from the landfill.

25/ You will discover ramen. Looking at you, Dashi + Momofuku, with heart eyes.

26/ The half up, half down top knot will come back into style but you know how to rock it because 1993 was your golden year. 

Stay resilient + confident. Be kind to those crazies at Whole Foods that you meet in the aisle or don't know how to wield a cart. Because you just don't know who is having a tough day + is still grieving Harry Styles cutting those luscious locks.