Today is a very special day because I turn a quarter century old! Thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes and love today. At this exact time last year, I took Penny & Dash into my own hands and went solo, and I really was unsure of what 2018 would look like with myself as the only driving force behind this very loved blog. This past year has been very rewarding and challenging in many ways in terms of creative vision and content creation, but I'm proud of what I have been able to create (with the support and help of many along the way), and very much excited about what is to come. I've always used this platform as an online diary to chronicle my life and travels, but what I truly want it to be a go-to place for people to find useful information and inspiration, whether it be for travel, love life, work-life balance or everything NYC. I have a lot of ideas in mind and one of my goals for 2019 is to make it all come to life. January 22nd to me always feels like a rebirth (just like when I relaunched P&D on my last birthday). So cheers to being and staying as extra as I know I can be, and here is a wisdom dump from a new 25 year old.
25 THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN 25 YEARS
1. There is simply no place like New York City. It's a love-hate relationship, but I would never trade my life here.
2. Get to know the city you work and live in. Get wanderfully lost and fall in love with the place you spend the most time.
3. Studying abroad changes your life and your perspective on everything: family, friends, strangers, love.
4. Get to truly know the people you work with. There is nothing as satisfying in a career than having a work family that you love being around.
5. Social media is great and empowering, but take breaks as frequently as you mentally need and don't forget to focus on the present too.
6. Book that plane/bus/train ticket. You will never regret it. I highly recommend visiting your motherland(s) and learning about where you come from. It will all make sense when you do.
7. It's okay to keep things private sometimes. I love to share my life but I equally love being secretive too ;)
8. Sending a text or dm a friend you haven't talked to in a while goes a long way. Ask them how they are doing, reminisce about the past, and make future plans to meet up.
9. Listening to Taylor Swift for 10 years has proven to be the best and my favorite form of therapy.
10. Spend as much time with your grandparents as you can. Ask them questions, take them to try new restaurants, and learn about your past. Record videos and write the stories down. You'll want to tell your own grandchildren someday.
11. Take those pictures! Film those videos. Amateur, long, short, shaky - One day your mind will blur and you'll look back on those mementos and wish you could go back to those times.
12. Childhood friends are the best. Keep them close in life! And the stories they can tell about you in the early 2000s? GOLD.
13. Knowing another language is so valuable. You truly understand another world. If you didn't grow up learning another language, try to learn it as young as possible.
14. Pets should never be taken for granted. Hold them tight, snuggle with them and give them lots of kisses. You''ll miss them one day when you come home and they're not right there wagging their tails with excitement.
15. Don't ask for permission. Beg for forgiveness.
16. Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy me the ability to spoil the people I love, and that makes me so happy.
17. SAVE for a rainy day! But don't forget to spoil yourself once in a while. I'd like to say that my guilty pleasures are oat milk lattes, facials, and bags...
18. It's okay to have 3 slices of cake sometimes (especially if it's your birthday - GUILTY). But everything in moderation is key.
19. Be spontaneous! Not everything needs to be planned. Sometimes, those are the best days/trips.
20. Workout. HARD. Establish a good exercise routine. Your body will thank you later.
21. Love DEEPLY. Your heart may break (and trust me, it has) but you will pick up the pieces slowly and find a love you will never want to let go of.
22. The best way to keep friendships is to make the effort to see each other. Make those plans sooner rather than later.
23. Never lose sight of your burning passions and your goals. People may not always support them and you may not always see them clearly yourself. But it's there and you are the one that ignites that fire. No one will care as much as you do.
24. Time really does fly so quickly. The days feel long, but the year always feels so short in retrospect. Don't forget to look back and be proud of all the things you accomplish every year.
25. You'll have great, magical days, and you'll have days where you feel like you can't pick yourself back up. But it's okay to not have it all figured out! At the end of the day, who really does anyway? Everyday needs to be celebrated like your birthday!