Turning 23 & Lessons Learned Over the Last Year

23 feels like the first official year of adulthood. Though 18 is technically the legal age of an adult, with college it can definitely feel like an extension of teen years in some ways. It's like dipping your toe into the real world. Since graduating, the whole of 22 has been about jumping in and learning to stand on my own two feet. I like to think of this past year as a bit of a trial run as I stumbled along and surrendered to "adult-ing."

In the process it's certainly left me feeling much more domesticated, which I'm not mad about. Heck, I asked for a tea kettle and dutch oven for my birthday and I couldn't be happier! It's also left me a bit more surefooted, which I suppose is a testament for time.

Over this last year a lot has happened making for loads of learning experiences both good and bad, and I can't help but reflect about it on my birthday. From starting in one career then shifting into another, experiencing grief and true sadness to channeling that into support, to living with a significant other for the first time and adapting to quarantine life... among other things. From all of that I'd like to share some of my key takeaways.

Let's jump in!

#1 // Go all in
Over the years, I've refined my ability to dive in head first (within reason), despite uncertainty.  (I still have a ways to go, as I tend to be pretty timid.) Similarly, I've had to uncover what to do once I'm there. Going all in tends to be the answer. Take my blog and "personal brand" for example. I've always been afraid to admit in public spaces and online that truly I would love to blog/create content full-time. Since graduating, I've really grappled with that thought and what my motivation is. It  truly is because I love every bit of it and it's become a passion. From that passion, I'm letting it be the energy that allows me to go all in.

#2 // Strive for contentment
Like most, happiness is always the hope and a coveted emotion. As such, I’ve reflected on that, what brings about happiness, and how to maintain it. After pondering about it, I've discovered happiness in a lot of cases can be a fleeting feeling depending on circumstances. Contentment is a mindset, which is why I've shifted my focus to striving for contentment over the year. It is more of a state of satisfaction and ease of mind that in turbulent times, there’s still an undercurrent of peace. From it, I've found happiness to come more easily, too!

#3 // It's OK to not have everything figured out
The older I get, the more I realize no one really has it all figured out. Life constantly changes and throws things at you, and we do our best to keep up and keep moving forward with intent. What's envisioned likely comes to fruition as an iteration or vastly different from the original plan- and that's ok!

#4 // Get comfortable outside your comfort zone
Similar to the theme above, we don't have complete control of life. As such, we can frequently find ourselves in situations that are new and uncomfortable. It's in this discomfort that growth happens, though, and that is a beautiful thing. Since graduating, I've tried a lot of new things, many which made me uncomfortable. While not everything was for me, I'm so happy I stepped outside of my comfort zone to see for myself! Each time I take that step, it gets a little bit easier, too.

#5 // Relationships above all else
Over the last year, the importance of healthy relationships has been reaffirmed and I learned to value them even more as they evolve. I'm talking relationships with friends, family, a partner, and even myself. With a lot of "new" in my first year out of college, I am thankful to have been able to lean on those in my life. Equally, I have been that sturdy person to lean on, too. Truly, a LOT has happened this year both in my life and for those around, and while points were challenging and heart wrenching, I am so thankful to the people in my life.  I don't know what I'd do without them. I'm also thankful to have developed a kinder relationship with myself throughout this time, as well.

Time to eat cake... Have a lovely day!



  1. Firstly happy birthday, you look absolutely stunning! And I agree with all of your lessons, relationships especially, soooo important!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥