I woke up this birthday morning full of light, love, and happiness. 27 did not go how I planned, but then again, I don’t think anyone could have predicted how 2020 would go haha. Starting off 27 fresh out of a 4 year relationship I was so excited to dig into single life and live out the adventurous New York life I had always wanted to. Well obviously that wasn’t possible in the way I imagined. But I feel like this roller coaster and hidden blessing of time to just sit and think has taught me so much about myself. In honor of my 28th birthday I want to share 28 things I learned before 28.
28 Things I Learned Before 28
1. Nothing makes me happier than putting my headphones in and strolling through Central Park listening to Ella Fitzgerald
It’s pure magic. Try it.
2. It’s okay to be upset when things don’t workout
Living the actor audition life in New York I feel like I really learned how to soldier on from bad auditions, rough callbacks, and rejections. I got used to having my speech ready to tell my actor friends about how “Oh no it is totally okay,” “on to the next” and “it was just such an honor to get to that point!” I would try to just look at all the positives of the rejection without actually acknowledging the loss I just faced. After 3 years of the audition life I’ve learned nothing actually helps me move on more from life’s rejections than to give myself permission to be upset, angry, frustrated, sad, or whatever else. I worked hard, it sucks that it didn’t workout.
3. Be flexible
I’ve found that life is full of temporary unique situations, like now haha, the best thing I have learned to do for myself is to learn how to let go of that frustration and then focus on what I do have control over.
4. You’re allowed to change your dreams
I felt and still feel guilt for walking away from theatre, at least for now, to pursue blogging. And I will admit to being someone who used to judge others for leaving theatre. But now being on the other side of that I don’t think it is fair to judge someone for deciding to pursue something else. Dreams can change. And if anything I admire anyone who has the courage to admit they want to pursue something else.
5. When I was 4 I decided I wanted to grow up to be a cat
I haven’t, really, let go of that dream.
6. Don’t be afraid to speak up when someone wrongs you
I hate so much telling someone they did something that didn’t sit well with me. But when I don’t I find I just resent them and build a grudge. Speaking up is the only thing that makes me feel better.
7. New York City is my home
If I could be the Big Apple brand ambassador I would lol. For real, it definitely has its imperfections, but I could not imagine living anywhere else.
8. Try new things as much as you can
Nothing makes me feel more alive than trying new things. Even if it is just trying all the hot sauces on the table at the restaurant or walking home a new way. I have made a point of this the last few years and have discovered so many things I didn’t know I liked!
9. Live in the present (you have control over nothing else)
I once heard a therapist say that the reason we get stressed or feel shame is because we are not living in the present. I get so wrapped up in replaying every little moment of the past and predicting the future that I forget the fact that I do have control over my life. And that control is of that present moment.
10. Don’t be afraid to admit not knowing something
It can feel so embarrassing to be that one person in the room to raise their when the question “is anyone not familiar with this?” gets asked. It takes so much humility to be the only one to admit to not knowing something. But I feel like everytime I do I learn so much and become a little bit more secure in my person.
11. Trust your past self
While it is so easy to look at the past with regret, I firmly believe we are all just trying to do your best. Try to forgive yourself for the paths taken and not taken.
12. Bobba is the best thing ever
Especially if it is passion fruit slush with double boba on a hot summer day in Washington Square Park. Just sayin…
13. The subway is not for the faint of heart
Nothing has taught me to fight more for myself than the New York subway. Those doors wait for no one.
14. It’s okay to let go of friendships that no longer serve you
It’s hard, but if you two grow apart that’s okay.
15. I’m not patient in the kitchen
I really wish I could say that I am super cool and collected in the kitchen but I’m not because of my lack of patience. I love making stuff for other people, but when it comes to myself I am pretty quick to get frustrated haha… working on this
16. Therapy is the best investment you will ever make
Having someone in your life whose job is to help you help yourself is invaluable. I am someone who has had life long struggles with self-worth, anxiety, and rumination. Therapy has been the best tool I’ve gained to cope.
17. There is nothing worse than staying in a relationship just because you are comfortable
I am very guilty of this one. Being single can look so scary when you are in a dead beat relationship that isn’t necessarily bad, but you aren’t happy. In my opinion it is way better to be free and single than it is to feel alone in an unhappy relationship.
18. Dollar pizza is a top invention in my book
Handing someone a dollar bill and then being handed a slice of fresh hot cheese pizza is amazing.
19. Trust your gut
You can listen to as many opinions and perspectives as you want, but at the end of the day your gut knows what is best for you.
20. Getting enough sleep helps everything
I quickly realized with auditions how when I didn’t get enough sleep it made everything harder. It wouldn’t just make things harder physically and mentally, but I realized when I didn’t get enough sleep it was so much easier to enter into a bad headspace and doubt myself.
21. Eat less sugar
This makes me feel old, but it’s true. I feel better when I don’t eat a bunch of sugar.
22. Don’t play games in any type of relationship
Just say what you want. You’ll waste less of both yours and their time.
23. Stop doing things that don’t make you happy
Life is too short. And if you are worrying about hurting someone else’s feelings in the process, don’t! If they are your friend they will understand.
24. Celebrate every victory, no matter how seemingly small
As someone who can be very hard on themselves I often find myself looking at how far I still have to go. Looking back on everything I’ve accomplished, even small victories, helps build up my confidence when I’m struggling to believe in myself.
25. Your likes and dislikes are just as valid as anyone else’s
At a young age I became very aware of other people’s emotions and how my actions could affect another person. This made me become a people pleaser to the point that I didn’t even know what my general likes and dislikes were in life. In college I would dread first dates because I didn’t even know what was interesting about myself. Turns out there was a lot 🙂 But it took time to realize that. And it took time to find the courage to speak up when I didn’t share whatever the popular opinion was.
26. You’re allowed to change your opinions
Thankfully this is something my Mother has always preached. You are allowed to change your mind on anything at any time, at any point in your life. No one has a right to judge for this. We are all just doing our best.
27. I like android better than apple
I said it. 😉 And I won’t apologize for it.
28. I am in constant danger of adopting every street cat I see
It really is a problem. Every time I am out with friends, and see one, I take off running. 😀
To see my outfit details and inspiration check out my post: 1950s Prom Dress
Photos by Allie Provost; pretaprovost.com