10 Highlights of the 2010’s

10 Highlights of the 2010’s

Before you ask, yes, that is me in 2009 either having an existential crisis or marveling the fact that I am on the shores of Barcelona on my first international trip. And yes, I am wearing a scarf I eventually owned in a variety of colors as well as the only item I purchased for myself on that trip: a basic white zip hoodie from the first H&M I ever set foot in in Paris. My parents were sad that I didn’t think I could spend the money they gave me and walked away with that €12 jacket as my only memento of that trip. Not photographed: my Ed Hardy tote. What a time.

Every time I think of 2020, I am instantly filled with excitement because it is not only a new year, it is a new DECADE, honey! Though I have obviously experienced a couple of new decades in my lifetime, this one feels different. It feels like the ultimate fresh start. But I couldn’t wipe the slate clean without looking back on some big highlights of the last 10 years: Continue reading “10 Highlights of the 2010’s”

I Graduated…Again!

So, I have a master’s degree now!Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

When I graduated with my bachelor’s back in 2015, I was so sure I didn’t want to go back to school. I absolutely love learning, but I always felt that true learning experiences were far less common than memorization contests while in high school and college. I said I would never invest in another degree unless I knew for sure what I wanted to go back for. Now, I have a lot of interests that I could have (and probably should have) pursued, but I had a fear that I would lose my love and passion for the subjects as this sadly happened while pursuing my undergraduate minor in music industry. Fortunately and unfortunately, I had an experience during my job that inspired me enough to follow the old saying: If you want something done right, do it yourself. Continue reading “I Graduated…Again!”

Keeping it ‘100’

It’s my 100th post!

Naturally, fate would have it that my 100th post would have a focus on my YouTube channel. By the way, if you aren’t already subscribed, you should do that now! So, the title of this post comes from the basis of a series I started this week on my channel called, “Let’s Unpack.” The premise of this series is to discuss, or ‘unpack,’ personal experiences I have had in my travels, but with the help of my friends who, too, have had the opportunity to travel often. Each episode will center around a theme with the first episode talking about my experience interning abroad; I filmed this with my intern abroad roommate, Colleen, who has become one of my best friends and was also featured in my Barcelona vlog.

As a disclaimer, everything expressed in these videos are our personal opinions based on our personal experiences and encounters–hence ‘keeping it 100.’ I thought it would be great for you all to see something beyond the vlogs and from various points of view. Though I created the channel to be an extension of this blog in order to bring my travels to life, I am also transparent about other things that I go through on this platform. I just want to continue that trend when it comes to talking about certain aspects of traveling. Not to mention, it’s nice to have content for the huge chunks of the year when I am not gallivanting from place to place.

Continue reading “Keeping it ‘100’”

25 & Feelin’ Alive

Ever since I can remember, I have always been excited to be 25. I didn’t have any feelings about 18 and even 21 didn’t feel significantly different. But something about 25 always felt complete. Now that I am 25, I can feel a difference, but I also know this change has been developing over the first four months of the year.

These days, my priority is learning to be unapologetically myself. Though I continue to freak out about little things, I am trying to develop it as a habit. I am undoing a decade’s worth of ‘performing’ for others. I somehow convinced myself that if I act how I think others want me to act (read: agreeable), people will like me, but that has never proven to be true. Instead, I was left with empty relationships wondering why they were not reciprocated and instead focusing on what I could do to convince them they need me in their life. This led to many, many mistakes and countless heartbreaks. Why should I convince someone they need me? How does it benefit me to beg someone to keep me in their life? It sounds like common sense, but once you get stuck in a pattern, it’s hard to pull yourself out. Now, I can see more clearly.

When I was picking a senior quote in high school, I settled on a different quote than my first choice by Judy Garland; I should have followed my gut because my first choice is now more resonant than ever:
Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

I like to think this quote burrowed itself in my subconscious because I knew there would come a time when I needed to be reminded of it: that time is now. I must admit that sometimes I catch myself wondering which part of my personality is really mine or, instead, long-term adaptations of people who have come and gone throughout my life. The important thing, however, is to focus on the person I am now and the person I aspire to be.

I know 25–and life after–is not going to be smooth-sailing, but I am looking forward to the new challenges in this next quarter of life. I am excited for bigger changes and pushing myself out of my comfort zone as I start to love and accept myself for who I am. I have wasted the bulk of my 25 years on Earth hiding, both literally and figuratively. But now is the time to have courage and live in my own skin.

I have absolutely no idea what happens next or why I even expect that something will happen. All I know is that if 24 marked the year of letting go, 25 marks the year of new beginnings. Or better known as, “The Year of Alexa.”

xx, AE