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

Birthday in The Bay

I spent my birthday in my all-time favorite U.S. city: San Francisco!

It was a quick turnaround, but well worth the trip. I arrived late Wednesday night (or technically Thursday morning) and spent most of Thursday relaxing by myself until my best friend, Cynthia, arrived just in time for a late dinner and drinks. Then Friday was all about hitting the ground running!

β—Š Palace of the Fine Arts
My mother told me about this random place near Golden Gate Park from her co-worker called The Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. The Palace of Fine Arts Theatre was originally built for the Panama-Pacific Exhibition in 1915, but now serves as a venue for large events. I don’t know how I never knew about this gorgeous place, but I am glad we made our way over. After our photoshoot, we spent a couple of hours just sitting and enjoying the beautiful 70-degree weather. It could not have been a better way to start the day!
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24: The Year of Letting Go

Yesterday, I turned 24! While that may not generally be a significant age/milestone, it has turned out to be for me and here is why.

Oftentimes, I find myself worrying about my youth. To others, 24 is not old and I by no means see it as old either, but I am constantly asking myself, “Where did the time go?” I graduated from high school six years ago and when I reflect on college just three years ago, I immediately think of all the time I spent studying, napping, and doing laundry. But what about the fun times? I would never downplay the priceless memories of living with seven other girls, joining my dance team, going abroad, and meeting people who will be my friends for the rest of my life; however, when all of those moments were taking place, I can’t help but feel like I wasn’t totally present. I was always one foot in, one foot out, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop or prematurely mourning a good time because I didn’t want it to end. Of course we all want to hold on to great moments and if we could, we’d live them over and over, but I’m just talking about not allowing myself to be free and leave my worries behind.
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I feel like I lost a lot of my time during my late teens and early 20’s to fear, inhibition, and stress. If I had to explain why, you would be reading my autobiography, but I hate that I allowed that to happen. What I want from turning 24–and moving forward in the rest of my life–is to truly start letting go. I think I have actually written previously on this blog about “letting go,” but I am ready for the weight that I put on myself to be lifted off my shoulders. I spend so much time in my head and focus greatly on self-preservation and trying to build a better character. While there are great things about that, I am also hurting myself by not being physically present in everyday life. I need to just live my life in the way that makes me happiest. That includes reminding myself that nothing (and no one) is perfect and that I should not benchmark any part of my life against another person. It is time to stop punishing myself for not being someone else, and to start accepting myself for who I am.
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For me, the year of 24 is more than just being more outgoing and saying “yes” to things more often–it is about quieting that negative, doubting voice. It is about breaking down my own barriers and throwing away the hypothetical guide to life.Β What I expect, no, set for this year and beyond is more laughter, more openness to experience and others, and finally living with eyes and heart wide open. 24 is The Year of Letting Go.

xx, AE

A Time to Celebrate

A Time to Celebrate

Welcome back!

While I would have loved to make a post sooner than now, this weekend actually ended up working out to share some awesome stuff with y’all. I suggest reading to the end! Some of you may know this, but my birthday was this past Tuesday. πŸ™‚ I didn’t actually do anything the day of, but I had a little celebration last Saturday in the city with my closest local friends.
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It was the quintessential G.N.O. spent dancing all night long and viewing a drag show at Station 4. Though there were a few faces missing, I could not have asked for a better night! Continue reading “A Time to Celebrate”