#26

I didn't know how I would feel about turning 26. Even typing that sentence out is making me feel somewhat nauseous, but hey, I can't control time; And here I am. 26 and still contemplating every aspect of my life. And trying to be as fabulous as I can while doing it.

Trust me when I say, the glamour helps.

                                                                                   Creative Direction by Jovan Rosario.

I had a tough time turning 25, and I think the gut feeling of what felt like a quarter-life crisis was simply foreshadowing the year I would have ahead. I won't say that 25 sucked completely (because it didn't), but boy was my faith tested [A LOT]. I won't get into my personal life (cause frankly that's none of your business) but what I will say is, that the Universe won't give what you're not strong enough to handle. Any negative that came into my life was some sort of lesson that needed to be taught. It was the only way I could look at it. And as long I was still blessed with both parents, food on the table, and a support system at home, I took every negative in my life, and through the Faith of God, tried to see the positive. I will not let my pitfalls define me or keep me down. [although there were many moments this year where I questioned if all of this was worth it, but i chose to keep pushing]

Life came in pretty quickly and unexpectedly to remind me that I can't control everything that happens. I had to just accept what was, even when it all seemed unfair, biased, and wrong. You might be asking yourself what pitfalls I'm talking about or what struggles I have faced this past year; honestly, I'm not ready to be an open book yet. I still hold my private life very near and dear to me.. Who knows, maybe at 27 I'll be more open [LOL]

25 was the year of the "questions". Seemed like everyday was the day to have pep-talks and counseling sessions with myself. Should I keep traveling even though my bank account doesn't want me going further than NJ? Do I settle down and bore myself with a 9-5 routine life? Or do I keep focusing on my own brand and take it to its highest potential. My heart and mind have always chosen the latter, no matter how long it has taken (or how many people have doubted me). But now being 4 years away from 30, I can't help but feel I'm on this race against time and THAT is one hell of a scary thought. 

Can I accomplish it all by then? Ugh, where's the crystal ball when you need it.

While every adult over 50 tells me I'm overreacting and remind me that my entire life is still ahead of me, I can't help but wonder what type of life they think I want. Because the glamour shots, travels, PR packages, and events appear fabulous for a 25 year old, but will they still think it's amazing when I'm 35? Do they believe this is something I only want during my 20's? Can they fathom they that a woman CAN have it all?

Successful at 35 is what this girl dreams of. And trust me, my definition of success differs from a lot of other opinions, but I am living by my own rules.

"Dreams are sometimes just that... Dreams" what every pessimistic person in my life likes to remind me of.

And maybe that's why I'm so gravitated to the Creatives of the world, because we're okay with not having a 9-5. We're okay with working NON-STOP and sacrificing relationships and life events for our dreams. We don't take offense to the words "daydreamers, entitled, crazy, or unrealistic"

For us, this is our normal.

My dad raised me to never care about other people's opinions of me and to always remain true to myself, even when I knew there was always a part of him that craved for me to be settled down with a good job, a husband, and 2 kids. Dad raised me to work hard, graduate with honors, remain loyal, and to do whatever it takes to make any and all of my dreams come true. I just don't think he ever expected my dreams to involve me styling on a fashion set, testing out beauty products for my Youtube, and traveling for work. He's accepted that this is what my current life is, and even if I choose to continue to do this till I'm 80 or completely call it quits by tomorrow, I know I'll always have his support and love. I know this is not his idea of normal (more like crazy)... I will appreciate his acceptance.

He's still holding out that I'll become a lawyer or teacher, though. Love you dad, but it's not happening.

I won't dwell on this sappiness or pity party for too long because ultimately I just gotta suck it up and keep living for me; I'll continue to make mistakes, and as always, I'll learn from them.  And as scared as reaching 30 makes me, I choose to see the positive and ignore the clocks. I can't let the worry of my future overpower everything I have already accomplished. No other choice but to keep moving forward. Ugh, the next four years will be interesting..

Creating beautiful imagery this is what I love to do. Some understand it, others don't. But for those who don't, just know that I'll always toot own horn, be my own best friend, and never stop pushing myself to be the best version of me I can be. [both personally and professionally] 

Just remember that not everyone will see your vision they way you do; and that's okay. We will continue to create, live our life, and appreciate each day we are alive.

So in short, I'm grateful for the this past year and the lessons it has taught me. I'm ready for 26 and I refuse to be in with this race against time. If I learned anything at 25, is that everything will happen when the time is right.

For now, I'll just keep learning..

For those who have played a major part to who I am today, I LOVE YOU. You know who you are.

Thank you for reading this post.