I am only 23. But the amount of changes I’ve had in my short life continue to surprise me. A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about how I believed the twenties were meant for exploration and discovery. But the more people I meet, the more podcasts I listen to, the more blogs and memoirs I voraciously consume, the more I realize that discovery is not just meant for the twenties. People in their thirties, forties, even fifties are shifting. We are constantly evolving beings, always pivoting alongside our ever-changing interests and discoveries. Our passions grow with continued learning and experimentation. Without experimentation and action, we will never know how we truly want to spend our lives.
It took 3 years of auditioning and performing (and waitressing) in New York for me to realize the unstable life of an professional actress wasn’t for me.
It took 3 months of working on casting projects and interning at Wilhelmina in New York City for me to realize show business didn’t align with my heart.
It took 6 months for me to realize my small teenage dream of being a pre-school teacher was definitely not as enjoyable as it looked to be.
2 months on the Track and Field team in high school taught me that sports weren’t exactly the right fit.
But we have to try. When we don’t try, we are stagnate. We don’t shift, as we are meant to. I used to be the most untraditional, anti-marriage millennial I knew. (I was that girl that was upset that Gloria Steinem decided to marry.) I used to embrace a life of fame and spotlight, and I eagerly wanted to be known. As Beyonce would say, I wanted people to remember that I was here. But with time, conversations and learning, my values evolved, my mind widened, and I never have felt more peace. More peace in the uncertainty that life throws our way.
While I do believe that the most psychological and neurological growth that happens after childhood is in our twenties (I mean, it’s just mind-boggling to know that my brain still has three years to finish developing…), I also have come to learn that career change and priorities is ever changing. Age is not relevant. Successful millionaires close up businesses and restart new ones. Wall Street investment bankers quit their jobs to become lifestyle bloggers. People pack up their dusty medical degrees and become writers. Journalists decide to scoop ice-cream. To assume that we will always stay the same is unnatural. We will forever evolve. Once we accept these changes, once we learn to adjust our sails when those waves appear, life is calm. We will find peace.
It’s also incredibly important to have compassion for ourselves. To have empathy for our well beings when we are growing and discovering. I’m not going to say it’s easy, as I still struggle with this. Although I have a lot of self-love, I struggle with having compassion for myself when I make mistakes, when I pivot, when I realize how much time I wasted doing one thing only to find out I want to chase another. It makes me feel unstable, inconsistent, fickle. But we must love those multi-passionate aspects of us. Instead of viewing ourselves as flighty, we can view ourselves as open-minded. Instead of viewing ourselves as nervous or anxious, we can view ourselves as deeply caring. There is a silver lining to everything, and it all depends on how we view it.
I recently uncovered these old portraits I had taken of me three years ago, and I almost don’t recognize that girl. I don’t remember how I thought, or why I loved what I loved….but isn’t growth wonderful? Like a phoenix rising from it’s old ashes, constant death and rebirth. Glorious.
Photos by Anna and the Lens
January 28, 2018
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