As cliche as it sounds, time really does fly by. With each year, comes new experiences, new relationships, and opportunities. 24 was a pivotal year in my young adult life. It was the year that I really started to go for it. The year that I decided to learn more, grow, and break away. It was a year full of adventure and a year that I will not forget. For me, 24 is not just “another year of my twenties”…and I strive to make each year count just as much as this one did.
I celebrated my birthday in my happy place- Walt Disney World. I flew in the Disney hot air balloon and drank around the world at EPCOT during the Flower and Garden Festival. The Flower and Garden Festival always makes me smile from the butterfly garden to the beautiful topiaries. My birthday celebration was incredible, and I am so blessed. My family and I went out for dinner at the one and only Rainforest Cafe. This has been a tradition since I was 8 years old. I actually received my first fancy journal on my 8th birthday here, and since then I have been writing my heart out. 24 was off to a great start, surrounded by love from my family and friends.
At this point, I was still working in a job that did not fulfill me. This job was fine; I had the chance to work with a close friend and share laughs daily, but I also felt an internal push to pursue more. There was something greater out there for me; there was a bigger plan.
I continued to travel around on my off days, and tried to satisfy my creative cravings when I had the opportunity. I blogged, created content, and adventured, but there was constant anxiety and stress from work. I was working like crazy, on weekends, and I became tired of completing some mundane tasks.
I’d be lying if I said this did not take a toll on my relationship and my friendships and my family. I seemed to have lost my smile for a bit. I was happy on my off days, but the smile quickly faded when I received a call or text on these days off. I craved more travel, breaking out my camera again, and feeling like me again. I’m unsure why, but I relate my hair color to my feelings in a way. I was ready for a change, so I collaborated with a hair stylist and brought back my dark locks.
I continued to collaborate with brands, but I knew my work could be much better if I had the time. We celebrated Mr. Binx first birthday with us… coming up again in April! He’s such a cutie. I did not have much time to shoot or explore, so my IG feed slowly filled up with throwbacks. I felt a bit trapped, and realized I needed to leave my job soon. In order to leave, I needed a more reliable car. I drove a company car for work and had my VW bug for daily use. This car breaks down frequently and is not the most reliable, but I do love it very much. I pulled the trigger after a very quick search and purchased this Lexus in cash. I was proud of myself for this accomplishment.
My friend Hannah and I spontaneously booked a girls trip to the Bahamas! It was time for some fun, and to make use of my little PTO.
We swam with the sharks, hung out with the pigs and fed the iguanas. It was a blast and a nice break from reality. It was a trip that really helped me understand life and what I want from it. I jumped into shark-infested water and snorkeled through caves. I felt free.
Then, I came home and felt trapped again. I knew deep down that it was time to say goodbye to my job. It took a few weeks, but I finally quit my first “big girl” job. I was nervous to quit; I had no official plans, but I knew it would work out. It had to. My manager did not even say goodbye to me on my last day.
…and with that, I knew I made the right decision.
I was free! I was also without a stable income, but I had quite a bit saved and could survive for a while. I took road trips, adventured with family and Thomas. I enjoyed life, but I was also anxious about what would happen.
During this “free phase,” I was asked to photograph a campaign for a major clothing company. I was super excited. The shoot went well, or so I thought…
Let’s just say, I left the final meeting with tears dripping down my face. My work was unappreciated to say the least. It was harsh; I learned from this experience. Fashion designers and diva ladies are not my cup of tea.
I spent time with people who inspired me, such as my boss lady friend Hannah who runs her own business and my friend Anna who works many jobs and kills it at each. I created content and I worked on my accounts.
I spent time with my mom and my younger brothers. It had been a while since I was able to relax and just focus on conversation. My little brother Eric is incredibly smart and reminds me of myself with his deep thoughts. I enjoyed adventures with him and my mom. It was nice to learn more about each other.
My friend Anna and I spontaneously went to a Britney Spears concert at Radio City.. we literally bought the tickets the day of. It was so much fun!
I got back out there after my agent contacted me about an audition. I even received a callback! This was my first time acting in years, and I am proud of myself for putting myself out there. That can be scary.
I had some fun in LBI with the boys. We went surfing and out to bars at night. It was a great time, and I look forward to this beach trip with them. I watched the Shark Boys reel in a shark. (They are catch and release fishermen.) It was one of the craziest experiences; I can not believe they are in the Jersey Shore!
The summer was full of adventures. I visited a sunflower field…these are my favorite. I boxed with a Victoria’s Secret angel…unreal! I went to concerts with friends, and spent a great deal of time at the Jersey Shore.
I started a new job… and attended my first surf expo in Orlando.
My instagram account grew from 1k to almost 5k during this year. I booked my very first travel collaboration with a hotel in Block Island. This was HUGE for me, and I realized that my dreams do not have to stay dreams after this trip. I could not have done this if it was not for Thomas encouraging me along the way, and helping with content.
I modeled for a bra company, and was offered an amazing collaboration with T.J. Maxx. Thomas and I took over their IG story. Momma, I made it! 🙂
We had our annual Food and Wine Festival trip; I have so much love for these great people and for my happy place.
Portland, Maine was calling my name…so I took a solo road trip up here. It was a very freeing experience. I met people at a bar who were also solo traveling and had some delicious Maine lobster. My airbnb was beautiful and I definitely learned a lot about myself.
I attended a blogger event and met like-minded ladies. This really inspired me to keep pushing and chasing my dreams.
Oh yeah, then I flew to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is absolutely beautiful and I would definitely go back… under less stressful conditions. Never flying standby again. I felt free in the waterfalls and rope swings. I also felt completely out of my element, and realized I need to have a plan when I travel.
2019 brought three more trips- I attended Surf Expo, ran a 10k with my mom in Disney World, and spent time with my cousin at Universal Studios.
Moral of the 24 year old story: GO FOR IT. Life is way too short and uncertain. If you have a gut feeling trust it. Gut feelings are guardian angels. The best is yet to come. Do not stay in that job or take the easy way out. You grow when you step outside your comfort zone. The best is yet to come!