One big piece of advice is that not everything (or in some cases, everyone) deserves a reaction. Remember to find the good in everything. This process has taught me to adopt a ‘glass half-full’ mentality and, despite the moments of uncertainty, trust the evidence and trust yourself. You’re worth it.
20, is the year everyone anxiously awaits for, but by the same token can’t wait to get over with. It poses the inevitable question: What do I do now? But unfortunately there is no inevitable answer, in fact there is no answer at all. As I sit here reflecting on my first year of the twenties, I look at it as a year of success and for the most part a learning experience. My priorities are not that of someone who is 20. I’ve been told I have the attitude of a Millennial but the values of a Baby Boomer… Whatever that means.
I know I’m not alone when I say a lot of the time I feel removed from the norm. So in an attempt to feel not so isolated, I’ve sought refuge in articles that have similar lists as to how one should act or what they should consider based on their age. They usually read:
“20 Things Every 20 Year Old Should Know- Smile. A lot. Friends will come and go. Love openly and freely. Take risks and have no regrets.”
…Is that the best you’ve got (insert website title here)? Well, no offense but I have to call BS. On all of it.
I know that I have a responsibility as an adult to acknowledge the realities of the world and draw conclusions from what I see and from my experiences. Next week, on Thanksgiving to be exact, I turn 21. So as a a young 20-something, living and working in New York this is list is based on what I’ve seen… So far.
1. The Social Landscape - Everything you thought was acceptable changes. Innately this becomes more apparent, but topics of conversations with friends change and range from: discontent with one’s job, stress over school/next steps, personal affairs and everything in between. And dating? The struggle. It’s basically a marriage (no pun intended) of both parties’ successes and struggles and an attempt to navigate through them, in order to make one another a priority.
2. Priorities - Continuing with this idea, I’m not saying to have everything together completely, because let’s face it age is just a number when it comes to this type of thing.. But I am saying try to manage your priorities and expectation starting in the early twenties. It will lay a strong foundation for both your personal and professional life.
3. Identifying yourself as a certain type of person… “My name is Rachel Schwartzmann and I’m typically x, y and z.” Don’t do this, now more than ever I’ve learned this is a period of personal growth, and don’t deny yourself the right to developing into the best version of YOU. 20, is the starting point.
4. Emotion vs. Reason - I’m all for freedom of speech and expression, but as we get older we really need to tone down on the emotion and start using those nearly-developed noggins (the brain is finished fully forming at 25!). Journeying into adulthood is never easy, but the sooner you learn to rationalize things rather than overreact, day to day life looks a lot less negative.
5. Using 20 as a shield - “Don’t tell me what to do, I’m 20 now.” vs. “Don’t blame me, I’m only 20 now!” You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You’re an adult now, own up to your mistakes and ask for help when you need it. It’s that simple.
6. Have the foundation of a plan - I used to be one of those people that had a 5 year plan that I vowed would never be broken. But life has a funny way of giving you what you want in a very roundabout way. 10 years ago I moved to New York and began training as a pre-professional dancer. I attended a performing arts high school and found myself interested in what the fine artists were up to, which reignited my interest in fashion, which lead to the beginning of The Style Line, which lead to the creation of an emerging business… Who knew? If you can have the mindset of having a plan, you’re already on the right track as far as discipline is concerned… But the plans themselves? They change at a moment’s notice.
7. We solve problems with words not Facebook/Twitter Updates… Those are made up of words, yes I know but we have an awfully bad habit of posting our every immediate thought for the world to see. Express yourself via social media to an extent, but know when to draw the line. I’ve seen a lot of insensitive comments and things I feel I shouldn't know, but do because of this. 140 characters can do more damage than you think.
8. Try to begin to understand the world around you… Stretch your mind beyond the confines of your personal interests and comfort zone. Try to have some understanding of things happening in regards to the bigger picture. Look at for what it is…
9. …And then challenge it. Life calls for change. It’s not always welcome or accepted, but at the end of the day it’s necessary. It’s OK to ask questions or disagree with the norm. But depending on what it is exactly, make sure you’re as well informed as you can be.
10. “No New Friends" I have one thing to say: NO. Don’t get me wrong I’m all about using rap lyrics in everyday conversation (YOLO) but adopting them as my life mantra is another story. The world is built on movement and change - As a 20 year old, this is the constant. I’ve met so many people who only trust “their” childhood friends - Or once they do find their “group” that’s it, the gates are closed strategically making themselves unapproachable. How could you not want to meet new people when the world tells you to keep your finger on the pulse of things? To stay current, you have to stay inspired. To stay inspired, you have to surround yourself with what’s new all of the time and people are included in this. Don’t give yourself away all at once but say YES to new friends. You never know how much they’ll change your life.
11. Unplug - Something I need to work on myself, moving forward. I’ll put it simply, this is probably the most cliche point on this list. But rather than documenting, experience a moment. You may even get lost in it.
12. Remove deserve and replace it with dessert. Another observation made about my generation is that we are supposedly all entitled. And I’m sure we all can admit to being a little into ourselves - There’s nothing wrong with being proud right? But, it’s important to remember that no one really deserves anything, there is always an element of give and take. So the next time you say something outrageously narcissistic or so naive that you feel like you should have just swallowed your words… Vomit them back up and then swallow them again. And then swallow something sweet. What better to replace that discord and bitter taste in your mouth, than indulging in a sweet treat? Dessert. Fixes. All.
13. Master The Art of Choice - 20 is the year of impatience. You’re older, but not old enough to enjoy what the rest of the 20-somethings are up to. If you can learn to choose how you feel about what you can and cannot do, you’ll open yourself up to a totally clearer mindset about how to make the best of things.
14. Appreciate what was but, accept (and try to embrace) what’s coming - No matter the age, we all get nostalgic. 20 is transitional age, and you’re essentially entering a new chapter of your life. It’s important not to dwell, but to seek out new opportunity and potentially start over. Life is a series of do-overs anyway, you adjust to the situation, but move on to someone or something that’s new. You can’t always see it coming, but you know at some point it will.
15. Think beyond the #SELFIE - The 20’s are said to be the selfish years and to an extent I agree, I think your twenties belong to no one else, but you. However, as you embark on your personal ventures and fulfillment, remember the people that helped guide you and are there for you now. Maybe the next time you stop to take a #selfie, use that energy and send a text to someone you love instead… And if you really want to go the distance, maybe even CALL them… Ooooooh.
16. Edit your life, like you curate your tumblr dashboard - Think about it. Do you like what you’re seeing on your dash? Of course you do! YOU CHOSE to follow all of those people because you value what they have to say or show and the minute that changes, you simply “unfollow” them. While it may not be as easy as a click of a button, the same idea applies to the real world. You’re 20, and starting to have more freedom than you’ve ever had, if something in your life isn't’ as beautiful or doesn't’ make you as happy as something you see on your dash, take steps to change it and don’t waste anytime. Unfollow. Block. Delete. *poof*
17. Be Nice - There is a very strange misconception that rude or elitist attitude will result in more respect. But no not really, it just makes you an !@#$%. Yes still talented, but an !@#$% nonetheless. With virtue, there is value.
18. Open Up - The world we live in makes it hard to trust - Trust other people, ideas, dreams and even yourself. If you can try to open yourself up to people and the idea that at the end of the day, you’ll be okay, you’re already winning. Open yourself up to opportunity and even if it’s not what you expect, at some point it will manifest itself into reality.
19. Get to Know Yourself - This is open to interpretation, and it may sound corny but yeah you’re definitely allowed to begin soul searching. I think the twenties are a good time to establish independence on all fronts, especially socially. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you have to go out and party every night with friends. It is OK to have solitude and do things on your own. Besides you can’t really take care of another, friends or significant other, until you learn to take care of yourself.
20. Stop. Stop. Breathe and collect yourself. Understand that the norms society sets for you isn’t written in stone. You are who you are and you do what you need to do at your own pace. You have time.
Looking at the social state of my generation I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone makes the idea of happiness so much more complicated than it needs to be. There is a vicious cycle of general mistrust, misguided priorities and misplaced energy. So what do I say to this? Open yourself up to the possibility that although many obstacles may lie ahead, there are people willing to cheer you on, even if from the sidelines.
Society seems to only give us options that are in favor of the extremes, when most of the time situations are not do or die. They are not sink or swim. If you can be flexible in your thinking, if you can meet someone half way and if you open yourself up to all of this and more…
I’m an advocate for romance as much as the next girl, but there’s only so much frivolity and fluff you can take as it’s openly pushed in your face via social media. Amongst the beautifully crafted Instagram photos of roses, chocolates and pretty pink things you have to remember look beyond the filter and see things for what they are:
Whether we choose to admit it or not, in some way, shape or form we’re constantly trying to grab hold of it. The only problem is once we have it, we pick it apart. It’s never grand enough… So we try to reinvent it. And if we can’t, then we avoid it all together. Because who needs love right?
From one single gal-pal to another, I just want to share this: Yes, today is Valentine’s Day, and a good percentage of you won’t be receiving a bouquet of flowers. You won’t be engaging in witty banter with someone who you’re not embarrassed to make goggly eyes at. You may not even be told that you are loved. But I’d like to hopefully assume that in some capacity, you are not alone. And when you evaluate the current state of your love-life (or lack of), be reminded that love is as much of a choice as anything else. When you choose to let yourself allow for it, things will change. They won’t change rapidly or grandly because life isn’t like a Nicholas Sparks movie and love isn’t as sweet as Hershey’s Kisses.
Love also isn’t effortless, and that’s why there is true merit if you choose to wear your heart on your sleeve.
But with that choice, comes time… So if you’re not ready, or your heart is aching that’s OK too. At the end of the day, all we can really do is try living and loving in the moment.
Happy Sunday! I wanted to share some recent Instagram posts via The Style Line. You can see the product credits by heading over our page!
I have to say, aside from tumblr, Instagram is probably the most fun platform to create content for… I’m actually pretty proud of some of the more recent posts I’ve crafted for the account… Be sure to check us out!
- RS x
But I also want to know:What instagram accounts are your favorite and what kind of imagery do you like seeing the most?
We’re trying to beat this humidity!!! What’s a better way than to dress in easy and light dresses like our Sheer Top Overlay Dress. With that pop of mint and gardenia that meets Le Style Child’s taste. Match it with a mojito (hey it feels like summer already!) in your air conditioned room (or if you’re daring brave the outdoors)!
It’s not very often that I find myself wanting to leave New York, but when those feelings of complete overwhelm take over, I know it’s time for a change of pace. New Mexico is often regarded as the Land of Enchantment, a very appropriate sentiment but more times than not, it’s one of the many “forgotten” states. And truth be told, that’s probably how it’s been able to remain so authentic.
I always feel refreshed after visiting this desert oasis. It’s a true maker’s and craftsman community, I see NM residents very forcefully trying to maintain the creative spirit of the state, while preserving it’s rich culture. These are only a few quick snaps I took for The Style Line’s Instagram, in an attempt to showcase it’s beauty in real-time. New Mexico has a completely different, but totally wonderful lifestyle that I’ve really come to appreciate with each visit. I can’t wait to share more of what I learned and my personal experiences in an upcoming post coming soon to the site.
…Stay tuned and if you have the opportunity to travel then get off the computer immediately, and go.