Things I’ve Learned By Age 23

Day Two of Writing 101

Today’s prompt (which I’m just a couple of days behind on) is to write a list. Three options were presented and I am going to write a list about things I’ve Learned.

I had been throwing around the idea of writing a post about this, but primarily career oriented. I realize that I’m 23 now and have learned A LOT about myself in the past five years of living on my own and becoming a young woman. This will be a great process for me to come to senses with myself and hopefully be a confidence boost! I think I’m going to just divide up into different areas of my life and let the words roll.

Be prepared, this is a long one! But all these words are for me, I’m just glad you chose to read them too!

 

Things I’ve Learned About My Career Self

I have a bit of imposter syndrome. According to Wikipedia:

…a term coined in the 1970s by psychologists and researchers to informally describe people who are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.

Just a bit. As I’ve been applying to jobs and speaking with others for advice, I’ve learned that I have trouble recognizing the amount of work I have accomplished. I actually have quite a bit of experience just working outside of my education and people are always impressed with my skills and capabilities. But the thing is, all the work that I’ve done was always just something I had to do! Learning how to use certain applications or gathering freelance work, it was always something I knew I needed to get done to get more onto my resume. And just because I wanted to learn these skills for myself. I am all about learning new things and trying to differentiate myself, but doing the tasks is a little different than knowing what skills are gained. I worked really hard on perfecting my resume, with the input of others defining what my skills are and how to best represent them. It was tough. I am now realizing how much I know and am capable of. Still hard for me to put into words.

I have learned that my fear of failure is getting to the best of me. In my last internship, there were times where I would freeze or speak less when in meetings because I was scared of saying the wrong thing. I would have trouble asking for help or articulating thoughts correctly because I was trying to say the right thing without having help. I realized that it is ok to make a mistake, it is ok to come out and say “I don’t know” and learn. I always thought I would be comfortable with it, but when it came time to actually work in business meetings, I froze! It was something I worked on, and still do. I learned that I am much more comfortable speaking with just one or two people, but have trouble impressing clients or speaking to large groups.

I still go into the workplace with some idea of power distance. Most companies that I am interested in joining are breaking this idea down. Power distance for me is that barrier of communication between myself and someone of a higher “rank”. I know it is something I need to let go of, but I still have restraint.

I realize that there is still a lot for me to learn. I know I could tackle a good job soon, but I still feel like I should be in training mode and that I need to learn learn learn. I’m starting a new position next Tuesday and hope to gain more than I expect.

Things I’ve Learned About My Relationship Self

Nick and I are celebrating our f i v e year anniversary next week. WOW! I really lucked out with him. Here are just a few adjectives to describe him and our adventure: he is patient, he is kind, he is silly, he is loving, he is honest, he is sincere, he takes care of me, he is independent, he is a teacher, he is a learner, he is strong, he is my best friend. I could keep going on and on. But seriously, FIVE YEARS! How could I have been so lucky to have my first relationship be this good? We have moved in together and it is wonderful. We’re working out the kinks now, but it’s nothing detrimental. And now that I have a job and good prospects for the future, the other things will fall into place. Living together is so much easier than cohabiting before. It might be easier now that I’ve finished school and our lives aren’t as hectic, but I don’t care. We are so good together. But back to the prompt…

I am way more rational now than I was a few years ago. I was kind of crazy, and maybe that came from the insecurities of growing into my young adult self. I like to blame the Depo shot (which is notoriously known for driving ladies crazy). So I’ll just do that. But I guess what I’m saying is that Nick has helped make me sane. He has helped me learn how to be a person, and has been supporting me from day one. He truly is my partner, supporting my every effort. I love that I can think for myself and do what I want, but I know he will be there to give me advice and support me in any way that he can.

I learned that I like a relationship that is more togetherness than not. You know there are those couples that do EVERYTHING together or are more independent. Well Nick and I are in between in this spectrum, but lean towards doing everything together. I think this is just because we enjoy each other’s time so much, we are best friends! He is my best friend and the majority of things I love in life I could not do without him. I’d feel guilty, to be honest, if I did something fun and cool and exciting without him that I knew he’d enjoyed. But the great thing about Nick is he will only get play-mad about it and set out to plan a day where he and I can take the adventure together. We work so well together. We each are good at planning and balance each other out. We have such a good time together, and quite often our friends and peers question us when we are not with the other. We are slowly learning to take our time for ourselves, and it will definitely be a good thing.

You know, if I kept writing about my relationship… this post would go one for quite a while. I’ll stop here and talk about my relationship self regarding family.

I need to be a better family member. I’ve been so caught up in growing up and my life in San Francisco, that I’ve spent less time with family, spent less time supporting my family. I don’t want to say neglect, but that’s how it feels. I know it is my time to grow up and be me and discover myself, but I know there are parts of me that need to be better. I find myself dreading calls with family because they just continue to be about nuisances or things that annoy me, but I just have to swallow it and focus on the good. I’ll leave it at that.

 

Things I’ve Learned About My 23 Year Old Self, In General

I need more friends. I’m terrified of not having enough close friends. I’ve never really had many, just a couple that I know I can always talk to, but not really people who I can call up at any time to go and be spontaneous with. My best friend (other than Nick) lives in LA and has a life of his own, and I am so happy to talk to him as often as I can. But I wish I had more close girl friends. I am terrified I won’t be having bridesmaids at my wedding. I had great friends as roommates, but they all have their own lives now. I miss being around women. Luckily my new job will have plenty, but I just feel like I missed my chance on making those “life long friends”. But then again, maybe I haven’t! Maybe with my new chapter in this life I will find those special ladies to be 1000% me with.

There are habits I need to work on, now before it’s too late. Things like laziness, diet, health & fitness, commitment, time management, personal finance, education. I have only this life to learn this for the soul I am right now, and I cannot let it go to waste. And I should also not feel guilty for being lazy. I’ve been doing really well about learning new things and exploring, so I just need to keep at it!

I still feel like there is some sort of passion that I’m still looking for, that is missing from my life. I have no idea what that will be, but I am excited to find out.

Whew, that was a long one! But it felt good to get all these thoughts out. Until the next post…

Cheers,

Sophie

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I write because I didn’t know I could. And now I can.

I write because I didn’t know I could. And now I can.

I write because the act of writing is so much easier than the thought of writing.

I write because I want to prove to myself that my thoughts are coherent, or that if they are incoherent, they are still thoughts to be shared.

I write because the words just seem to want to be expressed, and I’m tired of holding them in.

I write because I know there is something to say and that I deserve the time and space to voice my opinions and thoughts.

I write because I’ve finally realized that my desire to share my feelings and thoughts can be channeled through this method.

I write because I know that writing will be both the easiest and hardest thing I pursue in this life.

I write to explore and expand the realm of possibilities.

I write because I didn’t know I could. And now I can.

Me, in this moment, and my issues with (creative) commitment

This is the first post of a Blogging U challenge–specifically Blogging 101. I’ll admit, I’ve joined this challenge at least four times and never posted once in accordance to it… I think it was the anxiety that was stalling me… or laziness… or both. But I think it was the fear of failing, setting high expectations for myself and not wanting to fall back on those. But as I’ve grown over the years, I’ve learned to push myself to see what I am capable of. I’ve challenged myself before to new adventures, and have come out on top. Especially now, after finishing college and finding a job. With the confidence from these events, I think I’ve finally found the courage and drive to blog. I will take it as a slow and steady process, but hope to learn so much more about myself through it all.

Why am I blogging personally, rather than just writing–aka ranting–in my private journal? There’s some things I’d like to prove about myself:

  • I am creative.
  • I can construct a beautiful sentence.
  • I can set and achieve a goal.

I’m so glad to be done with my college education, not only because I feel stronger and smarter, but because I finally have the time to pursue my interests. I think through all this time milling over what topics to write on my blog, I think I primarily want to focus on my exploration into creative outlets and document the amazing experiences in my life. I am fortunate enough to give myself free time to explore interests and have fun. I know how hard others work–my parents especially–where they don’t have the time to indulge in things like concerts and sporting events and creativity. But I cannot let this subtle guilt prevent me from exploring things I truly desire to learn. I’ve created some categories for this blog–Music, Fashion, Sophie’s Life, Career, Lifestyle & Culture, Travel–as a framework. But these might change or stick around. These are the things I would like to write about, but maybe my blog will evolve as I continue to write.

One thing I have learned so far from the little writing that I have done is that I do overcomplicate the pre-writing process. I’ve learned that about myself, that I stress out about actually doing the writing, but when I sit down to write, everything just free flows. I’m sitting here at my desk, with a nice cup of tea, a beanie, and my cozy plush robe, and the words are just flying from my fingers. I am not thinking of 100 million things at once, just typing the words that are coming out. This is so different than just sitting on my phone scrolling through article after article. This feels like I am accomplishing something. This feels like it is just for me, not for anyone else. (This post in particular at least.) Which is so weird! I had always dreamt that the blog I would develop would be audience-facing, but I think just sticking to a personal journey will be just the outlet I need.

As I said before, I will be using this blog to document my journey into creative outlets. Here’s some things I’d like to explore in the coming year(s):

  • Creative writing, story telling, poetry. (I’ll also be doing this month’s Writing 101 challenge!)
  • Sewing and fashion design. Fashion is a huge passion of mine and I’d like to document my successes and failures. I’d love to begin making clothes for myself, starting simple, and then creating something truly unique. I’d also like to prepare myself (way ahead of time) to learn how to make clothes for my future kids! (Give me at least 7 years for those to come around)
  • Music recommendations and creation of mixes. I love love love music. I find myself listening to something new often, sharing my favorites and all the news related to my favorites. I’d love to create really unique mixes to share with friends and loved ones.
  • I’ve always loved graphic design, and any time where I may not be writing, I’d love to share visual inspiration and creations on this blog! Canva is a good starting point! (I created the banner for this post with it.)
  • I picked up hoop dance over a year ago. I think it’s about time I pick that up again.

As you can see, there’s a lot of creativity for me on the horizon! I am so excited! And of course, I’ll just be writing normal posts about my life–travel, random thoughts, responses to current events, etc. I’m not quite sure why I keep repeating myself, but this is just a let-it-all-out post. I am so excited for this journey, filled with interest and challenges. It also helps that WordPress’ writing mode is so clean and easy to use on a Mac! Pretty things make me happy. :) I hope to find some sort of balance in this blog–serious and silliness. I am a Libra, and won’t let you forget it!

Hopefully that gives us all a little glimpse into what I’m looking to pursue. Let’s check in next year during NaBloPoMo (November is National Blog Posting Month!).

Decided to do a DIY hair trim today

Today was pretty uneventful so I wanted to spice it up a little. After watching The Devil Wears Prada, I looked up some videos on how do cut layers on your own hair. While all the girls have unique techniques, here’s one that was so simple that I really liked:

Here’s the before:

  
My hair is fairly brown in this picture! It’s typically a little darker, but the sun was so nice to me today. 

Here’s the after:

  
   
 
Coloring is way different, but that’s just the sun moving through the the day. The layers are pretty noticeable, which I like! It’s not perfect, but a pretty good start for being the first layered haircut I did on myself. 

I’m happy to finally have some movement in my hair! Every time I go to the salon I always ask for lots of layers and movement, but they never want to give it to me. So, I will be doing my own from time to time to perfect this skill!! Can’t wait to see how it turns out with a little curl!

Afternoon hike to Bernal Heights Park

Here are a few images I took atop Bernal Heights Park. No editing done, just a little adjustments on the camera. A few had a camera filter as well.

Nick’s father graciously gave me a camera of his! It is a wonderful little companion, perfect for travel. I had been in the market for a DSLR, but didn’t really have the money for it. This is a perfect solution, so I can begin to work on my photography skills! This way I can work on framing, focus, and natural lighting. I hope to learn a few things and save up for various lenses to work with this camera. It has such great ratings and reviews, I think I will stick with it for a while! It is a Panasonic Lumix GF1. There is a Lumix G Vario 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, great for travel! I would love to get another lens, probably the 20 mm f/1.7 or something else wide angle, or more zoom.

Feedback and criticism welcome!