Today I turn 27. I have to admit, I am pretty excited about 27 and officially being in my late-twenties. I’m not sure why, but I have a good feeling about personal growth this coming year. My late twenties are going to be about humbly recognizing and celebrating my strengths and improving upon  my weaknesses. They will be about celebrating the strengths of the people I love and am surrounded by and the good that we inspire in each other.

Ways I Have Moved Forward in the Last Year

One of my greatest strengths in life has always been my ability to ignore what other people think. I don’t mean in an arrogant way, more that I was always good at recognizing the grain of salt. I can see through the person criticizing me to their insecurities which allows me to feel compassion for them vs. resentment. Rather than beat myself up, I focus on empathy and trying to lighten the burden they were placing on themself. I attribute this to having a therapist for a mother.

Even that armor isn’t invincible. As much as I was able to let things roll off me like rain on an oil slick, there were those few things that slipped through and ate away at my confidence over time. You can only hear the same critique so many times, you know?

In college I was surrounded by fashion design students who were also aspiring models. They were tall, and thin and beautiful in a way that I will never be. I am solid and muscular and I could probably move a car with the power in my thighs.

I had always been very comfortable with my body until college. In college I wanted the muscle to go away, I didn’t want to be seen as forceful. I looked for workouts that would make me leaner. All of this strength that I had worked my entire life to develop was now the thing that made me [in my mind] stick out like a sore thumb when I walked around campus.

Fastforward a few years to when I was entering my mid-twenties, people in my life would tell me how great being in your late twenties was because you didn’t care so much. When I got to my late-twenties, people started telling me how great being in your thirties was because you didn’t care so much.

The last three years have been a reawakening of my body confidence. Whether it’s because of my age or not, I began to love my body again. I got back into working out regularly, and realized that I love the strength I have. This year I found Muay Thai, a sport that truly celebrates strength. I have once again found the ability to love my body for its strength. I challenged myself to get comfortable in front of the camera by starting style posts like this one, right here on the blog.

I’ve also begun to truly value my skills again (with the help of regular pep talks from my best friend and my mom.) There is endless value in having a true support system! The unexpected benefit of learning the value in what you do is that you also see the true value and worth in your time and how you use it. I have become much more careful in agreeing (or not agreeing) to do things because I have a better understanding of how draining overextending yourself can be. There’s a time and a place and it’s important to recognize when to say both ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

Keeping the Momentum Going

We all have so much power and good inside of us. When we ignore the fear of failure and focus on doing what is good for us and those around us, no matter the outcome we are moving forward. This year I’ll be better at calling myself on my own bullshit and not overextending myself. I will continue to break down the barriers that I have developed internally and strive to grow and welcome new experiences.

It’s also time for a big trip. I’m not sure if the trip will happen during 27 but the planning definitely will! There are so many places that I would like to go and spend time in.

For all of these reasons, I think 27 is going to be good.