21 Life Lessons I've Learned In 21 Years

In honor of my 21st I wanted to do something I'd never done on Je M'appelle Chanel before. Really discuss my life, raw, real, and some life lessons I've learned thus far. I also wanted to take some time to document my style at this age. Luckily, Emma (from Emma York Photography) had my back and we had such a great time taking these pictures in the rain.
21 Life Lessons I've Learned in 21 Years

1. Life is about the process, not the outcomes
2. Take big risks every once in awhile
3. Don't change for anyone
4. Hugs are okay
5. Say no
6. Spending your life gauging outcomes ruins the process of life
7. Books are sometimes the best company
8. Surround yourself with joy
9. Cooking with others is fun
10. Sometimes the worst thing that could happen, happens, and life goes on
11. Karma is real
12. You don't always know what you want
13. Make time to really take care of yourself
14. Stay gold
15. Don't let the moment pass, tell people how you feel about them whether it's reciprocated or not
16. Listen to NPR
17. True friends are the ones who will drop everything for you (and go to a Carly Rae Jepsen concert with you on a Tuesday)
18. Love with deliberation
19. Don't be afraid to speak your mind
20. Alwaysalwaysalways be grateful
 21. Moments of intense clarity can happen
It wasn't until this past December that I started having these moments of such intense clarity. People and things that had bothered me for years- unsolved relationships, unspoken feelings, broken friendships they all just seemed so clear. For once in my life I found solutions to feelings I had never been able to put to bed. In mere minutes. I finally found the words to say in letters and text messages that I had never been able to string together before. Although I'm not going to get into the fine details most of these issues are ones that have been strenuous and certainly tough on my self-esteem for a long time. I don't want to pretend that I have the all answers, because I don't. However I've found solace in the unresolved issues in my life that I never thought I'd find at this age.
These moments of clarity made me start thinking, maybe it's an age thing? Maybe turning 21 isn't going to be a milestone for my life in terms of fulfilling a twenty something tradition, but 21 was going to be something different.

21 was going to be a year filled with really being true to myself. Letting go of the the anchors that used to weigh me down. Accepting my weird quirks and differences that I've always shared among people my age. 21 for me is about something bigger than the twenty something traditions.

It's about honing in on the most important things I've learned in life so far. Avoiding the cliches, trying to let go, and accepting who I've always been.

My list of 21 things is inspired by a lot of things I've learned in the past year. Wise words I've learned from my marketing professor, Dr. Swinder Janda. A favorite quote from my all-time favorite show Suits. A theme I learned from a Carly Rae Jepsen song, and of course a few things I've picked up from my own observations along the way. I'm so grateful for everyday, my friends, my boyfriend, my family, my followers, and all the small things.
I'm also extremely grateful for my dear friend Emma York for helping make this post a reality. Without her insight and amazing photography I would truly be lost. I'm so grateful for you girl.

What are some life lessons you would tell your 21 year old self?
Thank you all so much for the kind, birthday wishes, and for looking at this post. 

I would really love for you to follow Emma's work on instagram, here.

Wearing: Shirt - H&M, coat - H&M (old), jeans - J Brand, shoes - Lord & Taylor, lips - Bare Minerals Pop of Passion in Plumberry Pop, nails - Peace, Love, & OPI
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