Twenty Six: Another Year of Reflection

Goodbye to 26, another year older…

Hello my lovely readers! I hope you’re ready for a pretty wordy post because every time around this time of year I like to reflect on what I’ve learned these past 12 months while being 26 years old. So let’s go!

Still confused.

Can I be honest with you guys? This year I struggled with feeling like I made no progress. If you remember I wrote a blog post on all the changes that happened to me when I was 25 – and when I compared it to 26 I felt like I didn’t achieve anything. In year twenty five – I decided to leave a “stable” career to pursue an unknown. I created a blog with my best friend and it made us closer than ever! On top of that, I ended a toxic relationship AND started a new one! So you can imagine my feelings of accomplishment last year and excitement for the things to come.

Where did it go wrong?

2017 began with a bang and and while I was expecting to continue to ride the high of constant change – I ended up feeling stagnant. May rolled in and I found myself constantly criticizing myself: what have you even accomplished this year to improve yourself in your personal and professional life? You switched jobs and now you have start from the bottom again, good job dummy. You’re behind everyone else. Last year you got rid of all your toxic relationships and worked to improve the ones important to you, have you? You started a blog last year – what impressive KPI’s do you have to show for it? So you see, I was spiraling into a dark place.

So what now?

If you don’t know me personally, I internalize everything. But I also usually think of situations as “glass half full”. Which is why I struggled with feeling like a loser and didn’t talk to anyone about it for months. When I finally opened up to my best friend about it she was shocked and told me that I have been doing so much. And that was exactly what I needed to hear – it helped me to see things from a different perspective. To the outside, I was busy traveling the world and creating all these new memories, and somehow I was too busy looking back and comparing myself to the past that I forgot to appreciate them for what they were.

Amazing experiences that enriched my life in intangible and immeasurable ways.

And instead of being sad about not making any measurable progress – I created Raychowblogs and set goals to accomplish with blogging. Career-wise, last year I was given the opportunity to be in a position to learn about Marketing in a broad sense. This year – after many nights of tears, deep thoughts and hair shedding I decided to pursue being a Designer as a career! 10 year old Rachel never imagined herself to be where I am today! And relationship-wise, I hope to continue to never give up on the ones who are important to me and appreciate the new friendships I make along the way.

While I think that looking back is great, living in the moment is even better. I went through so many changes when I was 25 that had me feeling brand new, and in year 26 I didn’t appreciate the person that I worked so hard to become.

What did I learn in year 26?
  • Self-reflection and comparison is great. Your past self is your greatest competition! It helps you realize the parts of your life that are getting comfortable and lights a fire under your butt to change it!
  • But at the same time, as corny as it sounds: Live in the moment! Every moment you spend being anxious about getting to the next destination negates from the experience of where you are now.
  • Relationships take work – the longer you’ve been in one, the easier it is to take advantage of it whether it is a boyfriend or best friend. So remember to always appreciate the ones who stay by your side through all the ups and downs.

I go into year 27 (gg, finally too old for number balloons) just as excited as last year but also with the patience to take things as they come and savor the moment.

Photos by: @sirmaosalot


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