5 Things I'd Tell My Younger Self

minimal summer outfit: tank, jeans, slides, hat
brown wide brim straw hat
tie-strap cami
While I've always been fairly "successful" and put-together for my age, I've still made my fair share of stupid choices and grown from a lot of learning experiences over the years. Over the past few years I've worked through not regretting anything, and simply learning from my mistakes and experiences - whether serious or silly. If you live with the perspective that everything happens for a reason and should be grown from as a result, it will truly improve your life!

Since these are some things I've reflected on over the years, and found myself chatting about with my friends, I thought I would share them here! I think it's such an interesting conversation topic :) 

If the guy you're dating isn't marriage material, don't waste your time.
You've probably heard this advice repeatedly from your parents, but maybe it will sound different coming from me ;) Even if marriage isn't on your radar right now (or ever!), why would you invest yourself and your time in someone who is immature and would not make a good husband or dad? I wish I could answer why I wasted time on stupid boys.

Step away from the tanning bed sista.
I straight up cringe when I think about baking myself in a tanning bed. Nothing ages you faster, not to mention the highly increased risks of skin cancer! After my mom had several cancerous cells removed (and as a result received several scars), it really opened my eyes that I wasn't invincible, and that it wasn't worth it. I'm already thanking myself for quitting a few years back, and know I will even more down the road! 

mom jeans
brown straw hat from banana republic
effortless summer outfit - Ray-ban Clubmaster sunnies, straw hat
Don't weigh yourself everyday or count every calorie.
Instead focus on clean eating, healthy portions, and nourishing your body.
I first have to include the disclaimer that these practices are helpful to a lot of people. However, they were extremely harmful to me. I succumbed to disordered eating off and on in high school and college. I was obsessed with being bone thin and would only eat very low calorie foods. I wrote down every calorie I consumed (starting at 15 years old! 😢) and analyzed each night. I obsessed over my calorie counts and mentally beat myself up if I went over my limit by even a couple hundred calories. Unfortunately when I went through this in high school I was dancing 5+ days a week and my strength and overall ability declined, and I stopped having my period for over a year (which messed me up for many years afterward). I'm thankful that one of my dance teachers and one of my best friends noticed what was going on and helped me through it.

To avoid those negative and unhealthy thoughts (which I still struggle with sometimes), I now turn my focus on clean eating, nourishing my body, and healthy portions. If you're someone who fixates, find some healthy goals to fixate on. I actually don't ever weigh myself anymore and instead evaluate where I'm at based on how I look in the mirror, how my clothes fit, and most importantly - how I feel. Sometimes I even ask nurses not to tell me my weight because it's just healthier for me mentally if I don't know. I now try to workout for muscle tone and health rather than "to get skinny" just because it's a much more positive way to approach things.

In summary... Love yourself and take care of your mind, body and soul :)  

Explore LOTS of careers while in high school and college.
I can't even tell you how many interesting careers I've learned about as a working adult that I would have been so interested in when I was younger. While I mostly enjoy my work in communications and PR, if I could go back in time I would explore the nutrition and dermatology fields. My advice:
- Think about things you're interested in, and research all of the careers that tie into those interests
- Take personal strength and career strength tests (there are both free and paid ones) to narrow down fields you may excel in, then explore from there!
- Think about what intrinsically motivates you, and what grinds your gears. What jobs include tasks you hate, and what fields encompass principles that motivate you?
- Do lots of job shadowing, and don't be afraid to simply email or call someone to ask questions either!

Have more fun!
I was always so school and career motivated, and while that's ultimately served me very very well over the years, I often look back on my college years and wish I had had a little more fun and stressed less! I wish I had spent more time with friends rather than studying and working constantly. Not that adult life isn't fun, because it's as fun as you make it, but definitely enjoy your younger years and take advantage of having fun with friends!

Did any of these resonate with you? And what pieces of advice would you give your younger self?? 

relaxed fit straight leg jeans, wide brim hat
summertime outfit: straw hat, ray-ban clubmaster sunnies, tank, high-waisted jeans
Tank  |  Hat  |  Similar Jeans here & here (mine are H&M)
Slides (c/o Lulu's)  |  Sunglasses  |  Necklaces

 And just a quick note on my outfit... You've seen this tank on my Instagram a couple of times because it's already been such a summer staple for me! I love that it's simple and low maintenance for hot weather, but the tie details add a little somethin' somethin.' I also scored this amazing hat on sale for $19 (originally $48)! It has a high end look and feel, and I love the unique color (called 'cinnamon').

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xo, Jacy