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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Big Sister Advice

WARNING!  It's another long one, but hopefully worth your time!

The last time I was at my parents my mom gave me a huge stack of old photos from when I was younger.  For some reason, I can't stop looking at them.  I seriously have pulled them out almost every day since she passed them onto me. I am not sure if it's because I have recently been in nostalgic mode or if it's something that goes deeper. 


My birthday is coming up on May 30th and I am turning 34 years old.  I have not mentioned my age on my blog since I started.  I am not sure why.  It's not because I am ashamed of my age or don't want people to know how old I am.  Maybe I am trying to avoid the inevitable of getting older.  I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that in one more year I am going to be closer to 40 than 30.  Maybe deep down it sort of scares me.  Each year seems to go by faster than the previous one. Just like this year, can you believe we are almost half way though 2012? Where does the time go?

As I add another year to my life, it jogs my memory of what I have accomplished, what I wish I would have done, what I wish I could take back and what I want to achieve moving forward.  I try and not dwell on the past, but sometimes, I just can't help it.  It's who I am.  I am the type of person who seems to get stuck in the..."would have, could have, should have" way of thinking.

I have come to realize, in my "wiser" years, that although we cannot change our past, we can take what we have learned and move forward.  In fact, it not only helps us move forward, but our pasts help mold us into who we are in the present.  It teaches us life lessons for our future...lessons that are both elementary and doctorate level. 

I want to share with you what I have learned along the way because I know the majority of my blog buddies are still in their twenties. So, take this as advice from a big sister...or possibly an educated little sister!

Big (or Little) Sister Top 10 List

1. Don't be jealous of your girlfriends.  Embrace their successes and milestones.  Being catty should end by the time you turn 21. Remember, true friendship is about quality, not quantity. 

2. Get out of the tanning beds and wear sunscreen.  I know this one sounds superficial, but save you skin and health.  You should see the wrinkles I have on my legs, chest and other creases....not attractive!

3. I wish I would have lived on my own for just one year....no roommate(s)...no boyfriend...no fiance...no husband....just me.  I have not lived alone in all my years.

4. Be who you are...for YOU...not anyone else.  If you are not happy with yourself, there is no way on God's Green Earth that you can make anyone else in your life happy.  Simple fact.

5. Who gives a sh*t what other people think of you.  DO NOT live your life trying to please everyone around you. I am not saying that you should do what you darn well please and not take others into consideration.  I am just stating that you CANNOT live your life being a people pleaser and worrying about what others think of you...I have tried it...and failed miserably. 

6. Eat. Pretty simple. Don't freakin' starve yourself to try to uphold an image of something that doesn't even exist in "real" life...90% of the internet, magazines, movies and television are airbrushed and Photoshopped.  Don't stress about your weight...focus on being healthy!

7. Travel. Travel. Travel.  This is one major regret that I have.  I wish I would have ventured off to more cities, states and countries before I had kids.   I am not saying that once you have children the traveling ceases, it just makes things more difficult in the financial and coordinating sense.

8. Don't revolve your life around you career.  Yes, being successful in what you do is 100% important, but strive for balance. Your paycheck, small or large, doesn't define who you. And if you aren't fulfilled with what you are currently doing, start looking for something different...now.  Don't put it off until tomorrow.  There will always be excuses.  A fresh start in a new position will not fall into your lap.  You have to do the leg work.  Don't get in a rut and settle for being complacent. 

9. Express and verbalize to others about how you feel.  Don't make them guess or assume.  Don't play mind games.  If you love someone, tell them.  If you don't, let them go.  Move onto to someone who completes you.  This goes back to #4 & #5 on the list!

10. Life is NOT a walk in the park, quite honestly, it can REALLY suck sometimes.  Most of us think that other people have it so much better because we see their Facebook posts, Instagram photos or amazing trip on their blog, but what we are really seeing are just the highlights of their lives.  People don't typically like sharing the crappy moments.  So, when you feel like you are alone...remember that you're not!  Just lean on the people that you trust and remind yourself that we all travel over bumps and hurdles.

Whew!  I think this might be my longest post to date!  If you stayed with me, thanks! I hope that it resonated on some level for each and every one of you!

Cheers to making my last year of being in my early thirties an unforgettable one!

42 comments:

Karen said...

Great list! Totally agree especially the traveling part. So much harder with kids!

tara said...

Love. This. Post. So. Much.

Danavee said...

This was awesome. Relating to the whole age thing big time (I'm a May baby too). And that list was right on.

Morgan Stone said...

Love this. You are 100% right on everything. Some of these things can be hard to remember, so thank you for sharing your wisdom :)

prettyanddelectable said...

This is a great post! So practical and true. Cheers to the thirties! Amazing how fast the time goes by once you have kids...

Amy Shaughnessy said...

Great post! I seriously don't know where the time goes. It seems to go faster the older I get. I will be 32 this year and my husband will be 37. When did we become the 'responsible' parents that I remember seeing my mom and dad as? We had our first baby pretty soon after we got married (I got pregnant almost a year after we married) but were able to squeeze in 3 trips (Hawaii, Vegas and Germany) before I got pregnant. I'm sooooo glad we did because it is so hard to travel now with two kiddos. We are planning a cruise this winter and it has been hard orchestrating the details. I could go on and on....

Amy

fashionandbeautyfinds.blogspot.com

Katie said...

love this list! especially number 6 and 10. good advice!!

Debra Green said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this!! I'm 100% connected with you on every thought and I really needed to hear this today. God has a way of doing that!
-Debra

Haley W. said...

Love this post!! Great idea :)
And you don't look a day past 25..seriously. So don't even worry about that!

I pull out old pictures every chance I get..it is literally one of my FAVORITE things to do!!

Sami said...

Amazing advice Shanna! I have been living on my own for almost a year now and it has been one of the most rewarding things I have done :)

Head to Toe Chic said...

This such great advice! I feel like you were talking directly to me on quite a few of these points. Definitely going through a few of these things right now.

Xo,
Angela

Laura [Beauty & the Beard] said...

SUCH a great post. You are too sweet missy! All great advice - especially the ones about travelling and living alone. SO TRUE!

TheTinyHeart said...

I absolutely LOVED this post and all the advice you gave, Shanna! This one is definitely getting bookmarked :) I am still working on the career part..I am not happy in my current job but luckily I have plenty other things in my life that DO make me happy.

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart
Enter my giveaway!

Always Maylee said...

Shanna, I LOVE this post! Ok, first of all, I seriously thought you were 25, you look amazing. I've been having major age anxiety because this year I'm hitting a milestone birthday (the big 30). #6 is my fave, I don't have any trouble following that one! :)

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

Ross Schneider said...

34!?!! Almost time to trade you in for a new model!! ;) LOL! Love you more than ever and great post today! See you for sushi in a few!!

Emma said...

The little girls I use to watch, their mom (my boss) is 34. She is like an older sister I always wished to have (I have an older sister, but she isn't very girly lol or was ever into what I was into). I no longer watch the girls, but we still communicate often (she texted me just yesterday to talk wedding!) and get together. I think that is how I know me and you would be friends...easily (although I express this matter to you often, but I do lol). Age is only a number ;) Plus your insight and advice is much needed at this point in my life. Again, I can't express how much I've needed to hear this...&see this written out. Thank you!!! Love you!

Stesha said...

Shan, this could be one of your best posts! I love it. and lessons are so true! Thanks for the motherly advice big sis!!

LOVE YOU!!

xx

Erin @ Currently Coveting said...

#10 is SO true, great tips Shanna. I hope you have a great birthday!

XO,
Erin

Erin @ Currently Coveting said...

#10 is SO true, great tips Shanna. I hope you have a great birthday!

XO,
Erin

Ashley K said...

My sister and I love going back through old photos. Especially the ones from out teenage years and wondering what exactly we were thinking.. lol

I love this top 10 list I can relate to so many of the points especially tanning, eating, and traveling!

Ashley said...

I agree with everything on your list. So perfectly said. I especially like "verbalize with others how you feel". So true, and something that helps so much!!

Jes said...

body odor SHANNA! i love this. especially #1. it is so important. xo

Jes said...

body odor SHANNA! i love this. especially #1. it is so important. xo

Lindsay said...

This is such a great list! I love all your old pictures.

Simply Sarah said...

I wish we were closer - I would totally make you my BFF in a heart beat <3 you are an amazing individual Shanna; LOVE the list! And 34 is the new 25 lady, you're not old at all...thanks for the inspiration for the day!!!

sarahsavvystyle.blogspot.com

Andrea {blonde ambitions} said...

Great post, all so true!!

Cara said...

Just found your blog, and what a beautiful post to read first! I totally agree with everything you say here. I also regret never living alone, I feel like its incredibly growing experience I never had. We're still trying to get all our travel in before kids. Fantastic list!

Kate @ Daffodils said...

Great post! (And you don't look even close to 34, get it girl!)This is wonderful advice.

Katie @ My Darling Days said...

Well said chica, well said!

Girls Love Fried Pickles said...

Well said and check, check, check. all of these are a must have check list. Loved this and your hair in those pictures.

Jessica @ Here(and)Now said...

What a great post Shanna... I just started reading the Happiness Project... it is all about maximizing one's appreciation and daily happiness... I think you would really like it!
I really want to make traveling a priority in my late twenties and try to build more quality girlfriend-ships!
Happy early birthday - I hope you have many wonderful celebrations of the life you have lived in your 34 years
xx

Landi Lausen said...

What amazing big sis advice, Shanna. Thank you so much. I really needed to hear some of these things right now!! I agree to each and every point you made & am so thankful I had time tonight to get on & read all my favorite blogs now :) xoxo

Erica said...

Great words of wisdom lady ;)

http://theprettyfactor.blogspot.com

Style-Delights said...

Such a heartfelt post! I agree with your advice tips!! No 4 and No 9 are so so true! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
-Jyoti
Style-Delights Blog

Corina Nika said...

Ah, this is very nice.. Great advice, i love your blog!

Coco
www.cocorrina.com

Annie said...

Shanna, I just want to say I really loved reading this post. It's all such great advice. I'm 27, but I REALLY freak out about getting older...so this was all so nice to hear and know that I'm not alone. You're the best :)

Annie
The Other Side of Gray

Blue Dog Belle said...

Thanks love. I'll try to keep #8 in mind this week.

xoxo

Object of Maya*ffection said...

SO SO GLAD you posted about this in WIWW...those are all GREAT pieces of advice! I too will be 34 this year and feel like my like is "still under construction" as Vicki Gunvalson from the RHOOC said last nite....a few of those things on your list are STILL things I want to do! Thanks Shanna!
XO,
janae

Jenni@Story of My Life said...

This was such amazing advice, Shanna... really, awesome! You're such a wonderful person, inside and out. I can just tell that about you. Hope you're having a great week, pretty lady!

Jess said...

This post spoke to me on so many levels!! Thanks so sharing Shanna! Clearly your path has worked out amazingly, but living on my own for a year was always a goal of mine. I lasted 1 year and 1 month in my own place before moving in with my then boyfriend, now husband and I'm so thankful I made myself do that!

Jess
fancypants514.blogspot.com

Debra said...

Great advice Shanna!! You really have it goin' on little sister (cuz I'm an older model Lol!.

I love your blog so much. Truly I am always rushing to get here & hang out with you. :)

Hugs!!
Debra from StylewisebyDebra.blogspot.com

The Craft-Arty Kid said...

I'm making a mental note of all of these! I'm 21 so a good time for advice like this :)
xx

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