1 Year Post-Grad: Thoughts & Lessons Learned

The year 2016. It was interesting to say the least. Some of my favorite, most inspiring moments happened this year. It also came along with some low points I would have rather passed by at the time.

There were so many people in my ear upon graduation with their advice and suggestions. Plenty of people enlightened me on their ideas of what my post-grad life would be like.

All I can tell you is what actually happened and a few things I’ve learned (or been reminded of) in the past 365 days.

Here we go.

Winter wonderland vibes minus the snow.

All That Glitters Ain’t Gold

When you’re fresh out of school, ready to start your new life, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of things. Do your research, people! Make sure you have a solid understanding of what you’re getting yourself into before making any long-term commitments.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 7.22.18 PM.png
The slay in me recognizes the slay in you. #namaslay

Know Yourself, Know Your Worth

Some people come out of school with a ridiculous amount of experience and they’re ready to roll. That’s great! Just know that even if that’s not your current situation, YOU ARE VALUABLE. Don’t allow people to short change you and treat you any kind of way because you’re new to “adulthood”. Yes, we all have to start somewhere. I’m not telling you to be boogie, but don’t settle for less than what you deserve. You’ll regret it.

Laughing at the haters.

The Greatest Scam of All Time

Speaking of adulthood…it’s all a scam. Don’t sign up. LOL Seriously. Many “adults” that I’ve encountered put on a show like they have life figured out. I’m here to tell you no one really knows what they’re doing. We’re all just trying to make it work with what we’ve got and learn as we go. There’s no need to freak out. You’re not the only one learning to fly the plane as you build it.

First solo trip! Uber-ing in LA.

Jump…Just Do It

Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. Fear induced paralysis will kill you. I’m a big dreamer. Always have been, always will be. My imagination is wild, and I love that part of myself. As a recent inductee into the “adult” world, I’ve come in contact with so many people that have given up on their dreams, and some tried to convince me to do the same (wether direct or indirectly). It’s sad. I’ve witnessed what fear has done to others, and I also danced with it for a moment. At one point, I was convinced that my dreams were too much. Thankfully that was only a season! Stepping out on faith isn’t easy. Following your heart/dreams/life calling can be scary. Just don’t stop. At the end of the day, the risk is worth the reward of living a fulfilled life.

Tanning with a coconut. 

It’s Ok Not to Be Ok

I took a trip to Miami early this summer with my best friend. It was amazing! When we returned home, I was straight up DEPRESSED. I cried every day. I struggled to get out of bed and tackle the day. I was miserable. Why? Once again through travel, I got a taste of the life I truly want to live. I spent a lot of time wallowing in my sorrows, but eventually I got myself together and started looking at things differently. I saw what life would be if I lived fearfully. My dreams would never become reality. I couldn’t live with that, so day by day I made the effort to work purposefully towards a meaningful life. Being down/depressed/in a funk is ok. We all have those times. Remember that is not home. Don’t stay in that space forever. Honor your feelings, your struggle and move forward. #adulting101

Being happy and soaking up the sun. #blackgirlmagic

It’s Also Ok to Be Happy

We’re on the other end of the spectrum now. Being happy is not a crime. Some people will try to guilt trip you for being happy. Ignore them. You have every right to enjoy this blessing we call life. Celebrate hunty! Any person that doesn’t want to see you happy does not deserve your time or energy. That is all.

Just call me Dora The Explorer. 

Time Flies (Whether You’re Having Fun or Not)

I don’t know about y’all, but this year flew by for me. Honestly, it’s a little scary. So much happened but it feels like it all occurred in fast forward. Thinking about this made me reflect on the precious nature of life and how easily it can pass us by. We all  know life is short, but a few events this year really put it back into perspective for me.

Because time waits for no one, I believe it’s important to have your priorities straight. Everyone is walking a different path, so I’ll just give some general advice that we can all use. If your adult life is not enhanced within the first 3 minutes of applying this advice,  you’re doing something wrong.

My top 3 tips for mastering adulthood:

  1. Laugh until your sides hurt. #dailydeed
  2. Play often. (Keep your inner child alive.)
  3. Every now and then just make a mess of things.
Living in the moment. Nashville was good to us. 

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post!

This year my life changed a lot. It wasn’t always easy, but it’s what I needed to get to the next chapter.

Comment below and let me know what 2016 taught YOU.

-Erin ❤

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