Today has been a year since I started Life With JRDN. What started out as an outlet to keep me from drowning in a pool of my insecurities has blossomed into so much more. I read a few of my older posts, and realized that not only has my writing changed, but I’ve changed as a person as well.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about myself through my blog:

Trust the Process: Things don’t happen overnight and they definitely don’t happen the exact moment that I want them to. And that’s okay. After college, I expected my career to blossom into some Carrie Bradshaw-esqe lifestyle. But once I realized that Carrie’s lifestyle— or shoe game— doesn’t come overnight, I stopped waiting for things to happen and started striving towards making the necessary moves to get what I want. Trusting yourself, the process, and having that confidence in knowing that you’ll make it or be successful in whatever it is that you want is important. If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will?

The Art of Letting Go: As I read a couple of my relationship posts, I’m learning my own faults in a relationship and the biggest one is letting go. My optimism and love for romanticizing people for who they could be has left me in a repetitive cycle and in turn has kept certain people in my life for longer than they needed to be. The idea of keeping someone around to “grow” with them was something that I used to love. “What if he gets his shit together?” “What if he realizes I’ve been here for him all along?” Damn near 5 years of never a girlfriend— or taken seriously— takes a toll on you after a while.

I struggled with letting what I knew would never be go for a long time. I pretended that being “friends” — who only occasionally hooked up— was fine but it wasn’t. Cheating myself out of what I wanted, honestly deserved, and ignoring people who were willing to give that to me was only stifling my growth. I had masked what our “situation” really was and called it love but it wasn’t that. Letting go is hard especially after you’ve invested so much time and haven’t gotten anything out of it. Slowly but surely, I’ve realized that letting go of situations and sometimes people only makes room for new people and better opportunities in my life.

I Need Space Too: The most frightening words to me after “What do you want to eat?” were always “I need space.” The fact that there was never a time frame on how much space was needed— or if the person would even come back— would always send me into a panic. I used to think that being in a long distance relationship gave all the space I needed. My clinginess and to be honest —simply not knowing how to give space— hurt a couple of my past relationships. After my breakup despite being told to rebound, I decided to give myself some space. I had to teach myself how to think in “me” not “we” again and though it was tough, it was necessary. I took the time to learn about my issues and insecurities and how they not only affect me but my partner too. Giving myself space from dating, has helped me to fall in love with me for the first time.

Your Success is Not My Failure: In a world where self doubt and competeion are constantly forced, I’ve learned not to compare myself to others but only to myself. A year ago, I was working three internships— two of which only looked good on paper— and a full time job where I’d spend the majority of my eight hour day daydreaming about all the things that I could be doing.

Today? I’m freelancing for Teen Vogue, doing interviews for Respect, and taking the time to find more outlets to showcase my creativity. All of the things I used to overlook are little wins all leading up to a big win. I’m my own damn #Goals.

I am Beautiful: My journey to self confidence has been a long one. I used to rely on compliments from whoever had my eye at the time to feel better about myself. A quick “Youre beautiful” right before hooking up used to mean so much to me. Today, the opinion I rely on is my own. I’ve grown from constantly complaining about how I look and comparing myself to simply owning it. And though I still may be bad at taking compliments from others..


I’m working on it

I’ve learned to love me some me.

A year ago today, I was fresh out of college, in love, and trying to figure things out. I was only the shell of the person I am today. I’m still on my journey to …whatever-ness, but being able to see all aspects of my mental and physical growth through my blog has made me extremely proud of where I am today.

One of those "I like MF DOOM" type girls trying to figure out life in her 20's.