21 was a big year for me. I learned a lot about limits, both in regards to alcohol and my life, and developed a love for wine and learned about the magic a Jack and Coke holds while also being educated on the evils of Tequila and Fireball, not counting the taste.
I started my 21st year by leaving Washington, DC and my wonderful best friend/sister Nadia to hop on a plane and come back home to little old Omak. I sat next to a soldier named Travis on the plane and we celebrated our birthdays together (his was September 3rd) by drinking wine and whiskey. It was pretty cool, even if I got stuck in Denver for an hour and didn't have any Seahawks gear on hand to really make it fun. I did, however, pay for wifi, so there was that.
Once back in Omak, after taking a plane, train, and bus to get there, I went back to work, and got fired. Yeah. It was embarrassing, it hurt, especially because I had been wanting to quit but hadn't found a new job yet. Don't worry, I had another job within the week. But still. So my first lesson came quickly. Never get so comfortable in a job that you quit watching out for yourself. I will contest the reasons I was fired for until the day I die, but the fact is, it happened. I got lazy and quit making sure that I was looking after myself professionally. I cried for a couple hours, laughed in spite of it all (with some help from my "Big Sister" Nicole), updated my resume, and moved on. By the next day I was primped and ready to find a new job.
And I found a great one in The Corner Bistro. Unfortunately, I quit to work at a big box improvement store and regret that move to this day. Here's the thing, I quit because I needed more hours to pay bills. However, had I stuck it out, I would have started getting more hours at The Corner Bistro, I was told just before I quit I was getting an extra day, which would have been just enough hours to make bills work out. And while I'm thankful for the job that led me to meet my boyfriend, I will forever regret leaving The Corner Bistro family. So, sometimes it pays to keep your head down and move forward until you come out on top.
I also gained weight while being 21. A lot of people don't admit to gaining weight. But a lesson came from me uh....filling out. Yeah, that's what we will go with. When I was in high school I was currently on the move. I was in plays, I was on two cheer squads, and had a ton of other extra-curriculars to keep myself busy. I ate healthier because I couldn't afford to get sick, and because I wanted to be the best physically I could be, so I could push myself harder. My fast metabolism had a lot to do with my average weight, but after 4 years of not doing any of those things, your metabolism slows down, and eating fast food every day tends to cause weight gain. So the day before I turned 22 I started working out again. Now I'm on a road to being in shape and a healthier human. If you don't take care of yourself as a person, you won't be happy with who you become. This is a physical and mental/spiritual truth. Keep yourself in shape in every way and you will be happier in the end.
In my 21st year I've been an assistant cheer coach and watched a group of girls start out at the very bottom of the progress pyramid and end up at the top and even go to competition, against almost all odds, and learned that sometimes you just have to sit down and shut-up and watch Head Coach/Mama work her magic, because delivering constructive criticism super positively can be hard sometimes, but working with a group of amazing women to make your dream come true is an amazing feeling. Thanks Mama Jen, for letting me be the note taker, the Candy Queen, the assistant and making all my cheer dreams come true.
I learned the importance of building your own family, and only allowing those who make you feel good about who you are as a human while holding you to a general standard of goodness in. So Thank you Leeses, and of course Clicks, and the Flores family, and all my close friends, and the Miller-Mercados and Vanessa and Makisha and Emma, you're all so incredibly important to me.
|Before and After. Look at those brows.|
Now I'm 22, and there's a whole new year to learn more crap about myself, especially my age. I still stutter when people ask how old I am. "Oh yeah, I'm twenty-wo...two. I'm twenty-two. I know how old I am, I swear".
P.S. Alexa Gee does all my make-up. Check her out on Twitter, Instagram, and at her Younique website.