being gold and getting old

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22 on April 22 — you can just call me the Earth Day queen!! On this 22nd day of April I’m celebrating my golden birthday, loving on our planet, and trying to comprehend how fast the past year went by. Not gonna lie, I have NOT looked forward to turning 22. I think it’s just the fact that you so look forward to turning 21 that any number after that, is just another day. I’m pretty sure my brother even told me “it’s all downhill from here” lol. Or it could be the fact that I used to think by age 22 I would have my life together. Though, the older I get the more I realize those young adults around me as a child didn’t have their lives together either; they were figuring it out day by day too.

While I’ve already checked my face for wrinkles and crows feet, I realize that I need to chill on the fact that I’m getting older and just enjoy now. I mean 22 isn’t even old, and yes, I know that. So let me be the one to tell you, today is the oldest I’ve ever been and the youngest I’ll ever be again… and this year, I’m going to enjoy the hell out of being young and 22 and LIVE IT UP. After all, we’re only young once and a year goes by in a blink of an eye!

Without a doubt, each year of your life should be spent ‘living it up,’ life is SO short. I just wanna put myself out there more, go on more adventures, say yes to more opportunities, meet new people, visit new places, and make memories for ME. For one reason or another, I’ve held myself back from really experiencing things in my young adult life. There’s no one to blame but myself on that, but I realize that life goes on and I have more than enough opportunities these days to be who I really wanna be, which is exactly what I plan on doing.

It’s strange but I look back on who I was this time last year and think, I’m a completely different person than I was then, and it’s not a bad thing at all. I’m about to graduate college, I’m about to be looking at my next permanent living situation, and I’m about to have the career I’ve always dreamed about. I believe in myself, I say no when I need to, and I’m making my own decisions not based around anyone else’s opinion. I’m so much more capable than I ever thought myself to be and the person you see in the photos above is SO much more confident in herself these days.

I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty confident person and not one in need of anyone else to define my worth, but the last year I’ve learned a lot about myself, my own capabilities, and my strengths. I learned a lot of lessons the hard way this year, I lost some close friends, I broke my own heart a couple times and even learned how to heal it back together. I’ve basically had to “shape up or ship out” on the perspective of my passions. All this is to say, I needed to experience these things to find myself and realize that I need to start choosing my own happiness more often — “you don’t grow when you’re comfortable” couldn’t be more true.

While the last year isn’t the only one that’s shaped me into who I am today, I feel like it’s made a big contribution in me becoming the woman I was meant to be — empowered, driven, influential, kind, and strong. It may have taken all but 22 years to figure me out, but I like who I’m becoming.

This weekend I’ll be celebrating my birthday in Dallas with my close girlfriends, since my birthday had to fall on a Monday this year, and I’ll be wearing this beauty of a birthday dress out again. I found this teal, puff sleeve dress from my favorite online store, Revolve. I’ve linked the dress below for you guys and bonus — it’s on sale! Because I was that birthday girl with a full on crown, I left the rest of this look pretty simple with jewelry and shoes. My necklace was a birthday gift from my momma and it’s from Adina’s Jewels — y’all the quality of this necklace is amazing and I’m so obsessed I’ve worn it everyday since it came in the mail and I loved it for my birthday photos! I paired a black block heel from good ol’ Target to finish this look and all of the items from this shoot are linked below for ya’ll. 

As always,

Ara

Puff-sleeve dress: Revolve | Block name necklace: Adina’s Jewels | Gold earrings: Kendra Scott |Black block heels: Target

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