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February 06, 2019

25 Things I Learned In 25 Years

affordable by amanda - 25 things i've learned in 25 years - wearing a floral bodysuit from forever 21

Holy. Crap. I am now 25 years old. 

I am entering a new stage of my life where I am getting closer to 30 than I am to 20. Wow. I've been dreading my birthday this year because I think being age 25 scares the living sh*t out of me! Turning 21 was super thrilling, but 25 feels so much more REAL. 25 means I am a real adult in my eyes. 

I have to be honest because what's a blog without honesty, right? I know I've accomplished so much in my 25 years on this planet, but I still feel lost and confused like I did the very first day I stepped onto my college campus. 

To be 25 years old (or young) has me thinking about the past and the future. A lot of the time all I can do is focus on the future, but it's important to reflect on what has happened in my past that has made me who I am at 25. I'm going to share 25 things that I've learned over the past 25 years today. 

amanda burrows sits in oahu, hawaii. she is wearing a floral bodysuit from forever 21 and a pair of hi-rise wide-leg jeans from target. she also has one a gucci belt from amazon.

1. Take Time to Be Alone

One of the top things I've learned over the past 25 years is that being alone is AWESOME. I do things by myself all the time and this really gives me a chance to slow down and switch gears in my mind. 

Having alone time doesn't mean you are forgetting about your friends and family - it just means you are taking a little chunk out of your day to focus on yourself and your well-being. 

When I have a lot of fun channeling my extroverted side, I often need to immediately balance that out with some serious alone time! 

Spending time by myself has been such a great experience. While in college, I spent the majority of my time by myself, walking to and from class each day. My friends and I all had different schedules so it was a nice break to plug in my headphones and talk to myself (lol) while on the move. 

2. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Another part of growing up includes figuring out when things are no O.K. Back in college, I determined that I needed to seek counseling. My mental state was deteriorating and I found myself spending a little TOO MUCH alone time. I made an appointment to see a school psychologist and it was easily the best decision I've made in my entire life. 

As soon as I started talking with my therapist, the tears began to flow and I found myself breaking down after years of bottling up my emotions. I never really thought that "bottling your emotions" could be so relevant until I began discussing how I deal with my emotions with my therapist. 

Therapy has changed my life for the better. I highly suggest it to everyone I meet if they are considering talking to a professional for guidance. Life is NOT simple, but it can become less scary once you open up and start talking about it out loud. 

3. Family Time Matters

Spending ample time with my family continues to be something I prioritize in my life. After my Grandma passed away in 2014, I found myself feeling extremely attached to my close relatives. 

When losing someone like a Grandparent, at any age, it can take time to process and grieve. I am so thankful for my best friends for being supportive during that difficult time in my life because they knew my connection with my Grandma was so strong for all of my life. 

Family time needs to be on my list of priorities. I strive to take time to schedule dinners with my parents and hang out with my sister at Disney World together because you only have ONE family in this life and you sure as hell need to make sure they know you love them. 

4. Perfection Doesn't Exist

I'm not calling myself a perfectionist, but I do hold myself to high standards when it comes to working. Whenever I post to my blog or Instagram, I usually tear myself apart because some of my work is not "perfect".

However, I'm slowly getting over the fact that perfection is not real! Perfection does not exist. Nothing in the world will be perfect - you have to accept your own version of "perfect" because a lot of the time things will be different than you ever expected. 

5. Your Friends Will Become Your Family

Thankfully I have the best group of friends, period. My best friends know me better than I know myself! I am so beyond grateful for my friendships because my girlfriends matter the most to me, second to my family, of course. 

Having close girlfriends does not happen overnight. Building relationships with my best friends have taken years! 

Best friends are the people who are there for you when you throw up after a long night of drinking. Best friends are the people you call when the boy you had a crush on says he has a new girlfriend. Best friends are the ones you plan trips with and the ones you can count on to show up. 

6. Chocolate Cures Sadness

This is random, but my love for chocolate needs to be put on this list. 

My love and obsession with chocolate have only escalated over the years. When I am feeling sad, I gravitate toward a piece of yummy dark chocolate. 

When I have the worst cramps in the world, I munch on some chocolate covered pretzels to calm my body.  

7. You Can (and WILL) Heal Your Acne

Ugh, acne is just the worst. It took me forever to combat teenage acne. I had such a struggle with my skin throughout most of my life. I was pretty much covered in pimples from 13 until about 22. Acne made me feel so ugly. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever dealt with in my life and I am so glad I no longer have to worry about the state of my skin at age 25. 

I am so blessed that when I finally started taking a pill called Accutane I noticed immediate changes happening to my face. 

Taking Accutane for five months was another great decision I made in my life. Clear skin is possible if you see a dermatologist who can guide you to find the best option for your current skin situation. I am planning on writing a whole post on my Accutane experience because it has taken me a long time to open up about my experience with the drug. 

8. Switching Majors is Not the End of the World

In college, I was forced to change my major. Unfortunately, I tried several times to complete an accounting class and was unable to pass it. I had to change my major from Retail Merchandising to something else. 

At this time in my life, I was terrified. I knew I wanted to study fashion and I was so annoyed that I needed to pass an accounting class to continue with that major. I ended up switching my major over to Economics. 

I was also terrified of not passing any Econ classes! Let me tell ya, college was hard. Not only are you transitioning from living a lush life at home with your parents to living on your own terms, but you have to figure out your entire future at the tender age of 18. Luckily, things worked out for the best and I graduated on time with a degree in Economics. 

9. Traveling is Worth It (See ya later, anxiety!)

This past year, in 2018, I was able to explore a few new places. I checked off some amazing cities from my growing bucket list!

My best friend, sister and I went to Nashville for the week. My sister and I also flew to San Fran and Hawaii together!

I also flew to Austin for the first time by myself. 

Flying alone is also not as scary as I once thought. 

Putting yourself through an hour or two of slight anxiety can feel overwhelming, but traveling to new destinations is worth it in my mind. Hawaii was also my longest flight at nine hours in total. The flight was not as bad as I thought it would be, either! Free movies, complimentary food, and blankets? I'll take it. 

10. Stop Working and Go Out for Drinks with Friends

I admit it: I'm a workaholic. It doesn't help that my work can be done from the ease of my mobile phone. I don't know when to stop!

I've learned over these past few years to put a temporary halt on my work mode and trade it in for a fun night out with friends. Work will always be there in the morning. Spending quality time with friends to laugh and dance is exactly what I should be doing on a Friday night instead of scrolling through my Instagram feed. 

11. Learn to Love Your Hair

I guess these 25 years can be summed up with this phrase: learning to love myself. Going through a process of changes at a young age can totally mess with you (thanks, hormones!), but I am glad to have made it out on the other side safely. 

Back in middle school, my hair was a beast. Hair full of tight curls and with a generous mix of blonde and red. I didn't enjoy my hair as much as I do now. 

I have also experimented with coloring my hair and I was brave to go blonde and dark red over the past few years! I am more confident in my skin because I choose to love myself for who I am on the inside and the outside. 

12. Start A Blog

Starting my blog in 2014 was cool to me. I started reading a lot of blogs from people like Carly (The College Prepster) and Cathy (Poor Little It Girl) and was inspired by them to start my own version of a blog!

I planned on sharing outfit posts and beauty favorites with people on the Internet. 

I am glad I took a leap of faith and started my blog, Affordable by Amanda when I did. Of course, it was stressful at first when I depended on my tripod or roommates to take photos for me, but slowly I worked with Tampa photographers and my blog took off. 

Blogging and running my Instagram has given me plenty of amazing opportunities so far! I am glad I could take my side hobby and turn it into a full-blown business. 

13. Follow Your Heart

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I am not the same person I once was when I started my blog standing outside of my Tallahassee apartment complex using my tripod and Canon to snap outfit photos. I am a serious influencer who takes on paid campaigns with top-rated brands. I am able to partner with spas and hotels across the state. My confidence in myself has truly emerged from within because I chose to become my own boss. 

14. Don't Be Afraid to Attend Events

Alright, so this introvert over here would NEVER have stepped foot inside an event space if it wasn't for the help of a little thing called Lexapro. I'm just being honest here!

Once I figured out how to soothe my constant anxiety, I noticed a major shift in my mood. I could now attend blogger events with ease. Attending blogger events, such as Kahlea's Gal Getaway events, has not only helped my business, but it has given me the confidence I lacked to be a real HUMAN on my social platforms. 

15. Take a Trip to Disney

Let's change things up for a sec and talk about something a little lighthearted, ha! All of my other "life lessons" have been so deep and dramatic. 

Disney World, for lack of a better word, rocks. 

Walking around Disney makes you feel YOUNG again! I have a Disney Annual Pass (along with my sister) and we often take time out of our lives to drive over to Orlando and hang out at the parks. 

I am so glad we live close to Disney to do this! Whenever I feel overwhelmed with work, I try to plan a time to enjoy Disney, whether it's for a few hours or for a few days at a time. Getting a pass is easily another great choice I've made in my life, as crazy as that seems!

16. Swim in the Ocean

When I was cruising through the Caribbean in 2014, my family and I ended up taking an excursion to snorkel in the ocean. Once we go on the boat, our caption took us far out into the ocean and part of me was excited...and part of me wasn't ready to jump in. 

As soon as we dropped anchor in the middle of the blue water, I looked up and saw storm clouds rolling in. Of course, my sailor sister and Mom who doesn't waste any opportunity to dunk her head under water were already swimming! 

I took a few deep breathes in and out and eventually, I told myself to jump in with them. I am glad I did. The water was beautiful, warm, and packed with sea life. I am happy that I took a chance and swam in the ocean in the Cayman Islands because it was worth it. 

17. Wear Sunscreen 

A piece of advice built into today's blog post? DON'T forget about wearing sunscreen! I am pale and have naturally red hair, so I am constantly on the lookout for moles on my skin. 

Sunscreen, especially from a top-rated brand like Supergoop!, has become a part of my daily routine. I slather it across my face each morning as soon as I get up and ready for the day. 

18. Stop Letting Boys Make You Cry

Ugh, MEN! Boys! Dating! Relationships!

I've had quite a journey in terms of dating as a young woman. I've had failed attempts at finding a good guy to call my boyfriend over the years. Boys have made me cry. Boys have made me question everything about me! From how I joke around to how I present myself around others. All I ever wanted was to find someone to like me for my authentic self, is that so hard? Dating sucks. 

Thankfully, I am happy to say that just before I turn 25 I have found a great guy in my life! I am so happy to turn 25 with him by my side. Obviously, I am looking forward to the presents, too. Ha! Just kidding, but not really ;)

19. Never Stop Dreaming

Dreams are the best. I love dreaming at night when I relax and unwind in my bed and let my imagination flow freely. 

I've been a dreamer for all of my life. Even from a young age, I was super imaginative and would play house with Barbie dolls and create exciting lives for them to get married and have happy careers. Dreaming is something that I will never stop doing. I also love fulfilling my dreams! Putting goals out into the universe can result in 

Right now, I have dreams to travel the world. I have been scared to fly for most of my life and I am thrilled that now I am finally comfortable enough to sit on a plane while I 

20. Failing Will Happen

Winning feels great. On the flip side to winning, failing doesn't feel great. I hate failing. Failing can be one of the worst experiences. Failure happens and this is something I've had to face over my lifetime. 

Failure can wear you down. Failure can make you feel overwhelmed with anger. You may question "Why" did you fail. Failing can also become a way for you to get back up and try again. Dealing with the aftermath of failure can make you realize your mistakes. 

21. Stop Letting People Walk All Over You

In the past, I've had difficulties with letting people walk all over me. Call it being "too nice". Call it being a "pushover". Well, I'm done acting like a doormat to anyone. 

Letting people walk all over you might not even cross your mind if you are so accustomed to it. In some of my friendships, I've been the one to do most of the work. 

I've been the type of friend who ignores boundaries and lets things slide. It's finally time for me to stop. This is still something I am learning how to do as I enter my year 25. 

22. I Don't Have to Own Everything

As a blogger, I am such a consumer. I consume things every single day! Whether I scroll through Instagram and order a cute new pair of pajamas from another blogger's feed, I am constantly buying, buying, buying. 

And you know what? I'm sick of buying all the time. I am going to try to achieve saving more money this year by buying less. I also want to work with more brands to supply me with clothes to wear so I don't have to buy even more to style all the time. 

It's difficult to be a trendy blogger and resist buying the latest pair of cute boots or jacket, but I need to cut down on the amount of money I spend each month on new things. Consumerism is a huge part of America, I know, but I feel like I need to hone in on my favorite items and resist the urge to buy everything that I see online. 

23. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

It goes without saying that 2018 was the year I stepped out of my comfort zone. For one thing, I started going on dates. If I didn't start dating, I would have never met my current boyfriend. 

I started accomplishing even more blog goals. I was able to travel without letting my anxiety hinder my ability to get my ass on a plane!

I am so proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone this past year. There are so many reasons why I encourage you to do the same. It's scary, but in the end its so worth it when you see how far you've come! 

24. Take it Day by Day

Nothing good comes easy. Learning to take things day by day is important. 

Realizing that slowing down and experiencing moments as they come is vital. 

25. Have Faith

One final thing I've learned? Have faith. I am not a super religious person by any means, but I do believe in God as a higher power. 

Sometimes you need to have faith to believe that things will work out. My faith is getting stronger each time I am forced to make difficult choices, too. I need to look to a higher power to seek guidance through the tough times. I pray to the Lord for strength when I need it the most. 

tampa blogger amanda burrows - wearing a floral bodysuit from forever 21 in oahu, hawaii - on a girls' trip for gal getaway by kahlea nicole - wearing a pair of wide-leg denim jeans from target - long hair from barefoot blonde extensions - wearing a gucci belt from amazon.

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1 comment:

  1. Gosh! I loved this post soooo much!! It was super encouraging :)

    Sending lots of love



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