Business, Pep Talk

This is 30. The 12 Lessons My Twenties Taught Me.

Jan 21, 2020

Hello, Thirty!

While you will read this tomorrow, it’s 11:42pm on Monday and there are just 18 glorious minutes left of my twenties. A couple of weeks ago for New Years I asked you all to take inventory of your life these last ten years and celebrate all you had done in 10 years — and I know you all had incredible accomplishments! Being born in January 1990, it just so happens that the last decade started with me as 20 and ends with me at 30. So I took a little extra time to reflect on the amazing, wonderful journey the last decade and my twenties has truly been. And I realized there were so many invaluable lessons that my twenties taught me that I’ll proudly take with me into this next decade to aim to make it the best yet.

In my twenties I met Sean at Boston University, made wonderful friends at BU and at Disney when I interned there, graduated from college, lived in multiple states, interned for a celebrity wedding planner, worked for on of the top event companies and caterers in the country, was diagnosed with a rare vascular disease and then 6 years later witnessed the miracle of that disease resolving itself mysteriously (more on this someday), battled anxiety and came out on the other side stronger, opened my own business, planned 300+ celebrations with 35 of them being the most magical weddings for Always Yours, poured my whole heart and soul into my business to make it work, made lifelong vendor friends, traveled the world, booked a wedding in Charleston, booked a wedding in Italy, I lost my beloved grandmother, saw my business win awards I never believed could be given to me, made six figures, planned my own dream wedding and got married to my college sweetheart. 2010-2020 was a decade everything my twenties should have been — fun, challenging, rewarding, messy, joyful, filled with pushing limits, filled with milestones and filled with lessons. And I’ll take everything I learned from my twenties with me.

To celebrate today, I wanted to share with you the 12 lessons (with some fun little anecdotes alongside them!) I’ll cherish and take away from this pivotal decade. Looking through the common thread that ties them all together is that we have one giant, gorgeous and magical life to live and we can do so much with the days we are given if we just believe in ourselves!

  1. There is never a better time than now. I learned this very valuable lesson at 24 years old! It’s so easy to let your circumstances define your next steps and let you take the easy way out. You fill your mind with thoughts such as “now is not the right time because I don’t have enough money,” or “I’m too young” or “I’m too old” or “maybe when I have {fill in the blank}.” But the truth is there is something to be said for the age old phrase “it’s now or never.” There is never going to be the perfect time to pursue a dream or a goal in your life, so rather than letting external factors stop you, the best thing to do is to figure it out right now. Step into the hardships, make the first move towards that big lofty goal or dream in your heart. Yes, it may take you some time to get there, but remember… this isn’t a race. You’ll get there in just the right time if you just start now. There is never a better time than now.

  2. Listen to your mother about skincare. Actually, listen to her about everything. Growing up, I used to watch my mother apply Olay moisturizer religiously on her face It’s like she made an appointment with herself everyday to care for her skin. And if you have seen my mother, she looks ageless — you would never know she’s 65. She took care of her skin, and all my life she bought me Olay products because that is what her mother used and therefore what she used, and now it was my turn to do the same. I still use this lotion to this day. And friends, in your 20s is when you need to get your skincare routine figured out. But the point I’m getting at here is actually this: it behooves you to listen to the people in your life who have gone before you to teach you life’s lessons so you can avoid making mistakes and actually do the things that will make life easier for you. You can be your own person and have your own path, but make life a little easier on yourself and listen to the guidance of those around you. And when in doubt — listen to mom.

  3. Do not ignore your mental health. If you’ve ever had a discussion with me about mental health, you know that I’m an insanely passionate advocate of therapy and counseling. In my 30 years I have struggled with severe anxiety at two major junctures in my life, one of them in my early 20s. I’m talking crippling anxiety. I’ve gone in depth on my social media about this a handful of times in the past and so I’ll keep this light, but I can tell you from experience that your mental health and your physical health should be equally cared for to keep you wholly healthy. Everyone should have a therapist they can go to for a check in at any point in time. During the hard times your appointments might increase, while the high points in your life might require just a bimonthly check in appointment. Find a therapist, mediate, exercise, practice positivity. Take care of your mind and it will take care of you.

  4. Listen more, and listen with intent. In my early 20s I was so busy trying to be heard that I often forgot how to be a good listener. But I learned from a few truly incredible people in my life (especially my husband, my mother, my brother, my best friend Kait, my sweet friend Beth) how to listen intently. Sometimes the best thing you can offer to others is an open ear and understanding. One way I’ve conditioned myself to be a better listener is listening to audiobooks — you must listen carefully to catch the entire story. Try to connect with others on a deeper level by actively listening to them without interjection.

  5. You weren’t given the gift of big dreams without the power to achieve them. I have learned that if you can dream it, you can do it. Everything is figure-outable. Everything is possible. But you have to believe in yourself. You are talented, you are smart, you are worthy. It was the last month of my 29th year that I learned this lesson. Whatever you are dreaming of can become real if you just trust that you have the power to make it a reality. Just jump in and see how you fly.

  6. Be adventurous. In our 20s, you want to say “yes” to as much as you can when it comes to experiencing new things. And for all those in their 20s reading right now, I definitely think this decade is yours to adventure. You’re young and while you have responsibilities, you will have even more responsibilities later. Travel the world, try a new hobby, listen to the voice inside of you and shift paths if you must, go back to school if you need to, open a business, the list goes on.

  7. Be tenacious. Funny story: When I was 21, a celebrity wedding planning company told me I wasn’t good enough to be an intern for a wedding planning company. But I pressed for a reason why. A few days later the company called me back and told me that someone on the team took a second look at me and thought I actually was good enough, so they were going to bring me on as an administrative intern (so even lower on the totem pole than a production intern). I was determined to be the best intern ever, and I ended up becoming the most utilized intern that year and went on to be a contracted assistant for large events with the company. That internship built character, taught me tenacity and was the perfect “baptism by fire” experience I needed to learn the entirety of wedding and event planning to open more doors and ultimately allow me to start my own business. SO – just because a door shuts on you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t knock again.

  8. Gratitude is the secret. It truly changes everything. Being grateful for where you, what you have and where you are going will effect such positive change on your life. Get a journal and write down 10 things you are grateful for and why you are grateful for them every single day. You will see your life transformed.

  9. Do not knock experience. Put the hard work in. Education and a degree opens doors, but so does hard work and experience. Do not pass up the opportunity to work weekends, nights, offer free time and labor to learn more and gain more experience within the field you hope to break into full time. Experience is putting into practice what you know, and as a bonus you’ll network and meet others along the way who can catapult you to new heights. Say yes to experience.

  10. There is always a silver lining. Try to always find the lesson to take away in the hard times. Life can be unfair, but if you can find the glimmer of light even in the tough times you can rise stronger than ever and better for the hardship.

  11. Get comfortable with the little voice inside. If you’ve ever heard Joanna Gaines of Magnolia in an interview, she often speaks about this “little voice” inside of her that tells her what to do next with her whole heart. What she’s truly saying is “listen to your intuition.” Have gut checks from time to time. You know yourself better than everyone else. When you’re at a crossroads in a relationship, a career or life in general, your intuition, gut and that little voice inside has the answer. Quiet everyone else around you and listen to yourself. Get really comfortable with listening to yourself. You know what is best for you, and usually you always know what to do next.

  12. Your Legacy is all about what you give away. I’ve seen the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” hundreds of times, but it was when I was 27 that I actually noticed the framed quote “all you can take with you is that of which you give away,” on the wall of Bailey’s Building and Loan in the movie. This quote has stayed with me since then, and it changed my perspective on how I live my life and career. My legacy will not be what I take with me, but what I give away. When I’m old and gray, my legacy will not be that I was a great wedding planner. My legacy will be that I contributed to bringing dream weddings to life, that I dedicated my life to making milestones in other’s lives beautiful, that I helped someone in need, that I gave my family and friends love and support, that I loved my husband unconditionally, that I shared my knowledge with others to help them succeed, that I gave my time and heart freely. You can’t take achievements to the grave, but you can give your gifts to the world to effect and inspire others and that is what ultimately lives on.

I hope that some or even just one of these lessons stay with you, inspire you and invigorate you, friend. I know they have served me well, and will do so in this 30th year!

Thank you so much for celebrating with me today! You all are truly the best. Now, I’m off to celebrate with a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting, because what’s a birthday without cake, right?!

xo, Keri

  1. […] I was 29 years old I decided to take charge of my skincare knowing that 30 was around the corner. Rather than purchasing products that seemed like they could work for my combination skin (dry […]

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