I am 26 today!
On paper, turning 26 isn’t typically a milestone birthday.
Think about: Taylor Swift didn’t write any catchy song about it. You can already drink and vote. Hell, you can even run for congress. So, the most monumental thing that happens at 26 is that you get kicked off your parents’ insurance. And that happened to me when I was 22.
But regardless of all that, this last year has been monumental for me.
I’ve said it before, but if you had asked me 10 years ago where I’d be today, the answer wouldn’t at all resemble the reality.
Sixteen-year-old Alexis was just as quirky and as obsessed with Chilis’ honey chipotle chicken crispers (where I celebrated my 16th birthday!), but she was also very much in love with magazines. She saw herself living in New York City forever, with her name rising up the masthead and whipping out the kinds of stories she read over and over in Seventeen.
Sixteen-year-old Alexis was incredibly confident that her NYC dreams would come true someday, and would’ve never guessed that she’d pick up and move three years into that adventure to a different city full of bad drivers, good tacos, and a bunch of bright-eyed-dreamers in pursuit of a different career path.
Life shifts in 10 years. But also very much in just one.
In the last year, I moved across the country. Completed a screenwriting program. I got my own apartment. Ate cookies for breakfast. I started a new job and a new blog. I became a plant parent. Drove on the freeway for the first time. And a whole lot more!
In these 26 years around the sun, I’ve also learned some pretty important lessons about life and myself. And while these may not all be super deep and philosophic, they’re all part of that “figuring yourself out” process we all go through.
Eat the damn cake
Let me say that I’ve never been one to pass up a slice of cake, but living in L.A. (aka the “I’ll just have a salad capital of the world") has caused me to double down on that position even more. My body does amazing things each day and it deserves to be rewarded with carbs and calories.
A skincare routine is EVERYTHING
True confession: it took me until my mid-twenties to cultivate a skincare routine that wasn’t just a $3 face mask from Walgreens every couple of months. And my skin is immensely grateful.
La Croix isn’t that terrible
So, maybe it is wrong to judge a drink by its can.
Being vulnerable is okay
For the longest time, I resented people for not knowing exactly how I felt and about what I was going through, but it’s partially my fault for never opening up to anyone. Instead of just being someone who gets vented to all the time, I now make time to be the one venting.
Saying No Gets easier
Trust me. Just keep doing it. You won’t even feel guilty after long.
Romance novels are good for the soul
And you should never be ashamed to read them out in public. Like seriously who doesn’t love love? Weird people that’s who.
You’ll never regret calling your parents or grandparents
celebrate others more
Some of the best moments of this year included hearing about my friends getting new jobs, placing in screenwriting competitions, and seeing them on TV!
Go with your gut
Whether that means getting tacos for the third time that week or deciding to submit your first screenplay into a lab on a whim. It’s okay to jump without knowing exactly where you’ll land. Hey, you might even become a finalist in that lab. Yes, that happened to me.
Say thank you!
There are no brownie points for rejecting compliments. So accept them.
Having a good theme song is key
Because adulthood is that much easier when you have a song to dance in the mirror to every morning.
Happy 26th birthday to me!