Happy Birthday: 21 Lessons I Have Learned by 21


In case the title didn’t give it away already, it’s my 21st birthday! And while today is going to be filled with birthday wishes and time spent with loved ones, I wanted to share two looks with you guys as well as some very important lessons I have learned over the past 21 years.

P.S. I am aware that this photo shoot is extra, but honestly I couldn’t help myself. Be prepared for the many photos to come.


Look 1: Top: JCPenney Skirt: Ark & Co Shoes: Clark’s Necklace: borrowed from Mom 😉

As a kid, all you want to do is grow up. You want to be able to be out on your own, not have to listen to your parents, and be an “adult.” But as you get older, you start to realize everything that comes with being an adult. Most the time, I don’t even consider myself an adult. Because in my head an adult is supposed to have everything together, an adult is supposed to be going somewhere in life, they are supposed to have things figured out. Well according to that definition, I don’t feel like I’m an adult. But here I am, one year left in college, about to spend the summer living in New York City, working at the internship of my dreams. All of these things seemed so distant and, at times, even impossible about six months ago. Now it feels so real and sudden and so very, very scary. That’s another thing: adults don’t get scared.

Well forget what you thought you knew about being an adult. Because the truth is that adulthood is wonderful and amazing and scary and freeing and stressful and satisfying all at the same time! I know that I’m only just starting to learn these things, and some of the lessons I’m about to tell you are not just for you, they are for me as well. Because I am still learning. And I still have a ways to go.


Look 2: Top: Old Navy Skirt: Haute Monde Shoes: parker & sky

  1. Don’t worry about what other people think.
  2. Never apologize for being yourself.
  3. Be as “extra” as you want.
  4. It’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while.IMG_4937
  5. Friends come and go, but family is forever.
  6. Listen to your parents. They are right about some (most) things.
  7. Love yourself, because you are stuck with yourself.
  8. Never change who you are for a friendship, a relationship, or a job.IMG_4764
  9. Let go of grudges, they only hold you back.
  10. That being said, forgiveness and trust must be earned.
  11. Everything happens for a reason.
  12. But that doesn’t mean things will always make sense.IMG_5005
  13. Trust yourself, trust your parents, and above all else, trust in God.
  14. Not everyone has it all figured out. In fact, most don’t.
  15. It’s okay to feel a little lost and confused.
  16. But it’s also okay to ask for help.IMG_4784
  17. You deserve happiness.
  18. You are strong.
  19. That being said, strength is not taught, it is earned. So get back up and try again.
  20. Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams.
  21. Dreams do come true, but only if you work hard for them.IMG_4923

This list is not comprehensive, nor does it work for everyone. This is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing. I just wanted to speak from my own personal experiences and offer a few words of courage to anyone out there who, like me, is still figuring it all out. You may not agree with everything on this list, and that’s okay. You do you. The important thing is that we all do what’s best for us.

But I feel like this post was worth sharing, if only for you to hear about my life experiences. I hope you all take something away from this post. Feel free to leave your thoughts or any lessons you want to add in the comments below! And don’t forget, although we may grow older, there’s still a child inside us all.


The next time you read a post from me, I’ll be posting it from New York City!

Until then,

Much love, Kendall


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