Quarter Life Crisis

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For my big TWO-FIVE birthday I was going to write “Twenty-five things I have learned at twenty-five.” The writing process started days before my birthday, I reflected back on my life, sat down at a bar and busted out some things I have learned. One through five were easy, number six was hard to think of, but then I just stared at my phone. I could not write anything else, my brain was blank for minutes. Have I only learned six things? What have I been doing with my life? I am turning twenty-five and can only think of six life lessons? I was not ready to turn twenty-five, I felt like I had not lived enough. For the next couple of days I tried to think of nineteen more things I have learned. But nineteen things never came to me.

For the second year in a row I was not excited to age. I felt like I was getting old and my life was not where I expected (or dreamed) that it would be. Time flies man, and it’s freaken scary. This year I wanted to keep my bday even more simple than the year before; no partying, no big trip, no spending a lot a money. I asked a couple of my closest friends to join me at brunch, but ONLY brunch as I was not in the mood to do much. I strategically made reservations at a cute place that closed at 2:30PM to make sure we were all out early. While lunch was amazing and everything that I wanted I could not help but to look at the table next to us. A table full of older ladies, maybe around their 70s, having cocktails and lunch much like we were. All I could think was DAMN, time is flying by so fast that before I know it I will be one of those ladies. I was trying not to be depressing on my bday, the thought of aging was terrifying to me. Right when I was really paying attention to the conversation happening at our table one of the ladies asked,

“Who’s birthday is it?”

I shyly said “mine” and turned to face them.

The lady replied “It’s my birthday too, I turn 101!”

WHAT? The lady did not look a day over 80, we were all surprised. She was glowing, wearing a comfy cream white sweater that made her look even sweeter, a ton of mixed metal jewelry with various different stones, dark glasses and white styled hair. She was smiling. I could not stop smiling back and looking at how calm she was. She was proud to say she was turning 101 while I had been mortified of turning a quarter of a century. I was looking at her and could not help but to think that she has seen so much, probably learned so much, and could possibly list 101 things she has learned at 101. While I was still starring at her watching her talk but not really listening (I do this a lot) I finally heard one of her friends saying,

“Tell them your secret!”

She laughed and said “dark chocolate and wine,”

I immediately made a mental note to buy dark chocolate and keep wine stocked. I let them know I was turning 25 and the birthday girl (who I believe her name is Marcela) replied,

“Your life is just starting.”

Sis, I needed that, I felt that, and I wanted to cry.

My entire life has been a race for me. At 10 I could not wait to be 15, when I was 15 I could not wait to be 18, at 18 I could not wait to be 21 and at 21 I started dreaming of my late twenties and imagining how amazing my life would be after starting a real career and living on my own. Now I am here, working and living on my own and I am wondering where time has gone.

I might not have 25 five things I can list, but I have one thing I have learned at the age of twenty-five; do not rush life. I am done rushing things, and overthinking a life that has not happened yet. I am ready to live every day, every month, and every year.

I am excited and blessed to have turned 25, and I am looking forward to celebrating my 50th, 75th, and 101 like Marcela has. Through this quarter life crisis I thought of a seventh thing I have learned at 25: aging is not scary and every year is a milestone that should be celebrated accordingly. ❤

-Kassandra

*peep Marcela behind me on my photo*

 

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10.18.14

The night of October 18th 2014 is a night I will never forget; not because I became Miss San Luis, but because it was the first time I ever experienced bullying.

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After a lifelong battle with my own insecurities, I seeked the Miss San Luis stage as a way to display my raw and authentic self. I pushed myself out of a deep and dark comfort zone I created to prove to myself that I AM fearless, strong, and beautiful. Growing up I lacked self confidence and I avoided anything that involved attention. Looking back at my childhood, I always said I wanted to be Miss Universe, but as an adult I realize what I really wanted to be was confident.

The night I won Miss San Luis I felt unstoppable. I had finally reached the peak of the mountain of which I only used to stare at from the bottom. I felt fearless, strong, and beautiful for the first time. I got home and started going through my messages and tags on social media. I was overwhelmed with love from friends and family, which I am still grateful for today! But then I saw one negative comment, a negative comment strong enough to kick me down to the bottom of that mountain. An anonymous Facebook user posted on a page used to glorify pretty girls in my hometown. This anonymous user said I was the ugliest and fattest person alive, and that I was a horrible representation for my city. My heart sank and I automatically started crying. My biggest fear had come to life, my insecurities were real and other people could see them. I immediately regretted winning, I regretted competing, and I regretted getting out of my comfort zone.

I did not know how to handle negative comments because I had never exposed myself to so many different minded people. All I could think of doing was giving back the crown and crawling back to that safe space I created. After crying for what felt like hours, I finally made myself stop. Why was I crying over a negative comment from a person who did not have the guts to insult me using their real identity? Why was I crying over ten words when I had people calling to congratulate me? Why was I crying over the opinion of someone who is irrelevant to my life, when my family was clearly proud of me? I started scolding myself because I knew I was stronger than this! I pulled myself together and said I would NEVER cry over someone’s negative opinion of me.

What I though was the worst night of my life turned out the be the best night. I opened my naive eyes and realized that not everyone is going to approve of you; someone somewhere will always find a flaw about you. At the end of the day you are the only one living your life, you are hiking in your own boots, and it’s up to you if you will let a pebble get in the way. That night I made a vow to never limit myself by doubts, to never let anyone put me down, but most importantly, to always love myself.

To this day I do not know who made that comment, but if you do, please forward this message to him/her:

Whoever you are,

I want to thank you. If it wasn’t for that negative comment, I would not be who am I am today. You made me realize that I am fearless because everyday I live knowing people will have different opinions of me, but that has not stopped me once. You made me realize I am strong because I am climbing up many mountains and nothing can push me down. And you also made me realize that I am beautiful, in so-many-ways.

I never shared this story because I do not like to be perceived as weak. But as I was writing these thoughts down I realized that this is not a sad story, it is an empowering one. Anyone that is going through self doubt, bullying, or any other situation that has you feeling down; I feel you. But you have to trust me when I say YOU ARE good enough, you DESERVE happiness, and you WILL get through this funk. Just. Keep. Climbing…

-Kassandra