2018 - Thank You, Next.


As we approach the new year, I cannot help but reflect on what a fulfilling year its been on many fronts and I can easily come out and say this 2018 recap note won’t be some sappy sad saga – 2016 was by far the dumpster fire year of my life but we have learned from all that in 2017, moved on, and implemented some new rules in 2018.  That being said, there have been plenty of highs and definitely a few lows. There have been fruitful moments as well as some challenging ones. But nonetheless, I feel more and more whole and wise with each passing year. While traveling over the holidays, brainstorming in the shower and zoning out during spin class, I tried to come up with the biggest lessons I’ve learned in 2018 or some of the biggest “aha” moments I’ve had. I’m keeping it real because I have learned a lot from people who have shared their stories so I hope sharing mine helps others who may be going through similar situations in life. These lessons were game changers for me and my mental health!😊

Stay In Your Lane

OK so I know this is a really millennial thing to say but it’s really true. There were many-a-times when I would get frustrated seeing other people receive opportunities that I did not receive. There were times where I saw others be rewarded in ways that I also thought I deserved. Sometimes I focused on how far other people had gotten in life (work, engagements/weddings, property purchasers etc) and thought to myself “WELL WTF AM I DOING, am I doing something wrong?”. I realized that if you keep going after what you genuinely want to achieve, your efforts are eventually rewarded. They may not be the same “milestones” as others but we are all operating on different wavelengths and timelines in life. And this is something I constantly have to remind myself. I probably talk about it every year but it’s a mindset that requires constant implementation. I also realized, the more I focused on myself, the less I cared about what was going on around me (or on my Facebook newsfeed). Once I got into this mindset, tables started to turn for me in various (positive) ways and I felt more empowered to work harder. It’s a funny thing but its true – if you truly want something, the universe will conspire to give it to you if you put in the time, energy, and prayer.

Stay Authentic – no matter what.

You are your own brand. I have said this for years and there will be people around you who will try to shake you up to fit you into their mold and view of the world. Do not give in and don’t let anyone change your narrative . Most people have issues processing or accepting people who are different from them or have something they don’t. For a majority of my 20s, I always got made fun of for being “different” although I just thought I was being myself. People have told me to behave a certain way to fit in or keep up with the rest of the world. I’m not trying to fit in anywhere, I’m just trying to get by on a daily basis. I’ve heard all sorts of things – from men making fun of my blogging or me being a “basic b*tch” to hearing other girls saying things “who’s going to marry a girl who wears swimsuits”. While these comments do get to me in some ways, I do not let it deter me from continuing to do what I do best – me. I like me the way I am and I haven’t really had any self-esteem issues in that capacity to let what others say bring me down or change me. As long as my parents and close friends support me in my endeavors, career, and lifestyle, I am good to go and don’t need anyone’s commentary or stamp of approval. I figured I’ve come this far doing me and putting myself out there that unless someone’s opinion is adding positivity and value to my life, I am not going to bother with it. The people who create noise…well, they can kindly work on themselves instead.

Friendship is a 2 Way Street

Boy. This was a tough pill to swallow in 2018. For years and years, I took pride in the fact that I was really good at maintaining relationships (family friends colleagues etc). I would bend over backwards being there for people during their happy times, mundane times and bad times. I would be the first one calling up (near and far) friends to check in and see how they were doing, I would be the first to make plans , I would travel across the country even when it wasn’t the best financial decision just because “my friends want to do something and they want me there”. You get the gist – I had a bad habit of putting the people I cared about first, always. Then later this year, I started getting busy in my own life, not that I wasn’t busy before but I was able to juggle work, hobbies and relationships really well. When I didn’t have time to be the first one asking to FaceTime to catch up or check in, I noticed that instead of people reaching out to me and asking me what I’ve been upto… I started getting complaints and heat about “how I wasn’t being a good enough friend” or how I “wasn’t fast enough in responding to text messages”. Some even asked me if our friendship was over because I hadn’t reached out in 2-3 weeks. I started to find this comical because all these years when the same people were throwing out excuses that they couldn’t handle making time for me because of work, grad school, boyfriends etc - I cut them slack and let it slide. In fact, being active on Instagram stories led some of my friends to think that they didn’t need to check in on me because “my life looked fun and glamorous on the gram”. Sadly, I couldn’t remember the last time someone had genuinely asked me “How are you?” or “what have you been upto?” since we last talked. I had to give my friends and loved ones a taste of their own medicine by prioritizing myself long enough for them to either realize that our friendship is a two way street…or for me to realize that their presence in my life is no longer needed/wanted. It was a difficult realization and situation to deal with but in the last few months, I feel happier knowing that I’m not going to cater to these expectations if the same efforts aren’t being made in return. (Don’t worry, I didn’t cut that many friends in this process – but quality over quantity has some major truth y’all)

Dating is…Complicated.

Ah, the topic of dating. So unless you’ve been living under a rock – single people usually get the MOST advice on “how to be so you can find someone”. Just because someone is “single” doesn’t mean they’re lonely and it most certainly does not mean something is “wrong” with them. No, most likely nothing is wrong with you or me or any other gal out there that’s single. Us single girls always receive these unsolicited comments about being “too accomplished, too independent, too outgoing, too much into traveling, too much into socializing” and that’s why some of us are single. Let’s not make it sound like those qualities are bad things or reasons as to why girls aren’t able to “attract the right guys”. We are single because we meet immature men who aren’t willing to commit to basic levels of dating or are too into themselves that they can’t handle sharing any sort of spotlight or making time for other people, let alone hold proper conversation. Being needy, emotionally dependent or a doormat isn’t going to get us the guy either. I come from a family where all my female cousins are independent, educated, hold their own, and are just as personable as my male cousins. We were all brought up the same way and were taught to be strong on our own. I have no interest in half-assing something either, if I wanted to half-ass finding the perfect match…well, I could’ve settled for someone a long time ago (and then probably would’ve divorced about 3-4 years later and given my parents a heart attack) but ain’t nobody trying to do that. All some of us are asking for is someone to match what we bring to the table and the energy/time we are willing to invest. I’m not trying to sound whiny - all I want to emphasize is that as a society, we should not put the pressure on females to change themselves for men to like them “enough”. Throw out those magazines that tell you “how to attract men”, be the kind of individual that you would like to date/marry and things will pan out. Like attracts like. No need to put on an act or oppress different parts of your personality to find marital bliss. There’s no bliss in that. I cannot stress this enough.

****for more thoughts on dating read my posts titled “Love Is A Happy Addition” and “Trust Me, No One Wants To Date Your Ego”

The Greater Power Does Exist

I’ve mentioned this before but I had lost faith and felt like for many years, God had fallen deaf to my prayers. LOL like I legit stopped going to any sort of temple or church because I thought there was no point. I prayed regularly to shoot my shot and continued with my daily life. 3 months ago, I was sitting in my car on a Tuesday night in a parking structure, bawling my eyes out because of certain situations that were really annoying me. It was routine for me to get frustrated over personal matters that I couldn’t seem to shake off despite trials and tribulations. I realized I had no control over fixing them a long time ago. Yet again, probably for the millionth time in the last 2.5 years, I prayed to God to put me out of this emotional misery as I felt like I had done everything I could to move past this and move on. I didn’t want to carry this with me anymore. That Tuesday night especially was a rough night (for reasons I won’t share) and I was running out of ways to fix things further. In that moment, I felt like the universe finally heard me and my prayers because I received good news that I never thought I would get and it was a dream come true in a way! Since then I felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I haven’t cried or gotten upset over whatever was bothering me before. It’s truly a surreal feeling because after so so so many days, months, years – I feel a sense of clarity and warmth that I hadn’t felt before. I finally feel like I care less and it was just a weird switch and I felt like I received a sign from the universe that there are better things in store for me than to waste my time and energy crying over something that’s a part of my past. Moral of this story is to keep faith, stay positive, keep at your prayers and do everything within your power to get over your mental and emotional hurdles. There’s this saying I live by “You will never get anything more than what’s destined for you and before your time” and this situation really proved that true for me and I am sure it will for others as well 😊


If there was a way to describe 2018, it would be the word EVOLVED. As a person, I think my long time friends and family members can say I haven’t changed at my core but I do think the way I approach problems, situations, and life in general has evolved. At 26/27, I realized that I am not the same person I used to be. The things that I used to tolerate have now become intolerable. Where I once blindly trusted, I am now perceptive and cautious. Where I once remained quiet, I am now speaking my truth (and I am sharing my thoughts louder). Where I once battled and argued, I am now choosing to remain silent. I finally understand the value of my voice and my vision and will use it accordingly. There are situations that no longer deserve my time, energy or focus unless it’s for my wellness or the common good of society.  

So that’s that when it comes to lessons learned in 2018. I would say the main takeaways are that I have come to terms with myself and the way I choose to lead my life. I focus more on expending positive energy and reading other people’s energies and vibes. Hard work does pay off and it’s important to learn how to be content with what you have instead of what you don’t have. For the things I don’t have, I am working on figuring out ways to achieve them.

2019, let’s do this!

How I Overcame Bullying and Gaslighting in College


I cannot tell you the amount of times I have tried typing this out and every single time, over the last 6 years, I have erased it. Part of it was because I did not feel like it was necessary to share since I had overcome it and the other part of me was scared about how it would be perceived (*to a certain extent*). In today’s social climate, we have all experienced bullying in various ways whether it was in the work space, school, sports, socially, or at home...the list goes on. I wanted to write this out because I finally felt like I had a platform to share my story during a time of social relevance and also because I want every young kid/teen/adult out there to know they are strong enough to overcome the biggest adversities they face at their age.

Before I begin, please note the following: I have some amazing friends who are of Indian/Pakistani descent who are wonderful that I met in college and over the course of time since...so this is not a generalization of a race by any means, I am just sharing my story in terms of one lot of people from my hometown.

Ok. Here we go.

I grew up in a part of town where I was the only Indian student for a good amount of time. While most people went to Christian or Band camp during the summer, we went to India often or I spent the summer with my grandparents. I loved having the best of both worlds being an Indian American citizen. At home, we would watch MTV but we’d also watch B4U (Indian music channel). I played tennis, soccer and trained in Indian Classical dance. I was fortunate to be surrounded by amazing friends and an inclusive student body group so I never felt out of place growing up. That being said, I didn’t get to showcase my Indian side as much as others may have growing up. Being very Indian was something I did not get to show and share as much as others who come from my culture may have at my age.

When I got to college, I started to meet more Indian people. I told my new brown friends that I grew up in a very non-brown neighborhood but I was still very much excited to befriend those who I could relate to in a different way, in a way that was culturally important to me. I met people who loved to eat Indian food and dance to Bollywood music at college parties. At the university I attended, we had a cultural show board and Indian dance teams that dominated the “social scene” as well as the social calendar. Much like a clichéd high school environment, we had cliques and a pronounced social hierarchy within a group of approx. 250+ Indian kids. This was all new to me. I hadn’t really seen this before and it was captivating. My freshman year, I stuck to my friends from HS and our new friends from the dorms but started to befriend more of Browntown (yes it’s a thing) as the year closed out. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I became close with girls who were very much established in this said “Indian social hierarchy” as they grew up in school districts where a lot of my Indian classmates were from. At first, things were great. We hung out all the time, coordinated library dates, went to dance practice together and were in constant communication. Separation anxiety was a thing. We talked about different guys we were crushing on and how we’d totally have each other as bridesmaids in our future weddings. Girly stuff. Halfway through sophomore year, one of my best girlfriends set me up with a guy I met at a rival university and he ended up being the first boy I had briefly talked to/dated, ever. As the usual saga goes, I thought I was living my best life! I had a great set of friends, was head over heels for a guy who also loved Shah Rukh Khan and tennis as much as I did and was socially thriving. I thought I got it right the first time, it was basically a Taylor Swift song in the making. Even though I had to move away for an internship that summer, I was looking forward to junior year and for things to continue the way they were. But things turned south when I found out he was sneaking around with a girl that I was told “not to worry about”. #Classic.  Long story short, I was devastated and traumatized. Not because of the sneaking around as much as it was because he started to manipulate our situation and change the narrative in a way that made me out to be the bad guy. Much like another type of Taylor Swift song…classic dialog like telling friends I was crazy or obsessing and how dare I accuse him of any wrongdoing. He would say one thing to me and another story to our friends only to cover up his guilt and his insecurities…with the help of my best friend at the time. Gotta love it. This imparted several insecurities as I felt blind-sided and vulnerable in a very public setting at the time.

My life took a turn for the worse and they didn’t spare me in the least bit; I had two campuses gossiping about me behind my back. I started to get made fun of in random social circles, I found/got sent messages of people online saying awful things about me that were not true. I mean, how much can you say about a girl who tried to date a guy once and it didn’t get very far? After a certain point and the initial rejection, I don’t think I even liked him – I just wanted him to stop slandering and isolating me the way he did but he didn’t want to hear me out. In this process, I learned so much about human nature and people. Other students started joining in on it, I had never seen a body of people take sides and go out of their way to humiliate and shut down someone the way they treated me. My reputation had been dragged through a community I was so excited to be a part of, for reasons unknown to me till this day. My Facebook was hacked and all sorts of things were changed to compliment the gossip being spread. I tried many times to stick up for myself, but in a community of folks that toxic, anyone who spoke up against the group was deemed crazy and attention seeking. A part of me started to believe that maybe I was delusional (even though I wasn’t) and that was tough to battle mentally.

There were days I didn’t leave my apartment because I didn’t want to show face or be seen to fuel more talk, all because of 2 people who had some sort of self-proclaimed command on the groupthink of our group on campus. Some friends/classmates were scared to stand by me once they saw how awfully others got treated. I refused to show up to parties (the ones that I was invited to at least) because all people did was stare or make me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t dance my junior year and stepped down from culture show exec board, even though dancing is one of my favorite hobbies and I loved student leadership. I would cover my face walking to class just so I wouldn’t run into people in my apartment complex, because at that point I didn’t know who was genuine. I became a total recluse, which is the opposite of my personality. I even contemplated switching schools because I didn’t know if I could handle another year, but ultimately, I came back for senior year because I was not going to let this define my college experience. I wish I was lying or being dramatic, I am not. I sought peace and comfort in my friends and family who had been there through all of this and helped me stay afloat somehow (and to them, I am forever thankful and indebted).

Senior year, I came back to campus to make the most of the time I had left. I didn’t want to look back and think I let them dictate my college years even though junior year really had changed my life and me as a person. I wish I could tell you the bullying, gossiping, and name calling had ended but it hadn’t. It had stained my name and people kept trying to bring me down. This time around, I wouldn’t allow it in the slightest bit. I didn’t hide in my apartment bedroom, I didn’t avoid going to class, I went to every event because at that point, the more I was out and about…the less scared I became of them. After college, I spent some months at home and worked towards moving to my dream city, Chicago, and finding the right job for me because in this whole college experience I even lost the desire to go to med school, something I was so passionate about before. Even when I moved to Chicago in 2014, some of the same college students socialized in the city and still tried to isolate me there too. There was never going to be any sort of apology or making up for the past from their end. After realizing that, I was done trying to wave a white flag, healed on my own, and found solace in my new career, my new life and found friendship and love in the hands of some very kind people instead and that became my entire world; it couldn’t have come at a better time. Since then, I’ve been the happiest I’ve ever been and am glad to be away from all the noise. Even today, I always hear things that are said about me, especially now that I am more active on social media but it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to 6 years ago. The opinion of those who are stuck in the past should not place any value of those trying to evolve and find their meaningful place in the world.

I know, this all sounds crazy right? It sounds like some sequel of Mean Girls or some awful catty wannabe spinoff of Gossip Girl (minus the cute outfits and of course, Chuck Bass). This was a part of my college experience. It was a long, long lesson that truly changed the way I looked at the world at 19/20 years old. To be honest, I grew up very quickly during those years as I learned to be a one woman army but I wouldn’t have it any other way, as wild as that may sound. I felt like I had to hold back and couldn’t experience college to the fullest out of fear of being scrutinized and that’s okay. I truly am glad I went through that because I became a stronger person at a young age and I can understand and empathize what girls in high school, college and even post grad may go through.

If you are reading this today and have or are going through something such as bullying and harassment, please remember this: No one’s voice is more important than the voice inside of your head. You are strong enough to take on anything and anyone that comes your way. No adversity is big enough to knock you out. If it does, learn to get back on your two feet, grab life by the horns and show them who is boss. Keep your support system close and ask for help when you cannot go through it by yourself. It is safe to ask for help during times of need, I encourage it and in hindsight, wish I had sought more help. There is no point in trying to “get even” and it is much more important to take the high road. Karma catches up to everyone who has done you wrong in various capacities and sometimes if we are lucky, God will let us watch. When there are days where you feel like tough times will never end, know that this too shall pass. I promise you, there is light at the end of the tunnel and once you get there, it is a very beautiful place to be. 😊

*If you are reading this and are having thoughts of despair, depression or even more serious, hurting yourself in any way please call 1-800-273-8255. If you feel like you don't have a support system, you are not alone. There are people out there willing to help. Contact  https://www.stopbullying.gov/ as well for more resources*

5 Realities About Blogging No One Talks About


A lot of people have asked me the following question: "I want to become a blogger, what does it entail to be one?" or "How do I get the right audience?". I wanted to share the 5 realities about blogging in a behind the scenes kinda way, from my perspective. I am not here to preach or attack anyone in any sort of way, but simply sharing the things that I have learned over the years and recently, since I decided to become more active with my content and growing The Perfect Ensemble.

1. Blogging Is Not Just Pretty Pictures With Filters

Find content you are comfortable with shooting. Find a balance between the stuff you are sharing and be consistent. You don't just get a following or engagement by using as many hashtags as possible and traveling to Bali one time. If your blog is lifestyle oriented, stick to things that are relatable. If you are a product seller, then focus on selling. If you want to both, figure out how to blend both worlds where its not overbearing. Also, it's not just about getting the right shot but more so, how does that one post fit into the bigger picture? Think and plan ahead. 

2. You Have To Own Your Own Vision And Stick With It

Alot of people throw around the word "authentic" but I don't think being authentic is the real key to measuring any sort of progress or success. Why? Take a look around on Instagram, you will see the same purse or the same t-shirt or the same vacay spot in almost every other post. Everyone loves trendy people who add their own twist to it. So when I say "Own your vision" I mean, create content that not only aligns with you as a person but still is trendy enough to stay relevant as well as a bit timeless.

3. What Works For Others, May Not Work For You

Just because Susan posted a picture with Fit Tea, doesn't mean a post with the same content but different angle will work for your feed and brand. Play up your strengths.

4. You Have To Put The Time and Money Into Things To See It Come To Fruition But In A Smart And Calculated Way

No one is asking you to buy Louis Vuitton or a real Gucci belt (most are dupes, let's be real) to get bigger. People love genuine and honest content. If you want or are seeking brand collaborations, dont accept each and every one that comes your way with an offer. Everyone can see through #ad and #sponsored if every single post is about some product. Keep things as natural as possible and something you would actually use or are interested in using. For me, lifestyle essentials like Haircare, skin care, Food/cocktails, workout gear and clothes are perfect for me. I test things out myself for weeks at a time before sharing them with my followers.

5. You Have To Embrace The Hate

I think this has been a big struggle for me personally but its also been something that has helped me grow tremendously. The more you "put yourself out there" the more likely you are going to be prone to hatred and mockery (insert Kim K crying kimoji here). I like me the way I am, I am blunt and candid and no amount of shade will stop me from doing me. But there are days when its hard - I won't lie to you. Not everyone is going to "get it" or sometimes people will feel the need to overshare their thoughts. Sure, that's why Lindsey Lohan went cray cray. If you're trying, its gonna be a problem. If you're growing too fast, then you have bought followers. If you post too many swimsuit pics, then people will have something else to say. You can't and won't win. I have lost respect for people who aren't supportive or feel the need to make jokes on their own accounts using phases like "Swipe up" when they aren't actually doing anything. Needless to say, they don't hold a place in my life anymore and the show goes on. Don't let people stop you, if you want to blog, HAVE AT IT. If you don't wanna blog, cool that's awesome too. Do you boo boo and tune everyone out. 

My life motto is "Good things happen to those who hustle" so keep hustling friend, the blood/sweat/tears are all worth it in the end :)

Life Isn't About Setbacks, It's About Comebacks


It's been a few months since my last post! WOW, time flies!

I know I’ve talked about finding your passion, finding love, working on your wellness, outgrowing the past but as we approach the end of the year, I figured it was time to talk about a topic that is universally sensitive to everyone and their moms: Confidence.

Confidence is a very daunting trait to have. The folks who put themselves out there and take on the world are the ones we are “envious” of. Most of the time, we hide behind our electronic devices and keep tabs on everyone else, drooling over their highlight reels and life events while moping over ours in comparison. We applaud those who share their thoughts and beliefs on a social platform or in real life, yet we passively go through the motions of life just hoping to get by and call it a day.  Why?

The biggest pet peeve I have when it comes to all this is the following: People not believing in themselves. If others can do it, why can’t you?! Let’s push aside the mentality that “Oh that’s just not me” that has plagued our society. No Susan, tell me why you can’t wear that hot dress you’ve been eying at Club Monaco for about 6 weeks now or why you can’t ask the guy you’ve been crushing on for months out for a drink just because you think you’re not good enough?! Why don’t you fight that promotion you’ve worked hard for? Whose opinion are you truly worried about? Think about the amount of times you as an individual have focused on other people’s strengths and accomplishments instead of worrying about your own? When and where did you lose faith in yourself?

We ALL have our insecurities as well as skeletons in our closet that come out every now and then to haunt us. We have all been “that guy” or “that girl” in situations we may or may not be proud of. We all have that one thing that brings us down daily and sometimes the biggest struggle is to get out of bed and take on the day. Let me tell you something, you’re not alone. I’ve been there and it isn’t fun.

Behind all the pretty pictures, big smiles, happy times, and the glamourous lifestyle, I had hit rock bottom even more bottom than Drake ever did. In the last few years, I have lost everything I had once worked for or imagined I would have. I’ve gotten rejected from jobs I was gunning for. I’ve seen people get the opportunities at work I was hoping to get. I have been betrayed and blindsided by people I never imagined were capable of doing so. I have lost close friends to the point where I couldn’t keep track of who was still there. I’ve been ghosted on apps or stood up on dates more times than I can count at this point. I lost someone I truly cared about and that relationship meant the world to me. I have been openly berated and mocked by people I respected or looked up to just for being myself. I’ve had lifelong health/skin problems that have kept me awake at night for months and made me self-conscious in public. I’ve had to compromise more than I have ever wanted to in this lifetime and lastly, “sorry” had become a word I misused for things I was never guilty of.

There I said it, I’ve exposed my skeletons. I’ve shared my baggage. I’ve lifted the curtains and I’m not embarrassed about it. That’s life and it is what it is.

The beauty in all of this “hurt” is that none of that stopped me from living my best life, despite the circumstances. I wasn’t scared for what could possibly go wrong next. When you truly hit rock bottom and have nothing left to lose, that’s when you find your confidence. Rock bottom could mean different things to different people but whatever that may be, it should shape you into the person you want to be. In my honest opinion, life does not begin at the end of your comfort zone but when you realize that there’s no one else that can save you but you. Your boss isn’t going to save you, people are fickle and your significant other is not going to make up for the qualities you wish you had in yourself. You have it in you every single day to make little changes and embrace the “true you” to be successful in this world and that will build your self-confidence in due time.

As painful as it was to recount everything I just listed out, I am so beyond thankful for those experiences and life lessons. Seriously. You might be thinking “LOL Nicole w t f, you’re wild!” (or maybe you’re thinking something much worse and that’s okay).  I’m not going to tell you that it’s all rainbows and butterflies but I’m also not going to lie and say that what you’ve seen isn’t real. It’s all real. In my world, life is colorful even on the cloudiest of days. I wanted to prove it to myself as well as others that life isn’t about setbacks, it’s about comebacks and I’m here to stay. In doing so, I have rebuilt my foundation in such a way that no one can take away this peace I have maintained and this confidence I have built upon. I am sincerely proud of who I am today.

My mom once told me "sappy sad stories are good to watch but not fun to live" so change your ways and overcome your hurdles. Be an alpha, someone who does not let their shortcomings or baggage hinder them. Someone who makes the best of every day they have on this earth. F*ck the haters, screw the naysayers and let them all eat cake. Work on being the best version of yourself and build your own legacy so you’re not envying someone else’s when you’re grey haired and retired. Own your decisions and believe in yourself so you’re not spending 30 mins of your day on what others have in their homes instead of decorating yours. There’s no better time to bring change in your life than the start of the new year and your time starts now.



Living Life Uninhibited


“Who takes Nicole’s pictures?”

“Why does she always post her outfits and travel?”

“Omg she posts so much”

“Does she live at Soul Cycle?”

 “Nicole has a blog, she’s so basic”

"How long did it take for her to make that caption?"

It’s been 4 years since I started getting my groove with my blog and I’ve been happy with all the positive feedback. But with that feedback comes negativity. I’d be lying if I said the scrutiny hasn’t affected me in the past. As my networks grew, there was always a thought in the back of the mind that was afraid of what someone new would think when they saw me post on various platforms. What would they think of me? Would they think it’s cool? Would they judge me or think I’m crazy? I've heard comments from peers, classmates, and colleagues and while their initial comments stung for sure, overtime I learned that it should only fuel my fire even more than before and here’s why:

In an era that is so digital and real-time focused, I find it very interesting that so many folks are “scared” to try and be themselves on social media or even in real-life. It's easy to hide behind devices and make fun of those who put themselves out there with sincerity, and who let that sincerity show through the thought they put into their pictures/captions or what they’re doing with their lives and posting about it. Yet these same people showing disdain are out there doing the exact same and wanting to post like everyone else. I’ve had people make fun of my activity yet they’re the same ones snapping or go-proing from their getaway trips or checking in but still act “better than” because it doesn’t appear as if they tried?  So why is it that the easiest thing to do is to put someone else down? Where does that projection stem from? Is it insecurity? Is it fear? Why is it still cool to put in less effort and the one who cares less "wins"?

There is a beauty to living life uninhibited. There is no safety for the exposed, no PR team cleaning up any messes, and nowhere left to hide from the world. Because there are risks when you put yourself out there, most manage those risks against more sufficient returns. While we can still be smart about how we interact with others, i.e. when we show our hand versus when we need to be cautious, the inhibitions I am talking about are simply internal struggles. When we can see our faults, and fears, as just a small part of the positive grand picture of who we are, we don’t get overwhelmed by a little exposure and a little embarrassment. In my opinion, I think this comes with age and maturity. Think of older people, they don’t seem to really give a sh*t about embarrassment any more, they start to really say what they mean.

Shaming someone for what they are passionate about isn’t the cool thing to do, there shouldn't be anything wrong with trying/caring/being more passionate about what you do with your free time and what makes you happy. Those who put you down themselves don’t have much to bring to the table and it's only to justify their own choices or insecurities so you should keep doing you even more right? (READ: YOU DO YOU BOO BOO). The positive energy you put out in the world, the effort you take to live a fulfilled life, and the encouragement you give to others to do the same defines your brand. What’s yours? What is it you’re passionate about? What is it that you want to share with the world that makes you, well, you? What’s your hustle? What’s your hobby? If you don’t have one, find one.

The more okay you are with developing yourself, the less sensitive you’ll be to other people’s opinions and how people perceive you. Every day, I wake up looking forward to the day, itching to get out there and indulge in all my guilty pleasures (and sharing them if it is insta-worthy, obviously) and I encourage others to do the same. It takes time for everyone to get to that point but once you get there, you truly feel like you’re on top of the world and the view is pretty damn nice from up here. **click, click**

Let's Look Like 100 Likes In Person Instead

I’ve been sitting on this topic for some time now partly because I know it’s a sensitive topic for a majority of folks out there and I wanted to make sure I shared my thoughts and empowered others in a clear and sincere manner.

In the past year, many leading magazines and designer houses have finally been promoting all sizes. I think it’s a great initiative for women everywhere because, let’s be real, we all got tired of chasing after poster girl body types that are impossible to achieve without 10k+ cash and maybe shaving your ribs down. At the same time, on the other end of the spectrum, applications such as Instagram haven’t helped things. So many Instagram models and Kylie Jenner's of the world have gone on record to talk about how they had to starve themselves in previous pictures to look thin while still promoting the perfect skinny girl with T&A illusion. They're not leading by example and being true to themselves. Even Beyonce, unfortunately, was caught editing her thighs and we know she isn’t the only one participating. 

Until very recently I had no idea picturing-editing/photo-shopping was a thing for the average non-basic and basic betch out there. I did some research on how popular this is with our generation. Did you know 68% of adults edit their selfies before posting them? And I don’t mean filters and lighting, I mean straight up editing problem areas on the body or even make up to make themselves look a certain way on the gram/book. In a day and age where the media is promoting “accepting yourself”, why are we going overboard trying to make ourselves look slim and unrealistic? I’m not sure how much work that takes but have we ever thought what happens when people see each other in real life and notice that person doesn't look like they do online? What’s the point of getting 100+ likes on a picture if you aren't willing to look like that in person? Yes, we all have problem areas. Yes, we all have certain sides and angles that look best. All that is fair game. But if you have to spend more time and waste energy into editing and cleaning up your pictures then you might as well use that time to actually workout and achieve the body goal you edit for yourself, if you're really that unhappy. It’s not a lot of work, it just requires dedication and discipline.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “LOL okay Nicole, you’ve been skinny your whole life, you can’t talk". While you may think that is true, I was never fully comfortable with my body until a little while ago (cause who is?). Growing up, I avoided wearing crop tops and tight dresses, I never thought I looked good in them even if I was “small”. I was skinny fat, not in shape. A few years ago, I realized I had gained weight and didn’t look as toned as I thought (#PostGradProblems). I made the necessary lifestyle changes, started eating healthy and tried different work out studios and exercises but it wasn't an overnight change. From Pole Dancing and Cardio Barre to Boxing and Soul Cycle, I’ve done it all and it’s been tough but fun nonetheless. Today? I’m more confident with myself and the time I’ve invested to achieve the way I want to look so that I don’t have to think 10 times before wearing certain articles of clothing or posting up pictures. Know your body and figure out what approach works best, be it hitting the gym or finding a wardrobe that you're happy with. I'd rather prevent feeling bad about myself instead of relying on digital editing to fix that later on. The working out and healthy eating hasn’t stopped, it’s a part of my routine now and I truly enjoy it. By no means do I look like a model but I’m so proud of how I look and all the hard work has paid off over time. I mean, do you know how hard it is to say no to donuts and say yes to kale? Just kidding, you don't need to pick one over the other - you can always treat yourself ;)

I’m sharing this side of me because I want people to know that it doesn’t matter what size you are but instead, how healthy and proud you are to own it and how important it is to create and achieve the goals you set for yourself. Creating illusions and feeding insecurities through pictures are quick fixes that have no long term benefits. You can be a size 0 or a size 12 and as long as you’re working towards being fit and leading a healthy lifestyle, you will feel much more fulfilled than the average person who sits there for 30 minutes editing each and every pixel, but STILL messing up and making it apparent that they used a photo-editing app. We are all unique individuals and need to be more accepting of our flaws cause that’s what makes us us! I know that sounds cliché but it’s very true. If you don't like something, work on fixing it the healthy way instead of distorting yourself digitally. That being said, for me, there isn't another Nicole Mehta out there but there are a lot of Kylie Jenner’s and in this case, imitation isn't flattery.


Trust Me, No One Wants To Date Your Ego

Last year, I wrote about love and what it means to me (scroll down for a refresher).

A year later, my views on love have not changed at all but I want to talk about the ever evolving dating culture we are now dealing with. As a twenty something, and hopefully a normal human being, we’ve all thrown ourselves into the dating pool. After years of practice and observation, I have confirmed that f*ckboying is an epidemic.

A few weeks ago, I sat down with a group of male acquaintances and one of the guys said “Omg look at what this girl texted me: ‘Why can’t I get you off my mind?’” The guy next to me laughed and responded with “Oh yeah don’t answer that, you don’t need that shit.” I played along and said “Yeah that girl’s a rookie,” but in reality, my heart sank because I felt like I was betraying her and other girls who have also been put in that position, unknowingly and don’t know what they’re dealing with. You know why?

1. Guys like that are classic attention-seekers and show-offs.

2. He will probably respond later on because who doesn’t like female attention?! (Even if he made fun of her to his friends).

3. I have experienced that myself

Unfortunately, that group of guys represents a large amount of fellow 20-something males, who love to have the best of both worlds: that “player player” life while still wanting biddies to stick around and talk to them. Don’t get me wrong; is it enticing? Yes. Is it worth it? Meh, no. We live in an age where now the status quo matters more than morals, and people have truly become disposable. We belittle those who express themselves and take risks and support those who are “less invested”. When did dating become a competition of egos and who truly cares less? People on the f*ckboy side don’t know how much courage it takes to reach out to the other person, and yet there are so many instances where we just make fun of said person for making an effort or expressing feelings, or better yet, making them feel inferior by not responding and blowing them off.

Its human nature to take the easy way out, but that path doesn’t get you anywhere at the end of the day. If one person bores us or maybe wants something real, there’s another option available that we can entertain until things become difficult again. I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I have talked to guys/matches, gave them a fair chance while still trying to figure out when the ball is going to drop, only for our predictions to come true soon after. Sadly, I think that has become the norm.

In today’s day and age of technology, platforms like Bumble, Tinder, and Hinge have exploited the dating game. Matchmaking often happens by swiping right and left, making potential daters literally disposable across the board. The ease of applications and online dating has allowed ghosting to take new form. What used to require courage and effort now requires the swipe of a profile and some shallow flirting. Boom, you’re in. Literally. I’m tired of hearing and sharing stories of how people have such bad luck when it comes to dating. Guys (and girls) have become so lazy that no one wants to try and actually get to know the person of interest. Are you available? Do you have a brain? Is it turned off? If so, let’s meet up. Terms such as “Ghosting” and “Bread Crumbing” have become so common that there are literally blogs where people share their stories! I mean how sad is that? Just like Drew Barrymore from ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’, trying to track communication on multiple platforms of social media is EXHAUSTING. I mean, how many ways can you decipher someone’s level of interest before you’re lost in the mixed signals?

After seeing how confused and upset people have become on the receiving end of ghosting or douche-ness, I decided to be more straightforward YEARS ago.  And although the conversations are difficult, they are necessary. If I am interested/not interested, I am very straightforward and honest. No matter how the situation may be, if I take out time to interact with that individual, I respect them as a person to give an honest answer. Even if it’s a short response, being honest is just part of being a standup woman or man. “‘Listen I’ve enjoyed getting to know you, but I don’t think this is going to move forward in a romantic way,” is such an easy thing to say. (Heck, you can even copy paste that from here). Although I will say, I have been honest with guys and they tend to lash out in different ways. Someone once threw my nice heels out the window! It happens. Why do we run away from confrontation? What’s the point of playing games?  Are you that much of a coward to not share your thoughts? What if someone did that to you? On the flip side, I think if there’s something you want, you should be upfront about it. If I like someone, I pick up the phone and ask them to hang out or make conversation. I don’t think game playing makes sense at all nor does avoidance, and if someone doesn’t respond well to directness, then they weren’t the right person for you anyway. AMIIIRIIIIGHT?

Now, I am not sitting here and telling you that girls are saints and “aw look at me, I’m a victim” because I am most definitely not and other girls are not saints. I am hoping this gives those who are guilty of doing the same some perspective on how to behave – if applicable. We have all made mistakes or have played games to various degrees, but what I am trying to communicate is that eventually it will get us nowhere. Whether you are meeting someone organically or not, in real life or sliding into DMs, you will feel a lot better if you are more respectful in your intentions. At the end of the day, no one wants to deal with someone’s big ego and like they always say, honesty is the best policy.

**P.S. Yes, the screenshot above was a real conversation. I keep it hundo. Sorry about it.

I Want Life To Chase Me


This week I'm turning 25 ( !?$&@?) and I've had a lot of alone time to think for myself. For people who know me personally, my mind tends to race at 100 mph approximately 60-70% of the time so naturally, I spend a lot of time analyzing and overthinking again and again. As a result, I've formulated a few major realizations for the big ole quarter century that I have been working on myself.

1.  Do It For You

When was the last time you weren't afraid to be different? I personally believe there is a time and place for everything but for some reason, society throws us on a treadmill and keeps increasing the speed to conform and join the rat race. For me, I've never been scared to do something new or out of the norm. My favorite thing is to go where I've never been or do something I've never done before. The adrenaline rush and fulfillment I receive, and raised eyebrows, from doing so is priceless and I don't intend to change that. This lifestyle has encouraged a lot personal growth and confidence beyond belief. People want to have it all without knowing what it is. Go find out what it is that YOU want to do, create your own template and be yourself, unapologetically. If you let life pass by..one day, you'll begin to resent the same decisions you rushed to act upon just to size up to the other robots.

2. Embrace Hardship

I know this may sound cliche but the days you are most uncomfortable are the days you learn the most about yourself. Learn your strengths and your weaknesses. At the end of the day, life gets pretty boring if one colors within the lines so don't be afraid to accept the challenges in life and maybe make a few mistakes along the way. Human growth and technology are synonymous in my opinion. The nerd in me likes to compare myself to an operating system, you gotta go through a few versions to be your functional best but there is always room for improvement. You may take different approaches to see what works and what doesn't and maybe things will be an epic fail but hindsight is always 20/20. Tough times build character and character is what we are remembered by.

3. You Are Your Own Brand

I whole heartedly believe in this. After working in corporate America for a few years now, I quickly realized that people will most likely recognize your name before anything else so the most important thing to do is to make sure it's represented well. The way a person treats people, the way they carry themselves in all situations makes a huge difference and carries a lot of power. (Granted at the end of the day, we're only human and our emotions can get the best of us. You can slip up. It's life.) This point ties into #2, if you don't know your strengths and weaknesses - you can't own who you are and if you can't own who you are then people will own you. That's a power you never want to give up.

4. Be Ambitious, Not Thirsty

Self explanatory - but I'll take a few seconds to clarify. For anything you set out to pursue in life: what's worth it, won't come easy. What's easy, won't be worth it and if you settle out of laziness, you're not worthy. As simple as that.

5. Make Sure Nice Isn't Just A Place In France

With all the crazy things happening in the world and society being full of fickle people, try to not contribute to the negativity. Learn to respect people's time and efforts and differentiate between those who are loyal and those who are not. I've seen individuals get brutally stomped upon and exploited in friendships and relationships but life is way too long to build up bad karma. There will be people who will kick you to the curb, once you are no longer beneficial to them, and act like it is NBD - you don't want to be them, it's embarrassing. Instead, be a good person and do your part to make the world a little less cruel and heartless :)

6. XOXO, You're No One Until You're Talked About

I love to talk, you love to talk, we all love to talk but what it comes down to is what you're saying and how you're saying it. Yes, there will be times when you'll hear things about yourself that aren't very nice (or true) but you can't let that get to you. It's something I'm working on as well, believe me, it ain't easy. But here's what I gotta say about it - if they don't have the balls to say it to your face when you put them on the spot, then honey, you win. In one ear, out the other, dust your shoulders off. #FAMOUS #ISaidIt

There you go, a snippet of some of the life lessons I've learned over this past year. Just like my arguments in this piece, everything I've said in my previous posts (see below for a refresher) still hold true for me and I stand by them. I am who I am because of the experiences I've had and I take immense pride in just being myself. Looking forward to the next year of adventures and here's to another year of doing what I do best, me.

Don't Worry, It Is Okay To Outgrow People


This past week, I was on a mission to get rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff in my apartment. Think Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City: The Movie” when she was moving out and went through decades of clothing in her closet. Yes, that was me. (But I’m not moving anywhere…yet). In doing so, I came across a lot of pieces that I had either outgrown, were out of season, or that I would rather not be caught dead in. You're probably wondering why I'm sharing such a mundane task with you today. Here is why: just like your clothes, there are many things in life you will outgrow. You will outgrow your surroundings, your own interests, and most importantly, your friendships.

A few weeks ago, I ran into a number of people from my past. Many of these were former classmates, friendly acquaintances, or frenemies from college that I had not seen or spoken to in a long time. Every year, I looked forward to events that brought everyone together. It's always nice catching up with people once or twice a year, especially when we're all consumed with our own lives. This year was significantly different. This year, I had run into an old flame from school, someone I crushed on really hard back in the day. That being said, I struck up a conversation with former crush and was blown out of my mind. It had been about 3 or 4 years since we had a remotely normal conversation. The whole time he was talking, I just listened, thanking God that I had outgrown him and his friends a long time ago. The same thing happened to other people I used to be friends with or whose opinion/approval I valued at one point in time. I honestly thought it was never going to happen since college and those years are a crucial part of everyone's past. 

I hope at this point, you understand my stance on this. Similar to “moving on” from old flames, you move on from people and friendships in your life, and that is totally okay. It’s not something that happens overnight but definitely over the course of your 20's. I've had some very close friends that I've had to let go of in recent times and it definitely wasn't easy and left me frustrated and confused trying to figure out how to cut the cord. I started to look back on the last year and realized how disconnected I felt at times hanging out with them. Whether it was choices they made in their own lives and how they chose to prioritize their time that I failed to understand or how trying to make plans with them felt like a chore or obligation...no matter what, I simply could not close the gap. How do you abandon someone that up until now has been such an integral part of your life?  Experience has taught me that external elements cannot drive your life since they are replaceable and transient.

Ask yourself, how many of the people in your life that you interact with on a regular basis bring value to your life? Has your friendship grown over time or is it the same old stuff you guys reminisce over again and again? Since graduating, I find it hard to relate to those who are still “stuck in college” or “don’t get my life”. Like the number of times I can boozy brunch in a month is not on my list of #goals these days, bruh. It is not enough to recognize this; you must be proactive about it. Sometimes you are left with no option but to leave these so called best friends in the past.

After having this great revelation, I decided to surround myself with friends who are constantly pushing themselves for the better. If you are persistently surrounding yourself with mundane people, it will hinder your progression in life. Not saying that there are some friendships and relationships that are special in their own ways, we all have those too. But, trim the fat in your life and associate yourselves with those who directly or indirectly enrich your life! Sometimes you just outgrow certain types of people. Don't try to fix the relationship, just accept it and move on.

Love Is A Happy Addition


It’s the month of February and obviously Valentine’s Day is around the corner so I figured this would be a good time to share my thoughts on love and the love seen through the eyes of a gal like me.

So I think this is a topic that has stirred a lot of conversation on wine nights and girl talks all over the world. In a time where women empowerment is taking society by storm, the opinions on what is “desirable” has definitely seen its own shades of grey I should say – or maybe red? Haha. I was reading an article in which Priyanka Chopra, Quantico/Bollywood Fame, recently went on to talk about how she doesn’t need a man to validate her and faced a lot of negativity because of that. People called her a man hater to which she responded “A guy should not feel needed, he should feel wanted”.


For the FIRST TIME, in a very long time, I felt proud that a woman of that caliber and fame finally spoke the truth to something I’ve believed in for a long time. Just like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech (the excerpt from ***Flawless), we tell girls to aspire to marriage instead of ambition and success. Women end up comparing themselves to each other and compete for the love of a man but in reality, is that really the right thing to do? We tell girls to be independent but then shame them when they are single because they are ambitious, strong and can take of themselves. We tell girls that they need men, or that we should make sure that men “feel needed”. Right. Because that sounds so genuine? I’ve heard a lot of people echo this and it disappoints me. Basically you’re telling me that 100% needy/clingy girls, who are not self-sufficient, are the ones who are most desirable? Does that make other girls heartless? Are those girls doomed forever? In the brown culture I come from, the most ideal girls are trophy wives who haven’t accomplished much in life and make their boyfriend/partner/spouse their priority. Guys expect girls to put them on a pedestal- I’ve seen people lose themselves in trying to serve their guys and still fall short or wake up one day, realize they don’t have any purpose in life and their relationship soon falls apart.

Not saying being in love will make a woman weak. I’ve actually felt my most empowered when I worked on myself and then fell for someone. I am a strong, pretty independent and self-sufficient girl and yet I’ve experienced the greatest love of my existence and it is a beautiful thing. (WOAH PLOT TWIST) I call it the greatest love because I never needed him, I wanted him. That love never diminished, it has only grown over time. I am still a work in progress, but after putting in the time — I’m confident I can hold my own hand. I’m a multi-faceted, complex woman who is bound together by contradictions, flaws and an authentic love and respect for who I am. When you love yourself and don’t need to fill any voids or needs, then the love you have for someone comes from the most genuine place. I full heartedly believe in this. 5 years ago, I didn’t feel that way about myself. I don’t even think I liked myself enough so when I fancied guys in college, it never quite felt right after sometime. After college, once I realized that it was time to grow up, work and be the best version of myself, then it all fell into place. 

Love will only add to one’s life if you are secure with yourself. Love will only be a wonderful extra force, something to propel you to a higher place of happiness. But it’s not something that will validate your existence. Love is not something you should hope will swoop in and save you from yourself. Don’t look for a person to come in and fix the broken parts of you. Strive for a love that is derived out of genuine passion, authentic desire, crazy attraction and die-hard respect — not co-dependence and the all-consuming fear of being alone. 

Love should be a welcomed addition-the purest love of all. 

What's Beautiful Is What's Real.


So for the people who are connected to me on various social platforms, they know how active I am. #SorryNotSorry but today I'm going to talk about something I've been holding in for a long time.

Back in ummm 2010? Facebook introduced the "like" button, and I'd like to believe that's when everything about social media changed. I know what you're thinking: "Nicole are you dumb? Social media changed when Mark came up with Facebook itself!" and I agree with you, but hear me out. When we first had Facebook/MySpace/AIM statuses (lol), the purpose of these websites was to stay connected with friends and family, share what you have been up to and share material that otherwise would be a hassle to share via email. As users, we shared comments and posts but as soon as that damn thumb came into play, we sought after the attention. We've all been there, posting a picture or something funny or entertaining enough in hopes to provoke a reaction or a "hey I'm going to like this bc it's cool.” As time progressed, people started measuring their lives based off of how many likes they were getting and if what they're doing or sharing would be cool enough to post. We also started measuring our lives in comparison to other people we are connected with. Like that one friend from college who is going from hostel to hostel in Europe, or that coworker who gets bomb ass projects and travels to different countries, or that friend who you met at one party that you're not really friends with but still stalk because their life seems so eventful compared to yours. All of this validation-seeking and comparing will get you nowhere. I promise. How do I know this? Because I used to be one of these people too.

I used to think that my life in college/post grad wasn't "cool" enough to share. I saw people move to big cities while I sat at home and thought my life would start and end in good ole Michigan. I only shared things that sized up with others on social media. One day, I looked back (aka stalked myself) and had an epiphany.

"Dude this doesn't look like your life at all. This doesn't look fun, this looks dumb and like a facade. WHY!"

Being a 20-something millennial comes with a lot of benefits that people don't realize. Instead of putting together a life #ForTheInsta, just do you and your life will be blog-worthy no matter what. Because that's what life is: a blog. It doesn't need to be a certain way to be awesome; it's what you make of it. We are so caught up in comparing our lives to others on social media, that we forget to live our own or see the beauty in it. It brings us down. We feel pressured if our lives aren't matching up to our friends on the news feeds throughout the year, especially during the holiday times. (Shit dude, I saw those couples getting engaged and freaked out too.. It happens. But it doesn't mean that we aren't doing something right).

So many people have come up to me in the past two years with comments like "Omg I want your life, your posts are so cool" or "Come back to reality". Every time someone tells me this, I feel the need to correct them. This is my imperfect reality. I'm not doing anything special, nor am I anyone important. In fact, this never feels surreal or abnormal. It is not easy, it hasn't been. It's not always rainbows and butterflies, believe me, but you enjoy the best and worst of it. By God's blessings, I have a lifestyle I work hard for, friends that are amazing, and I like to have fun and share things along the way. My actions and myself are my own sources of happiness. It's not that hard. Photography, travel, having fun hobbies are passions of mine (ugh I should write that in my Tinder account in the info section lolz); but most of the time, life is about appreciating the small mundane things and enjoying the beauty of it and not sizing yourself to that one friend on Facebook/IG who seems to be doing better in life. Everyone isn't even 75% real all the time anyway; so don't hold your breath on that BS.

So I went from talking about Likes and attention to comparisons and validations. Woof, now you're probably thinking, "OKAYY what are you getting at?!" Well here it is:

1. Online and offline live your life for yourself, not for the validation or to keep up with others. If you're having fun, you won't care how people perceive your life choices or validate it.

2. Be positive and share what you want because you want to..not because you want to get 100 likes or in some cases, 386. (Lucky bitches. LOL jk)

3. Don't try to follow the norm and conform. That's hella boring. Hey that rhymes!

4. Be happy and keep it classy.

5. Over time, you'll have a virtual scrapbook to look at every damn day if you'd like. #ThanksCloud

Phew, I wrote this all on a morning flight where the people next to me keep wanting to get up and move around. Always pick the window seat guys, always.



This Is Your Time


As a young professional/twenty something/ aspiring secret agent, we’ve all seen those never ending Elite Daily or Thought Catalog articles on “How to make the most of your 20s” or “Are you really doing life the right way?” Obviously, we keep reading them in hopes that they would share something we don’t already know and enlighten us forever but sadly, how much of that article do you actually try out the next day or the following week? If you are like me, then probably none of it. Zip. Zilch. Zero. In a world where we are so connected, we tend to consciously and subconsciously measure success and happiness based off of how we size up against others. Whether it’s the girl from HS who already has 2 cute kids and is living a settled life or your sorority sister who somehow got her shit together in college and is living the big city #blessed life – we cannot help but feel behind in life when scrolling up and down our newsfeed and insta pages.

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing all this and quite frankly, I’m thinking the same thing too. At some point or another, we’ve all been that frustrated person who reads their horoscope, skims endless life articles and stalks people on Facebook hoping to get some answers on what the F*#K they should be doing with their life. Below is a list of revelations I’ve had since graduation that honestly changed my life and hopefully changes yours in one way or another!

Don’t look at the “Big Picture” or make concrete long-term goals

We’re all told to constantly think ahead and make plans accordingly. We’re told to not sweat the small stuff and the big picture is more important. While all of that is true to an extent, it is not the end all be all. At the tender age of 23 (almost 24), I looked back at the goals I had made for myself in college and realize I was wayyyyy off. While some of them did work out, life isn’t how I imagined it would be and I figured out a way to be okay with that. I started making small goals for myself instead to work towards the big goals. If you sweat over the small stuff, the big stuff will eventually fall into place. Whether it is making to the gym after work or meeting a deadline in time, if you start to zoom in on the small things- you will feel more accomplished in a short amount of time. All of those goals will eventually amount to the larger goal: A BETTER- HAPPIER- AWESOMER- you.

Stop labeling yourself. Literally just stop.

Society tends to label us, whether it’s the ever popular #BasicBetch label or the Buzzfeed quizzes that will instantly tell you what kind of person you are based off of 10 pictures you pick. Like what. How do we even take that remotely seriously. (don’t act as if you didn’t have that “omg that’s so me” moment.) A lot of people our age and even older are constantly trying to fit into a mold. We’ve all been there at one or several points in our lives but in reality, it’s not even worth it. Slowly learn to do things on your own, even if it is something your friends don’t want to do. If you want to do something out of the ordinary, go for it. If you want to be that person that has to be a part of everything to avoid FOMO or Netflix instead of going out – just do it. Don’t think twice if people are going to judge you for it or not.

Come up with your own definition of success

Success isn’t the same for everyone (Captain Obvious moment, I know) but really, success isn’t the same for everyone and it never will be. If you’re the type of person who defines success based off of what other people your age or a little bit older have accomplished then you will always feel inadequate. Why is that you ask? Because you never know what or how people are thinking and feeling on the inside. I know so many people who are outwardly very successful but on the inside completely miserable. Success goes hand in hand with the goals you make for yourself. So set goals that align with who you are and not what others expect of you.

Learn to be alone

Alone can mean different things to different people. Some tag the term alone to loneliness and singlehood while others tag it to independence. I fall into the latter category.  Do people like those needy girls who constantly need to be told that they’re pretty and loved and need to document in every single snap chat story and collect people wherever they go just to prove they have some sort of presence? No, they definitely do not. Our millennial, connected culture has wired us to do things solely for the validation of other people. I’ve noticed a lot of people have this fear that doing life on their own, whether it is eating alone, gymming alone or finally breaking up with that piece of shit toxic human being called your boyfriend, and finding you again. In the near future, pick one thing to do on a semi regular basis that is just for you. Something you don’t need to share with others but something that provides happiness for you and your mind only. Once you take this small step, you will start to find comfort in doing more activities on your own and you will in turn, feel happier, more secure and confident.

Honestly, I could go on and on about how to approach things but I’m not a life guru, nor do I plan to be. I think if you even try one of the aforementioned suggestions, you will start to carve your own path to confidence and success. xx.