10 life lessons

Last week I celebrated a birthday! Twenty-four?? Time sure does fly.

So, I guess this post is a little late, but we’re doing it.

Eric and I spent my birthday weekend in Michigan at a cabin with friends. We went a year ago, so it was a blast all over again. Throughout the post, you’ll see pretty photos E snapped.

10 life lessons

As I turned another year older, I couldn’t help but get sentimental and reflect on the lessons I’ve learned something about in the past twenty-four years. Especially after such a big one last year.

Now, I know what you might be thinking  – Dayna, twenty-four is not that old. 

I totally agree, and that’s not what I’m saying at all. Regardless of age, I think we can grow wiser each year as we experience the world. That makes me really happy, and nostalgic.

So after sorting through these thoughts, below I’ve gathered the 10 life lessons I’ve learned at twenty-four.

1. No one has it all together.

I used to look around and think the peers, friends, and families I saw had their whole lives together. The truth is most of us are figuring out this life thing as we go along, and no one is perfect. Everyone has faults and struggles. We all fight battles. You’re never alone and you’re never the only one who feels this way.

2. Traveling does wonders for the soul.

I’ve been lucky to visit some really amazing cities growing up, but it wasn’t until I backpacked Western Europe in 2015 that I realized how eye opening travel can be. Traveling exposes you to new points of views and cultures. It feeds your sense of curiosity, wonder, and keeps your mind open. It is a must.

10 life lessons

3. Things that matter now might not be such a big deal later.

There are times when it seems like something in that moment will affect everything forever. I can be very indecisive and over analytical. I’ve had to learn to take a deep breath in these moments and ask myself if whatever it is will truly matter down the road. Often it won’t and it isn’t worth worrying over.

4. Never stop learning.

Learning looks different for everyone – formal education, reading self-help books, keeping up with a certain news publication, finding online how-tos, etc. The point is it’s important we don’t get complacent and we stay hungry for growth. I think this mentality and knowledge feeds into our relationships, passions, and helps us to be our best self.

10 life lessons

5. Be grateful for hard times. They make you stronger.

These past few years have taught me this lesson for sure. Hard times can show us heartache like we’ve never known, but it can also bring out our most determined selves. They’ve made me braver and stronger. They’ve brought me closer to God. They’ve showed me how I can be better moving forward.

6. You can have it all, you just might not be able to have it all at once.

I’ve written about this topic before here. We juggle a lot. Between family schedules, work, a social life…and oh, of course our own passions and health, it can easily feel like we have to pick and choose what to pursue. The truth is you can totally do it all. Just know you won’t always be perfect and excel at everything, at the same time. That’s okay! We have to cut ourselves some slack and pursue balance.

10 life lessons

7. Be bold and weird and whatever else you want.

Basically be unapologetically yourself. In our younger years, this can definitely be a challenge. Freshman year of college, I realized pretty quickly we should 100% feel comfortable to be ourselves. Always. Everyone’s human. No one’s perfect (see lesson #1). Our talents and our differences make us special (corny, but you know it’s true). So take the risk, speak your mind, and go out there and S L A Y.

8. Take it one step at a time.

I get stressed very quickly if I let an idea bubble up in my mind into a seemingly impossible task. I’ve learned to take a deep breath and break whatever it is down into smaller bits. When you take a step back, it becomes a lot more manageable and can put things in perspective.

10 life lessons

9. Passion + persistence pay off.

Those things that make us happy? Inspire us, motivate us, give us big dreams? Yeah, those are the things that deserve our time and effort. Investing in our passions might not always be easy, especially with all the busyness life sends our way. It takes time, money, and self-discipline, but it’s worth it. We love these things and we owe it to ourselves to pursue them.

10.  Always be thankful.

Life isn’t perfect, but wow, aren’t we lucky for all we have? There’s times when things are going amazingly well, and others when we’ve been thrown a curveball. I’ve learned that in both circumstances, and everything in between, it’s important to be thankful.

What are some of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned so far? I’d love to hear below!

Days By Day

P.S. Want to see more of Eric’s photography? Check it out here.

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It’s always the worst when blogging has to take a back seat, but these last few weeks have just been one busy pow wow and I’ve wanted to be 100% present in all of it. From work picking up with new opportunities, to best friends visiting, to planning wedding festivities – right up to birthday celebrations around town for my favorite human – it’s been crazy and wonderful.

That being said, I want to get back in the swing of things, and figured what better day than today – when I get to celebrate this handsome future husband of mine being born. Happy Birthday, love! This photo is one Feather & Twine took during our engagement session and it nearly kills me. Those looks and that smile – I’m a lucky lady!

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We declared this weekend one of birthday shenanigans and romped around Chi for new adventures, starting with brunch of course. Saturday morning Eric and I ventured to Pomp & Circumstance. I’d been wanting to check this place out forever and had heard their Bloody Mary was on point.

This trendy Old Town spot did not disappoint. Eric and I shared the chilaquiles and Pomp croissant breakfast sandwich. Oh, and the drinks were indeed delicious! We left perfectly happy and ventured into the streets right outside to check out the Old Town Art Fair.

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Post-brunch and fair, we dropped by Macy’s to get Eric a much needed new pair of everyday shoes and then made our way to the Chicago Blues Fest. Fun fact – it’s the largest free blues festival in the world! It takes place in Grant park, so the city gets to serve as the most perfect backdrop.

Only challenge to navigate? It was somehow 93 degrees so we were making bee lines for a spot in the shade. That didn’t hold us back though, this fest was a ton of fun.

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Sunday brought another cool opportunity. Friends were going sailing on Lake Michigan to watch The America’s Cup, which was being held on fresh water for the first time right here in ChiTown! This weekend long event consisted of different sailing races among countries to determine qualifiers for the final event in Bermuda one year from now.

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It was so awesome to see the city from a whole new perspective – the beautiful blue waters we’re usually looking out to! The cup was really cool. I’m still not sure of all the technology  behind it, but those big racing sailboats for each country get enough wind underneath that it actually looks like they are flying just above the water.

Needless to say, we had a great weekend checking new things off our list and celebrating Eric! He is truly the best, kindest, most loving, brilliant, funny, and wonderful human, and deserves every bit of it and more.

E, I love you a whole bunch! I have loved celebrating the last four birthdays with you, and I hope this next year is the best yet. Cheers to you, love.

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Well, friends, hope it’s a fantastic week! Tonight we’re off to eat tapas and sangria with our Chicago pals to spoil this guy some more, and in a few days I make my way back to the Lonestar State. Wahoo!

Days By Day

Lincoln Park.

Lincoln Park.

I can’t believe Week 2 in The Windy City is coming to an end! I absolutely love working with the people at my internship and all that I am getting to do. I just don’t understand how every single person you meet at a company can be so nice and welcoming, it is the coolest thing ever. Here are some more snaps and thoughts from the last few days!

Aside from awesome coworkers and exciting projects, work offers another bonus – a coffee bar. Now you might be thinking, “Dayna, what’s so special about that? Lots of places have coffee bars. That’s not that cool.” Oh but my friends, you are sadly mistaken. EVERYTHING at this special bar is ONE DOLLA. Pretty sweet, right? Yeah. Especially when the offerings include lattes, smoothies, teas…basically anything you can find at a Starbucks, any size.

My favorite things from Thursday - coffee date with my mentor, an invite to a FIFA work viewing party, and my new leopard skirt.

Thursday favorites – coffee date with my mentor, an invite to a FIFA work viewing party, and my new leopard skirt.

Last night, some of the interns and I headed over to Lincoln Park to cheer on the agency softball team. On Thursday night, several of the advertising agencies in town have softball teams that play and engage in some friendly competition. It was so much fun to meet more people from work and hang out with friends. Afterwards, the team headed over to a sports bar called Gamekeepers where we munched on what seemed to be endless wings and tater tots. I’m already looking forward to next week!

How could I not snag a picture of the beauty that came with the sunset??

How could I not snag a picture of the beauty that came with the sunset??

Aaaannddd, today is a super special day because my handsome man turns 22! (*cue cliché Taylor Swift track*) I’m so sad to be states away from Eric today, but already have plans to treat him to some delicious Chicago deep dish pizza and a drink at The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock when he comes to visit in a couple weeks. So Happy Birthday love, you are pretty darn wonderful and I can’t wait to celebrate soon!

Such strange lighting, but I still love this pic. And the birthday boy!

Such strange lighting, but I still love this pic. And the birthday boy!

Yay for the Friday! Who is ready to sleep in tomorrow?? This girl for sure. Looking forward to a little piece of home this weekend since some family friends will be visiting the city. I wonder what adventures Chi-Town will bring next. Got any cool weekend plans or Chicago suggestions? I would love to hear!

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