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A few weeks ago, while we were planning my sister’s surprise party, I was thinking about what to write to her in a letter to be given to her in a book with letters from other friends and family. I’m the oldest in my family, and I feel this need to try and help my siblings or have some sort of life experience to share with them. I found myself reflecting on my life and the lessons I’ve learned, and I realized some truths about myself that I thought I would share with you today since yesterday was actually my 32nd birthday, and I feel like getting a little personal.

When I was in high school, I remember having so many insecurities and doubts about myself. I felt the need to prove myself in everything I did. I looked for approval from anywhere I could get it, and I fed off of the positive feedback I would get from others. It definitely wasn’t a very positive mindset to be in, and truthfully, it led to disappointment and low self esteem more often than not. I needed other people to make me feel good about myself. There’s something seriously wrong with that, but I didn’t even realize it was happening.

I’ve realized that in my life experiences, I have found a confidence in myself that is freeing. Of course validation is nice to have– who wouldn’t like to hear that they are doing a good job–BUT, it isn’t something I NEED to feel good about myself. I don’t think I can pinpoint one exact moment that I made the switch to my mindset, but I think I can look back and see the progression as I have “grown-up”.

The transformation has come as I have allowed myself to “Just Be” me. I can just be a mom, and a photographer, and a lover of diet dr pepper, and creative, and terrible at laundry, and I can even just be silly. Giving myself permission to be anything I want to be, and accepting the things that make me who I am is the best thing I have ever done for myself. I don’t have to be the best at any of the things that I am being, and that is ok.

I guess what I am trying to say is that getting older isn’t all that bad, and that you should be kinder to yourself. Believe in the person that you are. Allow yourself to be whatever you want to be. If you want to try something new, DO IT! If you fail, learn from those mistakes and become a better version of yourself. Whatever it is that you want to be, allow yourself to Just Be that thing. Own it and love it.

Of course Cents of Style has a shirt that is a perfect reminder for this, and they just happen to be on sale this weekend. If this shirt isn’t your truth or your story, I am sure you will find one on their site that is! All of their inspirational t-shirts are on sale for $15.95 with free shipping! They are super comfortable and casual, plus the sleeves are the perfect length. I have a bunch of these shirts with different sayings on them, and they are definitely my go-to shirt to wear on a casual day. Head over and grab one, and then go and Just Be YOU!

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