Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Get To Know Me
September is almost to a close, which means it’s about time for my yearly freak and reflect — freak out about the fact that it’s my birthday next month and reflect on the fact that I’m another year wiser (ish).
During a recent podcast run along the 606 during my trip to Chicago, I had a thought. One that was fitting as I was listening to the Almost 30 podcast.
Side note: Anyone else get bomb ideas on runs (and in the shower)?!
I was thinking about early 20s Cortney — who she was, what her priorities and goals were — and comparing her to early 30s Cortney — how much she’s changed and slightly matured.
As I compared the two and entertained my mind — I unraveled a theme.
Figured I’d let you in on the assessment…
Early 20s me was all about a good time.
Sure she had to finish up her final two years of college, but aside from killing it in her major with cheeky advertising campaigns around Irish Spring soap and memorizing acronyms of key marketing terms, she was focused on the fun stuff — getting through her 21 run, being well known at the Pullman bars and making sure she got her degree and studied abroad down under… no matter how many student loans it took.
She carried on her “best dressed” style from her catholic school girl years by ordering online far too much and getting said stylish clothes worn and usually unreturned from fellow sisters in her sorority. She worked out a crap ton in date dash tees — mostly doing cardio, usually a little hungover from the night before. She took far too many pictures out resulting in way too many albums on Facebook. She wrote on walls and engaged with others via pokes like it was her job.
Her skin was always up and down — sometimes breakouts, always needing a compact (probs bronzer) for shine at parties, and far too often hitting up the tanning beds. She overplucked those eyebrows, rocked drug store makeup and ate in excess post late night at Pita Pit and Papa Johns. You know, to soak up the Yellowtail and Franzia.
And after college, she continued the trend — except in the much bigger city of Seattle and with a mixture of “older” graduated men and women. The job market was crap so her ad agency dreams went out the door, but she stayed open. She scored a starter role for a few years in business ops and then landed a gig as number 20 at an up and coming startup. She got approved for a downtown bachelorette pad with a view post escaping a bad roomie sitch and continued to learn the Seattle bar scene. She had pipe dreams to reconnect with her fave Chi-town gals in NYC but then discovered the change she was looking for was right in front of her — a post college frat guy with a good head on his shoulders looking for his life partner.
She said yes to being outgoing. Yes to travel. Yes to staying open with her career. Yes to moving on from living with girls to living alone. And she said yes to love.
Early 30s me is me — hiiii — who shall remain in third person.
She’s all about staying regimented and having consistent output while trying to control her lingering anxiety. She dominated that tech startup life for a little longer than she should have, but none the less discovered her love for marketing, which landed her at her “dream company Nordstrom” which then landed her at her ultimate dream company — herself.
She works hard every day to be a damn good wifey and dog mom — making sure her craftsman is looking chic, her Frenchie well fed and her husband satisfied and on his toes. She make excuses to make the ten minute trip to downtown as much as she can, because she still loves those feels of bustling cities and interacting. She loves her wine — the velvety, buttery kind. Loves eating out — especially in restaurants decorated in super cute millennial vibes. She still loves her photos — except now with her DSLR and presets, mostly for her gram and blog.
Her routines keep her sane — daily morning self care rituals of meditation, gratitude, sweat and bulletproof coffee. She connects with the community on a weekly basis. She wants to travel on any down time, and now that she has unlimited PTO wishes to be a digital nomad with her immediate family.
Speaking of family, she’s finally feeling ready to take that next step, because she feels as if she’s gotten to live. She’s in a good place with her partner. She wants to grow her business and make sure her brand includes the chapters to come. She is always busyyy. And can’t imagine how much more busy life will get but wants to grab that shit by the horns. Because life is meant for living and conquering — and leaving a mark.
She said no to not having a plan. No to an unhealthy lifestyle. No to acting like a 100% responsible adult. No to immediate nesting. And she said no to playing by the 9 to 5 rules.
A decade is a long time — and in this ten year transition from a younger 20 year old to a younger 30 year old I’ve learned something significant:
Saying yes in your 20s is a must.
The yes’s that I made in my younger years — running a muck, acting irresponsible, looking a little disheveled at times — has truly led me to some of the most important decisions I’ve had to make in these recent years.
Saying no is an art, and it in no way can be done without a handful of experiences with saying yes.
I can’t believe I’m saying it now, but I’m thankful I said yes to getting nominated as “biggest barfly” in college, going into debt to live, get my education and travel, living with a few bad roomies and jumping on whatever career opportunities that came my way.
If those yes’s wouldn’t have happened, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I’m so grateful I know what I know now — how to take care of myself — what I aspire to do with my life and how I want to live it the most intentionally.
I know the no’s I’m saying now are tied to the learnings I had before and I can’t say enough how much I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So to those readers out there who are in your early 20s, please take this advice:
Say yes as much as you can — especially when your gut and your heart tells you to do so.
Because saying yes eventually leads to saying no — and your later you will greatly thank you.
Thanks for following the early 30 year old me.
// cb ✌????
SHOP THE EDIT
Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor.
I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Get To Know Me
Mother. Wife. Blogger. Photographer. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Hi, I'm Cortney
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Cortney, this was everything!
Thank you for sharing an honest and sincere post about life experiences. I teared up towards the end seeing as I just turned 28 and am right behind you- lol! The 20s represent such a rich, tumultous, and fun part of our lives. This is something that will resonate with everyone.
Oh Melissa you are amazing and oh so sweet! Thank you for such a positive comment — I’m so very glad this resonated with you during your transitional time. It’s suchhh a crazy ride this life, and I think just taking a minute to reflect on who we are now and where we came from is such a rewarding thing! Wishing you lots of luck and positive growth :). xo
Great post, Cortney! You have such great perspective. Keep up your hustle, it’s inspiring.
Jenn, you are so sweet! I so appreciate this comment… thank you. Always inspired by your hustle girl <3.
OMG. I LOVED reading this! I’m right there with you! My mid twenties a little crazier than the early ones…but all for good reason. To be HERE. To be ME.
You shine so bright, my friend! Happy to know you.
Aw Kristina you are the sweetest!! Thank you! Isn’t it a crazy thing to look back?! I feel you. My twenties def never slowed down either, haha. All so good — the women we’ve become! Happy to know you too :).