My Golden Birthday: Things I Learned In My Early 20s

Am I the only person in the world who is excited to turn 25? Probably. But today’s my birthday and you can’t tell me I’m wrong.

My Golden Birthday: Things I Learned In My Early 20s by popular NYC blogger Pink Champagne Problems My Golden Birthday: Things I Learned In My Early 20s by popular NYC blogger Pink Champagne Problems My Golden Birthday: Things I Learned In My Early 20s by popular NYC blogger Pink Champagne Problems My Golden Birthday: Things I Learned In My Early 20s by popular NYC blogger Pink Champagne Problems My Golden Birthday: Things I Learned In My Early 20s by popular NYC blogger Pink Champagne Problems My Golden Birthday: Things I Learned In My Early 20s by popular NYC blogger Pink Champagne Problems My Golden Birthday: Things I Learned In My Early 20s by popular NYC blogger Pink Champagne Problems My Golden Birthday: Things I Learned In My Early 20s by popular NYC blogger Pink Champagne Problems My Golden Birthday: Things I Learned In My Early 20s by popular NYC blogger Pink Champagne Problems
THE LOOK | midi dress (love this one), heels, celine sunglasses

I don’t know, but something about being 25 sounds significantly cooler than being 24. Or any other age really. Maybe I’ll actually start thinking of myself as an adult now. Who knows;) So on my 25th birthday, I wanted to share a few things I learned in my early 20s. This blog, in a sense, is like a journal. It’s a place that I can look back on so many significant moments in my life – like my birthday. It’s going to be really cool to look back on this birthday in a few years and remember the things I learned, or so I thought.

You don’t have to have it all figured out

When I got out of college, the only thing I really had figured out was my new full-time job at Perry Ellis. Other than that, my less was a “mess”. Not in a bad way at all. I was fresh out of college and pretty much newly-single, so I wanted to go out and do it big with my friends. If you want to stay out till 6am, do it. If you want to dabble in a few careers before choosing your dream one, do it. I don’t have *many* regrets from my early 20s at all. With my blog, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do with it after college. I kept writing and posting outfit photos because it was fun. At some point, I realized that this could be a legitimate business for myself, and I’m really happy I took the plunge to creating it. Now, at 25 years old, it’s pretty damn cool to say I’m a small business owner. If you would have asked me about this when I was 21-22 years old, I would NOT have had it figured out. AND THAT’S OKAY!!!

He’s probably not the guy you want

I’m definitely generalizing here, but it’s 100% OK to make a few mistakes in the guy arena when you’re in your early 20s. I know some people do meet their soulmates when they’re younger. One thing I “regret” doing is not going out on dates more. I was either caught up in my ex-boyfriend from college or over-thinking situations with this guy I barely knew. One thing I’m so happy I did was just had fun with my friends. In the year and a half I was truly single, I was so ridiculously happy just being with my girlfriends all the time. And then Matt came along. Ladies, your own Prince Charming IS OUT THERE. I can promise you that. Matt and I were completely unexpected, and I honestly can’t picture life without him (more on him below). So when you’re 21 or 22 years old, the first guy you meet might not be the next best love of your life. You’ll get through it…promise!

Pick your battles wisely

I’m almost getting sick of talking about this, but I had a certain situation that didn’t go away (read: I kept finding new information that really pissed me off). It came to a point where I needed to literally choose which battles to fight. You know that saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”? Well, that’s false. It’s not flattering, it’s annoying. I found myself biting my tongue more often than not, and it came to a point where I was going to burst. And not in a good way. A few years ago, the real New Yorker in me would have most likely came out. Now that I’m a *responsible* adult, I took a step back and really thought about the situations I was dealing with. I turned my frustration into a blog post that happens to be one of my most-read posts EVER. It was amazing to see all of the support from other bloggers as well as help others out who have also gone through similar situations. That blog post is one of my favorites to date for sure.

Saving is important, but don’t miss out

It’s probably safe to say that I’m not good with my money. I tend to spend a little more than I should…and don’t save where I can. I blame this partly on my addiction to shopping and partly due to my love of experiences. I’d rather go out and do something fun or travel than stay home and sulk because I don’t want to spend money. If there’s a place I want to go to, I make sure it’s on my list. And I make sure I do it soon. It sounds cliche, but you really never know what life is going to throw at you. I want to make sure I don’t miss out on the best things life has to offer me at a specific moment in time.

Your most valued things

Somewhere between the ages of 20-25, I truly realized what’s important to me. And this is by far one of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned ever.

Obviously my family is number one. I got to watch my sister get married to her best friend, my dad overcome a huge bump in the road, my mom rehab her broken elbow after a tough surgery and painful recovery, and watch my cousins introduce new beautiful babies into this world (and another is coming shortly!). My grandmother is over 90 years old and we get to spend a lot of time with her. Although I don’t get to see my mom’s side of the family as often as I’d like, I love following along my crazy cousins’ lives on social media. I’ve realized that nothing beats a good family. I’m so blessed to have some of the best people in the world in my life.

Relationships come next. My best friends of 11 years (there’s 8 of us) are the girls who I probably want to kill most of the time, but I know we’ll always be there for each other. Then there’s Allie, who I met in 2012 and we’ve only gotten closer since she moved to New York. What a partner in crime she is — and Pink Champagne Problems would be nothing without her stunning photography. I can’t forget about Linda. We had a bumpy road to get through after college, and now I always think about how immature we were. Linda is my sassiest friend who I can always count on to tell me the truth. She’s also one of my biggest cheerleaders. It’s a win-win with her. And lastly, Matt. In the last (almost) two years of being together, I can’t even describe how happy I’ve been. Although I call him annoying most of the time, he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. He knows exactly how to put a smile on my face, and I can’t tell you enough how supportive he is. I always dated guys who were kind of jerks, so I figured that was just “my type”. When Matt came along, I couldn’t believe how genuine he was. Anyone who knows Matt will tell you how good of a person he is, which makes me so lucky to call him mine. I obviously cannot forget about the girls who I’ve come to know and love through blogging — there are WAY too many of you to name, but I’d like to think you know who you are. These are the girls who are consistently supporting me. The girls who I LOVE seeing their successes and the girls who I text when I’m frustrated over something that’s happening with a campaign or social media platform. The blogging world isn’t always full of nice people, but most of us are pretty damn great.

My career and my blog are also insanely important to me. As I’ve mentioned so many times before, I’m so lucky that I found two things that I love to do. And then I get to call them my jobs? Yep. Crazy lucky. I take both jobs as a Merchandiser and creator of Pink Champagne Problems very seriously. I love learning from both of these jobs, and am so grateful I get to do them every day.

So there you have it. A few of the things I learned in my early 20s. I’m so excited to begin the next year on my life on one of the most positive notes. I feel so good about this year, and I honestly cannot wait to see what this year has in store for me! As always, I want to thank each and every one of you who read this little space on the Internet and support me in more ways than you even realize! xx


photos by allie provost

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  1. 7.25.17

    HELLO FLAWLESS QUEEN: Happy Birthday (and sorry if I say this to you on every social platform today, lol). You’re wise beyond your years and you have the maturity level of someone that’s older than 25 honestly! Keep slaying — 25 was actually my favorite age, and I wanna go back haha!

  2. 7.25.17

    Happy Birthday Lady! You are absolutely incredible!!! Truly inspired by you daily. I really enjoyed reading this post and you are so right on every single thing. Also, can I please be 25 again?! Have a wonderful birthday love and enjoy your trip!!

    xo Laura Leigh

  3. 7.25.17

    Happy Birthday Dana! These photos are GORG and I love the life lessons – hope you have an amazing time celebrating!

    xx Caroline

  4. 7.25.17
    Nicole Ntumba said:

    Happy golden birthday! One of my good friends’ 25th was golden as well. This shots are gorgeous and give me carrie bradshaw at the beginning of the first SATC movie, vibes. Like you I was thoroughly pleased with my 25th and that was a good year for me. Enjoy every minute of it!

  5. 7.25.17

    Happy birthday Dana! Today is my 25th birthday too 🙂 I need to embrace your attitude about it — I’ve been in a funk about it for a while! However, I totally agree with these lessons. Hope you have a lovely day + a great year.

  6. 7.25.17
    shannon said:

    Happy Birthday! I was actually excited to turn 25 when it happened as well….I’ve always been excited about getting older (but not getting too old. Ha!). Love you lessons and they are all so true. I think they are all lessons you should carry well past 25!

    Clothes & Quotes

  7. 7.25.17
    Felisha Brunson said:

    Happy birthday!!! These lessons are already so true for me and I’m 23. With the relationship part, I feel the exact same way. My boyfriend’s were all jerks and when my boyfriend came along, I thought it was too good to be true!

    I just bookmarked you. I love your blog and am so happy I found it <3

    Felly |

  8. 7.25.17
    Jenn Lake said:

    Wishing you the most AMAZING birthday, Dana! Absolutely loved reading this post and learning more about you. You are truly a joy, and wishing you the most amazing year ahead!

  9. 7.25.17 You go girl!! Keep killin’ it one more year at a time. Have the best birthday!!

  10. 7.25.17

    Amazing post Dana!! Love the photos, as well as the lessons you learned. Thanks for sharing! Happy, happy birthday! xo

  11. 7.25.17
    Sed Bona said:

    Happiest of 25th birthdays! Couldn’t love this beautiful shoot more!


    Ashley || Sed Bona

  12. 7.25.17

    First of all… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! 25 is great! I hope its you’re best year yet! Second, I am totally obsessed with these photos! It’s such a perfect birthday post. Third, I love all of your lessons and agree with them all! xo Bryn

  13. 7.26.17

    happy birthday! and this post was great! i agree to everything 🙂 25 is such a good year!!! and it really only gets better <3

  14. 7.26.17

    You are wise beyond your years, Dana! Hope you had a wonderful birthday and I can’t wait to see where you go and how you grow in your 25th year!

    How 2 Wear It []

  15. 7.26.17
    Kara Aragon said:

    Happy Birthday gorgeous! I remember crying when I turned 25 because I felt so old. I’ll be 28 in several wks & I’d do anything to be 25 again haha. I love your post & I totally agree, though I did find my Hubberkins at the young age of 17, we DID break up & date other people 7 years ago & I think that’s a big part in the beautiful & successful relationship that we have now. I hope you had an awesome birthday. PS Love the photos, location & lighting is a dream.

    Kara Aragon

  16. 7.26.17

    I completely agree with the picking your battles. I’m still working on that one myself now almost being 26, married, and thinking about starting a family. I feel like these are lessons that I am still learning as I head now into my late 20s. Happy Birthday!


    Iesha aka Lesh

  17. 7.28.17

    Happy belated birthday!
    Love this dress! You look amazing, just amazing! And the location is beautiful!

    x Silje

  18. 7.29.17

    Happy belated birthday!! – Keep up the amazing work, love reading your blog posts

    Genevieve x