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Don’t Change A Thing

Hey internet! How ya doing on this fine day? Today I'm sharing a little piece of my story that I've been pondering lately. I know it's simple. But I know a lot of us (me included) can't really grasp it. Maybe we just know it in our heads, and not our hearts. So here goes nothing-- I've been thinking about how every person, place, and thing in my life has led me to exactly where I am today. Sure, it's easy to look back on the past and wish you could do something differently, but hey, if you'd made a different move back then, maybe you wouldn't have met the person that changed your life, been at the right place at the right time for a crazy awesome opportunity, or been able to be there for someone when they really needed you. If you had done something differently in your past, you might be letting go of a lot of the things that make you, you. And I wouldn't have all the joys. 

ten year old me, doing what I love

As easy as it is to look back on the past and wish you could change it, don't. Because I'm pretty thankful for exactly where I am today. Here's an example that I haven't been too open to sharing. I grew up acting in theater, commercials, TV, etc. I LOVE (yes, it's an all caps kind of love) acting. I felt and still feel like it's engrained in my DNA strand. It's a huge part of what makes me, me. But it sure isn't the only thing that defines me. I love my Jesus. My family is the most important thing to me on this earth. Academics have always been really important to me. When I was a senior in high school, I came to a crossroads. Was I going to apply to college or not go to school and throw myself full force into acting? My parents, bless their souls, were completely supportive of either decision. I really wanted both. My whole life I had balanced academics and working, so I decided to move forward and apply to schools. In every single application essay, I wrote about how acting shaped me. How I not only learned about the art of performing, but about becoming a good human being. Being passionate and determined and stubborn about your values and staying true to who you are. And spoiler alert, that essay got me into UCLA. Now it's sometimes easy to let myself think if I had only taken a gap year and spent every waking moment auditioning and working, I might be more successful. But I also wouldn't have this sweet, challenging, wildly growing past year of being a student at UCLA. The balance has brought me to exactly where I am today. And I'm happy with that.

ten years later, twenty year old me, still doing what I love 

20 By 20 Update

Remember last year when I made a list of goals right after a turned 19? Well now that a year has passed and I've turned twenty, I figured it was time to update you on my progress! I'm proud to say that I reached quite a few of my 20 By 20 goals by my deadline, and I'm here with photo evidence! I also want to add that I'm not giving up on the goals I didn't reach by my twentieth birthday. I'm going to keep striving toward them! 

I'll start with the goals I didn't reach... 
  • Make a daily habit of reading my Bible. I definitely improved, but still wouldnt say making time to  read my bible is part of my everyday routine. 
  • Make a photo book for high school. 
  • Be on time. I would say I improved.. slightly. Definitely still not an "on time" or "five minutes early" type of gal. 
  • Start singing again. 
  • Start investing my money. 
  • Read 20 books.  I may not have quite hit my goal of reading 20, but I definitely improved and made more time to read just for fun! A few of my favorites were The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, the Nanny Diaries, and (OF COURSE) Thirteen Reasons Why.
  • Go completely unplugged for a weekend. 
  • Go to bed by 11pm for a month. 
  • Tackle my procrastination. 

Now for the goals I reached on my 20 By 20 list.. 
  • Watch the sunrise. Woke up at 4am to hike to the Hollywood Sign and catch the sunrise! 

  • Take a class just for fun. Calligraphy, floral arranging, cappuccino making, or maybe all three! Floral arranging with my sweet momma at La Fluer

  • Vote in the presidential election. This year, election day fell right after my birthday. So this was completed soon after I turned twenty. 

  • Be more generous. With my time, with compliments, with shared moments, with laughs. This isn't something you can quantifiably measure, but I sure do hope that this year was filled with more generosity. 

  • Do the Hollywood Sign hike. Done! And here's a picture and a blog post to prove it! 

  • Go on a road trip with friends. What's better than long drives with great friends (and pit stops for coffee of course)? Mandy and I drove through North and South Carolina, then hopped on a train DC! What an adventure. 

  • Embrace my imperfections. Self love. It's important. Though this blog's motto may be to embrace the perfectly imperfect moments of life, its definitely something that I struggle with. This was a growing year in this department for sure, and I hope that growth will continue as time goes on. 

  • Travel to a new country. Before this past summer, I had never been to Mexico! 

  • Go to a live taping of a show. I didnt exactly sit in the audience for a live taping like I intended when I wrote this goal, but I was in one instead, which is even better! Here is my interview on Larry King Now!

  • Get an internship. I had a fashion PR internship at an awesome firm in Downtown LA during spring quarter of my freshman year at UCLA!

  • Spread joy. I hope that my actions here on Practically Imperfect and in life helped make each day a little more joyful! 

Coffee Tour of the South


The Roast Office // Pinehurst, North Carolina 

Cup of Joe // Raleigh, North Carolina 

Black Tap Coffee // Charleston, South Carolina 

The Daily // Charleston, South Carolina

Alex's House Restaurant // High Point, North Carolina

Guess who intended on posting this guide back in August and just found it sitting in her drafts? This girl! Better late than never, I suppose! Plus sharing my trip from way back in July gave me a chance to reminsice on how perfect this time exploring coffee shops with my best friend was! I can't believe that Mandy has come visit me in California since I traveled to visit her in North Carolina last summer! Throughout our two weeks together, we went to dozens of coffee shops, so I thought I'd share my favorites!