the year of the woman

sweater: Target // top: Nordstrom Rack // jeans: Banana Republic* // shoes: Nordstrom Rack // Texas necklace: Apricot Lane Boutique (similar) // bar necklace: Betsy Farmer Designs

I mentioned last week that my birthday is coming up in less than a month. I'm coming up on 25, which is kind of a milestone right? Birthdays are weird for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. I wrote earlier this year about how my synesthesia made me feel uncertain about the year 2015, and those same things were making me dread turning 25. Not only do I not connect with the numbers on that emotional level, but I also feel a lot of pressure by it being such a milestone. I thought, "can't I just skip it and turn 26?"

Through therapy and journaling, I've changed my attitude towards turning another year older. This birthday is a milestone for a reason. And I'm already starting to feel its effects.

The other day I was supposed to grab drinks with someone after work on a Friday and they got caught up and weren't going to make it. I decided to head over to Nordstrom Rack to walk the aisles and see what I could find. I stumbled upon these espadrilles -- a shoe I never would have considered -- and this slinky, sheer shirt. In the dressing room, with my high-waisted jeans and black bralette, for the first time, I really felt like a woman instead of a girl. I felt comfortable in my body, I felt sexy and wise; my soul felt tall.

With this birthday, I feel like I'm shedding a skin and revealing someone who has learned from a lot of mistakes; someone who is embracing herself instead of fighting with her. It's a good feeling y'all. This is gonna be a good year, the year of the woman, and a great start to a new chapter.

I'll be sharing my 26 before 26 list soon, as well as the results of my 25 before 25 list!

How do you feel about birthdays? Do you think of 25 as being a big deal, or is it just another year?

*I highly recommend these Banana Republic jeans! For reference, I'm wearing a 28 Long. They're intended to be ankle-length, and the Regular fit were super short on me. Just thought I'd share in case you were looking to add a pair to your closet!


  1. Love those necklaces!
    I just turned 23 and I don't know, I never used to think of them as a big deal. But now I kind of feel they should be, as I deserve a day to celebrate me too :p.


    PS: In case I forget, happy birthday!

  2. I'm usually a fan of odd numbers, but 25 left a bad taste in my mouth as well. It might be because it is a square number though? Unclear. 26 is going pretty well so far, but something about 27 sounds way better. All that said - 25 wasn't that bad, and it was okay that nothing monumental happened, just another year of becoming more okay with my own weirdness.

  3. 20 was a difficult year for me. No longer being a teenager, I felt like I lost my youth. I was worried last year when I turned 25 that I would have a melt down because it meant I was a quarter of a century old. Luckily 25 has treated me wonderfully. I am so much more secure in who I am as a person. I require less affirmation from others which is so nice. I am really to that point where I no longer dread aging. I am excited for how the different experiences of age transforms me. I am excited for what 26 holds!

  4. those shoes were meant to be in your closet. I'm so glad you got them :)

    Can't wait to read your list - those types of things are always my favorite!

  5. I love love love the phrasing "my soul felt tall". I think, if we're lucky, we feel taller and taller with each birthday :)

  6. i hope we do too! for a while in my very early twenties, birthdays made me feel small because my depression was out of control. these days i'm on top of my self-care and it's easier to see my accomplishments and good qualities!


  7. I never would have picked up these shoes if it weren't for you. You somehow subconsciously made me like espadrilles. Now I see them everywhere and like them. I blame (and thank) you!

  8. you're the sweetest. even though we've primarily known each other online, i can see the ways you've grown into yourself. you're such a beautiful person and remarkable soul and i feel fortunate to have been along the ride for your journey!

    27 still seems so old somehow! i think it'll feel less so after i turn 25, but for now i'm closer to 20 than 30 and you and Dago are both old ;)

  9. 20 was one of my most difficult years, but it had a lot to do with my untreated depression. after a few years of therapy, embracing my support system, and engaging in self-care, i'm in a much better place and my years have been improving as i get older.

    i love what you said about requiring less affirmation. that's such a nice and self-empowering thing to be aware of!

  10. thanks, pretty girl! i love what you said about seeing the day as a celebration of self! you DO deserve to be celebrated, AT LEAST on this one day of the year! i think it's cool to take ownership of the celebrating and do stuff for yourself instead of it being a day with the expectation where others do the celebrating, since that so often leads to disappointment.

    happy belated birthday to you!!

  11. Thank you so much! Happy almost birthday to you! May birthdays are the best ;) Haha it does seem very adult, but I still don't feel like an adult! Maybe when I'm 30 I will feel more grown up :)

  12. Yes totally agree! I read that phrase and was like, "Yes, that makes so much sense!"

  13. I'm turning 26 in June and only in the past few months have I started to really feel like a woman instead of a girl. I've been seeing myself in a new way and really liking it. I'm glad your soul feels tall (love that by the way!).

  14. Oh hellllllllllllll yeah this is the year of the woman. This is the year of you girl!

    The Adored Life

  15. LOVED meeting you, too! And depression makes everything darker. I've recently tasked myself with remembering, when I'm down, that life will get better again. And then one day it will be bad again, and then it will be good again, and that's just how it goes. Nothing is permanent or forever, including the good days and the bad days.

    Margs VERY soon!

  16. EEP ! Our birthdays are so close! May babies club! I love what you have to say about growing up. I struggle to feel like a woman and an adult-and not just a girl- all the time. Nice to know it's not just me!

    Also, just for a touch of nostalgia, your post reminded me of one of your birthday parties in high school. It must have been your 16th or 17th birthday, but there was a big group of us at your house, and I distinctly remember doing each other's makeup, drinking punch out of plastic champagne glasses, and wearing feather boas. Ah, to be young ;)

    May your 25th year be as fun and carefree as that night!

  17. These pictures are beautiful, Nicole! I looked back over your 25 before 25 list and I'm seriously impressed, you've accomplished so many of those big goals! Way to go, you!!

    I love that you had a defining moment to feel like a woman. Still waiting on that ;)
    Also on a more superficial note I'm so glad you decided to buy the shoes! I love them!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

  18. I'm glad that you were able to shift your perspective on the year (and the age!), and have that moment of peace with yourself. Especially in a dressing room. I usually feel my worst in dressing rooms (the awkward mirrors! the bad lighting!), even when trying on clothes that I truly love, so I applaud you for having a moment of clarity and insight in that setting. Though of course, for you, perhaps it is fitting (no pun intended). P.S. You're slowly warming me up to the espadrille!

  19. I also feel really positive about getting older. I'm about to be 29 in August. So many women are so scared of turning 30, but I'm actually REALLY excited.

  20. Reading this post makes my heart sing for you! I'm ready to get to that point as well - you'd think that after having been married for nearly 5 years, starting my career, getting a Master's degree, and in the process of buying a house that I'd feel like a woman, but no...I still feel like a kid a lot of the time! I see glimmers of it every so often, but I'd love to feel confident and womanly 100% of the time :)

    I need to tell you, too, that the third picture from the bottom here might be one of my favorite pictures of you ever. Before I got to reading the text of your post, I saw that picture and thought to myself, "Nicole looks so confident and happy here!!" And then when I read that you not only felt those things but also sexy (which, ummm, YUP - girl, you are looking amazing!), I smiled. You are so fantastic.


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