Are you brave? Or are you trying to be perfect?

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, talk about her latest book “Brave, Not Perfect”. She wrote the book after having massive success speaking on the topic in her TED talk. Saujani crafted this talk after observing the behaviors of the girls in her program. Not one would raise their hand at the end of her lessons to ask questions. She knew that if these girls were boys, however, their hands would be shooting up into the air.

Saujani concluded that girls are raised to be perfect and make no mistakes whereas boys are raised to take risks and be brave. A lot of the things she said last night really resonated with me. Here are some key ideas:

🔑 The reason we can’t say no, as women, is because we want to be liked.

🔑 You can’t be brave if you’re tired- so don’t be scared to tell people no!

🔑 At the core we are all girls stuck in the 8th grade who still just want boys to like us. Why else would we be baking the banana bread and planning the company Christmas party?

Do you resonate with any of these points she made? I know I do. Even though I am confident in myself and push outside of my comfort zone I still get scared to ask a question in fear of sounding dumb. I still get scared to input my opinion in a group of older males. This irrational fear  is something I work on fighting against everyday at work.

 

I have yet to read the book but will be sure to report back on what I think of it. Overall I love the message and believe it has a lot of great ideas for women to think about.

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

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From Ancient Caves to Coatis, Come With Me to Riviera Maya

Picture yourself walking down a wooden pathway covered with iguanas and coatis just to see the clear blue waters and white sand at the end. There are few things I love more than traveling to a new place… Even if that means surviving a 3 hour flight at 6am with a crying baby and a toddler constantly kicking into the back of my seat. While these experiences are unsettling in the moment, they are a large part of the long journey you take to reach your final destination; in my case, Riviera Maya, Mexico.

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This vacation was unlike my usual tropical adventure to the Bahamas with my extended family and my trusty wing women (my cousin). I used this trip as a time to wind down, tan my pasty skin, and educate myself with a few nice books. My favorite read from my time in Mexico was Dataclysm by Christian Rudder. This book analyzed the different statistics collected about the users of OkCupid, a popular dating website. If you love numbers and have a strong interest in what separates genders and races, or maybe a strong fascination with Tinder like myself (we will save those stories for another time), give this book a read. It quickly became a new favorite over the course of the vacation.

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Along with books, fashion, and traveling, I have a huge love for animals (even unfamiliar ones with big bushy tails). Mexico was crawling with all sorts of creatures I had never seen before, like this adorable coati. While my mother ran the other direction from this species, I was drawn in and of course wanted to play with them. So naturally I tricked the coatis into believing I had food in my hand, which led to this picture. Who knew I could double as a wildlife tamer?

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The most magical thing that I experienced in Mexico was the underground caves buried in the jungles. I was lucky enough to get the chance to explore one of these caves, swimming in and out of its different coves. It was eye-opening to see structures older than the entire human population. In some cases you could even see ancient footprints moulded onto the bedrock of the cave’s water. While there was one point where I almost drowned into the depths of a dark underwater hole, I would recommend this activity to anyone traveling to Mexico. And if you’re worried about not being able to swim, my mother survived and let me tell you, she really CAN’T swim.

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As writer Pete Hoeg once said, “Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” This trip not only relaxed me and opened me up to the history of a different culture, but it inspired me. It inspired me to take the road less traveled by and push myself into new adventures, like growing this blog. Follow me on my journey not just to different countries, but in living through my 20s. Your 20s entails discovering who you want to be and what you want to do with the rest of your life. It involves the biggest transition of your life, moving from college to the real world; in my case the Big Apple. Whether it’s a Tinder date from hell or a promotion at my first real job, I hope to incorporate my life into these weekly fashion and lifestyle posts. Until the next adventure…Adios mis amigos.