6:47 PM

Ever since my return from Europe I feel like I’ve evolved and changed so much. When I first came back to New York, I didn’t think the trip shaped me too much as a person. Now that some time has passed, I realized that it has shaped me more than I could have ever imagined. 

Over the past 3 months, I knew I had become more secure with my independence, but I hadn’t realized the extent until recently. Upon my 30th birthday I had put so much mental pressure on finding a partner and establishing a relationship. Nothing good comes from forcing a situation or rushing -- the right thing happens organically and with little expectations. I’m far more protective of myself now, especially after going through a humiliating situation, but I’ve also allowed myself to accept responsibility for part of my disappointment. 

I’ve started a no bullshit rule with how I spend my time. Friendships that don’t benefit me? Done. Hungover Saturday mornings? Over. My time is too valuable for people and activities that exist simply to fill space. Instead of unfulfilling activities, I choose to work on the weekends and have picked up volunteering regularly. I spend my evenings getting rest instead of getting drunk. I have dates with my best friend instead of guys.

Overall, I’m pickier with how I spend my time and who I spend my time with. I’ve grown up a lot. I've grown out of a lot. My lifestyle has changed dramatically. I feel really good about the place I’m in.

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Photos by Leslie Moncada Photography

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