Key Investments To Make as a Woman
Every young woman gets to the point in her life where she has to part ways with old cherished items she’s been holding onto since they were a little girl. Because, you know, that teeny tiny crop top from high school or dusty journal containing magazine clippings of your favorite 90’s boy band probably hasn’t come in handy in the past ten or so years.
Getting rid of items that aren’t necessary for your future and making room for those quality investments may significantly help you embrace who you truly are.
Here are five important investments for all women entering the next phase of adulthood:
1. High Thread Count Sheets
Having a good night's sleep is one of the most beneficial things we can do for our health. Not only does sleep do amazing things for us physically and mentally, but it can especially come in handy when starting new experiences, such as starting a new job. Getting rid of the old bed sheets that may have acquired a few holes and stains over the years and purchasing high thread count sheets is a great investment! Your sheets will feel softer, last significantly longer and most importantly help you sleep sounder through the night!
2. Skincare products
You can never be too young to start taking care of your skin. The good ol’ bar of soap and washcloth method isn’t going to make your fine lines disappear. Making an investment in quality skincare products will have your skin (and wrinkles) thanking you for years to come! Skincare brands like Drunk Elephant and Tatcha are highly recommended, but if you’re looking for more cost effective skincare products, here are some great affordable options!
3. Quality Undergarments
Did you know that wearing a supportive and comfortable bra can give you that extra bit of confidence you’re looking for? Having quality pairs of underwear and bras that actually fit you are the best investments young women can make in regards to their wardrobe. Considering that women should be updating their bras every 6 months, it’s time to stop waiting on that hand-me-down bra from an older sister. Online bra company, True & Co. makes it their mission to create bras that last a lifetime. Not only are they comfortable and supportive but they’re also created with a soft fabric that perfectly hugs your shape. As we get older, comfort should be a priority when it comes to what we put on our bodies.
4. Trips With Friends
There’s nothing quite like traveling with good friends and creating long, lasting memories. Whether it’s a European sabbatical or just a weekend getaway, investing in a trip with some close girlfriends is a great way to become worldlier, more cultured and have unforgettable experiences. If you’re feeling the itch to take a trip, Travelocity has plenty of suggestions for the best kinds of trips to take in your twenties that will successfully check off the travel section on your bucket list! Although the old school family vacations you’re used to are still beneficial (a vaca is a vaca in my opinion), taking a trip with your friends allows you to explore places that are of interest to you and the ones you choose to surround yourself with!
5. A Keepsake Box
Okay, I get it. You might not want to get rid of a few sentimental items from your childhood, teenage years and college. Afterall, your future children might find some of your old belongings useful. But they don’t need a place on your shelf anymore. Finding a box, like these weathertight storage bins from The Container Store are perfect for those keepsake items. Your belongings will be kept clean, dry and safe while their stored away until you find the right moment to bring them back to life!
What are some of your ideas when it comes to essential investments that every young woman should make when taking that next step of adulthood?
The Strength to Find Your True Smile
She paints it on, her ruby red lips stretching as though they’re going to crack. Inside, a formidable storm circles and bubbles, but she has to suppress it. She can’t let it surface. She can’t let it ruin the perfect smile, the eloquently highlighted grin that reassures the world she’s fine, she’s great, she’s happy.
Because to show anything but the smile would be disastrous, especially in a world that shuns unhappiness. She must wear the face, play the part, and be thankful and gracious. She must smile.
Day after day, the red-lip façade carries on. Day after day, the storm brews a little more, threatening to usurp her. It simmers with feelings of anxiety, loss, and a lack of self-identity. It swarms her, making her feel heavy and exhausted. It’s hard working up the courage to wear a smile in the middle of an earth-shattering eruption. It’s hard to cover those feelings.
But smile she does because smile she must. She’s learned from childhood what it means to be a “good woman.” It means being thankful even when you’re frustrated or disappointed. It means being gracious and kind, sugary sweet words always dripping from your lips even in the face of injustice. It means carrying on when you’re weary in your bones and in your heart. It means doing more and complaining less. It means putting others first.
Most of all, it means you smile, even when you don’t feel like it.
So she smiles. I smile. We all smile.
Strong Women Don't Always Smile
But what good is this smile? What purpose is it serving? Certainly being appreciative and being kind are noble pursuits. However, does this mean that a fake smile trumps genuine feeling? Does it mean we must suppress our true desires, fears, anguish, and confusion just so the world can see the mask we wear? Is a smile really what we value in ourselves and in other women?
Instead of teaching our girls to grow up to be kind, smiling women, maybe our focus should shift. We should focus on teaching our girls to be appreciative and kind. We should teach our girls to be gracious and thankful. But we should also teach our girls that sometimes, life is hard. Sometimes, you don’t feel thankful or fulfilled. You don’t feel happy or appreciative. Sometimes you will feel walked on, underappreciated, lost, and confused.
In these moments, painting a fake smile on is not a necessity or requirement. In moments of struggle, it’s okay to show it. It’s okay to not be the smiling, strong woman who can take on the world every second of life. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to frown. It’s okay to stand up for yourself.
Smiling is a beautiful thing when it comes from a place of truth. But to be a strong woman is not to smile at everything in life. To be a strong woman is to be genuine. It’s to feel what you feel when you feel it. It’s to look past social expectations to find the real you, the true you, and to let yourself feel every part of what that looks like, smile or not.
So for you, I hope for many days of genuine smiles. However, I also hope that on days you don’t feel like smiling…you don’t. I hope you have the confidence to own your emotions. I hope you have good friends and family to lean on, who don’t expect the ruby red grin when you don’t mean it. I hope you have a support system strong enough to hold you up when you just can’t bear to smile anymore.
I hope you find your people, the people who can bring back a real smile to your face even when you don’t think it’s possible.
Above all, I hope you find the courage to go after what makes you genuinely smile and never force yourself to fall in love with a life that requires the art of fake smiling.
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