THE 22 THINGS I’VE LEARNED AT 22

Today is a magical day and I don’t care what anyone else says! On this day 22 years ago, my twin sister and I were born. Now, that in itself isn’t that magical. BUT- we were both seven weeks premature, yet the two of us were born on 2/2/94- all the twos! Now to add to that, Alexandra and I turn 22 today! Our life number is 9, and guess what-2016 is a 9  universal year! Hence, today I celebrate every form of magick that comes my way by sharing some “”knowledge”” I have learned.BDAY

21 was the best year of my life. I believe in each year being better than the last, if only because you learned something from it.  21 brought a whole lot of changes- a year ago I was living in London studying at London College of Fashion- something that sank in only very recently. 21 brought letting go of people but it brought even more people into my life who I am overwhelmingly thankful for. 21 brought travel (to Greece, Italy and France nonetheless), it brought me to New York City,  where I felt at home for the first time- a feat in itself since in the five cities I’ve lived in (not counting London) I have never felt like I am home. 21 brought going to London Fashion Week as international press for Deux Hommes, an internship with Rick Owens, two internships with The Numinous, plenty of fun blog posts and collaborations, and a position as a contributor to Broadly. 21 was also the year I fell in love- with myself. Oh and 21 brought me here- to my last semester in college. What the HECK. I started this blog six and a half years ago so I could start practicing fashion writing in a more professional capacity. Now I am actually doing these things?! You guys I don’t understand what the universe has given me but I am screaming thank you into the abyss. And I am screaming an even bigger THANK YOU to the universe for giving me my twin sister.

twin

ANYWAY- Here are 22 things I have learned up until this point in my life. ENJOY!

1. DON’T GIVE A F*** ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
Seriously- this is important. I’m not talking about giving up on people, or ignoring your friends opinions that have to do with your general well-being. I’m talking about caring about what the random people around you think about you- about your opinions or values or clothes, whatever. This is not an excuse to be racist, misogynistic…etc!! But if you are working in YOUR highest favor, serving YOUR highest purpose, wearing something that YOU love, listening to music YOU like- other peoples opinions don’t matter. One of the only laws in Wicca is this- An ye harm none, do what ye will. If it doesn’t harm anyone- go for it.

2. ALWAYS TELL YOUR LOVED ONES YOU LOVE THEM
Seriously. Never go to sleep mad, and tell the people you love that you care about them.

3. IF YOU LIKE SOMETHING ABOUT SOMEONE TELL THEM
But god, please don’t be creepy about it.  THIS DOES NOT MEAN CAT CALLING. THIS MEANS APPROPRIATELY  TELLING THE GUY NEXT TO YOU IN LINE THAT HIS WATCH IS NICE or that the woman next to you has a really cool purse. Use discretion! I compliment A LOT but it’s because if I like something about someone, I want them to know it! Spreading a little cheer is never bad!

4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
One of the problems I had in high school was way too much drama. It wasn’t until I really found my tribe in college that I was able to feel like I had a community. I’ve always kept a small group of best friends, as opposed to a large group of acquaintances, and having humans around me that GET ME has been life changing. Whether we are eating ice cream, talking about crystals, watching a drag shows or drinking coffee, I surround myself with  people who vibe at my frequency. Having best friends who are always there for me, to remind me that I am loved and that I am important  is a non-negotiable.  Having friends who I love to the end of the world and who I want to be there for is a gift. So thank you universe!FRIENDS

5. ALWAYS LAUGH AT YOURSELF
Seriously. I refuse to admit that I am “clumsy” but I do trip a lot, and your girls knocks a lot of stuff over. If I spill on someone or hurt something or someone really bad, I always say/ feel very sorry. BUT if I am just tripping while I walk to class, I will easily be the first to laugh at myself. Life is way, way to short to always take yourself seriously. Laughing is the best medicine, and if you give yourself permission to make mistakes-and if you don’t get angry when they happen (you are human after all), then life gets a little easier.

6. WORK FOR PEOPLE WHO TRULY APPRECIATE YOU
Working and interning remotely has the potential to either be incredible or very difficult, depending on the level of communication needed between you and your boss. I have had the most incredible experiences working under some amazing editors like Amy at Deux Hommes and Ruby at The Numinous. The one time I was in a position as a contributor and I was unhappy, I quit- thankfully, there weren’t really any strings, or money, attached so it was easy. But that experience has shown me how incredible it can be to work under people who DO appreciate me. Honestly, being passionate and loving your job is also super helpful and important and it’s a privilege that I hope everyone has. Working for a company that treasures your worth is crucial- don’t settle for someone who doesn’t see you as human. You are worth more.NUMI

7. HUGGING TREES IS THE BEST
If you’ve never hugged a tree you are missing it. It is magical. Trees carry so much wisdom in them. I love faery folklore and Dryads are one of my favorites (they are nymphs that inhabit forests and trees!)

8. BE THE PERSON DANCING THE HARDEST AT THE SHOW
I didn’t go to parties in high school. Instead, my best friend and I would go to local shows almost every weekend.  I am not musical at all, but if I hear a good beat, god save me. If someone was trying to torture me they would just tie me down and play some good music so I was physically restrained from moving my body. Whenever we went to shows, I would be the girl dancing like a loon. I’m still the same- I dance my butt off and I’ve had people take photos and Iaugh but guess what- IT DOESN’T MATTER. Dancing for me is physical embodiment of bliss. I will never apologize for that.

9.READ GOOD BOOKS
I am so overwhelmingly thankful that my parents passed on their loves of books to both my sister and me. My mom and dad were always reading us books and telling us stories growing up- my mom even tried to read Alex and I Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when we were 5 (which was too confusing at the time, but we read it by ourselves two years later). This lifelong fascination with books is what led me to witchcraft, to fashion journalism and to AP Lit and AP Lang- and John Steinbeck, my favorite author and probably my twin flame. I prefer a physical copy of a book- I love the smell of old books, being able to take them with me and write in them and throw them across the room if I get angry at them. Portable readers aren’t the same thing to me.

10. BUY YOURSELF PRETTY LINGERIE Starting a collection of vintage lingerie has boosted my self-love to another level. Nothing makes me feel like a princess more than lounging in bed in my satin onesie watching The Twilight Zone. Investing in one piece of lingerie to wear when you’re sad and need to be reminded that you are a QUEEN is honestly so worth it. I will ALWAYS recommend my babe Ivory for vintage lingerie. I have 20+ pieces and almost all of them are from her.22 11. PET ALL THE DOGS Hello this is a PSA that you should pet dogs when you see them (AFTER YOU ASK THE OWNER AND THEY SAY IT’S OKAY!!) One of my favorite parts about my home away from home here in Columbia, Drip Coffee, is that they allow dogs into their establishment! This means I get to live vicariously through every pup I see, since my own pooch is on the West Coast. Animals in general are so healing and wonderful and just LOVE THEM!

13. HAVING A TWIN IS THE BEST
I just wanted to publicly acknowledge how thankful I am for my sister Alexandra. She lives with me, deals with me every single day and still loves me. She is one of the most intelligent, compassionate and talented humans I have ever known. She is beautiful inside and out, and she deserves every good thing the world has to offer her. We haven’t always been this close, but I am so glad that I have her and such amazing parents in this life. If you have siblings and are lucky enough to see them, tell them you love them. 

12.IT’S OKAY TO NOT KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING
Honestly the fact that I know what I want to do as a job is weird. It is not the norm, as much as your parents are trying to tell you otherwise. Here’s the thing- it is okay to not know where this life is taking you. It is okay to not know where your passions lie. If you’re not sure where you’re going, don’t be complacent- use this as an invitation to explore and travel and make memories and chase whatever it is that may be calling you. Take a gap year after college to travel around Europe or go on a road trip. Start a blog, find a new hobby, walk around. It’s okay to not have it all figured out- no one does. Some people can just hide it better than others.

14. FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF IS A JOURNEY There’s a whole lot of talk about self-love which is so important and worthy and necessary. BUT- here’s the thing that I think needs to be reiterated. IT IS A PROCCESS. AND IT AIN’T EASY. You know yourself better than anyone else and this means being hyperaware of every “fault” that you have. You’re probably (definitely) going to tear yourself up about something you said or did on multiple occasions and you’l probably criticize your apperance. But starting a journey to self love is taking baby steps- having these moments, criticizing yourself and then moving past it. Criticizing yourself less and less, comparing yourself to others less and less and appreciating yourself a little more each day. It means taking steps to forgive yourself because the faults you think you have aren’t faults at all- they are what make you human. Falling in love with yourself is a journey- one that is necessary because YOU deserve your unyielding admiration, love and respect more than ANYONE ELSE. Write it in big letters and stick it on your wall. Remind yourself of this everyday. I was talking to my soul sister Kelsea about all the goals I had set when I was 21. I was telling her how I accomplished all of them (WEIRD) except I didn’t fall in love. She immediately asked if I had fallen in love with MYSELF because that counts. Hell yes.

15. WEAR SHOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN KILL A MAN
Your girl loves her heels, shamelessly, and let me tell you- wearing shoes that make you feel powerful is the bees knees. Think about it- for most of us, our feet are our direct connection to this earth- to how we LITERALLY walk through this life. I’m gonna wear something that makes me feel powerful, beautiful and NOT to be messed with, amen.

 

A photo posted by Gabriela Lorraine (@gabyherstik) on

16. THERE ARE VERY FEW THINGS RED LIPSTICK CAN’T FIX
I bought my first tube of red lipstick when I was 15 or 16, British Red from Revlon or something along those lines. It took me a couple of years to grow into it, but when I was 17 my mom gave me her empty MAC containers and told me to pick out an orangey-red lipstick. So Chaud became my go to lipstick which I wore basically everyday. I transitioned to Lady Danger when I got to college (a little brighter of a shade), and now I tend to wear different colors every day. BUT- red lipstick still trumps all. It is the best, like an ego booster in a tube. I think everyone should have a tube of a red lipstick that suites them.

 

A video posted by Gabriela Lorraine (@gabyherstik) on


17. BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK
I dare you to wear a good outfit in head-to-toe black and tell me you don’t feel powerful and sexy. I stand by my black on black obsession. I also stand by the fact that there is nothing that will ever be the new black. Black is the only black.black

18. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO FAIL BUT NEVER STOP TRYING
I have failed plenty of times in this life. But here’s the thing, you have to suck it up, laugh about it and keep moving forward. Your worth is inherent- it is not based on how well you do, or don’t do, something. Giving yourself permission to fail is important- but get up and keep moving.  The universe is always working in your highest favor, but sometimes it speaks in a language you haven’t learned yet. One door closing means another is about to open- but you have to move out of one doorway into the next to be able to turn the knob. 

19. LOVE YOURSELF FIRST
I was super uncomfortable with myself for most of my life. It wasn’t until I turned 20 that I started to really grow into myself, and love myself and truly appreciate myself.  I was always super lanky, and I’ve always looked way younger than I am and I never felt like I was who I wanted to be. Throughout all of this though, I knew that for other people to love me, and for me to love other people, I had to love myself. Even though I felt awkward and weird, I was still learning to love myself. My mom was always big on that golden rule- love yourself first- and it’s been one of the most important things I have ever learned. 38

20. CELEBRATE
Life is too short to not celebrate. It’s the weeekend? CELEBRATE! It’s your birthday? CELEBRATE! You got an A on an exam? CELEBRATE!! You found the pair of Prada pumps that you’ve been searching for since SS14? CELEBRATE. You’re ALIVE- life itself is a giant excuse to party. Enjoy it.

21.GOOD SAFETY PINS ARE LIFE CHANGING
Ivory turned me on to sewing quality safety pins so I could make things fit a little better and let me just say, it has been life changing. My quality of life has improved drastically now that I have a thing of safety  pins at my disposal. Now none of my skirts or shorts gap, I can turn shirts and sweaters into cropped shirts and sweaters, and my wardrobe just feels a little bit more punk. Perfect.

22. HAVE FUN
HAVE SOME DAMN FUN. YOU SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST FIVE MINUTES EVERYDAY AND THAT IS AN ORDER. AMEN.

 

CHEERS TO 22 YEARS,
Gabriela