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In March I underwent one of the most significant transitions in my career when I started training at a clinic to become a psychotherapist. This is a requirement to getting my Masters in Clinical Psychology and part of the licensure process to become a marriage and family therapist, which I will be doing on top of being a life coach.

Because I am expanding my work in this massive way, I have been reevaluating how I show up on social media. While I don’t have any definitive answers on what I am doing moving forward, I decided to go through my entire FB history and make all of my posts available only to my friends {as opposed to the public}. Doing so was bittersweet, on the one hand I relived some of my more painful separations and endings of the past decade… and on the other hand I got to witness my evolution via the words I have so intentionally written over the years.

I am turning 30 in about a month and spending a few hours going through my FB brought to the forefront of my mind my entire 20’s. As I scrolled I saw myself change and grows in unexpected ways, and I thought I would share some of my experiences with you all in the form of words of wisdom I would have loved to tell myself when I turned 20.

You’re allowed to change your mind, yes even a million times.

Throughout my 20’s, I fully immersed myself in a variety of different ideologies. 

First, it was spirituality and yoga. Spirituality, and then yoga, saved me. It saved me from a spiral of disordered eating. It saved me from self-loathing. It saved me from myself. I traveled around the country to take yoga classes with specific teachers, wrote a yoga blog, taught yoga and practiced yoga religiously. If it wasn’t about yoga, I wanted nothing to do with it.

Then it was entrepreneurship and making money. When I moved to LA in 2015 and devoted myself to my coaching business full time, I fully fell into the spell of manifesting and lifestyle marketing and six figure launches and measuring my happiness by how much success my business was making. My entire life was my business. I even started a second company with a dear friend and pretty much lived and breathed entrepreneurship.

Then it was social justice. And steeping myself into the world of unpacking privilege and becoming a better human to one another. 

Now, I am in grad school and I am completely immersed in the world of psychology and the exploration of human behavior, mental health and the unconscious.

Each of these phases gave me an incredible community of likeminded people who helped me find myself. And inevitably, each time I moved away from one ideology to another, I lost relationships that meant the world, I alienated past versions of myself and sometimes lost my ability to hold nuance. It’s hurt.

So of course at the time I thought something was wrong with me for moving through these different ways of thinking {why can’t I be happy with where I am at?!?}. I felt guilty for changing how I viewed the human experience and apprehensive that no one would like me in my new form. Now I understand that that was an essential part of my journey that moved me towards reclaiming parts of myself, learning how to take up space in a bigger way, and becoming more authentically me. 

Lesson learned: You are allowed to change your mind a million times over. It doesn’t make you flaky or inconsistent, it means you are stretching and growing into new parts of yourself. Growth is a gift, and that applies to mental growth too.

Trust the process of your own becoming aka you don’t actually have to know how it will turn out, just keep going with what you love aka no one knows what they are doing either.

When I graduated college I had no idea what I wanted to do in my career. I knew I wanted to be involved in leadership and people development but I had no idea what that looked like. So I spent the first half of my 20’s figuring it out. I tried working at different companies, I tried making income in different ways, I moved states three times… I was hellbent on figuring out what I wanted to do “for the rest of my life.” 

And the thing is, if I was being fully honest with myself, I knew what I wanted to do since I was 21. But I didn’t give myself permission to go for it because I was worried about what other people would think about me. I was worried about the uncertainty that entrepreneurship would bring. I was worried about whether or not I would make it.

That worry kept me in places that made me deeply unsatisfied and frustrated. And at the end of the day, I had to ultimately decide who was running my life - me or other people. I eventually did the thing and started my journey of entrepreneurship and while I would love to tell you smooth sailing from there because I was living my purpose, that’s not quite how it worked out. However, that decision lead to many more decisions that shaped my becoming. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what really matters?

Lesson learned: We don’t have to know if it will work out. We don’t even have to know HOW it will work out. We don’t have to know anything to just do the damn thing. Go after what you love. Get uncomfortable in your pursuits. Let the path lead you into your own unfolding. The answers will come.

Being “normal” doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.

I have found that the older I get the less important it is for me to change the world.

And the fact that I just typed that sentence is wild to me because if I told my 20-year-old self that I was satisfied with ordinary she would have laughed at me and continued to plot world domination.

For me, being great and impacting the lives of millions of people was not just a nice goal to have, it was the core of everything i did. If it wasn’t for attention and greatness, I wanted nothing to do with it. Mediocrity felt like death and I would have done anything to get to a level of success like Deepak Chopra.

As I continued to do the inner work of softening into my wounding and paying attention to my broken bits, I started to realize that the reason I wanted to be so great was because I was terrified of what being normal meant. At that time, it meant being forgotten. It meant abandonment. As I slowly tended to my little girl, however, I slowly loosened the grip of what it meant to be great. I realized that “ being great” was really a patriarchal narrative with a very narrow definition. There are many ways to be great. And first it starts with loving ourselves at normal.

Lesson learned - All the ways we want to show up in the world is valid. And sometimes, it’s important to investigate why we are showing up the way we are. Is it because we are scared of our greatness? Is it because we are scared of being small? 

I also asked people on instagram for the biggest lessons they learned from their 20’s and here are what some of them said: 

  • To invest in myself fully and prioritize my growth.

  • Having a “boring life” is an achievement.

  • Stop listening to every well-meaning friend/family member/ significant other. Trust yourself.

  • That is was ok to live my dream and not what others expected.

  • Learning to appreciate being alone and having a blast by myself

I love those and I think no matter where you are in life, we can agree that the human experience invites us into these lessons again and again and again. 

As I continue to explore what this new phase of my journey looks like, I just want to express endless gratitude for those of you who have been there since the beginning. You have seen so many evolutions of Thais and it just means the world.

Here’s to many more lessons and opportunities to soften!