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Offline: Twenty-seven

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If you're reading this, it's my birthday! Today, I turned twenty-seven. While this past year has been a whirlwind, it's also been one of my favorite years yet. As I say goodbye to twenty-six, here are six things I'm thankful for from this past year: 

1. My job. While I’m currently taking a sabbatical, I’m so incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to work at Shazam for almost three years. I learned and accomplished so much in the past couple of years and was fortunate enough to have been able to make magic alongside talented peers that I still consider friends. I’ve been interviewing with a few awesome companies and I’m so excited to share what’s next with you all very soon!

 2. My apartment. While I made a move this year (down the hall!) I’m still blessed to be able to not only live in San Francisco but also live alone in the smallest (235 sq. ft. to be exact) but the cutest studio. I have yet to decorate my new space but in the meantime, check-out my previous apartment featured on the EveryGirl here.

3. My church. This past year I celebrated my two-year anniversary at Experience Church. I’ve also joined our Technology Team (we’re building an app!) and helped move our Church from Treasure Island to Potrero Hill. My faith and my church family have become a huge and important part of my life. I've lengthened, stretched, and matured emotionally and mentally as a result of my spiritual journey and it's allowed me to be open to and to receive so many opportunities. If you're in the Bay Area, I'd love to have you join me for a Sunday service, community group, and/or a worship night.

4. My passport. I've been privileged to be able to travel a lot this past year for both work and pleasure. My favorite experience was traveling solo from Venice to Naples and everywhere in between. If you've never traveled alone, do it. I can't recommend it enough. You learn so much about yourself and it pushes you out of our comfort zone, the place where growth truly occurs. 

5. My blog. If you're reading this, thank you. I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary and I’m excited to see what the next year brings. I've shot with and have met so many amazing people and have been able to flex and grow technically and creatively. I’ve also had the opportunity to model for a few female owned and operated businesses like And Comfort and Underclub. Most importantly, however, I've gained so much confidence and have begun to look at myself and my body in a more positive way. 

6. Photography. While I’ve enjoyed being and growing in front of the camera, I’ve also discovered a passion on the other side of the lens this past year. From portraits to my first engagement shoot, I’m so excited to be able to capture and share others’ moments. Interested in working together? Book a consultation or learn more here

Thanks for joining me on my journey and cheers to twenty-seven!

Photo credit: Anna Marie Photography

Joyeux Anniversaire, A La Code

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Today is a huge milestone for me. One year ago today, I pushed publish on my very first blog post! 

I am so grateful for the thousands of subscribers who have joined me on my journey this past year. I appreciate all of you who have ever visited my corner of the webiverse, or liked, commented, followed and shared any of my posts. Thank you all for your support, kind words, and encouragement. I wouldn’t be able to continue doing what I love if it weren’t for you.

Blogging has changed my life for the better and I believe the best is still yet to come. Below I’m sharing a look back at this past year, lesssons I’ve learned, and a look at what’s next. 

Blogging has Given Me a Lot

Through my blog and all of your support, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with some amazing brands.  

Partnerships

Pure Silk  

 Photo credit: Andrew Ho

Photo credit: Andrew Ho

 Photo credit: Andrew Ho 

Photo credit: Andrew Ho 

Pink Clove

 Photo credit: Andrew Ho

Photo credit: Andrew Ho

 Photo credit: JKG Photography

Photo credit: JKG Photography

 Photo credit: Andrew Ho 

Photo credit: Andrew Ho 

Lovedrobe

 Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Photo credit: TRTH Studio

 Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Rocksbox

 Photocredit: TRTH Studio

Photocredit: TRTH Studio

 Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Aerie

 Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Photo credit: TRTH Studio

 Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Photo credit: TRTH Studio

 Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Fossil

 Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Photo credit: TRTH Studio

 Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Photo credit: TRTH Studio

 Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Photo credit: TRTH Studio

Modeling

I’ve also had the opportunity to model for some incredible brands. Oh, and they all just happened to be founded and operated by women! 

And Comfort

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Underclub

 Julia O Test

Julia O Test

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MNT Studio

 Photo credit: Ashley Batz

Photo credit: Ashley Batz

Posts

You've all helped me become a better writer, communicator, and storyteller. Here were some of your favorite posts:

More than a list of accomplishments, I gained a community. Through this blog and social media, I’ve gained a lot of friends. I never thought I would get to know so many people I’ve never or have yet to have met—thank you. 

However, the biggest thing I’ve gained in the past year is happiness. God has taught me a lot about purpose and His plan for me. Pursuing my purpose this past year through this passion project has blessed me with an abundence of happiness and I hope I’ve brought you some too! 

Lessons Learned

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As I reflect on this last year, I wanted to share some of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way. My hope is that these lessons will resonate with you too.

  • Surround yourself with people who fill you up. Some days, my anxiety and fears of failure and the future can be debilitating. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing individuals who have called me up in some of my weakest and most doubtful moments.
  • It’s okay to fail. Acknowledge you’re going to fail. It removes a lot of the anxiety and gives you permission to do so. As long as you learn something, it’s okay to fail. 
  • Happiness is not about how much money you make, your title, or your number of followers. It’s about the positive impact and the difference you make. 
  • You’re a brand – every picture you post, hashtag you use, and comment you make define you as a brand. What does your online presence say about your personal brand? 
  • Goals are marathons, not sprints. I used to set crazy expectations for myself that led me to feel behind and stressed out. Be realistic and forgiving with yourself. 
  • Enjoy the journey. Enjoying each season has led me to enjoy the journey more each and every day. Remember, every setback is a setup for a comeback and we go through each season for a reason. 
  • Confidence is built by taking action. I realized I was never going to get comfortable with myself or something that scared me unless I just did it. So, I got in front a camera, emailed brands, bared my bruises and stretch marks, and you know what? I survived each time and so will you. 
  • Say no to the things that you really don’t give a sh*t about. Once you’ve said yes to all the things that scare you, say no to all the things that don’t add value to your life. We have a set amount of hours in a day – it’s important to say no to leave room for the things that matter.
  • ‘I don’t have time’ is an excuse. We all have the same amount of hours in a day, how we decide to use our time is completely up to us. We can always make time for the things that we desire and matter. 
  • Perfectionism is the gateway to procrastination. Done is better than none, friends. 
  • Stop asking what’s the worst thing that could happen. Instead, ask what’s the best. 
  • Invest in yourself. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that my blog was an investment in myself and I couldn’t be happier with the return on investment. Invest in yourself, you’re worth it. 
  • Don’t let your thoughts be a backseat driver. If we let them, our feelings and emotions can drive usIt’s important to check in and evaluate the accuracy of our thoughts.

What’s Next?

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I originally started a la Code to document my journey as a woman working in tech and to inspire other women to get more involved in or join the industry. However, this past year has been a season of lengthening and learning in preparation for a season of strengthening and stretching.

In this next season, I’m excited to share that I’ll be rebranding and expanding the mission of my blog in an effort to bring you better content, more resources, and even some fun opportunities. In parallel, through my personal business, I’ll be offering new services to help other young professionals take control of their personal brands, launch their own passion projects, and make a picture perfect first impression.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey and cheers to another year!

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Photo credit: TRTH Studio