7.29.17 28

On My birthday… 27 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

Happy birthday to me!

Yes, today I turn one year younger (wohoo. where are all of my Leos at?!), and as I sit back, I can’t help but reflect a little. Thinking  of all the things I would tell my younger self, to be exact. Because there’s a lot on my mind. Things I learned along the way, some I wish I knew earlier, some I’m so glad I finally realized and improved.

Do you ever get as nostalgic on your birthday? Don’t get me wrong, these are not sad thoughts. If anything, I’m feeling grateful for all the years and lesson that came my way. And because I love sharing with you guys my story and I hope to hear from you that you relate, today, I’m going to share those 27 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self.

photography by Devin Cruz

makeup by Jenny Lucia

27 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self Shenska

birthday dress: H&M (shop similar)

1. Thoughts become things so pick the good ones. 
Can’t tell you how many times I literally brought things onto me and jinxed something just because I was obsessively cultivating the wrong thoughts. And vice versa. Don’t worry, be happy! Simple as that.

2. Accept the things you cannot change. Similar to worrying. Dale Carnegie wrote a fantastic chapter or two about that in How To Stop Worrying and Start LivingLiterally changed my life. Because most of the time, we worry just for the sake of worrying or being a drama queen. Instead, if we sit down and think of all the possible results and consequences of the given situation, and then make piece with it, then we have nothing else to worry about. Once again, read the book. Dale knows best.

Also applies to relationships. Don’t stay with a guy in hopes he’ll change for you. I’m all for a second (or third) chance, but after that… bye.

3. DON’T SETTLE. For the wrong reasons or people. Enough said.

summer birthday photo shoot sunflower Shenska

4. Saying no is OK. Oh boy, how I wish I knew that earlier. To be honest, I’m still struggling with that a lot. I always feel like saying no to some obligations will make me look bad, so I agree, and then… over commit and stress the f out of myself. Big no-no. Still learning.

5. Don’t care what others think of you. It may sound harsh, but it’s so true. Of course, don’t be rude about it, but ALWAYS know your worth.

6. Your vibe attracts your tribe. Very similar to #1. Want to be happy? Surround yourself with happy people. Beware of the ones that suck your good energy out. Those vampires truly exist!

birthday girl birthday dress Shenska

7. Learn how to listen. Can’t tell you how many times my significant other gets annoyed with me because I’m trying to think about a million things at once while listening to him. Wrong. Those other things can wait, so make the time for your loved ones when they need you.

8. Learn how to listen to your body. You may be on a strict diet, but if you’re feeling like having a piece of chocolate, eat that damn chocolate! There’s probably a reason why you’re feeling like this so just do it. Don’t forget moderation is key, though.

9. Learn how to listen to your moods. Not only your friends and family will thank you, but you’re also feel that much better. Want examples? I tend to get anxiety over my workload (specifically, every time I put something off until the last possible minute) or small goals for the day that I don’t feel like reaching that day, so I get upset with myself. Over the past few years, I learned how to navigate through my moods and get most of my work done when I’m truly feeling at my best. I’m not an early bird by design, but I know that’s when I perform and deliver the best. That’s why most of the times I will do the light work like editing photos late at night, and then write my posts early in the morning when I’m feeling refreshed. I’m also not guilting myself anymore for rescheduling posts if I truly don’t feel like I can give my best that day. What about you?

birthday photo shoot sunflower field Napa summer

10. Find your love language. Ever heard of the 5 Love Languages? Gary Chapman wrote a great book about the secret to love that lasts, and it’s eye opening. I remember when I first heard of it and felt like I was enlightened. Immediately, I started asking all of my dearest friends to tell me which one of the 5 love languages they believe in: gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch. I think it’s as important to you as it is to others to know what love language each speaks. Mine is 100% quality time. Of course, I feel loved when I receive the other gestures, but this is my top one. If you don’t have time for me, we have a problem. #sorrynotsorry

If you can’t figure out what’s your love language, take this test.

11.Don’t EVER  go to bed angry. Oh boy, how that’s true. Having an argument with your friend or significant other is hard enough. I’m definitely guilty of the quiet treatment/days only to realize that I’m hurting myself more than needed. Whatever it is, talk it out before you go separate ways. You may take time to gather your thoughts, but don’t wait until it’s too late.

12. Don’t hold grudges. It’s not worth it. Once again, you don’t want to hold on to that bad energy. If somebody hurt you, remove yourself from the situation or that circle. Give it time, it heals everything. Then come back when you’re ready. Life is too short to hold grudges. Always hope for the best and wish others the same.

sunflower photo shoot Napa birthday girl

13. Cherish Your Friendships. Living abroad, I know I struggle with this a lot. Nowadays, we may have great technology to keep up with people across the globe, yet, sometimes it’s still so hard for me. I’m not a FaceTime or Skype person by design, nor do I like to talk much on the phone. At least not on the regular basis. But when you live on another continent and time zone, sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it. Let you friends and family know you miss them and stop blaming the 9-hour time difference for the lack of communication. I know I’m guilty as charged. On a brighter note, I’m a fabulous texter tho! So if I haven’t reached out in a while, just shoot me a text. 😉

14. Know your message and how to deliver it. It’s often not what you say but how you say it. You may have good intentions and still hurt somebody with your words. Knowing how to navigate your delivery can get you out of a lot of trouble and sorrow. I know because I learned the hard way.

15. Live in the present. Guess what, you can’t change the past or predict the future. Your only option is to live in the moment and make the most of it.

birthday photo shoot summer sunflower

16. Find time for yourself. Life gets busy, so make sure to carve out some ME time every once in a while. Or as much as possible. It’s good for your soul.

17. Take time to Unplug. Even though I’m a blogger and a social media manager for a living, I still find time to take a break from electronics. Being always so wired and attached to your phone/ laptop or TV is no bueno (health and mental wise). So I do myself a favor and take time to unplug. I think it’s especially important if you have kids. I’m personally so grateful for having an opportunity to spend my childhood outdoors and unplugged from that digital world.

18. Get out of your Comfort Zone. When was the last time you did something for the first time? If you don’t know the answer it’s probably good if you try to get out of your comfort zone and take a challenge asap. Trust me, you will not only learn something new about yourself but also see you’re capable of more than you think.

birthday dress Napa blogger sunflower photo shoot

bracelet by Aleli Jewels

19. Fake it till you Make it. Of course, I do not recommend lying. What I’m talking about here is simply believing in yourself a little bit more. Don’t tell people you can’t do something at hello. Instead, make them believe you’re capable of anything, either it’s work, school, or whatever. Trust me, you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.

20. Don’t be afraid of Change. The only constant in life is change, so better get used to it as soon as possible. Getting comfortable and never taking a risk in your life won’t take you far (says a girl who moved to another continent to find a Golden State 😉 ).

21. Follow your Dreams. Another cliché advice, yet so valid. To read my story on how I went after my dreams, click here and here.

birthday photo shoot sunflowers field

22. Less is more. I believe in this in pretty much every aspect of my life. Clutter gives me anxiety, and who needs that? Okay, you may say, but you’re a fashion blogger so you probably have a lot of clothes. Well, I actually give away more than I have. If I can make at least one person smile because of it, I’m winning at life.

23. Give back. And don’t expect anything in return. See how far it takes you. There’s nothing better then random acts of kindness. Also, going out of your way for somebody never goes out of style.

24. Appreciate the Little Things. By now I probably sound like a broken record, but I truly believe in each and every single point in this post. Things like a sun, smell of fresh flowers, a cold shower or warm bed, a small gesture, surprise dinner (and so on) will never not go unnoticed in my book.

birthday girl sunflower photo shoot Napa

25. Spend time in the nature. I work from home so you bet your booty I am one happy child when I get to spend some time outdoors. Hence, this photo shoot? I wish you saw my face when I went on a quick trip to Tahoe. Being in the woods and by the lake reminded me of summers in Poland, and it was so special to me. I kept saying it over and over again! #sorryfriends #okaynotsorry

26. Now or Never. Have a one in a lifetime opportunity for an adventure? Take it. Try something new? Do it. Life is too short to not take chances.

27. LOVE YOURSELF. If you don’t already, read and apply #1-26. Self-love guaranteed.

If you made it all the way down here, thank you! I truly appreciate taking your time to get to know me a little more and hopefully, learn something new about yourself too. And now…

What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?


blog post signature Napa blogger Shenska


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  1. michelle wrote:

    Love these mantras & tips! Hope you enjoyed your birthday!!


    Published 7.31.17
  2. Hana wrote:

    Truly a great post and really great thinking

    Published 7.31.17
  3. wow, this post is truly beautiful. thank. you! and those pictures are really amazing! love this post!!
    happy birthday, Paulina, and have a lovely day!

    Published 7.31.17
  4. I honestly loved reading this babe<3 so amazing! and I hoped you had a great birthday <33

    XO, Jessi


    Published 7.31.17
  5. kashienka wrote:

    Wow, great lessons – and soooo true! But your pictures are fantanstic too – great scenery and beautiful you! <3

    Published 7.31.17
  6. Happy birthday beautiful! I am learning so many of these lessons myself, and trying to remember to walk them out. So much wisdom in this! Thanks for sharing.

    Published 7.31.17
  7. Tia wrote:

    Happy belated birthday, Paulina! I oh so love this list! I especially love listening to your moods and listen to your body. That’s so important also, I may have to read 5 Love Languages. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Published 8.1.17
  8. Suzy wrote:

    What a fabulous post and these photos are stunning! Happy Birthday, I hope you had a wonderful time. I would tell my younger self not to worry about what people think so much – it really doesn’t matter!
    Suzy, Yogadocious

    Published 8.1.17
  9. Abby wrote:

    Happy birthday, Paulina! I love that dress on you and you look gorgeous as always!

    Abby | Life in the Fash Lane

    Published 8.1.17
  10. Jessica wrote:

    Love all these reflections! Looking gorgeous, birthday girl!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    Published 8.1.17
  11. Vania Rios wrote:

    Yes girl! 🙌🏼 All things I tell my younger self!! So crazy how as we get older, we get so much more wiser – but actually apply what we’ve learned!

    Published 8.1.17
  12. Rachel wrote:

    Such a lovely look! Beautiful dress!


    Published 8.2.17
  13. GiGi wrote:

    That’s right – never ever settle. And you are ALWAYS allowed to say NO because you know better than any one else… What’s best FOR YOU!

    Published 8.2.17
  14. Elise wrote:

    Happy Belated Birthday!! I love all of these pieces of advice, and of course you look gorgeous!

    xx, Elise

    Published 8.2.17
  15. YESSSS, love this so much! I wish I could tell my younger self so many things! Happy birthday!

    Published 8.2.17
  16. Blaze Ann wrote:

    Happy Birthday!! I love EVERY one of your advice. I’m going to be entering college soon, and this is what I needed to read. I love your blog! I live in the Bay Area as well and have family who live in the Napa Valley. It’s so cool to find a fellow blogger near my area! =)

    -Blaze Ann

    Published 8.2.17
  17. Claire wrote:

    What a lovely post. I really enjoyed reading it and taking tips from you. I am always worrying and it is no good worrying about things you can not change. thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays:) I will be featuring your post next week.

    Published 8.2.17
    • Claire wrote:

      Forgot to say, happy birthday :):) Hope you had a great time.

      Published 8.2.17
  18. Camila wrote:

    Happy birthday girlie, you look so gorgeous in this dress!

    My Vogue Style | http://www.myvoguestyle.com

    Published 8.2.17
  19. jacqui wrote:

    Great detail, thanks for sharing these. Nice to link up with you. x Jacqui

    Published 8.2.17
  20. Ellese wrote:

    Happy Birthday!! I hope you have a wonderful year full of happiness and success! XO, Ellese


    Published 8.3.17
  21. These tips are very enlightening! Thank you so much for sharing them and also, belated happy birthday! 🙂

    xx Myrra,

    Published 8.4.17
  22. Monika wrote:

    WOW! Great photos! ♥

    My blog https://cakemonika.blogspot.com/ 😉

    Published 8.4.17
  23. Happy belated birthday! 🙂

    Great tips too.. I wish I followed some of them when I was young! 😀

    YouTube | Blog: Geekette in High Heels | Instagram

    Published 8.4.17
  24. Kristen wrote:

    This is all such great advice. If only our younger selves would have listened to this! Your pictures are so, so stunning!

    xo Kristen

    Published 8.7.17
  25. I love this! Thank you for writing this!

    Published 9.1.17
    • Paulina wrote:

      Thank you so much! It means a lot! Much love to you!

      Published 9.2.17
  26. Kaitlin wrote:

    I love this post!!!! Definitely pinning 🙂 I especially love “listen to your moods”. I always find myself preaching “listen to your body”, but the thought of listening to your moods never crossed my mind. However, YOU’RE SO RIGHT!!!!!!!

    Happy birthday!

    – Kaitlin

    Published 9.2.17