The Biggest Lesson I learned from my 20’s :: Connecting the Dots

{ Connecting the Dots // Champagne at Shannon's }
I am currently in the air en route to Cabo for my birthday which I am straight stoked about.

But I want to talk about my birthday real quick.

I know I normally do my Friday music posts but in honour of my birthday, I wanted to share something I have been thinking a LOT about.

Lately, I’ve been pretty nostalgic – & righteously so. I am entering a new decade and leaving everything behind in my 20s.

Trust when I say my 20’s were a very trying time.

They were full of lessons and development, and to be completely transparent, it took me a good half of the decade to finally land on my feet and learn the biggest lesson of them all…

Connecting the dots.

What do I mean by this?

Think of a connecting the dots picture.

From first glance, it’s just flat out chaos.

Dots are everywhere, and it makes no sense from a distance.

However, as you take a closer look and put one and two together, before you know it, you have yourself a picture that makes total sense.

{ Connecting the Dots // Champagne at Shannon's }

As I leave the utterly craziness of my 20s  I really want to share this with YOU: figure out a way to connect the dots and make your own picture.

All of those dots do & WILL connect despite how far they may seem from each other – it’s just your way of figuring out how.

Let me get a bit personal with you guys…

Remember this post? This was the seed of everything in my life. Seriously.

When I was 23, I became utterly obsessed with alcoholic desserts 

That, then, got my career goals at the time rolling to be either a chef or sommelier. I wasn’t quite sure what yet, but in my head, I was young, and the world was my oyster.

I’ve said it before & I will say it again… The person I am the most envious of was myself at 23. Then, I was driven by passion and have yet to experience my share of vices & darkness {I did not know they could possibly exist…. until they did}. Everything was bright and the path ahead of me was one I was to pave myself. And I was stoked, bright eyes & bushy tailed, with nothing supplementing my eyes from bright to bloodshot, wired & wide open constantly. The good ole days.

I am & always will be so passionate about food & wine, however & for very personal reasons, I made the decision to leave the industry.

That said, I had to figure out a way to connect those dots which was very scary.

That industry was truly the only thing I knew. I spent a lot of time soul searching {trust me, it sounds more glamourous than what it was}, and put a list together of my skills.

Everything I learned in the hospitality industry, I was able to connect & cultivate into an administrative career. That is a perfect example of finding a way to connect dots that didn’t look like it could ever connect from a far glance.

From then, I was able to take my career to investment banking, to now at a food/beverage/internet start up {aka ALL THINGS I LOVE}.

{ Connecting the Dots // Champagne at Shannon's }

However, let’s go back to passionate 23 year old Shannon. I lost touch with her for about a good five years, so I needed to figure out a way to connect that dot where it seemed almost impossible to connect…

… & lo and behold, Champagne at Shannon’s – my blog – aka my outlet to staying connected to that passion was the bridge to that dot.

…and with that, many others followed, such as the dots representing:

⚜ California. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I would live in California. In 2013, everything became clear I had to leave Texas and take the risk on San Francisco. The bigger the risk, the higher the pay-out. This was the best gamble on my life I ever made…. but it wasn’t so much a gamble, per se. I saw that dot, and I knew my odds, I just took the leap to connect the far out dot.

⚜ the online / coding world. It was something I have always wanted to learn & that puzzle is one that keeps me challenged on the daily.

 music. If you follow me on any social network, you know how important this is to me. And it was an outlying dot that I yearned for years to connect. Now, I have an outlet to talk about music I am digging, as well as teaching myself the synthesizer when I get back from Mexico.

 tea. I’ve mentioned I am working on a tea product. I’m a bit tight-lipped for it for a good reason, but it was another dot that means a lot to me & an industry I am stoked to join.

⚜ connecting / empowering other women. There’s the saying that “I am in love with places I’ve never been & people I have never met.” The internet & ESPECIALLY the blogging world has totally facilitated that for me. I LOVE comments – not for the numbers – but for connecting with other women. Is it weird that I consider readers I have never met my friends? I love discovering new blogs & connecting with other’s who decide to share their life online – & I applaud them. Trust me, it’s not as easy as it looks – in fact, it’s the complete opposite.

⚜ standing up for myself. As I figured out my path, unfortunately or actually fortunately, I pissed off people on the way. However DO NOTE, I pissed them off because I stood up for myself. There are things worth standing up for, and yourself should be at the tippity top of your list. Being a millenial, I get tied to all those “entitled” aspects, but please, do not confuse entitlement for standing up for myself. To connect another dot, you might find yourself pissing people off as you grow or have to leave things behind. C’est la vie. Sometimes you need to burn a bridge down to the ground in order to build a more improved one.

⚜ a few other things that I do not want to mention publicly yet but trust me, you will see in time. & if you can read between the lines with this and other posts here or on social media, then you know. Big things are coming – to both me and the world that we know it. And it is about fucking time if I do say so myself.

{ Connecting the Dots // Champagne at Shannon's }

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take a look at the constellation of your dots.

It may take hours, days, months, or in my case, years – to figure out how to connect them, but trust me. It is worth the struggle & the soul-searching.

Once they connect, no longer will you see chaos, but instead, a clear path. The chaos is more organized than you think.

AND don’t get me wrong. I’m probably 40% there in connecting all of my dots, but I’m on the right track, baby. & I can finally see the outline of the picture my dots are trying to create.

As you put in the work to connect your constellation, an entire galaxy will appear. I promise you this.

The best part, it’s a galaxy that you created YOURSELF. So your interests, passions, ambitions are what will cultivate it so stay true to them. I know it’s a platitude, but love what you do and putting in the blood, sweat, and tears is easy.

As far as turning 30 – I am beyond stoked. I’ll admit, I had a ton of hangups about it for a bit earlier this year. It’s easy to want to look back and keep living your youth but to be frank, 24-28 were the heaviest, darkest years of my life that haunt me to this day – I still have my moments of weakness – and you could not pay me to go back to them.

However, at 29, I have found love in all sorts of ways: romantically, professionally, & finally but most importantly, I learned to finally love myself after years of doing the opposite: hate. With this light guiding me to my 30’s literally straight out of Inferno {or hell{, Purgatorio style, I know for a fact this decade will be Paradisio. I spent five years climbing my very tough purgatory mountain that there is no way that it cannot be anything but.

If you understand my allegory, I love you.

On a very serious note, I highly recommend everyone to read Purgatorio. When life gets hard, it is something I turn to, which constantly reminds me how hard going uphill can be, how easy & ironically comfortable it is to stay in hell, and why it is so worth it to push yourself up.  Trust me, it’s life-changing. To reach Paradise, you must struggle.

Anyways… was this a little too deep? I hope so, that was my intention. I would love to hear from others on their thoughts, lessons they’ve learned over the years & where my Geminis at?! Also, if you have a blog, leave it in the comments so I can check it out. Connecting with people online truly rocks my world.

On another note, I am going to take a mini birthday break from the blog so I will be back on Wednesday, to disconnect a bit. In the interim, you can follow on Insta or Snap: shnnnlynn

k talk to you in the next decade xx

Shannon

{ Connecting the Dots // Champagne at Shannon's }

 

{ pc Ryan Johnson }
  • I like your thoughts on connecting the dots. When I was younger I was never thinking big picture but now that I’m in my mid 20s it becomes more relevant. Where do I see myself in five years & how can I get there? :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • Thank you so much, Carmen! It’s interesting, in my young 20’s – I had so many ideas but they seemed so scattered at the time. As I got older, it turns out that they all are connected and figuring out how to get there is key. Luckily, the internet really makes things easy whether it means executing ideas or finding information! Can’t wait to see where you end up in the next 5 years! 😉 xx

  • Trang Do

    Great read!! Love this post!!

    Xoxo,
    Love from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

    • Hey Trang! Thanks for the sweet words – you made my day. Cheers! x Shannon

  • Nice of you to share this moment! I’m 23 years old now and this really gave me good insights!

    Jil,
    http://www.jildiamante.com/2016/05/blank-androgyny.html
    http://goo.gl/LfTL3n

    • You are so sweet! Trust me, you have a wonderful journey that is your 20s in front of you! And to be completely honest, 23 was one of my all time favourite years so savor every single second, babe! x Shannon

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