Even though Mary-Kate and Ashley no longer act, make TV shows or star in made-for-TV movies, I will forever consider myself a fan of their work. My love for the Olsen twins stems past their adorable character in Full House. I kept up with all of their short-lived TV series. I owned all of their movies, parties and mysteries on either VHS or DVD. I memorized every word in You’re Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Costume Party. I collected their books and even had a Mary-Kate and Ashley book club with my friend, Meagan, when I lived in Arkansas. As an adult, I keep their book, Influence, on my coffee table, I own a sweatshirt from their Olsenboye collection at JCPenney and I make references to my friends that no one understands (ask my boyfriend who recently had to endure me singing about “glorious sand”). I wish I could be embarrassed, but Mary-Kate and Ashley were such a big part of my childhood that I proudly still consider myself a fan.
The Olsen twins were always jetsetting on some international adventure. At the end of Holiday in the Sun (aka my favorite Mary-Kate and Ashley movie), they threw a dart at a map to figure out what their next destination would be, and I’ve always wanted to be able to do that. When I visited London, Paris and Rome, I was excited in general, but even more so to be traveling to places and landmarks that I had seen the twins travel to. These ladies were the among the first to spark my love of travel, and in the midst of me being a fan of their work, reading some of their interviews and getting to know them a little more from their book, Mary-Kate and Ashley taught me about being yourself and the importance of that.
IT’S OKAY TO ONLY WANT TO HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE YOU KNOW
The older you get, the more you realize that you only want to invest time in the people you know, trust and love. Mary-Kate once said “I love going to parties where you know everyone. How are you going to have fun with people you don’t know?” Even if you don’t have social anxiety, I think you can relate to this quote. As an adult, you get less and less time to spend doing the things you actually want to do, so when you get the chance to go to a party, it’s just more comfortable to be surrounded by more people you know than people you don’t.
STOP CARING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK OF YOU
Living in the spotlight, Mary-Kate and Ashley had to deal with paparazzi and people writing whatever they wanted about them. Mary-Kate once said “If they’re going to write a story, they’re going to write the story whether it’s true or not.” People are going to make up their own opinions about you no matter what you say or do. Just live your life knowing the kind of person you are and don’t put too much thought into the thoughts of others. You’ll exhaust yourself trying to prove your worth.
DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
Ashley once said “Stay true to what makes you happy because that always ends up producing the best result.” In every part of your life, whether it’s the people you spend time with, your career, your hobbies, etc., spend time doing the things you love and the things you’re passionate about. Don’t waste time being around people who make you feel bad about yourself. Spend time with the ones who lift you up. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a career you’re not passionate about. Take risks and follow your passion. Do what makes you happy, and you’ll heed the best results.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPRESS YOURSELF
There’s something almost therapeutic about being able to share your feelings in a safe space and/or vent when something is weighing on you. Mary-Kate once said “I think it’s really important to be able to talk when something’s wrong. I learned at a really young age that if you don’t talk about it, it can drive you insane.” I don’t know about you, but this absolutely rings true for me. I find that if I’m able to talk things out and get things off my chest, a huge weight is lifted off of my shoulders. You can’t control how the other party will react, but it’s better to say what’s on your mind than to let it stew and become a bigger issue later on.
YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY THE THINGS YOU DO
Mary-Kate once said “I wear weird things sometimes. I like to drink coffee. Neither of these things have anything to do with who I am.” You are not defined by what you wear, what you eat or what you do. You are not defined by your past, your bank account, your race or your mistakes. You are not defined by the opinions of others or the assumptions they make of you. You get to decide who you are.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
Beauty is such a relative term, and what is beautiful to people may not be so for others. Beauty can found in a number of different forms. As Mary-Kate once said, “Some people are natural beauties, some have great style, but sometimes it comes from talent…With some people, it can even be their voice that makes them attractive.” Beauty can be defined in so many ways. Sometimes beauty is as simple as how someone makes you feel, someone’s smile or someone’s spirit. There is beauty in everyone.
NEVER SAY NEVER
Ashley once said “Never say never – in fashion and life.” It’s so important to take risks. The results may be awesome or they may suck, but you’ll never know until you try.
DO THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL COMPLETE
One of my favorite Mary-Kate quotes is “Now that I’m older, I’m more aware of things that make me feel complete as a person. I’m trying to concentrate on those things as opposed to things that make me feel empty.” If you don’t feel like saying ‘yes’ to an invitation for a night out, don’t feel bad about it. If you aren’t doing the things that everyone else is doing, it doesn’t make you a loser. Stop wasting your time trying to please everyone else, and start doing the things that make you feel whole and make you happy.
YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE
In their movie, New York Minute, Mary-Kate and Ashley end up at a hair salon where Ashley’s character opens up to the hairstylist about how it’s been a rough day. The hairstylist says that those curve balls are what makes life interesting and the hope is that there’s something good waiting for us at the end of the wrong turn. Ashley’s character then asks “What if there’s been about 50 wrong turns?” Even if you feel like you keep getting beaten down by one curve ball after another, there’s a reason for it, and you have to keep believing that you aren’t failing; you’re on a journey to something amazing that will make the bad times all worth it. Mary-Kate once said “I think everything happens for a reason. There’s no such thing as fail,” and that’s the perspective you need the next time you feel like life is testing you a little too much.
What is something you’ve learned as an adult that you wish you knew when you were younger?