Learning Life: Rae On Achieving Self-Acceptance After Turning 35 | Clozette

For our Work-In-Progress Issue, we talked to women in various stages in life to share their stories of continuously growing, learning, and becoming stronger while gaining more wisdom and grit in this journey we call 'life'.

They say that life truly begins at 30 and that the previous 29 years were just mere training. In a way, it does make sense. We spend our teenage years transitioning into adulthood and leaving our innocent childhood years behind. Then in our 20s, we try to navigate the 'real' world. But by the time we start our third decade on Earth, we're already more or less in tune with who we are, how the world works and our place in it. 

For the next instalment of this series, we have Rae of Rae Tries Things to give us a peek at what life is really like in your mid-30s. Read on as she shares the lessons she has learned in life so far and how she found self-acceptance and inner peace.

Rae Tries Things Interview

Looking back

How different were you 10 years ago? 

I was in my mid-twenties a decade ago. I was about to leave my second job and I just broke up with my boyfriend of four years. I remember feeling lost, anxious, and unsure of everything. I didn't know what to do with my life and career. Now, I am generally more at peace with myself and no longer as anxious with life's uncertainties. I also met the love of my life and I’m happily married.

What would you want to change about your past? 

If I could turn back time, I would be much kinder to myself. I am scatterbrained, easily distracted, and unorganised. I used to spend so much time ruminating about why my brain works the way it does and wishing I weren’t me. I forced myself to do things the way an innately organised person would. But after learning to love and accept myself, I was able to draw solutions that work for me.

If there's one thing you can tell your younger self, what would it be?

I would tell myself this: "You can't change the things that happened to you and the mistakes you've made. Focus on the present and what you can control."

Rae Tries Things Interview

Rae with her husband

When asked about the things she learned after she turned 35, Rae highlighted the following…

1. If it’s a matter of preference, let it go. I can’t remember from whom I heard this but it saved me from a lot of avoidable arguments. Our finite energy is not best spent fussing over things that don’t really matter.

2. Everyone has their own path. For a time, I tried to comply with societal standards of success, but the more time I spent doing that, the less time I was able to pursue the things that actually make me feel happy.

3. Self-care is not limited to doing feel-good things like getting a facial or shopping. Self-care also includes doing stuff I don't fully enjoy but pays off in the end, like meal prepping, avoiding added sugar, and working out. Right now, I'm the healthiest I've ever been since I turned 30.

4. Take things in perspective and try to see the whole picture. When I'm working on personal projects, I used to beat myself over minor slip-ups. Now, I try to remember to take a step back, because more often than not I will see that overall I'm still going on an upward direction.

5. Buying things on a discount is not saving. You're only saving if money is not coming out of your pocket.

On gaining wisdom

Rae Tries Things Interview

How do you work through the challenges you face?

When I was in elementary school learning multiplication, I thought it was the most difficult thing I could ever encounter — and then I woke up one day realising that I don’t find it as hard anymore. All I remember was I stuck with it and I asked for help from my father.

I'm often reminded of that whenever I'm faced with something challenging. I find that most things are only difficult in the beginning and it is rare to experience something someone else hasn't gone through yet. So I try to shift my focus on just continuing to work on the challenge and asking for help, hoping that tomorrow will be the day I wake up finding that things are easier. 

How do you feel about nearing your 40s?

My younger self will not believe I'm saying this but I’m excited about my 40s! I wasn't as adventurous when I was younger because I have a tendency to overthink and make decisions (or just not decide at all) out of fear. This kept me from doing things I haven't done before. In the past several years I have been overcoming it, which means my 40s could only be awesome. 

Do you have any goals you want to achieve for the next decade of your life?

I don't have specific goals with defined targets, but I will continue working on two things — health and fitness (both mentally and physically) and tending to my relationships. Everything else is just extra.

Follow Rae's adventures through her blog, Rae Tries Things

Next, read about how blogger Ena Teo found a clearer path after turning 25.



There's a rise in music festivals on our side of the world — think Ultra Music Festival and We The Fest — but we’re not complaining. If you're contemplating your next festival ensemble, then why not borrow some inspiration from the Clozette Community?

Cheeky Tube Top

Festive Outfits

(Photo from: shinepascual)

Summer Cropped Top

Festive Outfits

(Photo from: Leannelow)



Move over, hair clips and bedazzled barrettes — another ‘90s hair trend is making its comeback this year: the scrunchies. That’s right. Your go-to childhood accessory is taking over Instagram, bigger and better than ever. Surprisingly, this new wave of colourful cloudlike hair accessories didn’t come from the more popular fashion brands that instantly draw hype. Instead, it all started with a humble store called Room Shop Vintage based in Philadelphia. Aside from selling vintage pieces, the shop creates sustainable products like these oversized hair ties made from recycled fabrics. Luckily for us, Room Shop Vintage ships internationally, so we in Asia can get our hands on their products, too. If not, DIY-ing is an option if you’re into crafts

Want to ride on this nostalgic giant scrunchie trend? You won’t go wrong with these vintage chic styles.

A classic tail

You can never go wrong with wearing a basic ponytail. Wherever you go, and no matter the occasion, this look would perfectly give your outfit some girly sophistication. Not to mention, having your hair up gives quite the relief from the heat.

Roll it in a bun

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Want to inject a little elegance to your evening out? If you think the giant scrunchie trend can be too overwhelming, try using it to tie your hair in a bun for an understated look. Pair it with a simple monochromatic dress so your hair becomes the star of your ensemble.

Braid it up

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Don’t think that the giant scrunchie trend is good enough in a simple style, however. Try to experiment at times, too. For days when you’re feeling a bit fancier, have fun and try braiding your hair a dozen ways to mix things up. 

Bubbly ‘do

If you’re not a braids person but want to switch up your usual ponytail anyway, opt to wear your locks in a Bubble ponytail instead. It’s fancier yet easier, as you just have to tie another elastic every few inches to create a new section. No need to tug your strands in between for volume, because the giant scrunchies give it that already. 

Cut it in half

Have short hair? Don’t worry — you can still work the giant scrunchie trend. Separate the upper half portion of your hair and tie it in a knot at the back. The oversized hair tie makes for a completely whimsical look.

Colour code

So as to not make your statement hair accessory clash with your whole outfit, opt to coordinate the colours of your ensemble. Keep it a bit more minimalist by wearing exactly the same muted shade, or at least choose within the same colour family.

Hand it over

There are times when our scalp feels tired and suffocated from having our tresses pulled in a tie. But at the same time, we also want to keep our hair tied to feel fresh all day long. For those days, the best option is to keep our hair ties accessible when we absolutely need them. What’s great about these supersized scrunchies is that they make good accessories for our wrist as well. Talk about multi-tasking and eye-catching! 

(Cover photo from: @roomshopvintage)

Next, care for your hair with these hair masks.