Erin of Coined LIfe, 30
What would your thirty something self tell your twenty something self?
Be kind to yourself – you’re learning. My 20’s were a time of self-discovery. It wasn’t until after I finished grad school in my mid-twenties before I fully understood that I could do ANYTHING I wanted with my life. Including creating a life for myself that had nothing to do with my formal education. That it’s more about the quality of life and taking risks than the security of a traditional job for me (it’s not for everyone, but I do know it isn’t for me!). I had a hard time focusing at work knowing I was supposed to be at my assigned spot for a set number of hours each week. I realized early into my “career” I should have had the “World’s Worst Employee” coffee cup in my cubicle!
What do you wish you took more seriously in your twenties?
I took myself TOO seriously in my 20’s. The only area I could have taken more seriously was better financial planning. I spent most of my 20’s living in expensive cities like Washington D.C. and L.A. and added travel and becoming a freelance web designer to the mix. Really, I have no regrets. It was well-worth it to have those experiences. Without taking those risks I wouldn’t be who I am nor where I am as a business owner. I’m taking my financial future more seriously in my 30’s (as one probably should).
What do you wish you took less seriously in your twenties?
Ummm… myself! After grad school I put myself in a position to move in a very professional trajectory with my career. Two years as a junior at a consulting firm. Go back and get my PhD (paid for by the firm, of course!). And then “working my way up” in D.C. Two years into my D.C. days I made the decision to follow my heart and moved to L.A. for my relationship at that time, which took me off course from the “original plan”. I stressed a lot about my decision to not follow “the plan” for a solid 2.5 years, but eventually L.A.’s creative vibe and my fellow creative friends (like Kate!) helped me to chill and not take myself too seriously.
Favorite memory from your twenties?
I traveled to Greece when I was 21 as part of a study abroad trip. That trip changed my worldview on so many levels – how I looked at food, cultivating relationships, politics and history. I grew up in a small town (pop. 500) and had gone to undergrad in a small town (pop. 17,000 with college students!). The experiences of traveling aside, I made a deep, unshakable friendship with one of my fellow travelers. She’s my soulmate in many ways. I can’t imagine that trip or my life without her.
In your early twenties where did you think you would be (live, work etc) by 30?
I thought I would be in D.C. doing the career thing!
And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?
By the age of 30 I had lived in Detroit for a year, followed by D.C. for two years, then onto Los Angeles for four years and finally moved back to the midwest in October of 2013 (at the age of 30). I have lived out of bags and boxes for most of the time since then as I transitioned into a new home and lifestyle. My boyfriend and I bought a home in June of this year in Columbia, Missouri. We’re settling in, blissfully awaiting the arrival of our first child in December of this year. Life is nothing like I pictured in my early 30’s; it is better than I could have ever imagined.
Where you ever worried it wouldn’t all fall into place?
Absolutely. In 2013 I went through a major breakup. I had been with my boyfriend at the time for almost 8 years and engaged to him for almost 2 years. One day in September of last year I had this moment of intense, acute clarity. I couldn’t see myself spending my life with nor marrying him, which had been my plan for many years. Most of my worry about what life would look like and how it would come together had been on my mind for the better part of a year before that day. In that day and in that moment of clarity I felt at peace, finally. Once I made the decision to end the relationship, I trusted everything would work out the way it should. It has worked out beyond any expectations I could have had.
What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?
Knowing the value of my time. I was a “yes” person and a people-pleaser most of my life. Owning my own business and gaining wisdom (I hope!) with each passing year has given me the confidence to say “no” and not feel guilty for drawing a line. I know my priorities and value my time.
When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?
Traveling with my now-boyfriend / soon-to-be husband and our two amazing kids in the summertime, working and running my business(es!) during the rest of the year. We have our first child arriving in December of this year and would love to have one more after that. Being surrounded with lots of love and family time. I love the thought of having incredible little people in our life who are curious and having the means to share the world and fulfill their curiosities in my 40’s.
What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?
Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” – Paulo Coelho (really anything by him “gets” my soul and the way I feel about life).
Connect with the lovely Erin!