Ashley, 36 / from one of my favorite blogs Hither & Thither
What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?
Everything has gone very well, so it’s hard to suggest to my younger self to do anything different. But besides a few practical tips (learn Spanish!), and the possibility of fortune-telling (get a job at this upstart called Google!), I would tell myself to intern more during undergraduate and graduate school, to meet more mentors and see what those career ideals really look like in practice. After all, it’s all possible.
Oh, and I’d tell her she’s right: he is the perfect guy.
What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?
Trying on different—practical—hats. Figuring out my career goals.
What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?
I was a graduate student for much of my 20s. I wish I’d taken most things less seriously!
Favorite memory from your 20’s?
Meeting, and then marrying, my longtime love, Aron. Our wedding day was the best day.
In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?
I always imagined I’d be working in academia. I loved teaching. But by the end of my 20s, I was a book editor in New York. And blogging has been a complete surprise! (A good one.)
And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?
When I turned 30, I had just taken a job as an editorial assistant at a publishing house. It was a scary step: I was essentially starting at the bottom in a new field after years of going toward a different goal. I was newly married and living in a new city, across the country from everyone I’d known. And it was thrilling!
Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?
Of course! And I still do! I feel like I still have a dynamic life ahead. What will I do when my kids are in school? What do I want my career to look like? Is blogging something I should continue to invest my time and effort into? Am I making the choices now that will make me happiest later? It never ends.
What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?
So far, my 30s have been the family chapter. It’s hard to think of these years without thinking about how Skyler and Hudson (9 months and 3 1/2 years) have impacted my life. But on a more general level, there is a confidence that 30 brings. Experience brings confidence.
When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?
A bit slower. Right now, the hours in the day are just too few!
What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?
The Golden Rule: Treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself. Even if you don’t always get the reciprocity you’re hoping for, you’ll feel good about yourself—the ultimate reward.
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