Tag Archives: 20’s versus 30’s

project 30- alicia

22 Mar

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Alicia, 38

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

Follow your bliss. I was too caught up in making money and following a path to securing an executive position in the fashion/publishing industry. Money isn’t everything and if you are doing something you love then the money will come.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

Enjoying life, being young and free. Don’t get me wrong, my 20’s were a wild ride but I was so focused on my career that I wasn’t being true to myself. I moved to NYC from San Francisco when I was 22 years old, landed a job at Jane magazine doing marketing and events and was determined to become a power player.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself after I dropped out of college. I was worried I’d never find a job because I didn’t have a college degree and was nervous about entering the workforce. Thankfully, my Dad constantly reminded me that many successful people never finished college or even high school and went on to do great things.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Hands down moving to NYC. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I really grew up and became who I am today because of it. I recently moved to LA after being there for the past 15 years, which is the longest place I’ve ever lived. Now that I’ve been in LA for almost a year now, I realized I’m more of a New Yorker than I thought and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

I thought I would be married with two, maybe three children. Living in NYC and having a house by the beach.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like? 

I was not married but in a long-term relationship living in NYC. Traveling a lot both professionally and personally.
I took the leap of faith and started consulting after having a pretty successful career working at various magazines and fashion brands. I was really proud of what I had accomplished up until that point. I worked on some incredible high-profile projects and met some amazing people along the way. To this day, a majority of them are now dear friends.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

Yes, all the time! I still worry about that now even being 38 years young. I see myself as a work in progress and I always want to challenge myself to do more. Life is a beautiful gift and I never want take it for granted.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

Discovering the value of self-love. Sure I “liked” myself enough but didn’t realize the importance of loving myself until my long-term relationship ended. I went to Rome by myself after the break-up to have my own Eat, Pray, Love experience and not only did I eat and pray A LOT but I realized how vital it is to love and nurture yourself. This was something I had neglected for so many years.

When you look out onto the horizon what do you hope your life looks like at 40?

Being happy and at peace with where I’m at in my life. I hope to have children, travel the globe and give back in some way.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

Follow your bliss. This is my mantra and my daily reminder to push myself to always do more.

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project 30 – ashley

13 Nov

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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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connect with Ashley

blog / facebook / twitter / instagram / pinterest

project 30 – sarah

30 Oct

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Sarah, 30 / from the site Sarah Ann Noel 

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What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

I spent the first half of my twenties really looking forward to my thirties. I spent the second half of my twenties reminiscing the first half. The biggest lesson of my life continues to be be present. I wish that 21-year-old would have been solely focused on all the fun she was having, all of the world she was seeing; and that the later-twenties gal would have begun her “aging” process gracefully. Be present! That’s what I would have said to her at any stage!

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

I wish that I had taken my creativity more seriously when I was in my twenties. I was a very calculated, forward-thinking person. Of course, some twenty-somethings can sort of laze through the decade, and I’m glad I didn’t do that. But, as it turns out, I’m pursuing creative endeavors professionally now, and I wish that I would have allowed those tendencies to flourish when I was in the decision-making stages instead of just brushing them off as “hobbies.” On that same note, I wish I would have taken “pace” more seriously. Life moves as life moves, but I was definitely of the notion that I could will things into being by sheer force. It was very tiresome, but then I had more energy I guess. 😉

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

So many things! I was laughably serious at the beginning of my twenties, when now, I realize how your twenties are such a delicious in-between. But then, it really felt like THE BEGINNING OF THE REST OF LIFE and every decision I had to make was wrought with drama. I think, at the root of that, was still this desire to please people around me—authority figures, family, friends. So more than anything, I wish I had taken those opinions and perceptions less seriously and really honed in on who I was. I think if I had managed that, I might have had a more relaxed attitude toward a lot of other things.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I always joke to Trevor, my husband, that I sometimes feel “frozen” at 21. Despite my high-strung personality, that year in particular was a really monumental one for me. I studied abroad in London, which is definitely a most cherished memory. It was such an experience to see the world, and I met a very dear friend who is still a friend to this day. When I returned to the States, I met my husband, right before college ended! It all felt like a sweep of experience, that whole year—traveling, falling in love so young, graduating from school. It was sort of like this sweet, sweet grace period between childhood and adulthood, and I’m quite nostalgic for that time.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

I think I still expected to be “career woman” at that point. I’d just shifted to creative journalism studies, and so my attitudes toward a professional life were changing a bit; but I still imagined myself in an office, preferably that of a magazine! I seriously considered moving back to London and making a go of being an ex-pat. I also considered New York, and Chicago too, since it was nearby and special to me and Trevor both. I think I envisioned being in a big city and holding down a job that I was happy to dedicate the hours to. I was pretty certain I would marry Trevor, so I assumed we would be wed before I was 30; and I probably anticipated only beginning to entertain the idea of children as I entered my thirties.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

Surprise! I was a mom, not once, but twice! Trevor and I did marry young (I was about 24), and by 26 I was pregnant with our first daughter, Iris. I really wrestled with what to do professionally because I wasn’t particularly happy with my current job, but I wasn’t sure that I was ready to give up working. I had always wanted to give freelance writing more than a part-time shot, so I left my office job and stayed home with my new baby, working when I could. Mostly, I learned to love being a mom, and then the other pieces of me really started to flourish. At 30, I am actually living in New York, and I’m pursuing writing “full-time.” But first and foremost, I’m a mom of the two most beautiful, bubbly, blonde-headed girls and loving what they’re teaching me every day. It’s a privilege I couldn’t have imagined for myself in my twenties, but one that I’m glad happened when it did. It really paved the way for me to 30.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

All the time! I still worry about it! Sometimes being 30 feels young and fresh and vibrant, like I can do anything. Other days, I feel so stinkin’ old, like I’ve missed my chances at everything! Of course, that’s all ridiculous. My twenties brought on so much change, so much that was different from what I had pictured; but it also ushered in this amazing peace and happiness. I started learning to love the things that “happened” to me way more than the things that I’d “made happen.” So while I still wonder if my goals or dreams will fall into place, I also know that the surprises of life can be even better anyway.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

I think the best gift is simply a bit of perspective. At 30, we are still so young, with so much to look forward to, so much to learn. But I also feel a bit removed from the hyperactive worry that I feel saturated my twenties. I’ve learned that life has sloping patterns, places that feel up, places that feel down; and I’ve learned that time never feels consistent either—sometimes life moves so slowly, sometimes you just blink and parts are over. While I haven’t mastered being present, my thirties are reminding me of the importance of it. The twenties I lived in the future, mostly, sometimes in the past; and I want my thirties to be about living in my thirties, realizing that everything that has happened is a collective part of who I am now, so that’s what really matters.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

I hope to age with grace. I’ve surprised myself by not being good at that so far—I had always aspired to, and therefore assumed, that I would. I want to be less consumed with what’s changing on my body or how life feels different from what I pictured, and really just be where I am. So I hope that by 40, I’m just a more peaceful, content version of myself, like that these realizations and desires will mature throughout my thirties to yield someone who truly appreciates life for what it is. By my forties, I want to really be a role model of that for my girls, since they’ll be entering the years of decision-making and figuring out who they are.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

I am a lover of words, and so it’s hard for me to pick just one quote. I grew up in the church. As I’ve grown, my faith has grown and changed, but it has remained an important part of who I am. There is a verse in Colossians (1:17) that says, “He is before all things; and in him all things hold together.” I like the idea of things “meant to be.” I think a lot of us rely on that, whether we believe in a god or not. And so while I always want to be working toward a goal, and while I’ll never stop dreaming, I also like believing there is a plan and my life is following that, even if sometimes I get it wrong. Certainly my life is the picture of the unexpected and surprises; but as I’ve learned to appreciate that rather than fight against it, it sort of makes this verse (and the mentality!) make perfect sense. Whenever I feel out of control, I like to remind myself of these words.

connect with the beautiful Sarah Ann Noel

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project 30 – carlynn

9 Oct

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Carlynn, 33 / from the fabulous blog jjbegonia

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What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

That everything is going to work out for the best, even if it feels like just the opposite sometimes. Keep the faith. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. The heart breaks will heal and give way to new loves, opportunities, and layers of you that never would have been revealed without them. Believe in yourself and the value you bring to this world. You are going to make a lot of mistakes, but you will learn from them, and they will help guide you to where you need to be. Practice gratitude. Be thankful when things have not turned out as planned, because there are so many better, brighter things in store. Tell people you love them, even if you know they might not say it back. And always be nice – to your friends, family, strangers, and most of all to yourself. You deserve to have everything you want in this life.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

I wish I had taken my passions more seriously. I have always loved to “create” through cooking, decorating, photographing, styling, and writing, but it took me a long time to nurture those things. I always saw myself as weird because my interests were so different from most of my friends’ when we were in our early 20s especially, but I wish I could have reframed that or seen it as special, instead.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

Work! Not that you should ever blow off your job, but I treated every one I had as the end-all-be-all and felt burnt out very early on. I missed important events, and time spent with the people I love, in the name of getting things done, which is ridiculous.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

There are too many memories to choose from, but they all involve travel in some way. A trip to Jordan with one of my best friends that forced me to see so far outside of myself. A cooking class I took in Italy with another BFF, where we ate everything in sight, wandered through cobblestone streets, and shared drinks with dreamy Italian men. A school program in Switzerland that introduced me to the person I think of as my “soul sister” because I have never laughed so hard with or felt so connected to a person as I did/do to her. A camping excursion to Joshua Tree that stands out as being beautiful (I loved looking at the stars!) and funny, and strange in the best way possible. A last-minute weekend in Maine with my Mom and sister that was filled with bike rides, lobster, shopping, and Scrabble games. I could go on and on… !

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

I thought I would be married with children, and living in New York City, working at a magazine. At one point, I think I had said I wanted to be a Sportscaster and live in Paris, too. I mean…that first part makes no sense to me even now – especially since my sports knowledge is pretty limited – but Paris might still be nice!

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

Oh gosh, nothing at all like that! I was a mess! I was living in Santa Monica, working a job that was draining me, and feeling very alone. 30 was a hard year for me but I look back on it now, and I am really proud of the person I was then too because that was the point at which I decided I would never live like that again, and that I had to make some changes.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

All of the time!

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

The greatest gift is in feeling as if I am the most “me” I have ever been. I have such a better understanding of what makes me happy and what I want and need, than I ever had in my 20s. I also feel so much more secure in showing that me to the world.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

I hope that life is not too different from it is now. I want to “create” forever, in whatever form that takes. My sister and I always reference my “Big. White. Kitchen.” dream. I hope to have a home with a nice place to gather, that my {eventual} husband and I can fill with children, family and friends – and good food. That really is the ultimate for me.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

“Trust the timing of your life”.

This is huge for me because I have zero patience. I want what I want when I want it : ) I have learned though that everything reveals itself at exactly the right time, and that the best thing you can do in any given moment is enjoy what you have in front of you.

XOXO

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