Tag Archives: 20’s vs 30’s

project 30 – liz

14 Jul

 

liz 2

Liz, 30 / Hott Sauce

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

It’s going to turn out even better than you could imagine.

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

My finances! I racked up a lot of credit card debt and paid absolutely no attention to things like my 401K, health insurance and savings. And I have no idea where all the money went. I wish I’d made some more responsible long-term financial decisions.

And my writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing but feel like I’m just now beginning to trust and believe that my voice is worth being heard. I sometimes fear I missed my window of opportunity.

But hey! My childhood idol Laura Ingalls Wilder wasn’t published until she was in her sixties so there’s hope for us all!

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

Oh lawd. Basically everything else! I have spent (and, I’ll be real, continue to spend) SO MUCH energy stressing over my career, friendships, boys, family, body image, health, the works. If it’s a thing, I’ve panicked over it at least once. I spent most of my 20’s thinking two steps ahead trying to plan for what might come next. I wish I had slowed down and enjoyed every step of the way for what it was.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

If I had to pick just one, I’d of course pick marrying my husband – snuck that milestone in right under the 3-0 wire just three weeks before my birthday. Nailed it. Brian is the best, full stop. Every day we spend together is the coolest, funnest, grandest adventure, but declaring our vows in front of our nearest and dearest was in its own sphere of amazing.

But really, I think when I look back what I’ll always associate with my 20’s is not one particular memory, but a whole collection of experiences gained living in New York. Working for my terrifying boss and having weird roommates and mice (ew) and drunkenly running around the East Village and never having enough money and figuring out the subway system and being surrounded by so much diversity and culture and general overstimulation. It’s such a singular, wild and intense place and I feel so much of my 20’s decade has been defined against this backdrop. It’s not for everyone but I’m so happy I’ve lived here. I can’t imagine spending these formative years anywhere else.

I do have one image that stands out, I was riding the D train from my job in Manhattan to my apartment in Brooklyn, just a few weeks after moving into the city which means I was 22 or just freshly 23. This train line goes across a bridge over the East River. As we came up from the tunnel it was that perfect time of day, the golden hour, and the sun was low and shimmery on the water, slipping down behind the tall buildings of lower Manhattan and I just sort of drank it all in, the bridges and the river, Brooklyn ahead of me and the famous New York City skyline behind me and it sounds a little cheesy but in that moment I realized this was my life! I was where I wanted to be and I was so happy.

It sounds so cheesy but sometimes I’ll get a moment like that again, I’ll be zipping along in a taxi or rushing to meet a friend somewhere and catch a glimpse of some building or person or smell from a food cart and suddenly be overwhelmed with gratitude and think “This is your life! Your whole, real life. Remember this!!”

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

I thought I’d be in PR or an event planner, living in New York City in an apartment with a lot of chic exposed brick.

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

Living in New York City (check!) working as a publicist for a major national publishing house (this marries PR and events with my other true love, books, so check anddd check), in an apartment with several weird chandeliers but sadly no exposed brick. No washer/dryer, AC or dishwasher, either. Why do I love this city so much again?

I feel like I ought to be paying Kate big bucks for therapy (Kate, do you take Blue Cross Blue Shield?!) because it took me sitting down to answer this blog Q&A to force me to pause, look around and realize…I’m kind of right where I always wanted to be.

Life is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. There are many experiences I’ve had I wish I could erase or things I’m going through now I wish I could change but overall, I’m like, MAKING IT HAPPEN. And so many things, as I said above, are even better than I could have imagined. I’m married to the most amazing guy and I have great friends and I’m well-respected at my job. I run and cook and have finally figured out how to style my hair (Another thing I’d tell my 20-year-old self: put down the box dye, girl.) and I have this brand new sweet baby niece and feel like I’m closer to my family than ever.

So why am I always think I’m never quite enough?

Hence owing Kate those big bucks. Guys, I am right now having an epiphany. Live on national, um, internet. So if you had to ask me what I would tell my 30-year, 10ish-month-old self it would be stop being so hard on yourself, you’re doing great.

(Fellow worry-warts and self-critics reading this, pause right now, sit down and take stock. I bet you’re doing a lot better than you think you are! I think you’re great.)

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

Um, literally all the time. See everything else I’ve already said. Worrying is my #1 hobby.

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

An overall confidence and sense of self. No longer feeling the need to listen to “cool” bands because some dude likes them or stay out late drinking because I don’t want to feel left out or pretend to have read all the smartest literature or follow fashion trends. Like, crop tops? Hell no.

I have a better sense of what I like, what I want and who I am. And I think I have a better sense of who and what matters. I don’t want to say I care less what people think about me at 30 than I did at 20 because I do still care how I am perceived, but now I’m getting a little bit better at identifying, you know “is this person’s opinion of value? Will it help me to become a better person or truer version of myself?” and if yes, I’ll try to listen and learn. And if no, well, fuck ’em.

Ok, I’m not always the best at that last one but I think the 30’s are all about learning how to let the unimportant stuff slide.

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

You know what, I’m not even going to think about where I might be at 40. As previously revealed I have a bit of, um, a habit (slash problem) of worrying how things will turn out and then freaking out when they don’t go according to my plan. In the past I always knew the broad strokes, at least, of how I wanted my life to look: first college than a year abroad then NYC. Through work or luck or who knows what it has, so far, more or less fallen into place. And I am full of gratitude for all of the good and bad and medium things that have brought me to where I am today.

But I find myself for the first time unsure of exactly what I want my future to look like. I know I hope to have children and take exciting trips and continue to challenge myself creatively, physically and intellectually and still be head over heels for my fella 10, 20, a million years into the future. But there are so many questions without easy answers and factors out of my control. When do we have children? How many? What if I can’t get pregnant or end up with quintuplets? Will I stay in publishing or look to start a new career? Will we live in the city or move to (shudder) the suburbs? How will we afford all the things we hope to see and do and experience?

And on and on.

I’m making a conscious effort to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N and stop trying to plan the future. I want to really be present in the now and take and embrace every new challenge and opportunity as they arise. I’m learning — yes, at an oh so glacial pace, but I AM learning — to live with uncertainty.

So I’ll just say that wherever I land at 40, whatever it looks like, I just hope I’m happy and healthy and at peace with all I’ve done and all that’s yet to come.

Also I would not be mad if this place of zenlike self-realization happened to come with an in-unit washer and dryer. I feel like that’s not too much to ask?

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

“Shake it off.” – Taylor Swift

(I wish that was a joke, ha!)

connect with Liz

 blog / instagram @lizho914 / Facebook 

Advertisements

project 30 – erin

5 Feb

IMG_5903

Erin, 33  / Erin Joy Henry 

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

You are good enough. You are not your career, your bank account, your weight or your ex-boyfriends. Light up the room when you walk in, even if it makes others uncomfortable. I forgive you for being so hard on yourself. Start a self-care regimen, practice yoga and kindness and surround yourself with positive people. If there is too much drama in your life, take responsibility, and ask yourself how you are contributing to it and what you can do to change it. Save ten percent of every paycheck. Build strong friendships with other women, and lift each other up. Soul search until your heart is content.

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

The luxury of time. I lived by myself and had a flexible schedule. I ask myself now, what was I doing with all of that time? I could have gotten so many more things done! I could have taken so many naps! Now that I have a baby, time is so precious, but so is he.

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

The opinions of people who didn’t have my best interest in mind. Those people naturally fade from our peripheral vision anyway. Why would I have cared what they thought?

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Heading off to India with less than two weeks notice with my friend, Signe, and a group of meditators, to stay for two weeks at an ashram at the foothills of the Himalayas. It was a life changing experience, and I went back by myself the next year. If you are ever called to India( or anywhere) find a way to go. It will never be convenient or the right time, but these are the memories that shape the rest of our lives, and these deep pulls on our heartstrings to visit places are never an accident.

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

Good question! I was never someone who planned out my life like that. I never had the wedding planned, the career completely sorted or even the place I would be living, though Southern California was always in the back of my mind. I thought I would be on to another career beyond modeling, which is what I had done since the age of 15, and maybe settled down a little, but 30 seemed SO far away!

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

I turned 30 while living as a single person in New York City. I had a great career as a model, a cute little apartment, I was writing for small publication and forming some life changing female friendships I am so grateful for 30 still seemed very young. I dated often, though nobody was promising as far as something long-term was concerned. I was happy, but knew I was coming to the end of a chapter. I started longing for more space, clean air and some trees. I also was ready for a real relationship, as I had been single for several years. I started planting the seeds to move to California, though I had no good reason! I just knew that’s where I was supposed to be. I finally made it happen about six months later and went back to school at the same time. I had no idea what I was doing leaving my career in New York, but I had faith it would work out. I walked into the classroom and spotted my now partner of three years, Alex, who is also the father of my fifteen month old son. It was pretty much love at first sight. Things got very stressful for a while, moving my life across the country, but it was obviously the best decision, and I”m so glad I listened to that voice again.

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

Are you kidding? YES! I was always a person that worried even when things were great, that the other shoe was going to drop and I needed to be prepared for the rainy day. I was a big worrier! It wasn’t until I learned how to meditate, and breathe my way through whatever feeling I was in, that it got better. The thing is, there will always be ups and downs, that’s just the way life is. I learned for me, if I can just stay as present as I can in any moment, I will get through whatever life throws my way. I’ve gotten this far, so why wouldn’t I? Knowing this, I can put more of my energy into the positive things in my life, and be grateful, especially when things are good, rather than taking up space in my mind worrying what may go wrong. It’s still something I work at. Just after my son was born, I worried I would never work again, and another career would never fall into place for me. That was such crazy thinking. I tried my best to be present as a new mom, and enjoy the time I was lucky enough to have to stay home. Months went by, but slowly my old modeling clients started calling again, and the nutrition business I have been working on for years finally came to fruition. I still can’t believe I worried things wouldn’t fall into place. There’s a saying I love- “spirit meets us at our point of action,” meaning, keep plugging along and doing the work, and things will align, but maybe not how or when we thought they would.

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

The things that once seemed so hard, are easier. That comes with self-confidence and self-love, that at least I didn’t have so much of in my 20’s. I think in our 30’s we have a much clearer idea of who we are and what we want in life, so the path to get there isn’t so rocky.

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

I hope I have a healthy family. I would like to have more children and some dogs, and live in a beautiful place with clean air and a big yard. It will probably be more North of Los Angeles, but I”m not sure where that is yet. I hope to continue working with people on their health goals, working in a career I love. I hope to have really good friends, and be close with my family and my partner Alex. I hope to travel often, and introduce my children to other cultures. I I hope to have financial freedom. I hope I”m still learning, reading books I never though I”d get to, and practicing yoga I never believed I could do. I hope I”m a role model, and that I worry less, and make others feel good about themselves. It’s only seven years away, but forty still seems like an eternity away!

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

I am not religious, and if you aren’t either, you can replace the word God with Universe, Spirit or whatever fits for you, but I love this one.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson

connect with Erin – blog / twitter / instagram / facebook / pinterest 

project 30 – nailah

29 Jan

IMG_20150101_095005

Nailah, 30  / Donna & Nailah

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

Everything will fall into place. Stop worrying so much. You’re on the right track! Also, don’t stop working out, your metabolism will slow down.

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

My finances. I wish I was more serious about saving money and not taking on additional debt. I had a good job with lots of benefits at the time but I couldn’t begin to tell you where all of that money went!

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

Myself. I was so hung up on “finding my purpose” and “living my best life” that I probably missed out on opportunities to just have fun. I felt like my life should have been much better at the time. Now I realize that I was at a great place in my life and I wish I had taken a step back and enjoyed it a little more.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Oh man, I have a lot. I think my best memory from my 20’s was my wedding. My husband and I had a destination wedding in the Bahamas. It was amazing. We had 30 of our closest family and friends with us and we just had so much fun. When we got engaged, my husband and I promised ourselves that we wouldn’t get carried away in the craziness of a wedding and would instead focus on celebrating our love and having fun. We absolutely succeeded and I wouldn’t change anything.

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

That’s a great question. In my early twenties, I got certified as a life coach and started a life coaching company. I envisioned myself working with coaching clients full-time and still living in Los Angeles with my husband. I was also working on my Master’s in Communication and assumed that I would be teaching at the college level as well.

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

I turned 30 in 2014 and it was a whirlwind of a year! We moved to San Diego, I found out that I was pregnant, and our daughter was born. My life is completely different than I envisioned it but it’s perfect. I was able to quit my job and work for myself full-time but instead of working as a life coach, I now co-own a social media marketing agency. Again, I could have never predicted any of it but when I look back on the past 10 years I can see the path that brought me to where I am now. Of course, during my 20’s I couldn’t see that clear path and I just felt like I was flip-flopping all over the place.

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

Oh absolutely! I was constantly worried that it wouldn’t fall into place. That was my primary stressor in my early and mid-twenties.

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

I hit a point in my late twenties when things clicked into place. I knew who I was, I truly didn’t care what people thought about me and I felt good about what I was doing with my life. The greatest gift about being in my 30’s is the confidence and self-awareness that came with it. There are still things in my life that are uncertain but I have the confidence in myself to know that it will all work out and that it’s much more productive to focus on what I can control instead of constantly worrying about the future.

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

The things that make my life complete now, I couldn’t have dreamed of 10 years ago. I imagine that in 10 years my life will be so different than anything I could think up now. I do hope that I’m still living my life to its fullest and taking advantage of unique opportunities thrown my way. I hope that my business is thriving and still brings me a lot of joy. I hope that I have a happy and healthy little family and that I will be teaching my kid(s) the values of love and laughter, big dreams and hard work. I hope to feel settled and happy with whatever it is that I’m doing.

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

Jump in. Feet first.

*

Connect with Nailah / website / twitter @Nailahblades

 

project 30 – christine

22 Jan

IMG_9312

Christine, 30 / Huckle & Goose

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

Oh man. Many things. Ask lots of questions- don’t be afraid to look stupid. Meet lots of people from different walks of life, older, younger – there’s something to be learned from everyone. Don’t settle. Don’t compare. Not following trends is trendier. Decide what you want to be, keep asking those questions, and do a lot of soul-searching until you get there.

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

Not slathering baby oil on myself while sun bathing?

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

I always fall into the trap of taking things seriously. I suppose it’s just the way I am. But in my 20’s I felt like I had to stay on the early twenties path- graduate college, get a job, get married. But there is no defined path. Especially if you’re determined and have a vision for your future. I could’ve given myself permission to trek off the beaten path a bit.

What is your favorite memory from your 20’s?

I have three- marrying an amazing man and welcoming my two sweet gremlins into this world. I can’t imagine life without them.

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

I studied (and liked) finance in college, but quickly found that I was not fond of it in the working world. I felt stuck and discouraged at that point, convinced I made a grave mistake, and lost the vision for my future for a few years. At 24 I got married and we moved from Chicago to Washington DC. It was such a breath of fresh air and the change of scenery I needed. Though I was still working in finance, I began to search for other careers that would strike a chord, but nothing (except for briefly considering architecture school). It was around this time that I started blogging and began a small paper design business to sort through all of this and have a creative outlet. But it became pretty clear that if I ever  wanted to experience professional fulfillment, I’d just have to do my own thing. So at 25, I began to envision being a 30- something in DC with a business I built from the ground up that would somehow make a difference.

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

First I’ll say my 30th birthday was a little over a month ago, so I’m a complete freshman in this league of experienced, wise 30-somethings. But honored to be in such company. Where am I now…well, that do-my-own thing dream that was really blurry at 25, is now a startup called Huckle & Goose that I launched (alongside my sister-in-law) with just months to spare before 30. It’s surreal typing that out.

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

I think I was more worried I’d find something I loved but never take the leap. I did though. And some days are incredible, some are not, but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.

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

I’m just at the start of this new decade, but I can already sense there’s more freedom to be more of myself maybe, more honest.

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

I hope that I choose respond with grace and optimism to all the challenges that come with this new decade and by 40 I’ll be the best version of myself yet.

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

Make your vision so clear that your fears become irrelevant.

*

connect with Christine

Huckle & Goose / twitter / facebook / instagram @inklemonade @hucklegoose

AncaChristine_034 copy

project 30 – gillian

15 Jan

gbphoto

Gillian, 32

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

There is magic in the seemingly mundane, everyday stuff. All you have to do is look for it. Stop thinking about your life, and start living it. Show up. Be where you are. Keep an open mind, and look for the good in yourself and others. Let each situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be .The answers to your questions are far less complicated than you think.

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

Cultivating self-love and self-respect. Looking inward instead of outside myself for validation and praise.

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

What others thought about me. Or rather, what I thought others thought about me.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

The first memory that comes to mind is the afternoon my younger brother, Jake, told me and my two other younger brothers, Luke and Henry, that he was going to propose to his long time girlfriend, Vanessa. It was a gorgeous day, and we were sitting in the grass outside of LACMA. I remember feeling so happy that Jake had found such a wonderful woman to share his life with, excited to finally have a sister on the way, inspired by how much Jake and Vanessa loved and respected each other, and grateful for the special bond I share with my brothers. Their joy is my joy.

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

I thought I would be living in either Boston or New York building my practice as a Psychologist or Social Worker, after having earned a graduate degree in either field.

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

Well, it looked nothing like I’d thought it would. Thirty was actually a pretty tough year. I was working as a pilates instructor and taking classes to finish up earning my BA in Psychology so I could apply to grad school. I felt pretty uninspired during this time. I wasn’t living a life I loved, but I also didn’t know what changes to make or how to make them. I didn’t know it at the time, but acknowledging that changes needed to be made was the first step that set the wheels of change in motion.

I lived in a pretty uncomfortable state of “not-knowing” for a few months until one day in February of 2014 I agreed to help out on a low-bugdet short film that a family friend was directing. The director, Greg LaVoi, was (and is) a very talented and successful Costume Designer, who was spreading his wings and directing a film for the first time. A month later, Greg hired me as a costume assistant on a pilot he was designing. I fell in love with the work almost immediately and Greg became and still is a true mentor. Over the past year, I have worked as a costume assistant on 2 short films, a feature film, a commercial, styled four photoshoots featuring local designers, and I have been the head wardrobe stylist on 2 music videos. It’s been a truly amazing year and I’m so grateful for it.

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

I was more worried about getting in my own way, staying stuck. I found that once I opened myself up to having a new experience, opportunities started to present themselves. Once I realized that I wanted to be a wardrobe stylist, I promised myself that I would say yes to every job no matter how small or how daunting.

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

For me, the greatest gift has been the shift in my perspective. These days, I’m much more focused on being a positive presence in my relationships and in my work. I want to contribute, and I’m willing to make mistakes. First and foremost, I want to continue to learn and grow.

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

I hope to be in a healthy, loving relationship, have a successful career as a wardrobe stylist, and maybe a couple kiddos.

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

It’s as true today as it ever was, he who seeks beauty will find it”– Bill Cunningham

*

Connect with the lovely Gillian / website / instagram @gillianfield