Tag Archives: drive across the USA

project 30 – liz

18 Jun

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Liz, 40 / be love live

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

Well, let me start off by admitting that I am actually 40, so I’ve made it through my 20s and my 30s. And I am all the better for the amazing, beautiful journey that it has been! I’m going to try to do a little time traveling back to my 30 something year old brain, but just know that everything that I share from here on out is from a 40-year-old perspective. And, this 40-year-old perspective is oh so different from my 30-year-old perspective!

So many people are frightened of hitting the big 3-0. I was not one of them. However, I was freaked out, having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I’d soon be leaving my 20s, unable to grasp the idea that I was going to be 30. A real adult, or so I thought. Still, I looked forward to turning 30. I was hoping that it would be “my decade”. And you know what? It totally was! (So far, at least!) In my 30s, I came into myself. I found the courage + strength to live life on my terms. I accepted and loved myself in ways that my 20 something self only dreamed of. I took the time to discover my own path, leaving the pressures and expectations of society behind.

I quit my stable job. Got divorced. Moved to Europe. And embarked on an incredibly freeing journey of learning to live an authentic life.

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

Oh, how i wish I had taken my soul more seriously. I wish that I had listened to my intuition more and let the voices of others fall by the wayside. I have always been drawn to a life propelled and inspired by the inner world of our spirit. In my 20s, my heart and soul were all but screaming at me to just be true to myself, but I kept telling myself that my mystic, hermit ways made me a boring person. But, what I really wanted to do was simply enjoy the magic of being married to my husband, roaming the world together, living simply, having adventures, inspiring others through my words and pictures (not my husband’s dreams, mind you). I didn’t want a typical life – I craved something different. I craved the freedom of a gypsy soul.

But, I just couldn’t live like that. I was nowhere near secure enough to understand the seriousness of living life from your soul. I heard and felt the rumblings from within, but I just couldn’t set myself free quite yet.

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

I wish that I had taken my expectations less seriously. I wanted to make everyone around me happy. I truly believed back then that, if everyone in my life was happy and content, then I would be. And, in some ways I was. Ignorance was bliss.

So, life in my 20s was a crazy balancing act. I felt the call to live life authentically, to be free to be me; and yet, I didn’t heed the call. Instead I felt self-induced pressure to be more “normal”. I went through roller-coaster periods of feeling blissfully happy with my marriage, my stable job, and my small town life. I even dreamed of starting a family. And then, after some time, the urge to wander + roam the world, the urge to pack it all up and become a desert hermit in order to give my soul the attention that it needed, took over. I teetered back and forth between these two extremes all throughout my 20s, certain that I had to choose one over the other.

Until I hit my 30s. And then, I began to truly listen. And I found, with lots of help from friends, mentors, counselors, and graduate professors, the courage to act. I didn’t have to choose between married life and a monastic, pilgrim’s life. I just had to choose my life.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I am going to answer this question stream-of-consciously because I cannot remember a specific memory. Or, rather, I can remember so many different moments.

All of the memories that are coming to mind have a few something in common: they involve travel. Like the time my ex-husband and I drove across the country in our silver Toyota Four Runner, sleeping in the back, exploring the vast, beautiful country from coast to coast. Standing in the Painted Desert, feeling connected to the entire Universe. Dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean. Waking up on the Oregon coastline. Camping under the mountains in Glacier National Park. Photographing a buffalo in Yellowstone. Driving on two lane roads through barren, sky-filled South Dakota.

I am certain that this trip symbolized the freedom that I was so desperately seeking (not freedom from my life, but freedom from within).

Amazingly, I had the opportunity to make the coast to coast trip again about 5 years ago, when I was 35. This time, on my honeymoon with my Swedish wife. Wink.Wink.

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

In my early 20s, I thought that I would move to Europe and have a job that involved helping others. I desperately wanted to make a difference in the world – I knew that I was here to do that. And, I even more desperately wanted to live in Europe, perhaps even working as a retreat leader for people, while writing books and teaching classes. I could visit bakeries, walk everywhere, and travel the world. I ‘d live with the guy I’d met in Denmark as a young 21-year-old, and I was determined to find anything that would help me get to Denmark to live with him and share the European life that I had been dreaming of. I just knew that, even if it didn’t work out with him (and it didn’t), that I’d still find myself living somewhere different, working as a counselor/teacher/writer. Those were my dreams.

When that relationship ended, I saw my chance to move to Denmark fade away. But, I still felt passionate about travel and other cultures and making a difference. So, I thought I’d be a missionary. But, many people in my life didn’t think that was a safe/smart/good idea, so I decided to set all of those dreams aside and settle down – not at all what I dreamed that I would be doing at 30. But, exactly how I found myself living when I turned 30. Married. Stable job. Happy. Yet restless.

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

As I indicated in the previous question, my life was not the dreamy, romantic adventure I had hoped for. It was a good life, though. And, one that I now understand was necessary in order to do some more soul-searching.

At 30, I had been married for seven years to a good man. We lived in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina, in a beautiful cottage about 5 minutes from the church where I worked as a minister and counselor. I had followed through on my dream to work in a helping profession, and it was a job that allowed me to travel and explore, taking young people and other adults with me. It was beautiful, wonderful work – guiding and mentoring others on their own journey through life. Writing and teaching and sharing very special moments with others. I was honored to have this job that I loved.

Still, I wanted more. I yearned for more. I wanted to go to graduate school. And, perhaps, I wanted a family. And I still wanted to move to some place different to experience another way of life. But, I had no idea how to do any of those things. At 30 I was still dreaming, but not quite ready to let myself fulfill my own dreams.

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

Hell yes. Everything about my 20s felt panicky. Like I had to have “it” all figured out. Like there was some race I was running. Against who, I have no idea. I worked hard to make things happen, things that never did happen either because I got scared of following my heart when others didn’t agree or the stars just weren’t lined up right. But, I absolutely thought that things should be done when I thought they should be done. The 20s was a scary decade. A miscarriage, an unfaithful husband, and the inability to claim the life that I dreamed of made my dreams all feel impossible. So, perhaps the only thing I learned that I could control was deciding to help others – to put everyone else before me. I wanted to control. I was terrified of the unknown.

But, oh how I have learned to live differently in my 30s. I learned to love the unknown.

Life is a process that we create. We are active, and yet we just let it unfold. Most importantly, we must stay true to ourselves. Because, when we tap into our souls and live from them, then the life that unfolds before us may not look at all like what we planned, but is pretty much always way more beautiful + amazing than we ever could have imagined.

Yes, our days are numbered. And we are not guaranteed tomorrow. So, the best thing to do is to just be. To simply be present. Right here. Right now. To give it time. To stay true + open + aware. We are creating our own lives with every single moment. And, everything falls into place in its own time. We can’t understand or predict it, but we can trust and breathe and soak up the life that we live. And, in time, it all makes sense.

My 40-year-old self, tells my 20 something self to relax a bit. And my 40-year-old self tells my 30 something self to keep on discovering and listening and being.

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

For me, the greatest gift of being in my 30s was claiming my life as my own. I learned to listen to my soul and to say “F*ck it!” to the expectations to be anything but who I truly am. And by learning to put being before doing, I found a deep level of inner peace that I had been searching for. From that peace, I took risks. I found courage. I changed my life.

I went to graduate school. I traveled to Europe again. I divorced my ex-husband. I quit my job. I sold my things. I took off to live in Denmark. I fell in love – with a woman. I re-married. I moved to Sweden. I left the church. I began writing. I found myself.

The greatest gift that I received in my 30s was freedom. The freedom to simply be me.

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

As you know by now, I have already crossed over this horizon; but I am a mere 40 something baby, since I just turned 40 a few months ago. I can say that, as a woman in my 30s, I did not have anything specific that I was aiming for by the time I turned 40. I was still coming into my own all the way up until then (and still am now). And I don’t make those kinds of plans anymore. I am much slower and much more in the present moment these days.

Not that I don’t have dreams and goals. Oh yes, I do. And they are out there on my 50 year old horizon. They inspire me and help to keep me aligned to my true self.

In my 40s, I hope to continue to evolve and transform. I hope to find even more peace. And I hope to begin to make a shift from learning (which I did in my thirties) to teaching and guiding. I want to continue to travel and write and photograph. I am currently writing my first book – a memoir that tells my story from my divorce to my 40th year. But my biggest, most practical goal hanging out there in the future is to shift all of this into a business. I’m not a business person at all, but I have to trust that things will unfold as time passes.

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

My blog is titled “be|love|live” because these are the ways that I discovered how to live an authentic life in my 30s, how to be true to who I am and to make a difference in the world. So, I’ll leave you with my three of my favorite quotes:

BE: “At the center of your being, you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tau

LOVE: “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” – Frederick Buechner

LIVE: “Following your bliss is not self-indulgent, but vital; your whole physical system knows that this is the way to be alive in this world and the way to give to the world the very best that you have to offer. There is a track just waiting for each of us and once on it, doors will open that were not open before and would not open for anyone else.” – Joseph Campbell

My 40-year-old self has learned a lot. And has a lot still to learn. Though I have advice for my 20 something + 30 something selves, I am thankful for how they have led me to exactly where I am right now. Do I wish I had known more back then? Maybe. But, maybe not. Because it’s all part of the beautiful journey of life.

And somewhere along the way I finally listened to my soul. I took one risk after another, afraid of losing it all at one time. But, I listened. And my soul sang for me. And here I am. Just me. There’s no use trying to be anything else. We all have been created to be exactly who we are, the challenge is to find the courage + the strength + the craziness to listen to that inner voice, telling us to just be…. well, us.

connect with the lovely Liz / blog / instagram: @belovelivephotography / facebook: Be Love Live

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my day at the dmv

29 Sep

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Brian and I are a little over a month away from celebrating our first wedding anniversary. I cannot believe it’s been a year!? I’m not sure where the time has gone. Considering our 1st anniversary is nearing I thought it was about time I went through the tedious process of changing my last name. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to become Kate Glodney. I’ve unofficially been “Kate Glodney” since the day we got married. I was, instead, overwhelmed by all the paperwork and various government offices I would have to visit to make it official. I mean who elects to go to the DMV, right?

Lucky for lazy people like me, places like Kleinfeld exist and for a fee of fifty dollars they send you a packet in the mail with all the various government paperwork filled out for you. Well, minus sensitive info such as social security numbers. The packet also comes with very detailed step by step instructions on how to do it all. Perfect for people like me.

When I received the package in the mail….I thought…it would be pretty hard for me to F this up!…Glodney here I come!

First up, changing my name with the Social Security office. I didn’t make an appointment and instead went on a whim after a meeting with a client finished early. Let’s just say I’ve had better ideas. The wait time was 3 1/2 hours. To make matters worse my cell phone was dead and I didn’t have a book with me. Lesson learned…planning ahead can be beneficial! I was about to turn around and leave but part of me knew that if I did, there was a very good chance I wasn’t coming back.

So I waited.

Lucky for me the West LA Social Security office brings out some truly interesting people so, I survived the wait time by people watching and making up elaborate stories about their lives. I especially enjoyed the angry Russian woman who stood up every five minutes and announced to the obviously uninterested room that the wait time at this office was INSANE.

After many hours of this, my number was finally called. Once I sat down with an actual person the process was very fast and ten minutes later I was walking out of the Social Security Administration as….Kate Glodney.

WOOT!

The next stop on the name changing tour was The Department Of Motor Vehicles. This time I wised up and made an appointment before going. Equipped with my shiny new Social Security Card, our marriage license & all the finished DMV paperwork (typed rather than written, no less) I confidently walked in and got into the “appointment” line, which was two deep rather than fifty deep like the “no appointment” line. Clearly, I was on my game that day. I even managed to blow my hair out and wear a cute dress (rather than my normal jeans, t-shirt and messy hair in bun look) knowing I would be taking a new license photo that day.

This time I barely had a moment to sit down before my number was called. Winning! I walked up to the window with my handy-dandy name change folder and a big smile spread across my face. Lydia, the rather gruff lady behind the counter, dressed in a bright purple dress and wearing sparkly big earrings, that swung back and forth as she spoke, grabbed my paperwork and began working on entering my information.

To fill the time, I made small talk with the nice gentleman next to me about the heat wave we had been having in Los Angeles, all while listening to Lydia’s long nails clack against the keyboard.

Suddenly, Lydia’s nails came to a halt.

Oh, done already! I thought! Pays to be on top of things!

I turned towards Lydia and watched as her eyes narrowed at the computer screen.

Never a good sign.

I’m sorry ma’am but I can’t put your paper work through at this time.” Lydia announced

And why is that?” I asked

Well, because you have a failure to appear and a warrant out for your arrest in Georgia, ma’am.” Lydia said loudly (and a bit too loudly if you ask me)

I glanced over at the kind gentleman I was speaking to with a moment prior. His gregarious smile had faded and had been replaced with…well, judgement….with maybe a sprinkle of intrigue?

I was about to dramatically yell…”that’s impossible…I’ve never even been to Georgia!!” when suddenly it all came back to me…oh yes…I most certainly have been to Georgia. Three years ago when I was driving across the country with Rachel during my 365 til 30  year and I did in fact get a speeding ticket…in Georgia.

One in which I ignored because well, it was very expensive and I stupidly thought…when am I ever going to be driving in Georgia again???

I guess I never thought about what happens when you don’t pay speeding tickets in other states.

Fail.

I glanced back at the man next to me and then back to Lydia, deciding it was the perfect time to put my big sunglasses back on.

I leaned into the window and causally asked, “Ok, so Lydia, now what???

“Well, you’re going to have to clear this up with Georgia, Ma’am. Lucky for you this ticket only affects you in Georgia. There is nothing I can do for you here. I can’t even tell you how much you owe at this point. But I’m sorry but there is NO way you are changing your last name to Glodney today.”

Damn you, past!

When I got in the car I decided it was best to text Brian at work with the news rather than come clean about it over dinner. I mean who wants to have the “I have a warrant for my arrest in Georgia” conversation with their husband over a roast chicken, you know?

me:

So, I couldn’t change my name with the DMV today because of my failure to appear for a speeding ticket in Georgia. Kinda funny but NOT. 

brian:

Does that mean you have a warrant????

me:

Well yeah, but only in Georgia…I just need to pay the ticket for it all to get cleared. 

brian:

How much is the ticket now???

me: 

I don’t know. I have to call Georgia. Any interest in a road trip to Georgia?? 

brian:

hahahahah. no not anymore. I don’t need you being arrested. 

The text admission went well don’t you think?

Top of my to-do list this week….clear name in Georgia. Le sigh

* this post was clearly not sponsored by Kleinfeld name change *

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the roadtrip

11 Apr

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As many of you already know one of my goals from last year was to drive across the country before I turned 30. I’ve always thought it sounded incredibly adventurous and the idea of roaming the country without a care in the world sounded beyond romantic. At heart I am a total free spirit; sometimes I think I forget that when I am busy writing to-do lists!

I am happiest going with the flow of life, without an agenda.

Leading up to the trip I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it all off. Who was going to go with me? Mr. McClafferty would just die if I drove it by myself. How would I take all that time off from work? How would I afford the trip? How? How? How?

But as most things do when you trust the universe, it all fell into place perfectly. My wildly adventurous and free-spirited best girlfriend, Rachel of One Part Gypsy signed up to go on the trip with me. I got the time off from work and we somehow paid for most of the trip with the help of fabulous sponsors (thanks guys!). We got lucky, but we also worked our asses of to put this trip together.

We left on the roadtrip exactly one year ago and it ended up being the Best. Month. Of. My. Life.

Sure, there was some fighting…I mean, have you ever traveled in a car with a person for a month? Sure, we almost lost our lives in Mississippi when a big rig swerved into our lane and ran us off the road. Sure, we got lost more times than I’d care to admit (shhhh….sometimes we drove hours out-of-the-way). Sure, we woke up most mornings at 4am to start the drive. Sure, we probably both gained 10 (ok maybe 8) pounds eating our way across America…I mean, have you been to the South?? But, we survived it all with our senses of humor and an insane amount of red bulls, and we are better friends because if it.

There really isn’t another person I could imagine having accomplished this goal with. Traveling across the country with Rachel will forever be one of my favorite memories. I’m pretty sure when we are old and grey we will be telling our grandkids about the wild month in 2012 we conquered the USA.

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Read some of my favorite posts from that month!

– Marfa, Texas

– Getting chased by a dirt devil 

– Visiting Georgia O’ Keefe’s private residence

– Memphis! 

– Our night at a sweet little B&B in Alabama

–  Our day with wild horses 

– Santa Fe

– Struggs

–  Going to F. Scott Fitzgeralds home 

– We’re going to Graceland! 

inspiration, gratitude & surprises

5 Apr

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Hello Friday!! So happy you’re here! Other than shooting engagement pictures on Saturday with Rachel, Brian and I have no plans. YAY! I honestly can’t tell you how excited this makes me. I’m going to sleep in, write, read, cook and watch movies. I may even stay in my pajamas all day on Sunday. Just because I can. Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

what inspired me this week?

I’ve started reading “Gone Girl” and I’m loving it. The writing is so good.

A Bucket List For My Baby

My friend Katie who’s traveling through Vietnam all by herself! I just love that. I’ve never traveled to a foreign land by myself but she’s inspiring me to start thinking about it!

Looking through all my road trip pictures from driving across the usa last year. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have had such great experiences. Expect a post about it next week!

what am I grateful for this week?

Rachel…we had a beautiful afternoon talking about life and drinking wine- on a wednesday! So naughty of us. So grateful for her friendship, love and support.

Taline for being such a good maid on honor. She has so many great ideas!

Acupuncture and chinese herbs

what surprised me this week?

That 365 til 30 was named top 100 self-help blogs!

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“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck” – Dalai Lama

thanks for the fun 2012!

28 Dec

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Firstly, I want to say thank you so much, truly, for reading 365 til 30. It means a lot to me that you take the time to come here and 2012 wouldn’t have been the same without you guys! So, thanks.

I’ve been reflecting on 2012 the past few days. Tis the season to take stock, right?! 2012 was a year filled with blessings. I don’t say that lightly either because 2009-2011 were years filled with struggles, uncertainty, loneliness and fear. As I approached 2012  things started to shift. I started this blog in the summer of 2011 and regained a clear focus, light heart and grateful attitude. Things just started to flow, click and move. I have many hopes, goals and wishes for 2013 which I will get to in a later post but in the meantime I wanted to reflect on my favorite moments of 2012. Above is the vision board I created last year on January 1st. When I look at it I see so much that came to fruition – 2012 was an embarrassment of riches. Thanks 2012 for putting a huge smile on my face.

My top moments-

traveling across the country with One Part Gypsy

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turning 30 and watching my baby 365 til 30 grow…

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getting engaged to the man I love…

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traveling to Hong Kong and Nepal with my new fiance…

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And lastly we have some exciting news to share (no, I’m not pregnant)!! We bought our first place!!! Now I can cross “New Living Space” off my goal list for the year. We hopefully move into our new home next month. Not a bad way to start the New Year, huh? Be prepared for an influx of cooking posts because this kitchen inspires me….

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What are your top five’s from 2012. Please share below!

Guest post by One Part Gypsy

11 Jul

Today’s guest post is from Rachel of One Part Gypsy– not only is she an incredibly talented photographer and creative director but she also happens to be my dear friend and cohort in crime on the across the country adventure (her pictures from the trip were amazing- you must check them out if you haven’t!). Enjoy her post on Summer goodness!

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Summer is as summer was…

June gloom seems to have passed over here, and the bright sunny mornings make me want to play hooky and hang at the beach all. day. long.

I think that’s what I love about summer most: the predictable combo of sand and sun (and perhaps some good company!) always equaling a perfect day.

Hope you all are enjoying summer as much as these guys are!

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18: Dear drive across the country

20 Jun

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Dear Drive across the country,

You, I love. You speak to the free-spirited, adventurous and untamed side of me. The wanderer. The nomad. The girl who hates order, rules and schedules. The woman whose soul feels most alive when dipping her toes into the unknown. You speak to the part of me I happen to love the most- the very essence of me. The thing that makes me tick. The part of me that I fight to keep alive despite needing and wanting to plant roots.

When I first decided I wanted to accomplish you, I was the tender age of 20. Nothing sounded more exciting or more intoxicating than being on the open road for an extended period of time- getting lost, getting found, exploring, hearing stranger’s stories and seeing the different landscapes of the USA.

You have been a dream that I have been desperate to make a reality for the last 10 years.

When at 20, I decided I wanted to accomplish you, you seemed like an easy goal to tackle before 30. I had 10 years to find the time to take a month off from my life and hit the open road! But then, a funny thing happened. The years started to slip away and it never seemed like the right time to make you a reality. Life got in the way. Responsibilities got in the way and I started to feel as if you were a selfish, silly and impossible goal to accomplish. But the truth is, I never stopped thinking about you…I always pined for you.

Cut to a few days before my 29th birthday- the day I was writing my crazy 365 til 3o goal list. I felt alive with excitement and full of possibility and I, of course, wrote you on my list. I knew that somehow, someway I would find a way to make you a reality this year. Come hell or high water, I was driving across this great country of ours.

I’m not going to lie…you were a hard one to figure out! There is still no perfect time to leave your life for a month and drop off the radar. Well, I guess I wasn’t necessarily off the radar considering I could be found at all times via my twitter, instagram, facebook and blog, but you know what I mean…I was away from my everyday life. My schedule. My worries. My fears.

I was a girl on the open road without a care in the world. 

You didn’t teach me anything about myself that I didn’t already know, instead you strengthened my belief in myself. You reminded me why this is still my favorite qoute- ““Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

You also reminded me that there is never a perfect time to make our dreams a reality. The time is now.

The world is such a big and beautiful place and I don’t want to stop exploring it…ever. Even if that means having to drag around a few kids and lots of extra baggage one day.

It’s all about balance in life, right?

Love ya

Kate

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

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