Tag Archives: q & a with woman in their 30’s

project 30- loni

2 Jul

Loni and her husband, Mike, went to graduate school with Brian in Newcastle and they have stayed close ever since. I met them early on in our relationship and knew if Brian had friends like them then he was a keeper. They are just really solid humans. I’ve enjoyed developing my own  relationship with Loni the past few years. She’s warm, incredibly thoughtful and has a dry and funny sense of humor that comes out in the most unexpected moments and always gets a laugh out of me. She also loves birding which I find beyond endearing. I just love that she is who she is. She’s quirky in the most beautiful ways. She’s one of those people who you want to be around because you some how feel better for it. She’s a rare bird and I am so grateful to call her a friend.

Loni pic

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

The sky is not falling. You don’t have to have it all figured out.  In fact, it’s best that you NOT have it all figured out because, frankly, you can’t possibly have all the pieces to your puzzle at 20-something. Your life will not always be pleasant, but it will be yours, so enjoy it all as part of the process. You know who you are and you will be okay. Promise.

See also: Calm the F down.

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

Not a damned thing. If there’s ever a time in one’s life to drift along aimlessly and make a muck of it, it’s your 20s. I think sometimes we push ourselves too hard when, really, we’re still babies, especially in our early 20s. Why the hurry to grow up? 

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

All of it. It’s only at 32 that I see just how absolutely unkind I’ve been to myself, especially in my 20s. Newsflash, Lon: You are not perfect and that’s a very good thing.  You never had to please anyone but yourself. 

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

There are so many! The big ones: Studying abroad in England for a year, serving with AmeriCorps right out of college, moving to Los Angeles sight unseen, and meeting and falling in love with my husband. The “little” ones: Holding a baby sloth in Costa Rica, ditching work to go with my friends to a Cher concert (it really did change our lives!), and pounding the pavement for the Obama campaign in 2008 (and again in 2012). 

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

I honestly didn’t think that far ahead of me in my early 20s. I suppose I wanted to have an adventure – to travel, fall in love a time or two, work in a creative industry, and live in a big, lively city, far away from the small town I grew up in. I think I knew I wanted to do something “outside of the box,” but I wasn’t sure what that looked like. 

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

It’s surprising to me to see that I’ve basically done all of the things I wanted to, despite not having a clear plan.  I’ve done some traveling (though not as much as I’d like!), I’m married to one of the good ones, I have a master’s degree in Museum Studies and have worked in positions I find really interesting, and I live in Los Angeles, a vibrant city that increasingly feels like home to me. 

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

Oh, man, was I ever NOT worried it wouldn’t all fall into place!?

Kate, you once posted a quote on your blog by Georgia O’Keefe which really spoke to me: “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”

That’s me. I’m anxious about my life and my future even as I type this. I know full well that my life’s work is to just let it all go.  It would break my heart to look back on my life and realize that fear and worry prevented me from experiencing all the things I have set before me, most of which I can only guess at. Sometimes you just have to jump.    

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

I think my greatest gift is simply that I’m alive. I lost my mother to cancer when she was quite young, only 34, so I don’t say that lightly. We’re alive and we have a choice every single day to give it a go and make of it what we will. Perhaps the biggest gift is having the wisdom to recognize that. 

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

I don’t think happiness just sort of happens to you, I believe you have to tend to it like a garden full of stubborn tomatoes.  So I hope at 40 I’ve continued to cultivate my happiness.  I also hope that, in the words of my grandpa, I’ve played the cards I’m dealt in a way I can be proud of. 

Finally, I hope I have a loving, supportive family around me and that, most importantly, they know how much I love and support them. Always.

I trust that the rest of it will work itself out.

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

I have two:

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. – Louisa May Alcott

Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you. – Hāfez

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connect with Loni  Blog/ twitter 

project 30 – chantal

16 Apr

Chantal walked into my life when I was twenty. I was dating a man at the time who was friends with Chantal’s then husband. Did you follow that? Anyway in walks this opinionated, fun, fiery, beautiful Dominican woman to a dinner party one night and we immediately hit it off, becoming fast friends. I can safely say that I got into more trouble with Chantal in my 20’s than anyone else. We were both a bit wild in those days. HA. But I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything and like all lasting relationships do, we’ve stayed close through the changes the last ten years have brought. We’ve held each other’s hand through break-ups, divorce, moves, triumphs, failures, marriage, babies (she has THE cutest little boy named Sebastian) and everything in between. I adore this woman and I thank the Universe for bringing her into my world. She’s always made me feel understood and some days that’s all you need, you know?

I love her more than words can say.

Enjoy her insightful answers to the “Project 30” questions. I fell in love with this line “Yet I now find solace and comfort in the result of what is, and not what isn’t.” Amazing

chantal

Chantal, 35

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

It would tell her, not to take life so seriously.  To relax, and perhaps take life with a little more ease. To love herself first, and more. It seemed as though when I was in my 20’s I was more concerned with the exterior of things, or of life itself, how at the time it was supposed to look , or be.  I was more concerned with what people wanted of me, thought of me, what I should do, or be.  I did not have enough faith in my inner self, my inner voice, and what I thought was best for me.  Through time I realized that my exterior, the things of life, career, nor success would define what I was to become.  Nor who I am.

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

The concern and advice of my parents, and elders.  In my 20’s I felt like a young adult that was beating to her own drum, perhaps neglecting their advice and maybe learning the rules of life the hard way.

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

My studies. I should have dropped my books, and just traveled the world. Maybe taken a few years off to travel the globe, in search of nothing, and everything.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

When I got the opportunity to go on a sailing trip for 2 weeks through the British Virgin Islands with a group of friends. One memory that sticks out is the afternoon I was sitting alone, on the deck of the sailboat, basking in the afternoon sun, on this beautiful day, with my headphones on, listening to Sade, and staring into the vast, serene, and endless ocean that was in front of me. Not a worry in the world, I was just happy right where I was.

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

I thought I would be working for the United Nations, or some other foreign government as a Foreign Service Officer, or working in a field that dealt with the economic development of 3rd world countries. I was a dreamer for sure. I thought I would be living in NY, or off in some foreign country.

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

By 30’ I was at peace, and felt balanced.  I was neither working for the UN, nor living overseas. After leaving my 20’s behind, I had finally found me, with a few years of soul searching, some inner and outer work, plus a heavy dose of nurturing, I was able to patch up a few of the wounds, and walk into my 30’s at peace with the world, and what was in front of me.

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

I think its human nature to worry that what we want, wish for or yearn for, will not fall into place. So yes, I worried. Yet I now find solace and comfort in the result of what is, and not what isn’t.

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

Being happy with who I am now. Finding love again, and the right partner for me, to share my life with, to grow old with.  Becoming a mother, and having the privilege and gift to raise our son.

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

I hope at 40 my life continues to evolve, grow, and manifest what ever I set my heart out to achieve.

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

There is a line in William Ernest Henley’s poem Evictus, which resonates with me, and I try to live my life by, it reads,  “I am the captain of my fate, I am the master of my soul.” I think that’s it in a nutshell.

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project 30 – Melissa

9 Apr

I met Melissa in October at Jen Pastiloff’s manifestation yoga retreat and I couldn’t be more thankful that she was brought into my world. She’s become a big energy in my life in a very short time. We just click. It’s been easy to open up to her about things that would normally take me forever to trust someone with. There’s an easiness to our friendship. She also cracks me the f*ck up! Seriously, she’s got a funny line for everything. When I asked her to do this q&a I knew that she would bring something special to the table but when I read her finished piece, I was blown away. It’s so honest and so real. So so so good. It made me like her even more, and I didn’t think that was possible! Enjoy.

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

I took on other people’s drama and let things affect me so deeply. Lots of tears and energy wasted on things I couldn’t control. Focusing on what you can change and learning to say “NO” is the difference between your 20s and 30s.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

It’s funny how some the best things happen out of the worse circumstances. I tore my Achilles tendon that ended my ballet days, left my job because I was disabled, and moved back in with my parents for care. Chicago was starting to feel small so I left. In exactly 6 weeks post-surgery, I moved to Los Angeles and created a new life. I also eventually changed careers. My favorite memory is my drive and how outgoing I was. I lived it up, made solid friendships, broke some hearts, had my heart-broken, was living a life most people could only dream of, pulled some crazy shenanigans, and thankfully made it out unscathed.

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

Sadly, I thought life would be like Sex and the City. I would be some sales and marketing exec for a healthcare company, living in Chicago, settling down with my now-ex (Mr. Big), and starting a family.

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

My life was in pieces and I was rebuilding. Around 29, I lost my best friend/baby sister to her battle with depression through suicide and was an emotional wreck. Though I had a solid core of friends, I felt so abandoned and depressed. I didn’t date for a year, because I couldn’t imagine opening myself to anyone else or even sharing the fact that my sister decided to leave this world on her own accord. I finally decided to stay in LA after commuting back and forth the year prior. I was working as a fashion editor in a toxic environment and struggling as a freelance wardrobe stylist crashing with friends while looking for an apartment. It was such a dark time, but made through with an incredible support system, a wonderful therapist, and my faith.

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

I’ve come a long way and have gone through a metamorphosis to become the woman I am today. I have faith that things will fall into place. Yes, I fear that I won’t find a partner or accomplish my TV aspirations, but I can only control my actions and manifest! I suffered the greatest loss I can only imagine of losing my baby sister (my right arm) and learned you come into this world alone and leave alone. That was the deepest valley so I only look towards the highest mountain.

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

I’m so much more comfortable in my skin and body that I was before. Growing up training as a ballerina I had a love/hate relationship with my body especially by my breasts (which people would pay for). I have learned to listen to body and be more conscious of what goes in it, leaving the abuse of my 20s behind. I also used to have to be out all the time like I was constantly looking for something. Now I love my own company and love my space. I will always be the social butterfly, but there is no place like my home, a glass of zinfindel, jazz, and a good book.

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

Working as a TV host and having a successful personal styling business

A partner (Which is way more than a husband, because it should be a true partnership)

A loving family of my own

Giving back to young females by educating them about career preparedness and self-esteem issues

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

“Love and respect yourself completely”

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project 30 – Jen

1 Apr

Jen has been in my life now for thirteen years and I’ve enjoyed every single moment of our friendship. When we get together there is always laughter and honest conversations. We just get each other and I am so grateful to have her as a friend. Over the last two years I’ve been lucky enough to watch Jen transform her life and it has been truly inspiring. She decided to leave her life in LA and her career in casting and set off on an adventure to volunteer with All Hands rebuilding schools in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. How seriously brave and amazing, right? Enjoy her insightful answers…

jen

Jen, 31

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

Do something outside of your comfort zone as much as possible….that was always very hard for me. I remember landing in Haiti at 29 and looking out the plane window thinking “what the hell did you just get yourself into” but after 2 weeks doing work unlike anything I had ever done I decided that there was no way I would be able to go back to my life before.

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

Sleep. I’ve never been a good sleeper but I wish I did more of that when I had the time.

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

Stressing about non-important things.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I have so many amazing memories from my 20’s that picking one is extremely hard, but if I had to it would have been the moment that I fell in love with disaster relief work and Haiti. I was coming home from a full day of pouring a foundation for a school we were building. I was covered head to toe in cement, I had burns up and down both arms from catching buckets of wet cement being thrown at me all day long and I was exhausted. We spent the 35 minute drive home laughing hysterically through the most beautiful country side talking about how excited we were to be doing all over again tomorrow. I remember looking out into a field of banana trees thinking “yes, you’re home”.

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

I’ve never been a big planner of the future so I didn’t really have a clear picture of where I would be by 30, but if I had to guess I would have been living in LA and, still working in casting or some other part of the movie industry.

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

I was just approaching my 6th month mark in Haiti. I was living in a tent surrounded by devastation and destruction with some of the most amazing people on this planet. I had no idea what was next or where I was going to go from there.

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

Uhhhh Yes, living a life of disaster relief for almost 2 years now is always a little crazy and all over the place but I know in the end it will all work out on way or another.

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

I’m like being confident in who I am as a person. Of course I still have days and moments where I’m completely lost and feel very alone but when it all comes down to it I know who I am, what I like, what I want and what I need at this moment in life.

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

Part of doing disaster relief is that I really have no idea what is next. I still have some major decisions to make in regards to what’s next for me but when it all comes down to it the main thing is that I want to be happy, healthy and enjoying life to the fullest always, no matter how old I am.

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

“Not all those who wander are lost” – JRR Tolkin

project 30 – Katie

26 Mar

I met the lovely Katie of Confessions Of An Imperfect Life at Jen Pastiloff’s yoga retreat in October. I immediately liked her and knew I wanted to be friends with her. Does that sound creepy?! Probably. She’s just a really cool chick, who happens to be a brilliant writer and person. She’s a thoughtful and supportive friend, who inspires me everyday with her raw, intelligent and honest writing. Enjoy her answers…

rockstar

Katie, 35

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

Don’t work so hard. Don’t worry so much. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Things will all work out the way they are supposed to.

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

Everything that was available to me living in NYC. I didn’t take full advantage of the cultural mecca that New York is, mostly because I worked so much.

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

Work! Live to work was the mindset then; I wish I had known that work to live was a more healthy option for me.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Seemingly endless nights in NYC, where anything was possible on any given night. And making friends who would be in my life forever.

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

Working for an amazing magazine I loved. Living in the West Village. Financially independent. Surrounded by friends. In love. Happy.

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

Working for an amazing magazine I loved. Living in the West Village.  Financially independent. Surrounded by friends. Not in love. Happy, but restless, ready for change.

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

Everyday. I still worry most days that things won’t fall into place. They may not. The worry drives me to work hard, to fight for the things that I want. And in my 30’s I have learned that sometimes it’s the things that don’t fall into place that are the biggest gifts.

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

Learning to be more authentic. Caring a little less what other people think. Being able to do most of what I want to do. Appreciating EVERYTHING more.

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

Writing more.  Inspiring people through writing. Working for an amazing magazine. Living at the beach. In love. A mother. Happy.

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

“What will you do with your one precious, wild life?” 
― Mary Oliver

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For more project 30 pieces-

Anya / Alison / Amber 

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project 30 – Anya

12 Mar

anya

I actually have to credit Brian for bringing Anya into my life! They went to college at Cal Poly together and have been best buds ever since. Brian has seriously good taste in friends because I LOVE this woman. She’s passionate, creative, smart, brave, spiritual, hysterical (I mean, doesn’t the picture above say it all?) and just an all around good human. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did. They made me laugh and cry and be thankful for this ride we call life.

Anya, 31

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

You will endure more than you ever thought possible and you will survive. Stay TRUE to yourself and LISTEN to your gut. It was ALWAYS right (self-righteous biotch). And keep telling your family that you love them… it will make some of that struggle a little bit easier!

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

Nothing. When we take ourselves or life too seriously, we miss out on the greatest moments and some amazingly healing laughter!

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

Boys… sorry, I mean men! Wait… no I didn’t! BOYS! BOYS! BOYS! I wish I’d spent less time looking for “Mr. Right,” had spent less energy on the “Mr. Right Nows” and more time discovering Miss Anya!

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Not to be tear-inducing, but the last fight I had with my father. We were in the kitchen and he was ticked off because I didn’t do the dishes the nano-second I finished eating off of them or something kitchen-clean-up related as was usual! Here I am, 28 years old, his long-lost daughter visiting from my current life abroad and he rips into me over some mundane chore I didn’t even do when I was 10! The best part is that he got so angry he called me an idiot! It sounds so horrible, but I had to burst out laughing because I know with every inch of my being that he’s never thought of me as less than intelligent and capable. It was so funny to me that his anger caused him to revert to childish name-calling and it broke the back-and-forth of our argument. It also led to that feeling of closeness you only achieve with your parents once you’ve pushed each other too far and scratched the other raw. He has been gone two and a half years, but I will never forget his temper, his love of a clean kitchen, and my certainty that my father loved me and was heart-crushingly proud of who I had become. (I failed… totally cried through writing this. I miss him so much still and I hear it just gets worse… ok Anya, see #1 again)

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

I was sure I’d be married or in a serious relationship, finally out of school working with the top veterinarians working in equine surgery or theriogenology (fixing horses or making new little ones), and living in California in a hot body and with money to spare!

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

I was in school. Actually, my 30th birthday was right before I started a new degree at a new school… something I have had a LOT of practice doing! I was embarking on a very new frontier as a veterinarian (I’d at least gotten THAT degree done)! I was single for about a week… then in the worst relationship I have ever entered, working at a restaurant part-time to supplement more student loans, in a new town that I was pretty sure I didn’t want to stay in… and I was pretty happy!

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

Constantly, but I kept going! That definitely counts for something! The one thing I make sure I take with me everywhere I go is hope. I keep hopeful that I will one day be more comfortable in my own skin, find a city or piece of land that really feels like home, make a difference… a real difference in the lives of animals, and maybe even have my very own love story. Each day is a gift and an adventure, so hope keeps my eyes and ears open and my heart excited for whatever may come my way!

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

Youth! I am only in my 30s and pretty sure I am only improving as a woman, a citizen, a family member or friend, and am more excited about my career than ever! Women at this age have is so great these days because we aren’t expected to be experienced wives and mothers of 3 at 30 anymore (thanks GOODness)! We spread our wings in our 20s, but are really only just learning how to ride the wind and enjoy it in our 30s!

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

Well, first of all I hope I LOOK like my mother did in her 40s! She looked maybe 28… that lucky girl still looks amazing! I am learning to not plan it out too carefully. I hope I am still hopeful, still idealistic, and still driven to use my skills for good. If I get all nasty and angry, have let the struggles get me down (by not remembering #1) or have lost my hope, you have my permission to give me a hearty slap across my (botox free) face! Life has been very good to me so far and I’m hoping from here until 40 continues the current trend.

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

Be BOLD and mighty forces will come to your aid!” -Goethe 

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