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self discovery

You Don’t Need to Have Everything Figured Out at 25

The one thing they don’t teach in school is that you aren’t supposed to know where your life is going when you graduate at, say, 22.

Sure, it’s important to have some sort of direction, but how do you know after two decades of life what you really want?

Ten years ago, I was living in San Francisco, working as an office manager at a tech company. I had a boyfriend who worked in finance and usually hung out with his group of college friends from UC Berkeley more than him (they were more fun). I lived with two roommates down the street from said boyfriend in Russian Hill. My life was one big routine, the day in and the day out, so I found other ways to entertain myself.

So, I began writing.

Whether it was a Yelp review or blog post about an event I went to (I did a lot of events and promo work in my 20’s), I was happiest when I was sharing with the world.

Nevertheless, underneath the surface I thought my relationship had to “go somewhere.” I thought my job defined me and my success. I worried my Central Michigan University degree wasn’t good enough compared to everyone in the Bay Area with more impressive degrees than me. I constantly compared myself to other people and their success.

My boyfriend and I broke up that summer of 2010 and I quit my job in the fall. Back to square one, I continued to write, struggled with finances, and drank too much, but I knew I was closer to what I was supposed to be doing than sitting at an office desk five days a week (minus the drinking).

Through a lot of experiences, trial and error, and life lessons, 10 years later I still don’t know what direction my life will take. That’s the beauty of life- the unexpected surprises.

~

I’ve spent the past month spending a lot of time working on my coaching business, starting a new job at a wellness center, and writing, of course. Unlike my decisions to quickly find a job that looked good but wasn’t fulfilling, I waited to find something aligned with my overall goals and vision for the future.

My own experiences and lessons have lead me on a path of helping other people live a healthy, balanced life of purpose and joy, especially young women. However, whether you’re 20 or 70, it’s never too late to make a positive change in your life.

I’ve talked with and interviewed various women these past few months, learning what fuels their own passions. One woman left her corporate job at 55 to open a bakery. A friend of mine from Connecticut lost her stomach at age 17 and later channeled her energy through art, writing, and theatre- and even created her own one-woman show off Broadway (which I got to see back in 2014).

The common denominator between all of the people I have talked to is how their own experiences shaped their decisions- and because of these experiences, they were able to contribute something to the world. Something they couldn’t have contributed had they not experienced what they went through.

So, you really can’t tell me that you’re supposed to know where your life is going at 25.

Why would you want to?

Categories
self discovery

Do Unmarried Women Really Live Longer?

Valentine’s Day has come and gone- the day full of Hallmark cards, chocolates, flowers, and sweet nothings.

If you’re unattached like I am, it’s another day to love yourself, eat candy, and remind your friends you care. I sent cards to far-away gal pals, bought a stuffed animal for my cat, and made myself scallops and fries on Valentine’s Day; sounds pretty perfect, right?

Lately it seems my friends are more concerned about me finding a date than I am. It’s usually the married ones. I just smile and say I’m not looking- however, I am open. I won’t rule anything out. Nevertheless, going on dating apps and searching for a partner isn’t of interest to me.

I like my life how it is, and I don’t want anyone to change that.

The truth is, I am not looking for a relationship. When I meet someone who matches my energy, however, I may reconsider.

Dating at 35 is much different than in your 20’s. Since being in my 20’s, I’ve seen friends marry, have kids, and get divorced. I’ve watched them have affairs and stay in unhappy marriages. I’ve had friends vent to me about their sexless love life and tell me they’re envious how I’ve been able to do what I want.

Well, it’s because I choose to live this way.

In your 20’s and even your 30’s, many people look for a partner because they think that’s what “you’re supposed” to do. But when you realize partnership may not be all it’s cracked up to be, you chose to love yourself first.

~

An article popped up in my feed this morning that I couldn’t help but share. I’m sure many of my Facebook friends would disagree, but I couldn’t help but wonder- are single women wasting their energy looking for a partner when their happiness has nothing to do with whether or not they’re coupled up?

Are they just searching to compromise, to have their identity shattered, and to settle for less than what they dreamed of?

You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children – ‘Bless, that’s a shame, isn’t it? Maybe one day you’ll meet the right guy and that’ll change.’ No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy and that’ll change. Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner,” (Paul Dolan) reasoned during the panel.

Many celebrities and public figures agree, especially Gloria Steinem. “The two happiest groups are married men and unmarried women,” the famous feminist once stated.

Maggie Parker, Parade Magazine

Maybe unmarried women really do live longer. Maybe they don’t. Whatever the case, I can say the key to living a fulfilling life is to do what makes your soul happy- so if that’s going home to your cat or to a house full of people, do that. Everyone is different.

Listen to yourself.

Categories
self discovery

Nevertheless, She Persisted

On Saturday I took a journey via bus, train, and Uber to see Senator Elizabeth Warren in Weymouth.  This was Senator Warren’s 22nd town hall, addressing a variety of issues, from the proposed Weymouth compressor station to health care, education, and North Korea.  The energy in the room was amazing, and I even made some new friends in the crowd.

Although I knew her story and have been a big supporter of her for years, it was amazing to hear her share it in person.  She told the crowd how she came from a paycheck to paycheck family, received a college scholarship, dropped out of school, and got divorced- yet she persisted.  She went on to finish school thanks to an affordable community college where she paid $50 a semester, graduated law school, and eventually became a professor at Harvard.  For a girl who had out-of-reach dreams (or so she thought) of becoming a public school teacher, this is pretty amazing.

She made it clear that second- and even third and forth chances- are possible.

This made me stop and think about my own experiences.  Politics aside, we can all learn from Elizabeth’s message.  It’s easy to beat ourselves up over mistakes of the past, view our situation as hopeless, or think we’re not good enough, smart enough, or educated enough to reach great heights- but we must remember we can try again.

 

Our lives may not turn out the way we once envisioned- and that’s okay.  Life isn’t meant to.  Life is supposed to surprise, delight, and hurt- the good moments wouldn’t be as sweet if we didn’t experience the bad.

As I continue to walk along this road of life, it’s exciting to see why things fell apart as new pieces come together.  Two years ago, I never would have thought I would live in Massachusetts.  I thought New York was the only way; my only path.  Had it not crumbled, I wouldn’t have the foundation I have now.  Life is one big classroom, and whether you’re a high school student at Weymouth or a professor at Harvard, you’ll never stop learning.