Lifestyle

The Journey To A Better Self

Let’s get personal for a minute, since this is, after all, my first time here. Perhaps you’re wondering what brought me here and where I plan to go from this jumping off point.

Realizations


It’s April 19, 2017, at 5 AM, and my alarm blares to life. It has been exactly 29 years, 3 hours, and 50 minutes since I made my debut here on earth. I wipe the sleep from my eyes, rise out of bed, make coffee and push through my morning routine. The house is silent at this hour, which is, generally, a good place for doubts and fears to fester. I’m trying to hold back the impending existential crisis that creeps in at almost every birthday over the last five years. I can feel the tendrils of this one reaching out already, though, and I know it’s going to be a big one.

I often tell myself that I’m not actually scared of turning 30, and for the most part that’s probably true. Turning 30 and having nothing to show for it is what I am afraid of. My life is full of so many amazing things that it’s, honestly, a ridiculous thought. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter, solid friendships, a career, a few stamps in my passport, and a handful of hobbies in which I dabble. This is how almost-30 looked, for the most part, when I envisioned it from a youthful standpoint.

For some reason, though, I thought there would be …  more. But more what, exactly? I’m starting to ask myself profound questions that have no place in my brain at such an early hour. Did I live my twenties the way I intended? Should I have traveled more, settled less, experienced greater thrills? How did I end up here, 365 days from turning 30, and what did I do with the last decade of my life? The inner battle continued as I questioned everything and simultaneously noted all the beauty my life held. For each “I have this,” my subconscious echoed “but did you do that?”

Entering my office, I couldn’t help but feel a touch of disdain for merely being there. That is when I realized how miserable I was with my job; I felt unchallenged, unfulfilled, and completely disinterested.

Making Moves


I remembered a “30 Before 30” list of goals I had created at 24, and I pulled it up. Number 10 read, “Start my own business, do something I truly enjoy.” When I wrote the list five years prior, I had plenty of time, but now, with under a year left, I would have to make adjustments. After a few relevant changes to the list, I began coming to life in a way I hadn’t in a long time. I remember discussing it with my husband, Nick, and telling him, “I’m closer to 30 than ever, and I realize that I am not living my best life. I intend to start doing that because I’m nowhere close to death and I’ve only got one shot at this.”

The first thing I did was manifest my love of stationery into a side business. It was so much easier than I anticipated. I signed on as an Etsy seller, created a handful of designs and listed them. I launched my Etsy shop on Mother’s Day, two weeks earlier than intended, in a burst of excitement over a new printer I received from Nick as a gift. Happier than ever, I did not doubt that this had been the right move. It has also been a positive sign that since opening I have yet to go one week without sales. This meant I had checked number 10 off my list, but still, I wanted more.

I found myself frequently sitting in my office during downtime and researching other paths I could pursue. What I wanted was freedom from my desk job. Wasting my days tethered to an office was getting old quickly. I was drawn in by many possibilities. Freelancing and blogging became my focus areas, and I began to brainstorm pitches and portfolio ideas. Knowing which direction I wanted to move did not prevent the fear of taking any substantial steps.

Then I lost my job.

A New Beginning


Something bizarre happened when I lost my job. I was overcome with relief, which in turn made me feel guilty. Who did I think I was to be relieved?Losing my job was supposed to stress me out, I live in NYC, have a family, and a mountain of bills. It didn’t, though, instead I found myself walking out the door feeling freer than I have in a long, long time.

One week later I signed up for a 5 Day Blogging Fast Track course and took on two freelance writing clients. I have not looked back since I set out on this path. I keep thinking to myself; this is it – this is what it feels like to live my best. It is having freedom from the 9 to 5, treasuring family moments instead of rushing through them, and working toward my goals.

This is my new beginning because it is never too late to have one. I am more at peace than I have ever been, even though I am taking some substantial risks. Every day I am taking steps, small and large, on a journey to find my best self.

Not everyone shares my story, but so many feel that same strain of stuck. Is your life the best it possibly can be? Are you working towards ensuring that your life is complete and fulfilled? If not, what is holding you back? You will be amazed to find out what is truly possible when you let go of the weight keeping you down and step into the unknown.

In 6 months I will be 30 years old, and I know can’t wait to greet that age as though it were an old friend. The fear is gone, and the existential crises are far and few between because in my heart, I know I’m walking the right path now.

 

11 thoughts on “The Journey To A Better Self

  1. I have to say, I was done with my assignment. I had celhecked our five other blogs, followed their social media, and moved on. But I was randomly scrolling through the fb feed just now and both your site name and your post shook me. We should be best friends. I’m ten years older than you but I think you’re my across the country urban mommy blogger soul mate. While I never really look back or worry about my accomplishments by a certain age, the part you wrote about deciding to be your best self and then jumping in with both feet (and a little push) really resonates with my own experience. I hope we can work together someday. Kisses and hugs from an SF urban mama looking at 40 to an NYC urban mama looking at 30.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by. I’m glad my post resonated with you in some way. I think we are all a bit connected some way or another. I will definitely come check out your page, and hope we get a chance to work together, for sure. Sending love from the east coast to the west!

  2. Very interesting post. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing what I like… what I really want to do. I guess we all have those questions – you for getting closer to 30, me actually closer to 40 🙂 I believe there’s always room for more. Congratulations for your achievements.

    1. Thank you! I have realized that questioning things is completely normal. Honestly, I think no matter where we are at in our lives we still won’t feel like we are where we should be. It was also very scary to realize I needed to leave my career. I’ve been in the same field, in some capacity, since I was 19. That was a solid decade of building and investing myself into something that was robbing me of happiness. Still there is a comfort in the things we know, so when I lost my job and decided not to immediately get another I was actually a bit terrified.

  3. It’s so awesome and inspiring to read your story and testimony. I too am feeling the same way (at only 22 years old might I add) and decided to take my life in another direction. Blogging is truly both hard work and rewarding!

    1. I am so glad I was able to inspire you a little bit! It’s great, though, that you were able to get to this point at a much earlier age. I hope it goes wonderfully and you find a ton of success.

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I’m happy to know that my words resonated with you. It is always nice to know we aren’t alone in a feeling.

  4. Ahhh I found myself deep breathing through your list… I know that feeling of having a series of goals before 30… I’m going to be 34 in December which is so weird. I can’t believe I’m this old? I love how you write and how candid you are. I guess what I’m trying to say is you seem real… relatable. I’m going to visit your etsy store next. 🙂

    1. Well, to me, there is no better compliment than being called “real”, so thank you. I have those “Am I really this old?” moments all of the time, but I secretly suspect that everyone does. Now I just have to learn to master the art of faking it and pretending I feel like a real adult. 🙂
      Thank you for wanting to visit my Etsy shop! The link is supposed to be my shop but apparently needs to be repaired. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. My shop is http://www.ThePostScriptPaperie.Etsy.com
      🙂

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