What I learned at 30

by - 2:37 AM

A year has passed since my What I learned at 29 post, and again I find myself in a new place that I could not have predicted even if I had tried. Life is full of unpredictabilities, and the last six months especially, have taught me how to ride the wave.

Hamlin Lake, MI | June 2015

A year ago, I stood at the top of the dunes near my family home in Michigan, and I set my intention for year 30. “Open to possibility”. 

I had no idea what that would bring ( >> an entirely new life << ) but I have used it as my mantra lately to continue moving myself forward. This year again I am sharing 10 things that shaped the first year of my 30s.

10. I am not my “story”.

We all have stories we define ourselves by and create attachments to - but we are not our stories. Stories hold us back from becoming something more, by keeping us in the past or in a box of what we think we should be. This does not create growth.

Costa Rica |  Feb 2015

9. Wherever you go, there you are.

I love this quote - basically it means, you can’t escape your issues. Flying to a beach to “get away” or moving cities, or changing scenery won’t change the true you. The only way to get to know yourself (which can be a nakedly wretched process) is to strip yourself down and figure out what makes you burn, and what is burning you.

8. Book the trip.

Do it. Stop thinking about it and just book it - even if you aren’t sure why or you don’t know how you are going to pay for it. I promise if you are feeling called to do it, the date the trip arrives, it will all make sense.

Playa Negra, Costa Rica | Feb 2015

7. Say yes now.

Just say yes. Even if you aren’t sure you will like it - you won’t know if you don’t try. And if you try it and hate it, guess what - you don’t have to do it again.

Right now, I am on my way Montana to backpack up a mountain for 6 days. No clue what I'm doing. I just told him yes.

6. Send the email.

“I should really email that person that I met at _____.” Yes. Go do it. Because if you don’t... the next person will. And the opportunity will not manifest.

The Treehouse Retreats, The Hamptons | June 2015

5. Tell people what you need.

The most monumental thing thirty has taught me has been about relationships. Friends, family, support systems change - they ebb and flow as you ebb and flow. What you give you will receive - sometimes if that just means paying it forward.

You will have friends who will come over and walk your dog for you. Who will pack up your house for you when you have to split your possessions and move to a new city - even though they aren’t moving with you. Even when they are 8 months pregnant.

Friends who will be there to talk to you when you are curled up in a ball on your kitchen floor, paralyzed with tears, ready to give up.

Friends who will show you the ropes to singledom after a 10 year hiatus. Friends who will share NYE with you and their significant other. Friends who will wrap you under their yoga wing when you have to start your career again in a new place.

Family who will drive up to Wisconsin and move you through a snowstorm back home to Chicago. Who will be there to support you in your decisions, whatever they may be. Even as they deal with their own grief during a hard year of loss.

4. When you’ve hit bottom, the only place to go is up.

In life. Financially. In relationships. Sometimes through the tears on your kitchen floor, that is the only tangible silver lining. It can only get better from here.

(And then pick yourself up and make a PB&J because those are good + cheap and you really ought to eat something.)

3. Let it out.

If you hold it in, it will all come pouring out of you, most likely at an inopportune time. Like in the middle of Whole Foods next to the overpriced lavender soaps.

Channel it into something beautiful, something that helps others. 

Amagansett, NY | June 2015

2. You attract your own reality.

In order to attract what you desire, you have to match your vibration to the reality of what you want. I have much more to say on this topic, but the law of attraction is real, is a large part of my daily life, and is how all of the crazy and amazing things that have happened in the last year for me have come to be. I have simply accepted everything as factual.

1. The universe will provide.

It will provide, it will provide it will provide. The key is to understand and ACCEPT that it will provide you maybe not necessarily with what you want, but with what you need.

Do you need a BMW? No. You need a suitable vehicle with wheels that takes you to and from where you need to go, safely. The universe caters to needs, not wants.

“I need a job doing ____ that will allow me to create ____ in my life.” Put it out there. Then surrender. Be aware of the opportunities and random interactions that will come your way.

They are not random. That gut feeling is more than just your gut. To borrow a phrase from a past generation - turn on, tune in, drop out. Start to listen to yourself, get to know yourself and your world will unfold before you.

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{Love Note] - I have been overwhelmed by the love and support I have received from everyone who reads this blog. THANK YOU. You drive me, you keep me going.

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  1. Love this! Happy birthday you inspirational gypsy goddess!

  2. Incredible!! Happy Birthday! Life only gets better in your 30's!

  3. Thank you for sharing! Life is crazy, scary, beautiful, filled with possibilities when you keep your eyes open. You my friend, are really living, not just going through the motions. Reflecting on your year is such an amazing way to celebrate your growth. I admire people like you...i wish our world had more souls like you...I'm sure happy to know it has you! Happy you! Happy birthday! Happy new year for you! 30's are great and 40's suprisingly amazing. It goes fast....keep relecting on your moments. Keep inspiring! Keep loving! XO, Jess