We’re extremely excited to share our fourth featured Portrait of A Thirtysomething with you: Here’s the fantastic Janna Davis!
Janna’s a Corporate Presenter like me, and I get to work with her all the time! I’m so lucky! 🙂 Jane and I have been looking forward to sharing Janna’s interview with you for awhile, as Janna’s extremely open and very articulate regarding the challenges of both the 20s and 30s. My favorite part is Janna’s musings about still not exactly knowing what she wants to be when she grows up.
If you’d like to be a part of Portrait of a Thirtysomething, please let us know! Just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you! 🙂
Without further ado, here’s Janna!
Name/Age/Location: Janna Davis/33/Astoria, NY
Occupation: Dancer/Actor/Model/Corporate Presenter
What’s the accomplishment you’re most proud of in your 30s so far?
At 30, I had recently moved to Los Angeles, where I had wanted to live since I was a child, and was finally getting settled in my career, finances, social life, faith and living situation. A friend set me up with my now-husband, who happened to live in NY, a place that scared me and that I despised from everything I knew of it. After a month of saying no, I finally allowed myself to step out of my comfort zone and entertain the idea of a long-distance relationship, something I said I’d never do. A year of back and forth travel and an engagement later, I moved to NYC- something I said I’d never do- to be with a boy, also something I said I’d never do. Two years of marriage, a roller coaster ride of a move across the country and countless hours of hard work to re-establish all of the things I would have sworn I would never walk away from to have to start from the ground up was a doozie to say the least. Yet, here I am and all of that hard work is what I’m most proud of. Of course, what I am most proud of was something that was initially largely out of my control. However, I’m proud that I wasn’t so stubborn to close the door on a relationship that has been -and God-willing will continue to be- so fruitful because I felt like I had to hold onto my present situation. In my 20’s, I don’t think I would have had the courage and faith to trust that everything would have worked out better than I could have even hoped for.
What do you NOT miss about your 20s?
I do not miss having low self-esteem. I struggled with body issues since I was a teenager and they were the worst when I was in my 20s and living as an adult for the first time. While I was not fat, I was overweight to be a dancer (the career that I had trained for as a child and teenager) and I truly felt disgusting and unworthy of love. While the eating disorders that get the most PR are anorexia and bulimia, the oft-neglected cousin is overeating, or bingeing and purging, just without throwing up. Indeed low self-esteem can take on many forms. Mine took the form of trying to be anorexic, “failing” when I got hungry, bingeing on a days worth of food, sometimes stolen from a roommate, and then starving myself until I got hungry again. Luckily, with maturity, some education and prayer, I no longer suffer from low self-esteem and am happy to say that I have a healthy relationship with food. (Although sometimes I like pizza a little too much for my own good.)
Looking back, what shouldn’t you haven’t been afraid of in your 20s?
I shouldn’t have been afraid of being too old to do certain things. I trained to be a professional dancer since I was young, and at 18 I auditioned for several ballet companies. I did not immediately get accepted by any of the companies I auditioned for. However, I took that to mean that I wasn’t good enough and that I wouldn’t ever be good enough. I felt like dancers were retiring at 22 and by 18 you should have already “made it.” This thought of being too old and not good enough carried into many aspects of my life. I would quit things before giving them much of a chance or before even starting because I thought I was too old. Looking back, it’s actually pretty ridiculous.
Any surprises about what your 30s are like?
I didn’t think that I would still struggle with a question I’ve been asked since I was a child: “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I only thought about being a dancer when I was a child and later realized that I would have to go to college and pick a major. I still had no idea what I wanted to do as a career. After college I started to pursue acting but still always felt that maybe there was something else that I should be doing as a career. In my 30’s I’m dancing again, pursuing acting, working in the trade show industry and running the trade show networking group United Trade Show Talent. At one point I thought that maybe I should abandon anything performance related and I got my cosmetology license and worked in the beauty industry. Sometimes I still wonder what I truly want to do, or maybe I’ve found it and just haven’t realized it. It’s certainly not a question I thought I would be asked and still asking myself at 33.
What do you find most challenging about this decade?
It’s so trite to say, but I find it extremely hard to have balance. As a 30-something, you’re supposed to have it all. An established career, a house (or a nice apt if you’re in NYC like me), a significant other, time for new friends and old, time for family, and perhaps a family of your own. I feel like I have less time than I’ve ever had and whenever I devote a good amount of time to one category, the others suffer, or I don’t have time to clean my own underwear. I still fall asleep most nights on the couch and have to be woken up by my husband to take out my contacts, floss, and put in my mouthguard. Life is hard (yet wonderful) and I only have my own life to take care of.
What are you most looking forward to? Be it tonight, next month or ten years from now.
Once a week, I take a day off to celebrate “Shabbat” or the Sabbath-day of rest and get together with other like-minded individuals to thank God, sing His praises, and then later take a nap after eating Chinese food and watching The Breakfast Club. I don’t think the second part of that is in the Bible, but it should be because it’s awesome. I work hard during the week, so it’s necessary to be able to take a day off from all things work and realize that life still goes on.
What would you like to hear more about regarding the thirties. What articles would you like to read?
I love learning about finance. I feel like so many people in their 30’s already have a good grasp on finance-related issues and I’d love to start feeling like I’m confident to be able to start making wise investment choices. Also, let’s face it, we’re not getting any younger and neither are our parents. I’d love to be able to hear how people make time to spend with their families. Finally, as people are choosing to have children later, I’d love to hear more about what makes 30 year olds decide to have children and their experiences after children.
Read more about Janna below:
Janna Davis is originally from Virginia Beach, VA. After staging several full length ballets for her Barbies, it was decided that indeed, she wanted to dance. She trained at the Governor’s School for the Arts and Academie de Ballet and at many summer programs including The Juilliard School. She attended James Madison University and graduated double major in Theatre and Communication Sciences and Disorders. She still had no idea what she wanted to do with her life. So she waited tables all over the country, an experience that she does not regret as she will never take for granted the joys of eating out. Once she embraced that she wanted to be a performer, she began dancing with ACFCLA and Keshet Chaim Dance in Los Angeles. She also danced and acted commercially and in film and television. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and continually training at The Sag Conservatory. Outside of performing, she is a loving wife, a licensed cosmetologist, and has a side career as a trade show model in which she founded the networking
group United Trade Show Talent
. She currently dances with Pink Pig Ballet
and sings at her synagogue, Beth El of Manhattan
. She aims to share her experiences as a performer with others through writing and vlogging to use her powers for good.
More to come! In the meantime, feel free to follow her adventures on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JannaIsGreen or Instagram: https://instagram.com/jannaisgreen/ or Facebook: www.facebook.com/Jannaisgreen