We are thrilled to present our fourth Portrait of a Thirty-Something interview with Jennifer Harder, a performing artist in New York City. Jennifer works as an actor, horn player, and a neo-vaudevillian (which if you haven’t heard that term, as I hadn’t, it means bringing back sideshow, circus, burlesque, and other live nightlife of yesteryear). I love how open Jennifer is about finding more peace with herself and how she’s learned to let go of seeking approval from others. Enjoy her interview, and a big thank you to Jennifer!
You can visit her website here.
Occupation: Performing Artist
What’s the accomplishment you’re most proud of in your 30s so far? Feeling at home and at peace in my own skin has been something I never thought would happen. It’s glorious.
What do you NOT miss about your 20s? I don’t miss the striving for “perfection” that I thought was lurking around every corner. I was fairly close-minded in my early years about what constituted “success” and what that then meant. On nearly every endeavor, I hardly enjoyed the journey and when I got to the destination it seemed hollow and unsatisfying.
Looking back, what shouldn’t you haven’t been afraid of in your 20s? People! I was so afraid of what they thought, gaining their approval, disappointing them, being dismissed by them, etc. We are all in the same boat; the idea that we’re somehow different or separated from one another is imaginary. People are truly what life is all about: a full life is one in which you share your moments with each other.
Any surprises about what your 30s are like? My mind has expanded exponentially and I’m able to look back on my stories of mishap and adventure with wisdom and without judgement. I never really thought my 30s would be any different, but am pleasantly surprised with the maturity and peace of mind I’ve found.
What do you find most challenging about this decade? I might be at a crossroads with my career and it’s proving to be both frustrating and illuminating. I may be emotional one day and excited the next about where life might take me.
What are you most looking forward to? Be it tonight, next month or ten years from now! I’m looking forward to becoming more spiritual, which is another area I never thought I’d explore. I’m also looking forward to trying new things and seeing new places.
What would you like to hear more about regarding the thirties. What articles would you like to read? I’d like to hear stories of people who have changed focus in their careers.