Those Lightbulb Moments In Your Thirties

So I’d been starting to get SAD in my new apartment because of a bizarre lighting setup.

When I say SAD, I’m referring to Seasonal Affective Disorder- the state you get into when seasons change, and you start to get depressed because it’s dark. This usually happens in winter, not summer. But because my apartment was very dark, it was more difficult to feel sunny- in every sense of the word.

There are no overhead lights in my main room- just the kitchen and the hallway. This alone would leave the main room very dark, but the situation is compounded by facing into an alleyway, surrounded by a brick wall which very much blocks the sunlight.

I fretted about this for quite awhile once I moved in. I definitely had other things to think about, but for whatever reason, fixing the lighting issue consumed my mind. I thought about all the different lamps I could get. I worried about all the money I’d have to spend on more lamps. I already have two lamps, and their dim yellow glow didn’t make the room any less dreary.

On a recent trip to CVS, I went to buy detergent and spotted a cool looking ‘Flood’ lightbulb sitting on a shelf. It was cheap and it was 90 watts. I couldn’t remember the wattage of my current lightbulbs, and the floodlights seemed like they might be better, so I bought two of them.

When I replaced the lightbulbs I already had with my new findings, the room lit up. Problem solved.

Its so funny the things we sometimes stress about forever that can be solved cheaply and easily in minutes. Occasionally an item on my to do list that I’ve been agonizing over for weeks or months and finally force myself to do ends up being finished in minutes. This was one of those lightbulb moment times.

Of course then there are the times when you think something will take minutes, but it takes hours. And that can suck.

But it the point is, you have to force yourself to start- to at least try SOMETHING- in order to figure out if you have a simple lightbulb task on your hands.

And wouldn’t it be nice to cross that task that’s been bugging you for weeks off your list- in minutes- once and for all?

image

Advertisements

What’s Been the Best Use of Your Money So Far?

Hope you’ve been having a great weekend so far! Mine has been pretty relaxing. My fiancé’s father was in town, so we hung out with him and enjoyed the city. We saw Spy on Friday night (amazing! who doesn’t love Melissa McCarthy?) and have been eating our way through West Los Angeles – highlights have included brick oven pepperoni pizza, graham cracker frozen yogurt and spaghetti squash sautéed in garlic. We’ve also been running long-delayed errands.

While we were wandering around in Bed, Bath and Beyond yesterday and I was fawning over expensive Keurig coffee makers, I started thinking about money. Specifically, how money makes us happy. Many of us have more disposable income in our 30s and we’re able to spend more money on things like rent for nicer apartments, clothing, electronics, trips and having children. Granted, I’m not as far along money/nest-egg wise since I was just in graduate school, but it seems fair to say that most 30-somethings are financially better-off than they were in their 20s.

So the question circling around in my head yesterday was: what’s been the best use of your money in your life so far? For me, it’s been anything education or writing related: writing workshops, grad school expenses, the cost of entering competitions and trips. All of these are experiences, which most research says make a person happier than spending money on material purchases. There’s a great article about this phenomenon in Fast Company, The Science of Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences, Not Things.

I found this particular aspect to the rationale of spending money on experiences fascinating:

You’re also much less prone to negatively compare your own experiences to someone else’s than you would with material purchases. One study conducted by researchers Ryan Howell and Graham Hill found that it’s easier to feature-compare material goods (how many carats is your ring? how fast is your laptop’s CPU?) than experiences. And since it’s easier to compare, people do so.

– Author, Jay Cassano

I guess it’s also because we all value such different experiences. I’m sure a ton of people would find spending $500 on a writing course that meets for three hours one night a week after work to be a waste. They might rather take a weekend trip to go sky-diving.

Looking back on your spending in your life thus-far, what’s been the most profound bang for your buck, so to speak?

 

How Prosperous Are You In Your Thirties?

Today, I meditated for the first time in quite awhile. It felt amazing after all the chaos of the past few months.

My favorite feel good meditations are from the Meditation Society of Australia, and their podcast is called ‘Learn To Meditate.’ It’s a free podcast and I highly recommend it. What I like about these podcasts is that there’s a short lesson before each meditation. The lessons are gentle and always put me in a good state of mind before I meditate. Most of the meditations are also guided, which I like. I’m impatient and not the ‘best’ meditator, whatever that means, so it’s nice to have a guiding voice and some structure sometimes.

I’ve already listened to all 50 of the society’s podcasts, but I just listen to my favorites again and again. Today I listened to one called Authentic Prosperity.

As I listened, I could actually feel myself  relaxing and putting better energy into the room. Now, I know that sounds hokey, but bear with me. I pride myself on being reasonable and down to earth, so I’ll clearly explain what I mean.

Prosperity comes in many forms. I immediately think of it in terms of money, but the meditation explains it in so many other ways.

You can be prosperous in health.

You can be prosperous in friends.

You our can be prosperous in family.

You can be prosperous in career.

You can be prosperous in peace.

You can be prosperous in love.

You can be prosperous right now.

As I meditated, I felt a small bit of peace and calm I hadn’t felt in awhile. I remembered the love I felt before I went through the issues of the past few months. Nothing new had happened, and at any moment, life would come back and throw random things my way. These things might hurt me, maybe even a lot, and everything might get chaotic once again.

But for a few minutes, and in the present moment, I was okay. And for a few moments, before the possible storm of life might hit me again, I realized how prosperous I truly am.

Even when chaotic messes are going on around you, and everything looks dark, see if you can get a few minutes to just sit. Try and feel peace and love inside and around you. It may feel hard, but just relax for a moment.

And you may realize how very prosperous you truly are.

Discovering More About Your Body in Your 30s

I don’t know about you, but since I turned thirty three years ago, I’ve learned a lot of new information about my body. Maybe I’m just taking better care of myself and scheduling doctors appointments where I ask for professional feedback, or maybe I’m just more curious than I’ve ever been before. Whatever the reasons, I’m finding out new information about my physical self that surprises me each time.

In this past year alone, I learned from my eye doctor that I have an enlarged optic nerve and more than one nurse/doctor has commented on how surprisingly low my blood pressure is. One nurse joked that I must be really adapting to the laid-back California lifestyle. Then, at a pilates class last weekend, the teacher informed me that I may have mild scoliosis in my back. Instead of being alarmed, I was surprised and somewhat excited! It was the same feeling I get when Aaron (who I’ve been with for six years) reveals some new story from his past. Just when you think you know all there is to know…there’s more.

I find it fascinating that we live so intimately with our bodies, and yet, can be unaware of so many of our own inner workings. Our bodies keep revealing themselves to us as we get older. We get to live in a state of perpetual discovery and wonder.

IMG_0800

The Paradox of the Unpacked Box in Your Thirties

I’ve been thinking a lot about boxes lately. This is probably because I just moved.

There are boxes all over my new apartment, most of them still neatly taped up. I’ve been beyond exhausted this month, as I talked all about in my last post, Is The Saturn Return In your Thirties A Real Thing?  So, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is unpack. image

This is unlike me, as I usually like to get things done fast, and all at once. But it seems I used the last of my energy to get the boxes packed, and now I can only stare at them listlessly and hope for them to magically put themselves away.

image

Alas, it’s been four days in the new place, and nothing has put itself away yet. So today I decided to crack open a bunch of boxes.

And everything got a lot more messy.

The nice stack of boxes all sealed and piled up was so much neater than the messy pile of clothes and nonsense that I pulled out and didn’t know where to put.

image

And for awhile I just wanted to put it all back into the boxes again and seal them up. Or I wanted to jump to the end and have everything all be done.

The hardest part is being in the middle of the unpacking process (still there now), where I have to make things more chaotic in order to progress.

Tonight, I was talking to a friend about how if you’re feeling sad or upset, you need to feel your feelings and express them in order to grow and move on from them. And to move through them. Fake positivity all the time just leaves you in a state of stagnation and  annoys all your Facebook friends.

Then I thought about the boxes, and how in your thirties, all you want is to feel like you’re on top of things and like you have things figured out. You want things to be neat and squared away. Boxed away, perhaps? But the real truth is that in order to get things squared away for real, you have to get messy and uncomfortable. It’s not going to feel good and is not going to look good when you take things out and they get everywhere for awhile. And maybe people will judge you when you’re in the middle of that. But screw those people. You have to unpack the neat boxes, get messy, and see what’s inside.

image

It’ll likely look like chaos and maybe feel even worse, but only then can you begin to put it away.

And move beyond it.

What are some of the boxes in your life?

image

Where’s Your Happy Place?

Firstly, thank you Laura for your honest post yesterday. When you’re bombarded with happy Facebook posts and people’s gorgeous Instagram pictures that look like they’ve been professionally creatively directed, it’s refreshing to hear someone talk about their struggles.

I’ve been in a kind of crappy mood this last week. Mainly, it’s because I graduated from my MFA program and have no set path going forward. I also feel alone in my city, LA, which still feels new after almost two years. But on the bright side, today I went to Santa Barbara to accompany my boyfriend to his doctor’s appointment. Since my schedule is pretty flexible – um, completely flexible now – I thought I’d take advantage of my ability to be free and take spontaneous road trips.

IMG_0787

One of the Santa Barbara court rooms

It was pretty glorious. Santa Barbara is a city (town?) that always makes me feel connected to myself. While I can’t articulate exactly why or how, it feels like me.  The three times I’ve been there, I feel like I’m glowing and happy. Do you have places like that? I can’t say I have many, so when I find them, I’m always intrigued and grateful.

When I’m in Santa Barbara, I love wandering the main stretch on State Street, having a very affordable and amazing massage at the Relaxation Station, eating delicious things (deep dish pizza today), and wandering the Santa Barbara Courthouse (which is gorgeous and also a working courthouse during the weekdays).

Here are some pictures from the adventure today.

IMG_0792

Me at the Santa Barbara Courthouse. Not on trial (thankfully).

IMG_0793

View from SB to the Mountains

 

Is the Saturn Return in Your Thirties a Real Thing?

I wasn’t going to write this post. You’ll see why below. I’ve decided I’d rather not live in secret hardship, so I’m sharing a very private experience with you guys.

Remember the post I wrote about the Saturn Return that happens in your late twenties and early thirties? If you want to know more about it, click the link above. I basically said that Saturn is the planet of difficult and important life lessons, and when he returns to the same place he was at at the time of your birth (about every 28-31 years), you end up going through a LOT. (We’re going to call Saturn a ‘he’ because I’ve anthropomorphisized ‘him’ into this strict, male professor-like character. Just go with it.)

Well, I thought my Saturn Return was over, plus I thought I didn’t even believe in anything astrological. But if the Saturn Return is real, Saturn hit me hard last year with a terrible, dragged-out and heartbreaking breakup to someone I’d been with for five years who I thought I was going to marry. And then Saturn hit me again with a major, harrowing move out of the apartment I shared with my ex.

I felt some peace this year and thought Saturn had come and gone, but he just tapped me on the shoulder for one last laugh (perhaps I didn’t learn some lesson the first time?) and turned my world completely upside down once again. I don’t think I’ve ever been as stressed as I’ve been for the past few months. So stressed that I’m afraid to even write this now, because I keep thinking ‘oh my god, what if things aren’t over? What if the hardships keep coming like they have been? Please no!’

Do you ever feel this way? Afraid to even talk about the bad things, because you’re afraid there will be even MORE bad things? And then you’ll be like ‘I wish I was grateful for THOSE bad things, because these NEW bad things are oh so much worse!’

Ugh. I usually try to be so positive and so grateful. But I’ll admit to you finally- it’s been hard. I feel completely burnt out.

I can barely write about what happened, because it’s too fresh, but I don’t want to leave you guys hanging. So in a nutshell I’ll say it involved a major betrayal by someone I thought was my good friend, a terrible and destroyed living environment, complete paranoia, exposure to amazing cruelty, and a very difficult and dragged out move…once again. And I think this was all extra hard because of my first bad experience with the ex before. I just kept thinking ‘why is all this stress happening AGAIN??!

I’m trying to be more positive and grateful for all that I have. And also let myself feel the sadness and the stress because it’s healthy.

Yet I’m still living in post-traumatic fear, and I just keep thinking these terrible words ‘please don’t let anyone get sick or die. That would be worse. So much worse.’

Ugh. Ok, I wrote it. So now you know: if you’re going through some secret hell, you’re not alone. Please don’t think you’re alone. I’m here. We’re here. Reach out 🙂

And last night I even slept for almost 13 hours. Which was very helpful. And probably very necessary.

saturn_false

How did Accomplishing a Major Goal Leave Me in a Funk?

When you finally accomplish something big in your life, something that’s taken up a lot of your time and mental energy,  there’s a big gap in your life when the goal is finally completed. That’s how I’m feeling right now after graduating from my MFA program. It was only two years, but having school meant having a structure in my life that kept me going day-in and day-out. I knew that everyday I was working towards completing my degree. And now, in addition to not having a clear goal going forward, I have a sense of loss for the old goal.

I graduated exactly one week ago, and it’s finally setting in that I have no concrete plans going forward. I’ve had family in town and tasks to keep me busy during this week, but today was the first day that I felt the void. I did have some work to complete for a web series project I’m working on, so I did that. But I then spent the rest of my day pretty much inert on either my couch or bed watching reality shows like Intervention on Netflix or reading magazines like Rachel Ray’s Everyday. I’m not ashamed to admit the slothful day I let myself have; we’ve all got days like that. Personally, I know that when I have a lot of free time alone, I fall into bad patterns (something I’m trying to work on). I guess you could say that I fell into a funk today. I have to remind myself that they are a natural and inevitable part of life. But a lot of my hours today felt incredibly frustrating and low.

I’m trying to prepare myself for next week, when I’ll have to finally face that void head on and start looking for jobs. But during that time while I’m job-hunting, I’ll have to find ways to buoy my spirits.

How do you get out of your funk when you have one?

Here are a few of the things that help me on days like this.

1) Make a Schedule or To-Do List –  This simply helps you feel in control of your life going forward. Yes, today may be a wash of inactivity, but when you wake up tomorrow, you’ll have things you know you have to get to.

2) Move Your Body – Not only because moving and exercising helps with your mood but because the act of moving your physical body encourages mental movement too.

3) Make Someone Else Feel Better – Sometimes when I have no energy to help myself, I can muster energy to write back an email to a friend or send a quick encouraging text to someone.

4) Write a list of 10 cool things you COULD do if you have the motivation to do – This one is my favorite! When you wake up in the morning and you have that first jolt of caffeine and you’re feeling inspired, write a list of all the cool, wacky things you might want to do someday. And consider this a non-pressured list – you don’t have to do these things. Your list could include “Create a business plan for a bed and breakfast” or “Take a Woodworking Class.” Anything and everything that sparks some excitement in you goes on the list.

Impossible Magic You Can Do When Single In Your Thirties

There have been many times when I’ve heard a thirty-something friend of mine say “I’m getting old for that” or “I used to be able to ______, but now I can’t because my body doesn’t work the same way as it used to when I was younger.”

I’ve been guilty of saying both of those lines myself.

However, a lot of the time I realize that the things that I used to do when I was younger but now feel like are harder to do in my thirties are things that I never really liked to do in the first place.

Here are three examples:

-Going clubbing (I always disliked it, but now happily have the ‘I’m too old for this’ excuse)

-Starving myself thin (This sucked! It just felt like a necessity in my teens and twenties. Now I’m just like ‘I’m beyond this bullshit. I eat for strength, health and enjoyment.’)

-Drinking until I was sick (Umm, who wants to be sick? The proper phrasing for avoiding this now is: “I know my limits, thank you.”)

However, something I used to do when I was younger that I’d stopped doing for awhile but always liked was staying up late and getting a crazy amount done at once. You see, I’m a night owl by nature, hence I work best at night. Since the world isn’t built for night owls, I feel like what I’m supposed to do is get up at 5:30am (crack of dawn) and hammer out work. Start with the gym, maybe marathon training, and then work steadily until evening, when I should settle down with some TV and food and a reasonable 10:30 bedtime. But this is exhausting to me. What I like better is staying up late, sleeping in, dawdling for quite awhile, then getting into a routine of an afternoon gym session and working hardcore into the night.

And I recently realized that the reason I haven’t done this in awhile wasn’t because I was getting older but because I wasn’t single.

I matched my schedule to the person I was dating. I felt guilty and weird working into the night. I’d get up early and would never get as much done because I never really got into my peak work stride.

And now that I’ve been single for a little while, I’m starting to get back into the habit of making my own schedule and getting crazy amounts done at night, on my own.

So let’s add another awesome perk to being single in your thirties, or any older years: go back to doing the things you liked to do when you were younger but may have put aside for someone else. Now’s your time! You are still very young! Enjoy it!

photo (21)

Tonight I went to the 24 hour Duane Reade at 1am because I needed something. And you know what? I’d rather go at 1am then at 7am because that’s the way I like to live life!

A Crazy Marriage Statistic Courtesy of Aziz Ansari

Comedian Aziz Ansari has partnered up with sociologist Eric Klinenberg to write a book on modern dating titled Modern Romance. Ansari has been doing tons of press for the book, and in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, he shared a “stat that rocked his world” – about marriage. The statistic was that in 1967, a study was done that revealed that 76% of women would marry someone they were not romantically in love with. Is that crazy or what? At first I was blown away, but when I started thinking about it, in the 1960’s, wo41LaBpUJBHL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_men of marrying age would have been raised by homemaker mothers and influenced in many ways by the culture of the 1950’s, which were their formative years.

Playing the devil’s advocate here, maybe it’s not so crazy to marry someone you’re not romantically in love with. when you really think about it. Especially in light of the success of many arranged marriages. Sometimes, the passion grows over time. I know a few people whose first few dates with their future husbands were lackluster, but their relationships ended up evolving into something more passionate. I’ve been watching their stellar show on FYI (owned by A&E) called Marriage at First Sight and it’s highly addictive. Have you seen it? I’m only on Season 1, and I know there’s some major controversy in Season 2, but so far, I’m loving it. The premise is that strangers are paired up together by a sociologist, sexologist and a psychologist based on extensive questionnaires they all take before they are matched up.

M5A2vKrHp6E.market_maxres

I like the show because it feels real and more about the psychological principles behind making a relationship work, as opposed to cheap thrills reality entertainment. I’m going to have to keep watching to see if any of the three couples in Season 1 make it work!

Going back to the study Ansari referenced, what do you think about the statistic (the percentage of women who would marry someone they’re not romantically interested in).  What do you think the percentage would be if the study was done today?

How Good Are You At Cooking By Your Thirties?

I recently read an article on Thrillist called 11 Dishes You Should Be Able to Make by the Time You’re 30. I could make 3 of them.

Now, this seems unfair. I consider myself to be a good cook, and I cook all the time. My Seamless and Grubhub accounts have been collecting dust (tech dust) for years, and I’m fantastic at saving money by not only cooking at home, and in hotel rooms, but cooking at home and in hotel rooms with whatever is lying around.

So let’s go over the list that Thrillist made, cause it seems kinda random:

1. Scrambled Eggs. Okay, this one I understand. Cooking eggs by 30 is important. Eggs are easy and full of protein. And check, I got scrambled eggs down. It’s not the best dish ever, but I can do this just fine.

2. Mac and Cheese. Half check. This is ironic because mac and cheese is actually my favorite food. Don’t get me wrong, I can easily make a mac and cheese, but I’d have to follow a recipe. I try not to keep cheese in the house because I’m addicted to it and am also slightly allergic. So I really only have mac and cheese occasionally when I’m out. Actually, I can make a mean vegan mac and cheese..if that counts. I kinda like that mac and cheese is on this 30’s list, cause I find it important…

3. Tomato Sauce. Belongs on the 30’s list…it’s an important basic. But I cannot make this. It’s been on my list of ‘recipes to perfect’ forever. Buying a jar is just so easy though… But I plan to get good at making it. One day.

4.  Pizza. Do english muffin pizzas count? I’ve never tried to make pizza, but I really want to. It’s also on my list of ‘recipes to perfect.’ But I don’t think it needs to be on the 30’s list. Pizza is so easy to just order in.

5. Grilled Steak. I’m a vegetarian. I have an excuse. And I don’t think it needs to be on the thirties list…but that’s me.

6. Roasted Chicken. Vegetarian. Off my thirties list…but this might be a good one for others.

7. Salmon. I hate seafood. Plus, vegetarian, remember? And no for the list… I’m grossed out and don’t think salmon is important.

8. Guacamole. Yes! I make a great guacamole! Guacamole is its own food group to me! Yes for the thirties list!

9. Meatballs. You know why I don’t make these. Totally not on the thirties list.

10. Skillet Burger. See above for why I don’t make them. But I really want to start making veggie burgers. However, like pizza, I think burgers are easier and better to order in or grab while out and don’t belong on the thirties list.

11. Cookies. Yes! I’m a fantastic baker. I think being able to bake at least SOMETHING well totally belongs on the thirties list.

Okay, so my reasons for wanting many things on or off the thirties list are arbitrary.

What do you think? Did Thrillist do a good job? Can you make these? What’s on your ‘must be able to cook by thirty’ list? I’d love to read your comments below! 🙂

I recently baked some bread, and was quite proud of myself! But bread should definitely not be on the thirties list...too hard.

I recently baked some bread, and was quite proud of myself! But bread should definitely not be on the thirties list…too hard.

Being able to make a soup is a good one for the list though..here I've made some split pea soup to go with the bread.

Being able to make a soup is a good one for the list though..here I’ve made some split pea soup to go with the bread.

photo 2

Mmmm…fresh baked bread…

The Happiness Boost in Your Mid-Thirties

This is complete conjecture on my part, but I have a feeling that when you enter your mid-thirties, you start to experience a subtle but profound happiness boost. Yes, maybe this is wishful thinking on my part (I’m 33), but my hunch is that it’s more than just wishful thinking. There must be more than just a biological reason that a woman’s sexual prime is in her mid-30s (in full disclosure: this long-held belief about women’s sexual prime has been debated. Some experts point it at 26, others at the early 30s).

My feeling is that as we gain confidence, security and happiness – our sexual energy levels are boosted. But what is it about the mid-thirties that gives us that happy boost? First, let’s define “mid-thirties.” From what I’ve read online, most folks define mid-thirties as between 33-37. During these four years, a lot of your hard work – be it in your career, relationships or self-growth, begins to pay off. You see the fruits of your labor.

I found this amazing blog post at MakeYourOwnDamnDinner.com that I loved! It’s called 10 Reasons Being In Your Mid-Thirties Is Fabulous. You’ve got it give it a read and hear what she has to say. My favorite reason the mid-thirties are fabulous is “The Cycle of Friendship.” She writes:

Number 8 – The Cycle of Friendship:
By 35 you’ve cycled through most of your major life milestones with your friends. Graduation, college, marriage, having kids, and maybe even a divorce. By now you know which friends are in it for the long haul and which friends are not. You realize you don’t need 294 friends…you only the core few who have stuck with you through thick and thin.

– Marie of MakeYourOwnDamnDinner.com

She also references a great quote by Wally Lamb, “Being in your mid-thirties brought benefits, I reminded myself. You begin to appreciate tidiness, smallness, things in their place. This is the shape your life has taken.”

I disagreed with one reason – that you may be done with having kids. But, as the author said herself, this reason may not be true for everyone. I imagine I’ll have kids around 36 (fingers crossed), so I won’t be done by then.

To add my own reasons to list:

  • You don’t spend as much time (if any!) with toxic people who bring you down.
  • You have a clearer sense of what makes you happy in life and you don’t spend time on things that don’t.
  • You have your own home and sense of family (even if it means a group of friends)

What would you add to the list?

Let’s Have a ‘Peanut’ Party!

Do you host parties or get togethers at your home? I used to a lot more, but since I’ve gotten older, I haven’t. The last time I hosted a party was three or four years ago, when my fiancé and I had a potluck. Here’s the thing though – I love the idea of hosting, I really do. It’s so nice to think about people you love (or like a lot) coming together in your home? But when the day actually comes to host, I’m completely overwhelmed. Firstly, I’m naturally a people pleaser and secondly, I’m an introvert who enjoys one-on-one conversations over talking to a group. So hosting a gathering at my house makes me feel more than a little nervous.

UnknownSo…when I heard about the idea of ‘peanut’ parties, I was instantly smitten. Here’s what they are and the story behind them.

My dad lives in a “Plus 55” community in Florida. Apparently, the crowd there is very social and they all have a lot of events and gatherings. The other day, he told me about something they have called a “peanut” party. It’s basically when a host has a party where he/she simply supplies peanuts and opens his/her home for exactly one hour. The guests bring their own beverages, alcoholic or not. It’s kind of gimmicky but I love it! It takes the burden off the host, and I’m assuming one of the great benefits of ‘peanut’ parties is that you can have them a lot because they are so easy. It’s a great way to keep in more regular contact with your friends when you’re in your 30s and things get busy.

If I hosted a ‘peanut’ party, I’d probably change things a little bit – the time limit would be two hours instead of one and I’d probably have Trader Joe’s appetizers instead of peanuts. An hour limit is pretty short when you live in a city like New York or Los Angeles, mainly because the commute times are often 30-45 minutes each way. I’ve always felt like the time you spend at a party should be longer than the combined commute to and from that party.

Maybe I’ll throw my first peanut party this Summer! Perhaps a popsicle party would be better…

Have You Gotten More Responsible From Age Twenty to Age Thirty?

Governor’s Ball was this past weekend in NYC. It’s a 3 day music festival held on Randall’s Island with lots of amazing and very famous musicians. I was away and didn’t get to go to the concert, but I read the funniest article in The New Yorker about it. A reporter compared his responses to the festival as a twenty year old with responses to the festival as a thirty year old.

Here are a few of my favorite comparisons he mentioned:

“As I’m walking through the festival entrance, a man casually vomits before continuing on, unfazed.

Twenty-year-old me thinks, “Dope. That guy knows how to get faded like a champ!”

Thirty-year-old me thinks, “I’m concerned for the boy’s health and the general sanitation of this festival. Where are the comment cards located?!”

For the second time in Gov Ball history, rain converts the fields to swampy mud pits.

Twenty-year-old me thinks, “Whoa—even the dirt here likes to party!”

Thirty-year-old me thinks, “I want to go home.”

Perhaps in a nod to “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” a teen in front of me takes shots of vodka out of an emptied out S.P.F. 50 sunblock container that she used to sneak in booze.

.

Twenty-year-old me thinks, “Hello, future wife!”

Thirty-year-old me thinks, “I should inform the evening news about this disturbing trend.””

In my twenties, I think I might’ve been just as upset as I would be now about someone casually vomiting in front of me. I mean, eww! It would always be ewwww!

If it rained and got muddy and disgusting outside, I wouldn’t have ever been into it at any age, twenty or otherwise. I mean, I’m not into muddy rain. Ever. Ew.

If someone took shots out of an empty spf bottle, I would’ve thought it was brilliant then, and I would actually still think it’s brilliant now. Though now I’d probably worry that if I drank some I’d be drinking leftover SPF chemicals. Ok, umm, ewwww. I mean, I’d still drink it…

Maybe I was a boring, responsible twenty year old, or maybe I haven’t changed much, but the way I would’ve felt about the above circumstances in my twenties are basically the same way I’d feel now. Maybe I just need to loosen up, drink some alcoholic SPF, and play around in some mud. Maybe, in my thirties, I need to play catch up on the enjoyable irresponsible behavior I missed out on in my twenties.  Or maybe not.

portadaThe-Governors-Ball-2015-Lineup-1050x700 (1)

Big Night at the UCLA Screenwriters Showcase

One of the best decisions I’ve made in my 30s so far has been deciding to go graduate school. A little under two years ago, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting and television writing at UCLA. The decision to go to graduate school was more significant to me than simply getting a degree. It was  the moment at which I committed myself to being a writer and accepted the life of a working writer.

This Friday, I’ll graduate from the UCLA MFA Screenwriting program. But the more exciting night of the week was last night – our Screenwriters Showcase. We celebrated the student screenwriters achievements over the past year, honored winners of a industry judged competitIMG_0718ion and listened to a guest speaker. This year we were lucky enough to have Graham Moore, Academy Award writer of The Imitation Game (who is only 32, by the way!).

One thought that was echoed throughout last night’s speeches was the advice to focus on process rather than the prize. For us, as writers, that means throwing ourselves into the actual work of writing and to not focus on the money, awards, and recognition. But I think it’s applicable to almost any pursuit in life. You need to truly enjoy and gain value from the “work” of whatever it is your striving for, and not just become fixated on the end goal.

Here’s a picture from tonight’s festivities! As one of the winners, a poster was created for my film. And here’s me alongside the poster for Exposure Therapy.

Now, I’m not quite sure what’s next for me. It’s probably the first time in my life that I have an unplanned chunk of time ahead of me. Of course I’ll be writing, but I’ll also need to find some way to make money as I write. I’ll keep you posted on my journey!

Do You Think Someone Younger Than 35 Should Be Allowed to Run For President?

Currently, the minimum age requirement to be president of the United States is 35 years old.

In Ireland, there was a referendum recently to reduce the minimum age of presidency from 35 to 21.

Wow! Can you imagine a 21 year old president? Can you imagine a 21 year old president of the United States? I mean, to be fair, I’ve met some brilliant 21 year olds- and even heard about some brilliant 13 year olds, like this 13 year old tech company founder– but in the case of a nation’s president, I think bit more life experience can be really helpful.

Ireland voted no on the referendum by a majority of 891,704 votes.

520,898 votes were for pro age change and 1,412,602 were against it.

But it’s interesting who voted yes. Here’s a quote from the Irish Times:

“Dublin South Central TD (TD is the equivalent of a congress member in Ireland), Eric Byrne revealed he had changed his mind at last minute and voted Yes. “It just dawned on me, I don’t have to vote for a 21-year-old but why deprive them of the right to run?”

Fine Gael Minister of State Simon Harris, who is advocated a Yes vote, said the Constitution is ageist and needs to be changed.

“Ageism has no place in our Constitution,” he added. “It was written at a time when there was a different view of our younger citizens.” “

21 is pretty young, but I wonder if the referendum results would be different if the age difference was changed from 35 to 30 instead of from 35 to 21.

A 30, 32, or 34 year old president seems doable to me. What do you guys think?

Do you think there’s a major difference between the ages of 30 and 35? What would it be like if the presidential minimum age in the US was lowered from 35 to 30?

images (1)

Our youngest president ever was Theodore Roosevelt, who was sworn into office at 42 years of age

Barack Obama was our 5th youngest president, sworn in at 47 years of age

Barack Obama is our 5th youngest president, sworn in at 47 years of age

%d bloggers like this: