Our New Video Series!

Laura and I have been talking about creating an OMG I’m Thirty video series for awhile.  We took the opportunity of being in the same city for a brief stretch to shoot our first one together. Hopefully one day I will be able to consistently identify where the camera lenses is on an iPhone!

Hope you enjoy!

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The Road Through in Your Thirties

When I was 24 or so, I went to visit my brother in Europe. He was studying abroad in Italy, and we were thrilled to use the weeks I came out there to build a fun Euro Trip together. We excitedly met in Athens, then hit up Amsterdam, Barcelona, back to Florence, and then Palermo, Sicily before I left to go back home. It was a two week trip in total, and it was quite a journey.

I’d gone through a bad break up right before I left for that trip, which included an almost-getting-back-together moment (or a few), and then my ex and I ending things for good, followed by him almost immediately posting photos on social media with a new woman. It was honestly all for the best that it ended, but I was extremely upset when I arrived in Europe, and my brother and I talked a lot of it out. As we climbed the Parthenon, he listened as I told him the complete story. As we breezed by Amsterdam Ferris wheels and laughed through the Heineken Museum, he gave me some advice. And I listened while he told me about how he was feeling homesick in Italy, and how it was difficult that he didn’t speak much of the language. I shared my experiences studying abroad in Italy 4 years prior and any helpful tips I had. We had a lot of catching up to do and the first week we spilled our all of our frustrations to each other, meandering over and around the canals of Amsterdam and visiting the mysterious Oracle of  Delphi (which was closed). It was a time of wandering through lands unfamiliar and magical and funny and strange.

We sat together in the lobby of our hostel while, on a shared communal computer, my brother stood by me as I deleted my ex from all social media. We guided each other through some odd and new territory.

Then something changed about halfway through the trip- there was a lifting. We sat on a beach in Barcelona and sunk our feet into the sand and stared at dripping Gaudi buildings and felt free and alive. The problems started to soar out of our minds as we swam through that Spanish sea, replaced by a feeling of wonder. And the joyful giddiness stayed with us as we slurped spaghetti in Sicily and went bar hopping through ice bars and breweries and laughed and met strangers and felt like both grown ups and children again.

Now I’m on the tail end of a road trip with my family and I feel the same lifting as back then. I started this trip with an angst- nothing to do with the road trip- the trip is what helped. The feeling is the July angst I talked about in my last blogpost What Happens In Summer. Big questions play through my head in July and August and make these months a time of strong re-evaluation. But on this trip, and on many others with my family, I go through a period of release similar to that voyage through Europe. There’s something about being away for fun (and not just for my usual work travel), something about the open road. Something about talking to my family, talking to my brother again, who reminds me that dwelling on anxiety and toxic repetitive thoughts isn’t useful, and brings me back to the simple idea that the most important thing for me is my own happiness.

Whether splashing on a beach in Barcelona, or driving down the open road through some small southern town, occasionally you just need to let all the inside things out to remind yourself of what’s really important.

 

What Happens In Summer

July is always a month of pondering for me. It’s one of my two favorite months of the year – with the other being August. I love summer- it’s my hands-down most treasured time of year, and with the glorious sun, the heat-like-hugs, easy-livin, sundresses, outdoor eating, endless walking outside, barbeques, lying in the park, being in nature- I just feel a sense of love and peace.

In the very beginning of July, though, there’s always a slight angst to my mental state. My usual work-travel schedule slows down and I have a pretty long work break, and that gives me time to think about all the things. I strongly believe that most of us, myself very much included, go around using work busy-ness as an excuse to not think about other parts of our lives and address deeper issues that may be going on. Big questions come up for me in July,, such as: “what am I doing with my life?” (Easy). And “how can I make way more money doing something different than what I’m doing now?” crosses my mind about a million and four times. Also “will I find a life-partner connection at some point in my life?” You know, the simple stuff.

I feel like it’s important to let the angst play out and to face the questions, instead of covering them up with even more busy-work. I try not to run from the angst, and instead to relax into it as much as I can, and know that it’s okay. It’s okay to question things. In fact, I believe questioning is crucial. On the other side of a repetitively angsty feeling is usually an important task and the path to some real change- but there’s the risk of possibly being uncomfortable for a bit.

Of course, you don’t want to simply have angst and anxiety run rampant through your mind. It’s important to slow down sometimes and change the subject- to walk into nature, meditate and let go,  feel the sun on your face, listen to the ocean, eat good food with good friends. If anxiety comes up, let it be okay and eventually relax into it. The goal is to let the big future questions wash over you while still enjoying the now- even the silliest little details like cute dogs or long walks with cool trees.

Summer is a good time for all of this.

 

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