Portrait of a Thirty Something: Amy Adams

Our next Portrait of a 30-something is my friend and former roommate, Amy Adams. Amy is a world traveler as well as a travel blogger. She recently got back from an epic trip around the world where she went to Israel, New Zealand, Hawaii, Oslo, Turkey, Barcelona, and Athens all in the span of two months. She did it all for less than $4500 for TWO MONTHS away in over 7 countries including flights, lodging, food, and any tourist activities and souvenirs, so she’s a great person to talk to about going on an amazing trip without breaking the bank. Amy writes about her world trip and all of her travels on her blog, This Borderless World.

Amy formerly worked as a concierge in a hotel. She was also a flight attendant. She’s had travel in her blood for quite a long time. But this summer, Amy has been the queen of staycations. She’s walked almost every New York bridge from the Queensboro to the Brooklyn to the George Washington this summer, and she’s also constantly inspiring me by going out and exploring a new area of the city, or a new museum, or even a new cemetery! She just never stops!

Read more below about a 30-something who proves that life never has to be boring and that there’s always more to explore!

Name/Age/Location: Amy Adams/31/Queens,NY

photo 2 (1)

photo 4 photo 1 (1)

What’s the accomplishment you’re most proud of in your 30s so far? 

When I was 19, I came to the US with no plan, minimal possessions, very little money and the most excited, motivated, positive and enthusiastic attitude imaginable! The possibilities were endless and I was tremendously excited about being in the country of my dreams.
In hindsight, I love that free spirited, fearless, independent girl who did what she wanted, listened to her own inner voice and was never discouraged. After almost ten years of living in the comfort and security that a traditional life offers,  I’m doing a complete 360 and wanting to revert back to that solo traveling, wanderlusting free thinker! I like her better than the make-up wearing, brand name clad, conventional girl I became. My 30’s reiterated in the clearest way possible that life is fleeting… so live your truest life. I’ve wholly embraced this new (or rather old) concept and I’m very excited about where this takes me.

What do you NOT miss about your 20s? 

My 20’s were exhilarating and thinking back on it now is exhausting but worth it! Circumstances lead me as far north as Vermont, and then to the Deep South for a few years. Then I lived up and down the eastern seaboard until finally landing in my dream city! I wish I had arrived sooner but I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything in the world!

Looking back, what shouldn’t you haven’t been afraid of in your 20s? 

I’ve never had a nuanced existence- people either loved me or hated me. For the longest time I tried to reach this middle ground… which can only be described as “normal.” But I realized very quickly that I don’t do normal. Thinking about getting insurance or wondering when I should do my laundry or feeling the need to rush home and watch tv (instead of experiencing life) makes me sad. I was a risk taker in my 20’s and I miss that fearless, rebellious, and independent spirit! Everyone keeps saying you need a plan and you need a goal but I’m opting to live in the moment! No goals, no plans, no expectations, no limitations!

Any surprises about what your 30s are like? 

My 30’s have been incredibly edifying. I’ve been waiting for a while now to get excited about wanting adult things like a home, family, car, and a two week vacation. But I’ve come to realize that is not the life I want or the one I was meant to live. I’m one year in and I’m more optimistic and invigorated than I’ve been in years. I’m embracing my identity as a nomad. I feel younger, more energetic, humbler and psyched for a future unknown!

What do you find most challenging about this decade? 

At first I abhorred social media and believed it eliminated the possibility of establishing any type of relationship organically. Now I’ve come to realize it’s in fact enhanced the chances of meeting more people and making meaningful connections. It’s all a matter of perspective. Social media can be used for good or evil… which is empowering.

What are you most looking forward to? Be it tonight, next month or ten years from now! 

Living in the moment- every moment! And never ever letting other people’s ideas of a proper and perfect life affect my idea of my perfect existence. I also know there are like minded folks out there with similar unconventional attitudes and I’m excited to meet them!

What would you like to hear more about regarding the thirties? What articles would you like to read? 
I’d love to read about unique 30-something year olds who follow their own paths no matter what. I want to see people who listen to their hearts and drown out all the naysayers! I’m especially interested in those who “didn’t succeed” (according to societal standards) but are still on their own true path! I regard the persevering types as the most successful, interesting and inspiring. The most influential people on this planet died poor without a ton of support. They really are the wealthiest of all for they’ve truly taken ownership of their lives. That type of wealth can never be squandered!
photo 3 (1)
Advertisements

Portrait of a Thirty-Something: Janna Davis

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 omgimthirty@gmail.com. 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
FullSizeRender (1)

Janna Davis- photo courtesy of Abigail Classey at Tea for Two Photography 

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

Portrait of a Thirtysomething – Jamie Wiley

We’re thrilled to bring you the third interview in our series, “Portrait of a Thirtysomething.” This time we were lucky enough to get the fabulous Jamie Wiley, of the blog Sincerely, Miss Design, to agree to be interviewed. Jamie’s got an inspiring story that reminds us that you can change the course of your life at any point and that’s it’s never too late for a new path. I also loved what she had to say about toxic relationships…Read on!

Name/Age/Location:  Jamie Wiley, 32, Allentown Pennsylvania

Occupation:  Real Estate Appraisal Coordinator (aka Glorified Secretary) and full time Graphic Design student

wiley_jamie_headshot (1)

What’s the accomplishment you’re most proud of in your 30s so far?

By the time I was 31 I came to the realization that the things I wanted career wise were not just going to fall into my lap. When I graduated college 13 years ago I took a job that I had just planned to work at for a short time to get my bearings and go back to college in a year or two. I just kept pushing returning to school off and there I was 13 years later still working at the same job feeling stagnant. Finally I took control of my life and enrolled in college full time. It’s been incredibly difficult juggling both a career and school work, but so far I’ve been able to maintain a 4.0.

What do you NOT miss about your 20s?

I do not miss the insecurities and uncertainties of that time in my life. Even though you are physically “grown up” in your 20’s, it takes a little while longer for you to mentally catch up. During my 20’s I was still learning what being an adult actually meant. Rather than budgeting my money out between pay weeks I’d spend my whole check the same day I got it. I was so strapped for cash that I’d hunt down every loose coin to take to the Coin-star machine to get cash. Of course the irresponsible spending lead to massive credit card debt that took years to bail myself out of.

Looking back, what shouldn’t you haven’t been afraid of in your 20s?

I should not have been afraid to let go of toxic relationships. I always felt obligated to maintain relationships with family members and friends regardless of the fact that they were dragging me down. I’ve learned that sometimes it is better to part ways with people to maintain your own sanity.

I also should not have been so afraid to stand up for myself and my beliefs. I have always been a passive aggressive people pleaser which basically made me a doormat.

Any surprises about what your 30s are like?

Yes, a few things. As I get older I gain more self confidence and acceptance of myself as I am. I no longer take to heart negative things people may say or think of me. In turn I’ve learned to be less judgmental of others.

What do you find most challenging about this decade?

In your 30’s you have more of a sense of what direction your life is going to go in. So, I think that at this point everyone’s lives branch off into different directions. Friends move, change careers, start families, etc. All of our priorities suddenly change and it takes a great deal of effort to stay in contact with one another.

Also, learning to listen to my body. I can no longer live on junk food and soda. If I do not eat proper meals or drink enough water I feel terrible. I’ve made it a habit to stretch and foam roll every night before bed to maintain flexibility.

What are you most looking forward to? Be it tonight, next month or ten years from now!

I’m looking forward to graduating from college and any great opportunities the future holds for me!

Thanks so much, Jamie! We loved reading your interview. 

Check out her website, Sincerely, Miss Design for more about Jamie.

Portrait of a Thirtysomething- Kari Bentley-Quinn

We’re so happy to have Kari Bentley-Quinn as our next featured guest in our new Portrait of a Thirtysomething series! Portrait of a Thirtysomething asks our invited guests (in their 30s) questions about their lives and what this decade means to them.

Kari Bentley Quinn is an absolutely amazing playwright and we co-founded the theater company, Mission to (dit)Mars together along with two other wonderful cofounders. Kari and I met a few years ago through another theater group, Packawallop Productions, and have been friends ever since! Jane and I are thrilled to have her here!

Enjoy her beautiful interview below, and be sure to check out her website and say hi!  http://www.karibentleyquinn.com/

Kari Bentley Quinn

“The challenge is “how do I live as happy and fulfilled a life as possible?” At the end of the day, the person I most have to answer to is myself. I can’t live for anyone else – my husband, my family, my friends – I have to be a whole person. And I think that’s hard sometimes, but it becomes more necessary.”

Name/Age/Location:
 
Kari Bentley-Quinn/ 33/ Astoria/Woodside border, in the amazing borough of Queens (Woodstoria?)
 
Occupation: 
Playwright/Executive Assistant (proud hybrid for ten years strong!)
 
What’s the accomplishment you’re most proud of in your 30s so far? 
It has to be the fact that I went back to grad school after nearly ten years out of undergrad. I am getting my MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College, and I graduate in May, which I can hardly believe. It was an absolutely terrifying thing to do, but I did it! Well, almost. Still have a few things left to do. But I am 90% of the way there. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done – mentally, physically, emotionally, creatively. I did it while working a full time job. I don’t know if I would have been able to do this in my 20s when I was less sure of myself. I also got an agent last year, so that was really nice. And I’ve had two productions!
What do you NOT miss about your 20s? 
I think just the crushing uncertainty and working so hard to have people take you seriously. The 20s are the time you’re supposed to be making a lot of mistakes, but is also the time when you become a full blown adult. Trying to reconcile the fact that you’re still young and inexperienced with making good enough decisions that your future won’t be a wreck is tough. There were a lot of wonderful things about my 20s. But there were a lot of scary and bad things, too. I would say that my early 20s were actually quite awful. My mid to late 20s, less so.
 
Looking back, what shouldn’t you haven’t been afraid of in your 20s? 
Being a failure. Not making everyone happy. Money stuff. What people thought of me. Being fat. Not working hard enough. Getting older in general. What my future was going to be like. I spent a lot of my 20s freaking out about stuff that 1. was impossible to know the end result of and 2. didn’t matter one bit. I am a huge Type A perfectionist and I think it held me back more than it moved me forward!
Any surprises about what your 30s are like? 
Yes – which is that I kind of love being in my 30s! I feel much more confident and assured in professional situations. I think I’m a way better writer and just more capable in basically every aspect of my life. I have a strong marriage and absolutely amazing friends. I also like that its totally okay to stay home on Friday night when you’re in your thirties. I have learned to value my downtime, to fiercely protect it, and to say no. Learning to say no has been super important.
 
What do you find most challenging about this decade? 
While in some ways I am much better than my 20s, I find that I have less stamina and way less bullshit tolerance. I also found a WHITE hair on my head (thanks grad school!), and while I don’t like to think of myself as a vain person, seeing the fine lines start to appear is a little humbling. I also think its tough for women to age. Youth and attractiveness are so overemphasized for young women, and as much as we all like to think we’re above it, the messaging we have received is really damaging. I really hope that we stop that in future generations.
I also am just more aware of my mortality in general. I don’t know if that’s bad – but the challenge is “how do I live as happy and fulfilled a life as possible?” At the end of the day, the person I most have to answer to is myself. I can’t live for anyone else – my husband, my family, my friends – I have to be a whole person. And I think that’s hard sometimes, but it becomes more necessary.
 
What are you most looking forward to? Be it tonight, next month or ten years from now.
 
More travel, more love, more laughter, more time off, less giving of fucks about dumb stuff. I think I’ve made good choices. At least I hope I have!
 
What would you like to hear more about regarding the thirties. What articles would you like to read?
 
I’d love to read more about the challenges women face professionally as they get older. I think these struggles change and continue as we age and as our lives change.

Be a Part of Portrait of a Thirtysomething!

We just published our first interview series with the wonderful and talented Eljon Wardally yesterday. We learned a lot about her experiences as a thirtysomething, including that it never helped to be stressed in her 20s about where she was going to end up in her 30s, and that it’s challenging to be expected to be married with kids by 34 (agh, this is always a major issue for thirtysomethings, isn’t it? Sigh.)

We’d love for as many of our wonderful readers to be a part of this series as possible! We’re trying to shed as much light as possible on the thirties decade, and of course everyone will have different experiences. But we’ll be looking for some patterns. If you’re reading this blog, and wouldn’t mind answering a few questions about the thirties, we’d be extremely interested in featuring you! Write to us at omgimthirty@gmail.com, and we’ll talk about details 🙂

Questions we’ll ask will include the challenges you didn’t expect to face in your thirties, facets about aging you were most scared of in your twenties (and/or are still scared of), the biggest surprises about the 30’s, and more. Also, we’ll be sure to link to your blog or website if you have one.

Thanks so much for reading! Here’s to shedding lots of beautiful light on the mysterious do-or-die decade! 

Eljon Wardally

The wonderful and fantastic 34 year old playwright, Eljon Wardally- our first Portrait of a Thirtysomething interviewee! 🙂

 

 

New Feature: Portrait of a Thirtysomething

We’re thrilled to announce that today we’re launching a new weekly interview series: Portrait of a Thirtysomething. We will ask our invited guest (who will be in her/his 30s, obviously!) questions about their life and what the decade means to them.

Our first interview is Eljon Wardally, an incredible playwright/screenwriter, who is good friends with both Laura and I. We all met at youth theater company, Downtown Art, while we were in high school. Over the years, we’ve all collaborated on projects together. Eljon’s got one of the sunniest and brightest outlooks of life of anyone I know, is an incredible artistic talent and an amazing friend to boot.

EljonWardallyHeadshot (1)

Photo courtesy of Champion Eye Media

 

Name/Age/Location:
Eljon Wardally/on the cusp of 34/New York

Occupation:
Playwright/Screenwriter

What’s the accomplishment you’re most proud of in your 30s so far?
I’m most proud of my MFA in Playwriting from Fordham University/Primary Stages! Not only did I go back to school after being out for 10 years, I am part of the Inaugural Playwriting class for this type of MFA. You only get to make that kind of history once!

What do you NOT miss about your 20s?
I don’t miss the people I left behind in that decade.

Looking back, what shouldn’t you haven’t been afraid of in your 20s?
I shouldn’t have been so concerned about where I was going to end up. I think that being in my 30s has grounded me in a big way. I’ve learned to just be kinder to myself. I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason. Stress only gives us wrinkles. Don’t be afraid, be still and listen. I promise, it will work out.

Any surprises about what your 30s are like?
I have to say that there are no surprises. Is that bad? Everything just feels more comfortable. My skin feels more lived in and I feel like I know myself better.

What do you find most challenging about this decade?
When you’re in your 30s, people expect you to be married with kids or with one on the way. It’s challenging to feel like you have to justify why you may not be at this stage of your life in your 30s. In a way, this generation is at a crossroads. Things are changing and what was conventional isn’t anymore. More people are focused on their careers and other aspects of their lives and getting married later and having children later. There’s nothing wrong with this but it’s hard to constantly hear about grandkids from the elders!

What are you most looking forward to? Be it tonight, next month or ten years from now!
Tonight I’m looking forward to curling up with my dog and a cup of tea.
Next month I’m looking forward to having a new draft of a play I’m working on.
Ten years from now I’m looking forward to being happy and healthy.

Thanks so much, Eljon! Here’s a link to Eljon’s award-winning web series Docket.  And here’s her personal website, say hi!

%d bloggers like this: