It’s that time of year when I do my annual birthday post in which I make a whole bunch of plans for this new year of my life which I likely won’t be able to keep, and I reflect on where I am in my life right now.
Exactly one week ago I turned 35. Thirty. Five. To me, this is officially the “middle,” and a sort of turning point in my life. As a precursor to writing this post, I went back to view the one I wrote last year, and not only did I find that I basically failed to check off nearly every item on my to-do list, it was clear that I also had no idea what was awaiting me in my 34th year. I was scared, unsure of myself, and fixated on all the things I hadn’t achieved yet – I feel very differently now.
This past year I had to make some really big decisions and I decided to take some big risks which yielded incredible results – the kind that only risky moves can. I began to nurture my own business as a freelancer and a consultant. As a result, I did some really thrilling (and in my opinion) really great work for a variety of companies and institutions that I care about.
Going freelance required trust in myself and in my abilities. It took quite a bit of faith, trust, and courage to make the leap and believe that I was going to be able to sustain myself and make it to the other side. But what I’ve gained from this leap, both personally and professionally, is far better than I ever could have anticipated.
I’ve written over 100 posts for the Joybird Furniture company’s blog, Canvas. Through doing this, I’ve learned so much about interior design and have had a wonderful time in the process. It has sharpened my skills in understanding interior design and has sparked new creative ideas that I’ve incorporated into my own home. I had a short-term contract working at the most exciting new dance school in the country – the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance – and while there, I got a chance to work with amazing people, incredible artists, and even meet a few of my favorite choreographers, including the great William Forsythe (from whom I got the title of this post, referencing his masterpiece In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.) I learned so much from that experience and got the chance to do what I love more than anything else – promote dance through creative digital communications.
I worked independently as a photographer, an editor, a videographer, a writer, a strategist, a designer, an analyst and a marketer over this past year, and I loved every minute of it! I launched several new personal projects, learned and implemented new methods for organization and productivity, and am currently enrolled in several courses to increase my knowledge of web-design and data analytics.
Through this year of freelancing and short-term work, I’ve learned how to better manage my time and value my time. I’ve also learned how to better separate work from home-life (you kind of have to when you’re doing so much work from home.) All these lessons have been pretty life-changing, and have helped me reach a new level of contentment in all aspects of my life.
While I still have a lot to learn, and plenty of things I can improve upon in this coming year (being more healthy and active is a big one) I’m so grateful that I was able to take my 34th year to experiment with my work and discover new ways to approach my career. I feel poised to tackle this new year of my life with more enthusiasm and vigor than the last.
But perhaps the best part about 34 was all the incredible new friends I made and the special experiences Moondoggie and I shared (including 3 trips to New York, several jaunts up to Santa Barbara, a visit to Portland, a road trip up to Niagara Falls, and a weekend in Vegas!) I’m extremely lucky and this year, I know I am right where I’m supposed to be.