{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}



I'm in a funk. It's the kind of funk I experience every five years, typically as a birthday with a 0 or a 5 approaches. At 20, I drove around Austin for hours trying to imagine what I wanted my life to look like after college. Five years after that, in the throes of one of those so-called "quarter-life crises", I quit my job in New York and moved to Colorado for bluer sky and more closet space. At 30, I was back in New York again and starting grad school to tackle my third career. And now, six weeks before turning 35 (wow...really? How'd that happen??), a few months from taking a very important career-changing exam and in the middle of planning my very long-awaited wedding, I find myself feeling extremely...antsy.

I'm the kind of person, unfortunately, who has a really difficult time living in the present, and am constantly plotting, dreaming, and stressing about my next move. What am I going to do after I take the exam? Should I look for a new job? Do I open a private practice?  Or worse, what if I don't pass it?

What am I going to do once this wedding I've envisioned for so long is finally over? What will I plan for then? A house, a kid, a dog? When am I going to travel the world, write my novel, start my own business? How will I fit it all in? I need to know what comes next, and it always feels like I need to know RIGHT NOW.

For some reason I've convinced myself that if I'm not slingshotting myself forward to the next great thing, then I must be one step shy of total complacency. I can't decide if this makes me ambitious or anxious. Perhaps I am both.

I crave change the way most people crave stability. I struggle with leaving things the way they are--just ask anyone who has ever visited my home. I have rearranged my furniture once a month since I was a little girl. I like replacing old with new. The fact that I have maintained a nine-year relationship without ever feeling an urge to bounce is nothing short of a miracle and a true testament to my beloved's sheer awesomeness. I suppose it's no coincidence that my laid-back counterpoint has been working overtime for the past month as I've been spinning through one of my existential spells.

And so instead of writing in this space, a place I created with the intention of organizing my thoughts and balancing my chi, or studying for my exam, which will get me that much closer to figuring out my next career move, I have flung myself into the silly world of wedding blogs, where I can brainlessly fixate on one frilly day instead of stress myself out about what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.

As if I really need to know at 35. As if anyone ever could.


  1. Don't forget that famous quote John Lennon; something along the lines of life happened whilst I was planning it ;-)
    I used to be just like you until I started learning to enjoy the "now", the "present". Now life takes so much less energy and I still achieve all I want
    ;-) xx

  2. Hang in there Jenn, the next stage of your life will find you and it WILL fall into place as it should but sometimes we're just the last to know...life is funny that way! You wanting to know now isn't crazy, just human. Take it easy and just breath :-)

  3. This is how I feel all the time as well. If it makes you feel any better, I heard that most astronauts get really depressed after they go to space because they worked their entire life to do this one thing that very few people have done and then they don't know where to go from there. I wish I had answers as I am going through this myself. Every time I reach a goal I set out for myself I think "what next?" and I am getting to point where I feel like I am running out of options. Or at least I'm learning that all that achievement stuff doesn't really make you all the happier. Happiness/contentment comes from within.

  4. "As if I really need to know at 35. As if anyone ever could."

    Right? I feel this way a lot, though my number ends in an 8 this year, but I feel you bit time on needing to know what's next and needing to know NOW. I have such a hard time just sitting back and enjoying the NOW.

    This made me grin: "The fact that I have maintained a nine-year relationship without ever feeling an urge to bounce is nothing short of a miracle and a true testament to my beloved's sheer awesomeness."

  5. So much of this resonates with me. I'm about to turn 40 in a few months and always working toward (hopefully positive) change - but also not sure what's around the corner and not sure is it's what I really want. Better than being static, right?

  6. This is such a wonderful post!

  7. This is a wonderful post. I love the picture, too. I hope you do find your way back here more often. I follow many blogs for targeted topics - but yours I follow for pure enjoyment. I relate to your pictures and to your story. Cheers to you! BTW - will you be at BlogHer in August in NYC?

  8. Oh gosh yes... a complete change craver here too! Hope you feel more settled soon (and if you work out how to do that, it would be great to know how!) x

  9. I love this post Jen! I'm going through the same thoughts..must be the whole turning 35 thing.

  10. It all has a way of coming together. You have a lot of life changes ahead of you-Its good. I know people who have not made changes since their teenage years (scary!)...Your world will keep turning, opportunities will continue to happen, and all will be good.


  11. I loved this post Jenn purely because I can relate right now. I'm always at a constant crave of change and transition, but I think that has something to do with it being in the (or rather my) stars (and Neptune being a major reason for that). But like you, I need to what it is, because I'm a planner too! Don't worry, I'm sure everything will fall into place - the idea of your own practice sounds excellent and I can't wait to hear more about wedding stuff!

    I'll leave you with the Joseph Campbell quote: "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us".