The Journey Continues
So, I just turned thirty. This birthday has put me in a rather reflective mood. In some ways I feel like I’ve already lived nine different lives. Let me try to consolidate these “lives” into a few sentences: I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas where I was a high-strung straight-A student at Trinity Valley School, performed on a weekly country music show, competed in this Miss Teen Texas pageant, and was involved at my synagogue with my small group of Jewish friends. At 18, I made my way to NYU where I studied music and interned at different record labels and fell in love with New York City. After college I spent a year in Jerusalem studying Judaism and taking time for some introspection. The month I got home from Israel I got engaged, and shortly after I moved to Philadelphia to start graduate school. Two years later, I moved back to NYC with my husband and started working in the fashion industry. In the midst of this chapter I had two baby girls and started this blog. These words are just the superficial description of the many experiences I’ve had on my journey to thirty. Thinking about each chapter triggers a plethora of emotions and conjures up memories and connections to people that have shaped the person I am and the way I see the world. I have been on this fantastic adventure for thirty years, but I actually feel like my life is just beginning.
I am finally getting to know myself. I am starting to figure out which ingredients I need to live a life that feels happy and complete. While every journey has a destination, I’m not entirely sure where I want this road to take me, and I feel okay with that. I do have some immediate goals for myself for the upcoming year. I hope that by sharing them publicly, it will hold me accountable to follow through. Here goes:
1. Take a Moment: As any mother knows, finding alone time is nearly impossible. Like so many moms, I struggle with guilt when I am working or doing things that take me away from my family, so taking 10-20 minutes of quiet time for myself can seem selfish. I have learned though, that when I don’t take this time, everything in my life suffers. We live in a world of chaos with a million tasks that need doing and only so many hours in the day. Taking time to reset is essential. Call it meditation, call it prayer, call it peace and quiet, whatever you want to call it, join me: Step 1: Close Eyes, Step 2: Inhale, Step 3: Exhale, Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the next task on the day’s agenda seems manageable.
2. Banish Self-Doubt: I can’t believe I am completely letting down my guard and revealing this goal, but I know I am not alone in my constant struggle with self-doubt. Full disclosure: I was TERRIFIED to start this blog because it meant putting myself out there and subjecting myself to criticism. Almost every time I post a picture on Instagram I want to duck and hide “Eeeek! Should I delete it? I look so cheesy. I hate the filter I used.” I do the same thing with my outfits. I’ve spent my whole life second-guessing and it is my biggest downfall. I want to work really hard this year to stop questioning my choices and apologizing for my point of view. I want to take that negative energy and put it towards fully committing to my creative decisions and not be afraid to fail. If anyone has any tips on how to tackle this one, please share!
3: Prioritize: You may remember that I coined last year “The Year of YES," making a pact with myself that I would say “yes” to whatever career-building opportunities came my way. I went to almost every fashion event I was invited to and took on extra freelance work I didn’t really have time for. I don’t regret it, but I learned that by saying “yes” to one thing, I was saying “no” to many other things. I know I don’t feel great if I skip the gym, go to bed too late, or most importantly, miss out on precious time with my daughters and husband. My incredibly wise dad always says that relationships are the key to a happy life. This year, I want to reprioritize to spend more time with people I love and take better care of myself. I recently skipped a press preview to go to lunch with a few friends and our babies and it was so much fun and felt good for my soul. A rich, multifaceted life always requires sacrifices, so finding balance is a constant struggle, but I’m not going to stop trying.
4: Be Present: This is a tough one. My job is social media so I have to be plugged in at all times so I won’t miss the key moment to tweet about national chocolate chip cookie day, or Hillary’s performance at the debate, or whatever else may be “trending” at that second. Even when I put my devices away (thank G-d for Shabbat) I still struggle with the chaotic distractions in my mind (see Goal #1). I am all for a “digital detox,” but I think even without the phone and computer, we would be distracted by something else. It takes discipline to say “I am going to focus on where I am and who I am with and live in this moment right now.” If you see me out there missing the moment, feel free to shout out, “Liz: Goal #4…HELLO!"
5. Get Inspired: As much as I love parties and people, I feel like the best version of myself when I am in the creative zone. In case you aren’t familiar, this zone exists in a realm outside of space and time and involves sweat, tears, and a sea of ideas. Sweatpants aren’t required, but they are highly recommended. The trouble is, you cannot force yourself into the zone—to enter the zone you must first have inspiration. I am coming off a couple of months of severe creative blockage (likely due to my failure to “take a moment,” “banish self-doubt,” “prioritize”, and “be present”). My boss, creative genius and designer of Erickson Beamon jewelry, Karen Erickson, said to me, “Lizzy, you have to be inspired by everything. I created an entire jewelry collection from staring at a pattern on an ugly hotel carpet. When you are constantly reinventing, you have to take inspiration from everything you do and see.” With an open mind and open eyes, anything can be inspiring. Accessing inspiration from my daily life also gives me a new outlook on everything from donuts to dishes to diapers.
Images from my Dazzling Disco Birthday Bash via Anthony Vazquez Photography. Special thanks to Adam from Gilded Lily for the perfect venue, to Ira for putting up with my anxiety and making a killer playlist, to my parents for making me, for tolerating me for thirty years, and for flying in to celebrate, and to all of my fabulous friends who really brought disco back from the dead! I can't imagine a better way to celebrate! Love you guys!