I’m blogging again today which is pretty unexpected. I rarely blog three days in a row.
I opened my email this morning and discovered a Penelope Trunk update. I decided to write about it. I’m synopsizing one of her blogs and have included the link below.
I’m not in my twenties. I’m not in my thirties, so why did I even read this piece? I read it because I’ve always known my ‘schedule’, my American achievement life schedule is way off. Americans, the ambitious, career-oriented ones, are always trying to set life goals and occasionally even employ trendy people like life ‘life coaches’. Especially if they live on the west coast or very specifically, California.
As I said, my life schedule is pretty off center. I didn’t meet the ‘perfect’ guy in my late twenties and marry him. I got married in my thirties. And the guy I married wasn’t ‘perfect’ but then again neither was I. As for career stuff, I spent my twenties working for an educational organization, did social service work and when I could, I traveled. But what I really wanted to do was figure out a way to be a professional writer. In my mid-twenties, I got into film and dabbled in screenwriting. I got lucky meeting people. See:’ How I Got Here': http:isabellserafin.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/how-i-got-here.
I spent a bit of time in the Caribbean working, mainly in Haiti. I tried my hand at teaching English which got me to Europe. Then I went to graduate school to get an MFA in Creative Writing. After graduate school I became a magazine editor, another job which came via a continental leap, this time to Southeast Asia. I didn’t follow any of the ridiculously savvy Penelope Trunk’s rules for success. Maybe I should have. Here are her tips: ‘6 Things to Do in Your 20s and 30s’
1) Build a career that enables you to work from home.
This is what I’m still trying to do. My last two editorial positions were ones I worked freelance. In my personal timeline, I imagined by 40, I’d have one child and be working, i.e., writing from an apartment in a city I loved. I’m half-way there.
2) Women, freeze your embryos, (i.e., think about getting pregnant).
Nope. Never did this. I never even considered it. According to Ms. Trunk, I should have been thinking about this 10-15 years ago. What was I thinking about 10-15 years ago? I was trying to figure out how not to get pregnant.
3) Build muscle.
Penelope qualifies this as weight-lifting. I ran on-and-off throughout my twenties. I didn’t begin to lift weights until I was 28. I had a brief spell with a personal trainer named Joey. I just started lifting light weights again a month ago and still use the techniques Joey taught me.
4) Go visit your siblings.
My cousin, Nicholas, (pictured below) Diana’s father. (For those of you new to this blog see: dee-AH-na: http://isabellserafin.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/dee-ah-nah ). He’s here in Germany with his wife and during the early part of his childhood, we grew-up together. He’s like a little brother. It’s my plan to see him and his family as often as I can.
Nicholas mit Diana
5) Don’t stress about relocation.
Um, I did this continuously. I had to. My life and luck improved exponentially when I was outside of the U.S. My career got better. I met more interesting people, was exposed to different cultures and each time I returned to the States after prolonged amounts of time spent in Europe, Africa or Asia, even the Caribbean, I was always infinitely more impressive than I had been before I left the US. I stressed a lot about where to go next and how to get there. Clearly, I disagree with Penelope on this one but everyone is different. Blueprints aren’t for everyone but it’s always nice to examine other peoples which is why I penned this blog to begin with.
6) Your twenties are not practice time. It’s your life.
“Focus on using a systematic way to try new jobs and new relationships to figure where you fit.” Okay. Yes, I did this. I don’t know how ‘systematic’ I was but I certainly tried a great deal as regards work, geography and too relationships. I wouldn’t want to go back to my twenties. Far too much insecurity then. My thirties were spent dealing with so much which seemed absolutely beyond my control that I was totally ill-equipped to deal with. My forties, on the other hand, are far more manageable.
Here is the link to Penelope Trunk’s full article here: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2013/10/04/6-things-to-do-in-your-20s-to-make-your-30s-good/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=66375&utm_campaign=0