Wednesday, August 14

Making Lemonade

In light of minor unpleasantries I've recently experienced, I decided to write down the things that are really right with my life. Things that make me happy. Things for which I am grateful. And as most of you could have guessed, this list is much longer than the number of lemons I'm juggling. Here's to tossing out the lemons and making chocolate chip cookies instead because that's how good life really is!

1. I've got all my teeth, no current toothaches, and my Sonicare toothbrush is one of my most valued possessions.
2. Buying 5 avocados for $1
3. Facebook
4. Friends who fly/drive in to spend the weekend with me
5. Hair that is getting longer
6. I had a clothes designer recently name a skirt after me
7. I have a job where I get to help a lot of people
8. GPS
9. Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father, and prayer
10. My work commute that has never been longer than 40 minutes, averaging 20 most days
11. The Imperial Hwy exit that lets me go 120mph for a mile to bypass 405ers
12. Forgiving cops
13. Farmer's markets ALL OVER
14. The Book of Mormon
15. Hulu, Redbox, and Netflix
16. Brothers who have such varied talents and find ways to use them to show love to their sister who has a man-shortage in her life
17. Pinterest
18. Articles, videos, and memes that make me laugh
19. Volleyball
20. Phone calls from nieces
21. Notes from nephews
22. CrossFit especially workouts involving double unders, box jumps, or deadlifts
23. 3 airports less than a half hour away
24. 7 minutes to the temple
25. 10 minutes to the beach
26. Spotify
27. OneRepublic and good music in general
28. Living amongst a culturally diverse population
29. Speaking Spanish
30. Ice cream, Diddy Riese's, Cold Stone, self-serve soft serve frozen yogurt
31. Mexican food
32. Lights on the 3rd Street Promenade
33. First Friday food trucks in Venice, walking the canals in Venice, people watching at Venice beach
34. Running the stairs in Santa Monica
35. My bed
36. Perfect temperature EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
37. "I miss you" texts/phone calls and texting in general
38. Gchat
39. Free samples
40. Clothing trends that hide recently acquired padding
41. Meeting so many people with such interesting stories
42. Homeless people that teach me valuable lessons
43. Self-tanning lotion that makes it believable that I actually live in SoCal
44. Teaching opportunities
45. Knowledge of who I am, why I'm here, and where I'm going from an eternal standpoint
46. Getting a student a job, finding a friend a roommate, and hearing about a date I set up that went well
47. Color
48. Smells, especially plants/flowers blooming year round everywhere
49. Comfy couches
50. LinkedIn
51. Excel documents that are useful
52. Cafe Rio
53. Conversations about how incredibly silly the big stickers on Facebook are
54. Conversations about how incredibly silly the bachelor/bachelorette is and how we keep watching it
55. Well-written books, articles, quotes, poems, songs
56. Good girlfriends who make great therapists
57. Portable phone charger
58. Pluots
59. Star sightings
60. (Somewhat) reliable transportation
61. Walking down HB and SM piers
62. Wireless internet
63. Laptops
64. Chocolate covered cinnamon bears
65. Chocolate covered anything
66. Mascara
67. Great health
68. Lasik
69. Church at 9:30
70. Catalina Island
71. Dried fruit (namely mangoes, pineapple, pears, and kiwi)
72. Acquired tastes (namely sushi and all things sweet potato)
73. Inspiring leaders (namely Elder Holland and Elder Uchtdorf) 
74. Being able to touch up my roots for $4 by myself instead of paying someone else $80
75. Laughing so hard it snorts
76. Writing
77. Learning opportunities
78. Words of affirmation, validation, flirts, and compliments
79. Inventing new words
80. Living in a country where people volunteer their lives to keep me free and protected
81. Fireworks
82. Hearing about how dull cruises, church, volleyball, softball, dinner parties, and game nights are without me, even if it's exaggerated
83. Straws
84. Free parking and finding a good parking spot
85. Clean car, bedroom, desk
86. Coworkers who bring in donuts
87. Playing the donut/Prius game
88. Friends who make me take note of my daily highs
89. Realizing that I missed out on learning so much and then realizing how much time/opportunity I have left to learn
90. Individual peanut butter/almond butter packets
91. Flat irons that make my hair look like it has shape
92. Outlet malls
93. Workout clothes
94. Going to baseball games
95. Kisses
96. Anything with the word pesto, nut, cheesecake, Oreo, apple, banana, chicken, bacon, avocado, potato, panini, coconut, or tamale in it
97. Learning how much I was loved and learning how much I loved/love others
98. Good grammar
99. Hearing about miracles and joys in other people's lives
100. The fact that this list only took 45 minutes to write and that I could probably go on for another few hours

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, April 12

Why I LOVE CrossFit

I'm addicted. If you know me, you probably already knew that! I've had many people ask me about CrossFit in the last month so I decided to publish my thoughts. I have tried EVERYTHING as far as exercise goes and either get bored or lose motivation after the first month (sometimes the first week) or I don't feel like whatever it is I'm doing is working. This is the best thing that I've done that's made me SEE noticeable results and FEEL a noticeable difference! 

What CrossFit is:
It's a little bit P90x and a little bit Insanity with a dash of Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics. CrossFit is an hour-long group workout led by a certified trainer. The workout consists of a warm-up, strength training, what's called a Workout Of the Day (or WOD), and then mobility/stretching. The WOD is typically a high intensity/interval training type workout. The workouts that build endurance, help build/retain muscle, and typically burn the most calories during and post-workout are high intensity (and usually shorter) workouts and interval training, which is exactly what CrossFit is. Sometimes the workout is 5 minutes long and sometimes it's 40 minutes (the 5 minute ones usually KILL ME much more than the 40-minute ones!!). But you can scale it all down to your level so ANYONE can do it!

Here are the reasons CrossFit has worked for me:
  1. The results. I see muscles on me in places I've never seen them and less jiggle in places I've always struggled with. My volleyball hits are harder and deeper, my softball hits are farther, I'm running in races I never wanted to, and I can actually play more than a couple minutes of soccer at one time. Plus, I'm REALLY good at Indian Leg Wrestling now ;)
  2. The record-keeping. We keep track of our workouts (time completed, weights, reps, etc.) on a whiteboard. Having the whiteboard track results motivates me to push myself. I know it sounds silly but I'm a pretty competitive person and competing with myself and others pushes me to go hard. Seriously, Saturdays are the only days we don't record workouts and I always find myself slacking a little more on those days. Shh, don't tell my trainers. Recording results keeps me accountable whereas at a normal gym, I'm not accountable to anyone (and it's harder to be accountable to myself) for a workout--it's a solo effort.
  3. The community. The people at the gym have become my family. I go cause people expect to see me there. Some days when I have no desire to workout, I go just because I want to see my "family" (then the desire to workout with them usually comes once I get there). The energy of those people who are working, sweating, grunting, groaning and getting it done beside me is what pushes me to do one more pull up, one more box jump, or one more kettlebell swing. It is in those moments when I am the last person doing the WOD, and those who are done stay to cheer me on to the finish, that I realize strength is in numbers. No one is left alone to finish a workout and so you dig deep to get those last 5 squats in. Other people know that I can do it even when I think I can't and they will make damn sure I don't give up. Many who finish the workout will even support you by doing whatever's left of your workout with you! It's really inspiring and motivating!
  4. The trainers. Not only are they super cool people but they know their stuff and they'll coach you on proper form and technique to get you to be the fittest and strongest person you can be! And also, they don't yell at you like a bootcamp trainer does. Or I guess they do, but somehow you feel motivated to push harder rather than feeling humiliated.
  5. The money saved. Okay so some go into sticker shock when they find out how much it is but I justify the price. I don't have a car payment. I don't get my nails done. I don't get my hair done. I quit my other gym. And if I were to pay a personal trainer for as much time as these trainers spend with me, I'd be forking out A LOT more!! Besides, I'm saving a lot of money on medical bills by staying physically fit and not getting injured so easily doing other sports or daily activities.
  6. The endorsements. Fit people with hot bodies do this as their workout. Seriously, my first time going I rolled into a parking lot full of Hummers and Jeeps and other big muscley trucks and SUVs. What I found when I walked inside is that NO ONE was compensating for anything small! These were a bunch of nicely ripped guys (and girls, but let's be honest; eyes were on the guys) that seemed to match the cars they drive. You're definitely not looking at them saying, "If THEY can do it, so can I!" Instead I thought to myself, "One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong!" But I got over it and I made myself belong. It was certainly tough and to this day, it still is, but so worth it (and motivating) to be among these "expert" bodies. Plus, they're nice. They're not douchebag muscleheads that you might typically find at other gyms. Sorry for the stereotypical generalization, just reporting my experience.
  7. The adrenaline rush. Every time I walk through the door and look at the WOD I think, "Holy freaking (expletive--don't worry, I only say it in my head), how am I going to do that?" And yet, I finish alive (sometimes barely) EVERY time. How I can surprise myself like that on a consistent basis is pretty addicting... Like not studying for chemistry tests I somehow keep passing :)
  8. The rewards. I get all the rewards of working out--feeling great, looking good, fitting into clothes, being able to keep up with people 10 years younger than me, losing weight, toning up, doing things I've NEVER been able to do and never THOUGHT I could do, feeling the desire to eat healthier and stick with it, being able to splurge every once in a while and not feel guilty, having more energy, being able to think quicker, improving ability and endurance in any sport or physical activity, and I could go on...
  9. The FUN. I find myself laughing and enjoying myself MUCH MORE at CrossFit than I did doing any other workout and at any other gym. Going to the gym now is a very social experience. I don't think I've said more than "Are you done with this machine?" to anyone at my old gym. Yes, it's painful; but when you get to suffer and grow and achieve new personal records with 10 of your closest friends, it's a thrill of a lifetime.
  10. The paradigm shift. As a 30-something, I've often had the depressing thought that bad habits, weaknesses, and character flaws are pretty much gonna stick with me the rest of my life. The majority of my growth and understanding of who I am I believed happened in my teens and 20's. After having completed a year at CrossFit, I now believe that I can dramatically change anything I'm unhappy with. It's changed how I think, how I motivate myself, how I look at diet and exercise, how I view myself, and how I view the people around me. I approach new opportunities as well as old routine with so much more enthusiasm to be a little better than I was the day before. 

And after it's all said and done, the greatest part is, YOU FEEL LIKE SUCH A BADA**!

So for those of you who's interest I've piqued, come try out a class with me!!

Monday, August 22

My Break-Up Playlist

I've noticed a huge change in the older singles' dating scene since last General Conference and I think we've got a good thing going: Seems like everyone is either getting engaged and married or breaking up as opposed to last year when everyone just dated around--the word commitment was a 4-letter word. Even all the breaking up means at least people are giving a real effort in trying to find someone to marry. Still, breaking up isn't easy. Especially if you don't have much closure.

I recently went through a difficult breakup (redundant, I know). I definitely have unanswered questions. I still have things to say. Though I think I understand the events leading to the breakup, it's still confusing and I'm certainly not comfortable with how things ended. But there's not much I can do at this point. I can just let myself feel. I can allow myself to grieve. I can learn from mistakes. I can forgive for hurt and heartaches. I can pick up the pieces of my broken heart and mend it once again. My heart will be a little stronger but I will not make it unbreakable. I refuse to let one broken heart prevent me from getting another one. What's on the other side of a broken heart is much too good to risk missing out on. I will be wiser in my choices as far as who I trust with my heart but I won't be any less open to loving again.

There's something about music that allows me to feel. Sometimes it's pain, sometimes it's regret. Sometimes it's peace, courage and empowerment. Regardless, until closure comes, it's validating to know that I'm not the only one who's felt this way. Here's what's been playing on my iPod:

1. Heartbroken - Meaghan Smith
What's the use in fixing what will only break again?

2. Don't You Forget About Me - Enrique Iglesias
Don't you forget about me baby, someday you'll turn around and ask me, why did I let you go?

3. Smile - Glee Cast
Smile though your heart is aching, smile, even though it's breaking... if you smile through your pain and sorrow, smile and maybe tomorrow you'll see the sun come shining through for you.

4. I Wish the Best for You - Emerson Hart
Life gets so confusing when you know what you're losing.

5. Detroit Waves - Matt Nathanson
So, we let it go to start again... If I could change, believe me I would... Detroit waves goodnight.

6. Miss Me - Andy Grammer
Set me up for the falling, gave me no warning you were gone... I believe in my heart when something's wrong, say it's wrong. I can deal with the part when something's wrong if we both stay strong.

7. Love How It Hurts - Scouting for Girls
I've been waiting all my life for someone like you... someone who'll love me the way I loved you. I keep searching and what's worse, now that you're gone, all that's left is the hurt.

8. Rolling in the Deep - Adele
The scars of your love remind me of us, they keep me thinking that we almost had it all.

9. Better in Time - Leona Lewis
See somehow I can't forget you after all that we've been through... Thought I couldn't live without you. It's gonna hurt when it heals too... Even though I really love you I'm gonna smile cause I deserve to. It'll all get better in time.

10. Cannonball - Damien Rice
There's still a little bit of your taste in my mouth, there's still a little bit of you laced with my doubt. It's still a little hard to say what's going on.

11. Breathe Again - Sara Bareilles
Now I'm not the only one facing the ghosts that decide if the fire inside still burns... And the distance between that was sheltering me comes in full view. Hang my head, break my heart built from all I have torn apart.

12. Every Little Thing - Dishwalla
I wish I could be every thing you wanted all the time... Don't give me up tonight or soon nothing will be right at all.

13. You Could Be Happy - Snow Patrol
And all the things I wish I had not said are played in loops til it's madness in my head. Is it too late to remind you how we were? Most of what I remember makes me sure I shoulda stopped you from walking out the door... You made me happier than I had been by far.

14. I'm Movin' On - Rascal Flatts
I've dealt with my ghosts and faced all my demons, finally content with a past I regret. I've found you find strength in your moments of weakness, for once I'm at peace with myself... I've been trapped in the past for too long. I'm movin' on.

15. Let the Rain - Sara Bareilles
I want to change my mind, I want to be enough, I want the water in my eyes, I want to cry until the end of time. Let the rain come down, make a brand new ground.

16. Distance - Christina Perri
Please don't stand so close to me I'm having trouble breathing. I'm afraid of what you'll see right now. I give you everything I am, all my broken heartbeats until I know you'll understand. And I will make sure to keep my distance, say "I love you" when you're not listening... And I keep waiting for you to take me.

17. The Promise - Tracy Chapman
If you think of me, if you miss me once in awhile, then I'll return to you and fill that space in your heart. Remembering your touch, your kiss, your warm embrace, I'll find my way back to you if you'll be waiting... I've longed for you and I have desired to see your face, your smile, to be with you wherever you are.

Friday, February 25

Returning to Eat, Pray, Love

I have a friend who's going to Thailand to take a meditation course for 3 weeks. I'm a little jealous. It reminded me of how much I loved the book Eat, Pray, Love and how it inspired me in so many ways. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

On Happiness and Choice:
"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it."

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."

"You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control."

On the Downside of Being an Optimist:
"I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."

On Loneliness:
"When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings."

On Broken Hearts :
"Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be."

"This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something. "

"In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place."

"People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you."

"Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never dared to admit you wanted-an emotional speedball, perhaps, of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with a hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is withheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy, and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore-- despite the fact that you know he has it hidden somewhere, goddamn it, because he used to give it to you for free). Next stage finds you skinny and shaking in a corner, certain only that you would sell your soul or rob your neighbors just to have 'that thing' even one more time. Meanwhile, the object of your adoration has now become repulsed by you. He looks at you like you're someone he's never met before, much less someone he once loved with high passion. The irony is,you can hardly blame him. I mean, check yourself out. You're a pathetic mess, unrecognizable even to your own eyes. So that's it. You have now reached infatuation's final destination-- the complete and merciless devaluation of self."

On Soul Mates:
"People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master."

On Prayer and Faith:
"Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift."

"Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be... a prudent insurance policy."

On What God Says to You:
"I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. "

Tuesday, September 14


I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately. Not like actually blogging something but about the act of blogging. I know some tend to have some pretty strong (negative) opinions about blogs and those who blog but I have been thinking a lot about how good it has been for me. I don't keep a journal. I wish I did. But I can just see myself picking up a journal being forced into journal-writing mode, accounting for all the days' hours and when-and-whereabouts and I just don't get a lot out of rereading that kind of stuff.

Because I know that someone besides me may read my blog, I feel a certain amount of pressure (maybe motivation? maybe both?) to write something meaningful, insightful, entertaining, which stretches me and allows me to explore the depths of my creative mind brushing off cobwebs of the olden days when writing used to be a daily activity--even if it was just for some professor.

A friend of mine told me that he tries to scare himself every day. He looks for ways to get out of his La-Z-Boy recliner, take off his Snuggie®, and do something that takes him beyond his iPadded comfort zone. Writing has always been my Snuggie but blogging makes me feel vulnerable which is definitely not in my circle of comfort zone feelings. What if I write something and someone disagrees? What if I write something and I offend someone? What if I write something and everyone reads it and my thoughts become like graffiti on the wall of a subway station--so public that it loses meaning? What if I write something and no one reads it because no one cares what I think?
It definitely scares me. But fortunately, even if it does something or nothing for anyone else, it forces me to be introspective, which is very rewarding for me.

Gordon B. Hinckley said, "All of us ought to pause once in a while and just stop and think. We are prone to talk too much and do too little. I think it is a wonderful thing to just indulge once in a while in moments of introspection."

So thank you, Modern Technology, for amid all of your devices that distract us from thinking and doing, I've found one that provides me with the opportunity to scare myself, be vulnerable and discover new levels of happiness.

And to those of you who think blogging may be self-serving, self-centered, egotistical and whatever other adjectives you want to pin to it, in some way you actually may be right. And I'm okay with that.

Thursday, June 3

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be...

I thought that by age 30 I'd have life figured out. Or at least I would have figured out what it was that I wanted to do with the rest of my life. When I was little, the first thing I remember wanting to be was a pediatrician because I knew doctors made a lot of money and I knew I liked kids... but really, what 5 year old doesn't like kids? Then my 4th grade teacher inspired me so much that all I wanted to do when I grew up was be a teacher exactly like her. Then I started liking boys and that was the end of wanting to do anything outside of getting married and having kids.

But alas, at almost 30, here I am not married and not having kids wishing that maybe I woulda stuck to some dream of what I wanted to do professionally. Don't get me wrong, I have a great job that I love, just not sure I'd ever choose to do this for the rest of my life.

As it turns out, I'm not the only one who's "undecided" at age 30. I found this list of some pretty famous and successful people who didn't start their pretty famous and successful careers until after reaching the big THREE-OH.

  1. This photo is from four years after Stallone broke through.
    Sylvester Stallone, deli counter attendant. After getting no career traction as an actor in his 20s, Stallone attacked his 30's like any 5'8 man should: He wrote a movie where he was an all-American hero with unbelievable success in sports.

    That movie was "Rocky." He banged out the "Rocky" screenplay in three days, in between working at a deli counter and as a movie theater usher and it launched his career with an Academy Award for Best Picture.

  2. Andrea Bocelli, lawyer. He'd loved music and singing his whole life but didn't really see (no pun intended) it as a career possibility. So, after school, he got a law degree at the University of Pisa. At age 30 he was working as a lawyer and moonlighting in a piano bar for fun and extra cash. He didn't catch a break as a singer until 1992, at age 34.

  3. Martha Stewart, stockbroker. When she was 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker, no doubt learning all about finance and the ethics involved therein. Two years later she and her husband purchased a beat-down farmhouse in Connecticut, led the restoration, transitioned into a domestic lifestyle, and parlayed that into her evil, evil career.

  4. Mao Tse-Tung, elementary school principal. At age 30, Mao was involved in communism. He was a young star of the Chinese Communist Party but didn't realize it could be a career. (Probably didn't see communism as being very lucrative?)

    Instead, he was working as the principal of an elementary school. Where, no doubt, hall passes were decadent. Four years later he started a communist group that eventually became the Red Army and put him in power.

  5. International woman of mystery.
    Julia Child, government spy. Absolutely the wrong career. At age 30, Child wasn't cooking she was working for the U.S. government as a spy. She went on clandestine missions to China and Sri Lanka to get intelligence documents to agents in the field. She didn't enter cooking school until age 36.

    How it took until now to make a movie about her life is mind blowing. They made a movie about the life of MC Hammer. They made a sitcom out of the Geico cavemen. I mean someone bought the rights to make a movie out of "Where's Waldo?" You're telling me Waldo's more interesting than female spy-turned-TV cooking superstar? It's "Alias" meets "Top Chef"! Just because Waldo traveled to a bunch of exotic places where he managed to mingle with lots of other people wearing deceptive red-and-white striped shirts doesn't make him movie-worthy.

  6. James Joyce, singing. By 30, Joyce was writing... just not getting published. So to make ends meet he reviewed books, taught and, weirdly, made a lot of money thanks to his gorgeous tenor singing voice.

    Joyce finally got his first book, "Dubliners", published at age 32, which launched his career as, arguably, one of the most successful authors of all time.

  7. Colonel Sanders, tons of blue collar jobs. When yes Harland Sanders was turning 30, he was still switching from one career to another: Steamboat pilot, insurance salesman, farmer, railroad fireman, gigolo. He didn't start cooking chicken until he was 40 and didn't start franchising until age 65.

  8. Michael Jordan as a baseball player.
    Michael Jordan, baseball player. At age 30, Michael Jordan was the biggest star in the world, had just led the Chicago Bulls to three straight NBA championships and promptly quit to become a minor league baseball player.

    This remains one of the most suspicious moves any celebrity has made in our lifetimes. If this happened today, the Internet would actually blow up with people debating the real reason why Jordan quit.

    Anyway, I included this on the list because it shows that even Michael Jordan was still searching for the right career at age 30.

  9. Rodney Dangerfield, aluminum siding salesman. He started doing stand-up at age 19 then gave up on it in his mid-20's. He started working as an acrobatic diver and then as an aluminum siding salesman. He didn't start getting back into comedy until he was 40.

  10. Harrison Ford, carpenter. When Ford was 30, he starred in "American Graffiti"... which was a huge hit. But he got paid a pittance for acting in it, decided he was never going to make it as an actor, and quit the business to get back into the more financially dependable world of construction.

    Four years later, he met up with George Lucas again (for those who don't know, Lucas directed "Graffiti") and Lucas cast him as Han Solo.

  11. Jesus, carpenter. At age 30, Jesus finally stopped doing carpentry and started performing miracles. See, Harrison Ford and Jesus have more in common than you'd think.

This post is dedicated to Jay Evans and all my 30-something friends who live their lives passionately yet who are still searching for their life's passion. And a way to get paid for it.

Thursday, May 27

Why 30 Will Knock My Socks Off

I still feel like I'm at the beginning of the first hill on a roller coaster--arms up, anticipation growing by the second, not sure when I should start holding my breath, and excited about the downhill slopes, loops and spirals that await me. When I was younger, I kinda always pictured 30 as old and nearing the end of the ride--still fun but with smaller hills and thrills and just kind of comfortably coasting along. But the older I get, the more I realize that we don't just ride the ride, we create it. So here's to making my own roller-coaster and deciding when I get to start feeling old!

30 Reasons Why Turning 30 is Gonna Rock:
  1. I get to check a new age group box on forms.
  2. I get to say, “I remember when I was in my 20's...”
  3. I still have 2 years to prepare for what Good Morning America considers to be the ideal age for a woman to get married (which also happens to be the age at which a woman reaches her sexual peak... hmm, coincidence?).
  4. I have stopped trying to find myself and started creating myself.
  5. I can write my age as "XXX" in Roman Numerals.
  6. The Mishna Brura explains that a 30-year-old is "humble and broken-hearted, and can pray sincerely from the heart."
  7. I can run for Congress and in 5 years, I can run for President.
  8. It is more exciting to say “I am 30″ than “I am 29 or 31.″
  9. I can celebrate BIG for this birthday... which means bigger presents too, right??
  10. "I may be thirty, but I'll always be flirty." - Dane Peddigrew
  11. Old enough to gamble, young enough to make 3-hour midweek trips to do so even when I have to be at work at 8 the following morning.
  12. Getting hit on by 25-year old men never felt so good.
  13. Getting a traffic ticket doesn't mean I have to live on Top Ramen for a couple months. Being 30 means not having to live paycheck to paycheck or donate plasma in order to go to a Backstreet Boys concert.
  14. I can get discounts on purchasing hair dye in bulk for the 6-week reapplication to cover grays.
  15. I am still young and healthy enough to get pretty good deals on life insurance.
  16. All the life lessons I learned in my 20's, I can now apply to my life.
  17. Don’t have to worry about being 30 because I just AM.
  18. Peak age for body building is early to mid-thirties which means I still have time to achieve top physical condition.
  19. "The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits." - Hervey Allen
  20. 30 is the new 20.
  21. Rashbam explains that at age 30 one is "worthy of leadership."
  22. People naturally take you more seriously when you are in your 30's.
  23. I can reminisce with others my age about how much more fabulous movies, music, and television cartoons were in the 80's.
  24. I have the option of whether or not I want to live with roommates.
  25. "Time and tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty." - Robert Frost
  26. I am okay with declining dates with guys I know I have no interest in.
  27. The Talmud declares: "At age 30, one receives strength."
  28. Instead of stressing about acne, I can stress about wrinkles and gray hair.
  29. "Everything I know I learned after I was thirty". - Georges Clemenceau
  30. There is only one option to not turning 30, that is death. I say, “Welcome 30!”