Category Archives: New Confidence

The Wisdom of Gnarls Barkley

As I ran my two mile training jaunt while Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” flooded my ears, I realized how much wisdom those words held. Crazy. Such a deceptively simple word that exactly describes my current state of mind. This is because the other day, a friend convinced me to stop training for Bay to Breakers and start training for a Half Marathon. And the best part? The half marathon is two months earlier and 6 miles longer than B2B. Her argument: Just think how easy B2B will be after you’ve run 13.1 miles…

13.1 miles. Every day, I try to fathom how far that is. I live closer than 13.1 miles to my work. My mom probably lives only about 7 miles from me–and in a car in rush hour traffic, even that seems interminable. In fact, I don’t think I DRIVE 13.1 miles during the course of a day, and she wants me to run it. Do you want to know the craziest part? I said yes.

So now here I am in the midst of full-on training. Yesterday was my first “official” day, even though I consider the 6 miles I ran last week as pre-training. I’ll run another 6 this week, and then the real fun begins. Part of me says, “Hell yes, I can do this” while the other (and sometimes louder) part of me thinks that I am, in the immortal words of Gnarls Barkley, crazy.

I will say this, though. When I was a senior in high school, awkward, chubby, and somewhat ugly, I never even dreamed of running around the block, let alone running a half marathon.

I guess 30 isn’t quite that bad.

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ThirtyGirl is Thankful

I always hear people–especially my dad, who’s a very young 68–say, “Age is not a number; it’s a state of mind,” and they’re probably right. Unfortunately, when you experience your first major decade change (10 and 20 don’t count), sometimes it’s way too easy to get wrapped up in that simple little digit.

That’s why, in the spirit of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes (or goose, acorns, and pumpkin–if you want to get technical), I’ve decided today to celebrate all the things my thirty years have gifted me.

1. My personal and professional experiences.

In my life, I’ve had opportunities to travel to places my parents haven’t seen–and may never see. I’ve eaten pizza while staring at the Duomo in Florence; I’ve tasted wine at a local, family-owned winery in Ston, Croatia; I’ve performed a scene from Othello on the Globe Theater stage as the bells of St. Paul’s were chiming midnight. I was selected from a large pool of professionals–some with much more experience than I–to help lead the reform movement at the high school where I teach. At thirty, I am a respected, integral part of my professional community–at an age where many people are just starting to launch their careers.

2. ┬áThe knowledge that it’s more important to be respected than to be liked.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a bitch. Bitches aren’t really respected anyway–more like feared, and I’m not interested in that. But what I have learned is that by spending too much time pleasing other people (in order to be liked), I forgot to please myself.

3. My family

Even though they’re third on my list, they’re not. This is going to sound cliche, but I don’t care. My family–my husband and daughter, as well as my mom and dad and other more extended family–are the ones that keep me sane (more or less) on even my worst days. No matter how hectic or crazy my life gets (which it does, on a daily basis), they’re the ones who keep me grounded, and they’re the ones that motivate me to be successful in my life.

Whatever your age today, I hope you’ll reflect on those gifts that your years have given you. Today isn’t about crow’s feet, gray hairs, or joint pain. Today is about life–and what really matters.

Happy Thanksgiving!

ThirtyGirl Lesson #1

If I’ve noticed one major difference in myself since I’ve turned thirty, it’s this: I’m completely less judgmental than I used to be. I’ll admit it. I used to look at people who didn’t share my life’s plan or my world views with a certain level of disdain, but I’ve noticed that now I just kind of have a “What the hell” attitude about everything.

Case in point: My best friend from elementary school just facebooked me the other day, and I haven’t seen her since our senior year in high school when she left early because she got pregnant and had a baby. If this contact had happened just one short month ago (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little), I can see myself getting really freaked out about her life choices and feeling like we have absolutely nothing in common. In fact, I may have put my BlackBerry back into my black Coach bag and forgotten her message in cyberspace. But I didn’t. In fact, I celebrated the fact that she is one strong chick. She’s a single working mom of two boys and has survived an abusive relationship. That’s definitely something to be proud of. In fact, I think she’s one of my new heroes.

So far, my six week tenure in the thirties has taught me one very important lesson–there’s way more to life than carrying a Coach purse.

The Day After

Why do people do crazy things on their thirtieth birthdays? Some people skydive or travel, and a friend of mine advised me to buy a car like she did. Other people drink themselves into tequila oblivion, maybe hoping they won’t remember the day they turned 30, allowing them to celebrate 29 #3 the next year.

Maybe they’re trying to prove to themselves that they’re still exciting and fun–kind of like they’re still 29.

I decided that I would celebrate my crazy thirtieth in a blood donor chair in my high school’s small gym.

Because of my phobia of both blood and needles, I always decided that giving blood–an activity that combined both of my worst fears–would never be for me. And after I got over my initial “What the hell was I thinking?” moment in the waiting area, I said to myself “What the hell?” and sat in the blue lounge chair while the phlebotomist hooked tubing and a needle to my vein.

And I know that it wasn’t as exciting as jumping out of an airplane or escaping to the south of France, but it proved, like any fear-conquering adventure, that I’m just as cool–if not cooler–than I was in my twenties, even if I did get an 18-hour headache from one glass of red wine.