That Was 30

That Was 30

30 – you were one hell of a year.

I survived pregnancy and became a mother. Left the pharmaceutical industry. Co-founded a startup. Relaunched this website. Wrote a book. Found a healthy relationship with fitness. Said farewell (but not goodbye) to some friends. Made new ones. Began to champion women’s education and entrepreneurship causes. Mastered filling in my eyebrows. Filmed my first live television segment (but certainly not my last). Cultivated a personal board of directors. Learned how to fight better. Gave up the quest for balance in favor of ruthless prioritization.

I know this may come off as a not-so-humblebrag. Bear with me as I digest how much has happened this year and record it for posterity’s sake.

And to remind myself to never, ever take this much on again.

First, the book. To say it happened fast is an understatement. It’s been about 3.5 months, from that first e-mail from my editor Lisa (a mere week after Rho was born, no less) to submitting my manuscript (which I did today).

Tentatively titled Pack Perfect, the work is my entire packing system in hardcover form and will be released spring/summer 2016. Illustrated by the talented Kelly Lasserre and published by Clarkson Potter, it contains all my packing hits (and a few new tips). I’ll be honest – about 90% of the content has been previously shared in blog posts and my packing guides, but I’ve worked tirelessly to present this information in a fresh, new way.

Writing a book has always been a goal of mine, and I can’t believe it’s actually happening.

The same can be said of doing a live TV segment.

Like the book, it happened quite fast. One minute, I’m chatting with my friend Rakia about the book and blog, with her responding “Girl, we need to get you on TV to share all your packing wisdom. Send me a pitch.” Two weeks later, I was booked to share ‘The Art Of Packing’ on my hometown’s morning show. Just weeks before my book was due. The segment wasn’t without its hitches (my necklace interfering with my sound, crouching on the floor in a dress, etc), but it went better than I could have hoped.

And I can’t wait to do it again.

In the midst of creating a technology platform to transform giving, I found myself searching for ‘my cause.’ I had flitted from cancer research and awareness to STEM education to sexual trafficking, but none of them really grabbed my heart.

Until I signed up to be a mentor at an entrepreneurship camp, hosted by Barnard College.

Coaching a young group of girls through the journey of starting a company (branding, financial projections, operations, pitching) was one of my favorite memories from last summer. I ran into the camp’s founder (who also spearheaded Barnard’s entire entrepreneurship program) in New Orleans last fall, where we spoke at length about our passion for cultivating the next generation of spunky, take-no-shit women entrepreneurs.

That conversation not only planted the seed of ‘my cause’, but also sparked an incredible relationship with Nathalie, the founder of Entrepreneurs@Athena.

Within a matter of months, Nathalie had me speaking at the graduation of Barnard’s digital design students, help land me a spot on the Athena Leadership Council, and snagged me a coveted invitation to the Media for Social Impact Summit at the United Nations. She’s also been an invaluable resource and sounding board as we build Bridge2Act.

Without Lisa, Kim, Nathalie, and Rakia, this year would have looked a LOT different. Words can’t express how grateful I am to have you all in my life.

In the midst of all these career highlights came quite a few, well, *heated discussions* between my husband and I.

When you’re navigating early parenthood with two stressful careers, disagreements are bound to arise.

I’m NOT proud of how I handled many of those arguments (screaming, blurting out hurtful statements, issuing the silent treatment). And while I’d love to say things are perfect and we’ll never fight again, it’s just not true. With every disagreement, we’re learning how to communicate better and fight fairly. Like our first year of marriage (which we refer to as WWIII), we’re learning how to adjust to parenthood while still being a wife and husband, our ambitious careers, and life in general.

It’s not easy, but nothing worth having ever is.

Ultimately, I’ve learned that searching for balance is futile. My life does not lend to being equally present at home or at work. All I can do is fully commit myself at the task at hand – writing my book, working on Bridge2Act, playing with my son, sitting down to dinner with my husband, spending time with friends, getting in a workout, updating this blog.

Good enough is the new perfect. Success is defined addressing each day’s priorities head on, and setting new ones for the next day. It may not work for everybody, but it’s what works for me.

I never did accomplish the whole ‘be a millionaire’ by the time I turned 30. But my life has never been richer, and that’s infinitely better.

31 – I can’t wait to see what you have in store.

If you made it to the end of this post – thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Without your support and continued readership, many of my incredible accomplishments this year simply would not have happened. I’ve said it before and will say it again, many times – I am so lucky to have you as a reader.

You are the best. Thank you, thank you, thank you.