Thank God I’m 30

Today I am 30 and I am so happy to finally be at this age.

How I Felt in My 20s:

20s

My 20s were a mixed bag of confusion where every decision felt like a choice between success and failure.  I wanted it all, but wasn’t sure how to get there, so I spent a lot of time being frustrated. It was tough being at the bottom of the corporate feeding chain all the time. Russell and I had to work really hard to stay together. But in spite of it all, my 20s taught me a lot of valuable lessons. It’s crazy to think how much has happened in the last decade.

I graduated college with my best friend by my side.

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I proceeded to have an odd string of jobs: an assistant editor at a surf magazine in Santa Barbara, legal assistant, au pair, bartender, office assistant at a commercial property management company/furniture store, hostess, server at BJ’s (I hate pizookies), editorial intern at a small independent publishing house. One year I had to fill out 4 W-2s and combined I’d only made a little over $20,000. I learned to live with a lot less. But I was passionate, and maybe a little hardheaded, about finding a job that I love.

I moved to San Francisco after college. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer so I spent a year working at a law firm and taking the LSATs. I loved the city of SF and its unique citizens, but I didn’t quite fit in, yet.

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Then I decided I wanted to be a professor. So I moved to Paris by myself to “study” for the GREs in Literature.  I went as an au pair and left as a bartender. Two separate jobs, long story.

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Then I moved back to Oakland but decided I didn’t want to go back to school. I couldn’t find a job I liked though and I was itching for the big city life. So I packed my bags again and moved to New York by myself. Without a job, very little money and friends, but lots of big dreams.

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I went to the Columbia Publishing Program then got a job at HarperCollins. Hooray! I’d found a way to make my passion for books a career.

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Eventually I made and reunited with  friends from all over.

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Got married to the man who supported me through all my ups and downs!

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Started this blog.

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Got a job at Chronicle Books (where I’d been applying to since graduating from college).

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And finally moved back home to California, where I was always meant to be.

I’m looking forward to enjoying this next decade with my friends and family, being open to new life experiences, and appreciating the past that’s brought me here.

Thanks as always for reading. Having an outlet like this to reflect on life is priceless.

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40 thoughts on “Thank God I’m 30

  1. Ok I’m seriously tearing up at work reading this. I remember all your frustrations as if they were my own and I am so proud of all that you’ve achieved! I was always amazed by your willpower and bravery to jump into what your gut told you to do. I always played it safe until I moved to NY and I admired your strength to just go for it. So happy for all you’ve accomplished and glad I was there as your friend through the tumultuous 20s. Cheers to being 30, my friend! Love you!!

    PS. You hate pizookies???? *GASP

  2. What a great post to read on a Monday morning! That was a healthy dose of inspiration/gratitude! Happy birthday to one of my greatest friends! (And thanks to Russell for bringing you back to the bay, and you know, for keeping us alive throughout our 20’s.)

  3. This list sounds a lot like the list I wanted to live out during my twenties. I’m just going to live vicariously through you, okay? 🙂
    I was glad to say goodbye to my twenties too.

    • It sounds more glamorous now than it really was when I was eating pb&j sandwiches non-stop for a while there! Eating much more balanced meals now, thank goodness. Looking forward to what 30s will bring, looks like you’re on a good track already!

  4. I’m so happy for you! I too hate pizookies! And don’t ever regret a single moment of your 20s because you’ve already lived a lot of my dreams and aspirations :] Hope to see you in the publishing world as a colleague soon!

  5. Happy birthday, Erynn! I had no idea your twenties were so full of adventure — you never told me you moved to Paris solo! How exciting! I’m right there with you about the twenties being marked with frustration and self-doubt though. While I sometimes miss the kind of youthful ignorance/naivete of my twenties, I am really happy that those years are behind me and I can finally harness whatever confidence/wisdom I managed to cobble together from a decade of fickle passions and foolish hard-headedness.

    Miss you and hope to see you again soon! I promise I will not late like aaaall the other times haha. Stupid traffic!

    • Thanks Juli! NY was still my most exciting adventure, when I finally started feeling at peace with myself and meeting like-minded people like you to enjoy the city with. The next time I see you may be at your wedding, and you should definitely not be late to that. 😉

  6. Yes. I really need to NOT be in my twenties right now! Your description of your twenties is my life at this moment. Happy birthday, though! I’m so proud of you and pretty much everything you’ve gone through is quite inspiring. Love you!

  7. Omg erynn that was such a heartwarming read. I felt all awed and gushy inside. Happy birthday my love. You’ve had such an adventurous 20’s.. But I think 30’s is completely something else amazing.

    • Aw, thanks Nari. My last year of my teens was so fun running around Korea with you. 20s were even funner. Really do hope our 30s turn out to be amazing. Shouldn’t be a problem with crazy fun friends like you!

  8. AWESOME post, erynn!! I just checked your blog for the first time in weeks, and i’m completely blown away. I think i knew a lot of this already but your delivery here is really something. Happy birthday!!!!! Miss your face!

  9. Congratulations on making it out of your 20s! I remember those years after getting my master’s in library science trying to find a job in an economy not favorable for librarians obtaining one. (We all know that the first places that are cut are libraries,) Now that I have crossed the 60 threshold, I’m older and hopefully wiser–but I haven’t lost that enthusiasm. Enjoy all the wonderful years and decades to come.

  10. Excellent post, and happy birthday! I will turn 31 next month and I hear you about finding your way in your 20s. I didn’t move around—just live in Kansas City that whole decade—but the working hard for degrees, job hunting, and living on less I can totally relate to. And for real something happens when you turn 30—there is a sort of calmness and confidence that comes over you, more comfortable with yourself or something? It’s pretty cool. Here’s to the fourth decade and beyond!

    • Thank you! It’s funny how I moved all around, but ended back up where I started. This time around in Northern California does indeed feel much more right and I have more confidence about my role here. Happy early birthday. Hope it’s a good one!

  11. Great post Erynn. It brings back all of the memories of watching you from the sidelines, knowing that you would always land on your feet! It’s great to have you in back in California.

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