It should come as no surprise that I’m ex-haus-ted this week. It’s a good problem to have, given how many fun experiences and projects I’ve had lately. But it’s all caught up to me just in time for a wine country day Saturday and the big 3-0 Tuesday. Here’s what’s helping me attempt to unwind before then:
- Tracey Mammolito Photography: The woman responsible for those amazing photos I shared yesterday, y’all. Tracey’s energy was contagious, she made me feel comfortable (despite looking VERY silly in a public park) and her communication was spot-on. If you’re in SF and need a profesh photog, Tracey’s your girl.
- BachFantasy: This isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to betting on “The Bachelorette,” but it is my first season in a BachFantasy league. The recaps are entertaining, and the spreadsheet is a wet dream for OCD nerds like me. We’re up to the mid-season draft, and although I’m pretty far out of first, I’m hoping my dark horse picks will make a comeback soon.
- Sutter Health: Remember that career leap I mentioned yesterday? Well, today I can officially share I’ve accepted an offer to join Sutter Health as their Manager of Content Strategy and Multimedia! Sutter is a not-for-profit network of doctors, hospitals and health services for millions of Californians, and I couldn’t be more excited to call it my next home. I’ll have more to share soon, but at least that cat’s out of the bag 🙂
- “California Girls” – The Beach Boys: Call me old school, but there’s something about this classic that just puts a sunshiney smile on my face. I don’t know that I’m considered a true Californian at just a few years in, but my family can attest to my lifetime appreciation for The Beach Boys. Bonus: They remind me of my dad, and riding around in his beat-up ‘91 Ford Ranger.
In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”
The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.
By 30, you should know…
30. Why they say life begins at 30!
What a long, strange trip it’s been. As I enter the last week of my 20s, I find myself talking about turning 30 more than I ever thought I would. I’m embracing it head-on — some might say a bit too much — but I’m genuinely excited for what this next decade may bring.
I’ve talked about it before, but I truly never want to look back at a time in my life and think “Those were the best years of my life.” That feels futile and sad. And while not every week, month or year can be the best all the time, I want to look forward and remain hopeful that the best is yet to come.
The editors of Glamour write this week’s closing (before sharing a few more Lists to consider), and they make an excellent point about why 30 often feels so different.
The “comparathon,” as they call it, is generally over. Your 20s are largely about what others are doing, where you “should” be and what’s wrong with you if you’re not there yet. At 30, you start focusing on your own timeline and appreciating what you have done, instead of what you haven’t.
Of course, I had grand plans when I was a child about where I might be at 30. I may not have ever been a “dream wedding” kind of girl, but I thought I’d be so old at 30 — I’d surely have a husband and kids and a white picket fence. A week before 30, and I don’t have any of those things. And that’s not only “OK,” it’s 100% authentic to me.
I have a career I’m quite proud of, one that’s about to reach new heights in just a few weeks (more on that later). I have a social circle of close friends and family, who I know would drop anything when I’m in need. I have a lovely shared home in the most expensive rental market in the US and am no longer sweating over the bill each month. I have relationship experiences which have taught me countless lessons to take into my next partnership.
I still would love to marry someday, maybe have kids (or not!), and own a home. But I don’t think I’m any less successful than my peers who have those things. I’m biased, of course, but I don’t believe success is defined by anyone else but yourself.
My definition of success relates to things you have to work for — whether that’s your education, career accomplishments, parenting wins or being committed to a relationship. A wedding in and of itself, in my opinion, is not an achievement. (For more on this subject, check out this article.)
Your definition of success may be in polar opposition to this. And that’s OK, too. No matter where you are in your life, if you’re happy with it, I’m not going to rain on that parade. I just hope you won’t rain on mine, either.
Some may say I’m making too big a deal over 30, taking more than half a year to chronicle this series, organizing a wine country day and a fundraiser, and — oh yeah — doing a photo shoot. But as I’ve said from the very beginning of this series, I believe in celebrating full blast… getting older is a privilege denied to many.
Cheers to that — and to you all who’ve stuck with me ❤️
Photo credit: Tracey Mammolito, hired via Thumbtack
Sign credit: LaineyBugsDesigns, hired via Etsy
Cake credit: Whole Foods
Props credit: Target
Shirt credit: Meee
Accomplice credit: Stephanie Merek & Bear
It gives me hope, despite the poor grammar.
to Instagram Sunday.
I first heard about Instagram in late 2010 and swore I’d never use it. The photo filters seemed so unnecessary, and the few people I knew on it then were completely pretentious about their photo “skills.”
I gave in a few nights ago, thanks in large part to the insistence of my travel companions. I’ve changed my tune a bit and find it much easier to use than other social-media sites.
Documenting the trip will still take forever, but now I can share quick hits prior to my 400+ photo upload:
[Day 1] Taxi ride in downtown Panama City — Revolution Tower
[Day 2] Downtown PC, before the Canal and riding bikes down Amador Causeway
[Day 3] Water taxi dock in Bocas del Toro to Red Frog Beach
[Day 4] Hammock nap on Starfish Beach
[Day 5] Crossing the border into Costa Rica
[Day 6] Our own private spot at Punto Uva Beach, Costa Rica
[Day 7] Driving through the mountains to Boquete, Panama
[Day 8]Hiking through Landau Waterfalls in Boquete
[Day 9] Caldera Hot Springs in Boquete
[Day 10] Baha’i House of Worship in Panama City
Find Wittyburg on Instagram to see more — sometimes giving in can be a good thing.
All of the excitement from the Super Bowl has left me entirely exhausted. I figure another installment of Camera Roll Call should do the trick: Entertaining you (or maybe just me) while showing off my photo skillz that killz.
Gasparilla handiwork: The ring needed its own bow too.
Traffic is wiggity, wiggity, wiggity whack.
Real nice, Senator Rubio — but Mr. Amanda is my father.
Playing MASH in the office … just a regular day.
Had lunch yesterday with Rays player David Price. It was a really big table.
If this isn’t a testament to how random my life is, then I don’t know what is.
I’ll take an order of David Price with a red dune buggy and Kris Kross on the side, please and thank you.
I have a terrible habit of “forgetting” to upload pictures … I find it incredibly time-consuming, and I’m usually too impatient to give a shit if they ever make it online.
But I realize, then, what’s the point of taking photos if you’re not sharing them? So, I bring you the start of a new series: Camera Roll Call. (Thanks to my friend, Cosmo, for naming this when I was too lazy to do so.)
Each post will feature the last five pictures I’ve taken on my phone (not counting repeat/similar shots — otherwise, it’d be five angles of the same thing because I’m an idiot artist).
We’ll see how long this lasts.
Epcot with family and friends — NINE-pound lemons?! I’m a child.
Canada: What’s that aboot, eh?
Scotch Egg from The Rose & Crown Pub in “England.” Deliciously savory!
The worst skywriter I’ve ever seen. It’s supposed to be “U + GOD = J” … suuure.
The big ball! In case we forgot where we were.
Phew. I feel like this was a productive therapy sesh, and much cheaper than paying someone to listen.