So. What Are You Doing With Your Life?

I’ve been pretty quiet for the last 3 months or so because I am trying to figure out what is going on with my life. I know, I’m deep with these blog thoughts on a Friday morning, right? The truth is, I often ask one of my best friends what she’s doing with her life because I know she will ask me the same thing. It’s a little game we play because we know we don’t have the answers. Sure, we have our MIT degrees/USC masters degrees (we met in undergrad then I followed her to USC), a career (that we love or hate, depending on the day of the week), money in the bank and a roof over our heads. But it seems like there would be more to life by the time we reached this age. I remember when I was 18, I couldn’t wait to be 28 because 28 was going to be the best time ever. It’s not. It’s…confusing.

It’s not that I am growing tired of new media consulting, but I am feeling less like everything is working together, and that gives me reason to reevaluate what’s really good. Maybe it’s my projects. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I am fatigued. The moves I’ve made in the past all felt right because things happened so effortlessly. Getting started in new media consulting? Came out of thin air, and happened easily for me. Same goes for my work with startups. I used to be afraid to move into the next phase of my career because I grew comfortable with the previous phase. But now? I can’t wait to move into the next phase of my career….if only I knew what that phase is supposed to be. Getting new clients has been a strain, to the point where I imposed a moratorium on actively finding new clients. Instead I am focusing on building out my portfolio/company site, and taking projects that are being directly referred to me.

So, I’ll tell ya what I’m gonna do. I came up with two ideas to shake things up, and hopefully something will shake out and point me in the direction of my next frontier: 1) I am going to take it back to basics and 2) I am going to devise and execute a Before 30 List.

Back to Basics

I came into this game coding and designing in my free time. I wasn’t the best designer ever, but I have a natural eye for design, which has helped me greatly as a consultant. However, I feel like I’ve gone soft. When’s the last time I designed something complex, all by myself, from start to finish? I can’t remember. I was digging through my portfolio the other day and it’s so dated. The most recent thing I have in there is probably from 2007? Sheesh. That’s dog years in Internets time. I am going to be doing more hands on things, to get myself more inspired and to keep my skills sharp.

I am also going to do more coding. That means getting back in the swing of things with CSS/HTML (and really figure out what the heck CSS3 and HTML5 are really about), and learning some advanced PHP/MySQL and Ruby on Rails. I know enough PHP to make my life easier, but not enough to build something on the fly, should I come up with a genius idea. I’m beginning to feel like a lazy coder (hence this very out-of-the-box blog design I have going on here). Also, WordPress has grown leaps and bounds since I last attempted to hack a very customized site, so I am getting back into things by reading WP documentation and my favorite design/code blogs.

The Before 30 List

I am going to be turning 30 in a little over a year. Where did the time go? I’ll tell you what I did during most of my 20s: told myself I couldn’t do XYZ for ABC reasons. So many things from getting healthier, to writing a book, to traveling to another country alone, and everything in between. I know you may think I’m superawesome (obviously), but I doubt myself all the time, and let fear get the best of me more often than it should. I figure I only have my 20s for one more year, I might as well knock out my biggest fears of the last decade so I can say at least I tried. No regrets. And hopefully, this means I’ll enter my 30s with a bang, no? My first project needs to be completed at the end of June, so I hope to be able to check into my blog at the end of next month to report Mission Accomplished!

Some Other Methods on the Hush

Aside from going back to basics and working on my Before 30 List, I have some other things in the works to help jumpstart some enthusiasm into the next phase of life. I took a part-time(ish) position with a startup here in NYC. I’m learning a lot, but hopefully doing a lot as well. I’m also actively working on a few projects and getting them developed and mature. Tres exciting. I don’t think I’ve been using NYC as a resource as much as I could be, so I am working on that too. I have a list of people I want to network/meet up with, events I want to go to and I am beginning to branch out and connect with people in the City.

Other than that, I am trying to address my fears by thinking about them in more concrete ways, so I can eliminate them. This e-book, called fear.less helped put some things in perspective for me. The last story in there by Danielle LaPorte was especially great for entrepreneurs.

So. What are you doing with your life? And how are you planning to get to the next phase?