IO West

As featured on Love Happy Hour dot com

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thirty-somethingOne of the reasons I love living in Los Angeles is because on any given Friday night, I can go out and discover something that will amaze me. Recently I found myself on the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Ivar drinking a beer at a bar and performance space called the IO West. While I was alone waiting for my husband to arrive, I stared out the window at the scantily clad club goers, random street vendors and the last remaining summer tourist taking photos with the stars on the boulevard. The night was alive with activity both on the street and at the bar. I sipped on my cold and perfectly hoppy IPA. Young actor types and the nearly famous made up the crowd. One could feel the anticipation building in the bar/lobby of the IO for we all knew we were in for a treat. I went to order a second beer and decided to close out when I noticed that my tab was only for $10. Could it be?

thiry-something out in LAI looked around for a sign, any sign and that’s when I saw it. Not only does the IO West host some of LA’s best improv comedy shows, but it also hosts Happy Hour from 6:30 to 8:30 on Monday through Friday. I was thrilled. They had a small but varied beer list which was on special for $5, $4 Whisky and Coke, and a $7 Double Date, which I had never heard of before, but apparently consists of a can of beer and a shot of Whisky.

The IO’s Happy Hour is special because on weeknights, with a slight variance in schedule depending on the week, the bar hosts Happy Hour shows that are absolutely free. Monday night’s show is called “The Consistent Monday Improv.” On Tuesday they may have “Happy Hour Open Mic,” while on Wednesdays they have an event called the “Network Happy Hour.” Thursdays, there is usually no Happy Hour show, but on Friday they have a show called “Date Night.”

thirty-something Los AngelesThat fateful Friday night, when Happy Hour found me instead of me finding it, I was at the IO West to watch one of my favorite shows, “Opening Night, The Improvised Musical.” The show, which is now in its 15th year and has built up a great deal of industry acclaim, usually consists of 5 extremely talented triple threats. In the span of an hour or so, the troupe, fearlessly lead by Shulie Cowan, improvises an entire musical, the dancing, the singing and the story line, all based on a title that is chosen from the audience. This is a uniquely LA experience on one of the most famous boulevards in the world.

I highly recommend going to the IO on a Friday for date night, whether it’s a first date, or a couple wanting to experience something new. Have some libations on special for Happy Hour, let yourself be on the edge of your seat while you marvel at the seamless fluidity of “The Improvised Musical,” and then later, just for fun, walk the boulevard and people watch when the neighboring clubs are starting to let out for another type of late night entertainment.

Aging Gracefully

aging gracefully 30 somethingAs a woman in her thirties, I am not often satisfied with the changes happening to my appearance. I recently listened to an episode of the Freakonomics Podcast where the expert they interviewed, (and I can’t remember his name, perhaps this also has something to do with the aging process), explained that with time, each and every person becomes the leading expert on everything related to themselves. It is this intimate knowledge that makes one self-conscious and in the same regard, self-centered. So it is with this in mind that I understand that the changes that are occurring to my appearance are really only noticeable or important to me.

I admit that I am vain and that I stress over superficial and embarrassing to admit physical changes. But I also know that I am in good company and that regardless of what the standard of beauty is in any given place and time, there is a person somewhere comparing themselves to it. I believe that we should all be happy and feel good about ourselves no matter what we look like, and it is this that I try to instill in the teenage girls I interact with on a daily basis at work, but I would be lying if I said that I loved aging. I accept the changes that are taking place and are very conscious to not base my self-esteem or self-worth on my appearance, but aging is not fun, especially now that I can actually see it.

Obsessing over aging and the changes that accompany this inevitable process is very common. I once had beauty regime conversations about fun topics like make-up colors. Now all I want to know is what cream my friends use to combat dry skin and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. What is everyone using to get rid of under eye bags? I research natural ways to combat greying hair, and keep making a mental note to start some kind of exercise routine because although I am thin, I am loosing muscle tone and beginning to feel flabby.

30_aging_gracefully_I have realized that aging gracefully is only slightly based on genetics. To truly age gracefully one has to build the discipline to incorporate with intention, all kinds of regimes. Exercise, eating a well balance diet, staying hydrated, cleaning and moisturizing the skin, but probably most important of all, teaching ourselves to let go. Not letting one’s self go, but letting go of the results we think we deserve or should get from employing all of these regimes. Letting go of that image we have in our minds of what we should look like and accept the image that stares back at us from the mirror. Aging is just going to get worse and more dramatic. Better start making friends with it now…

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Flamenco, My first 12 Years

estrella morenteWhen I was in college I wrote a paper for my Latin American Literature class comparing Jorge Luis Borges’s and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s use of the concept of circular time, as a prevalent theme in their respective works. The concept of circular time, the idea that one lives within concentric circles and that just like the phases of the moon are defined by its placement in correlation to the sun, we too live out phases and cycles that also are defining, repeat and come to a close. It was fitting that on Sunday evening I found myself at my old alma mater, the very place I first explored the concept of circular time, stricken by the realization that one phase of my life was coming to a close in the very same manner, alongside the same people, and in the same space it had all begun. The house lights dimmed signaling the start of the concert. The ensemble emerged into view set up in a half-moon formation with Estrella Morente in the center. The guitar, the rhythmic clapping and then that voice, marker of my college years, soundtrack to my flamenco infancy right there on stage singing to my present self. My life flashed before me with every musical note.

One of the titles I wear is Dancer, specifically Flamenco Dancer, though the Flamenco part of that title was not always the case. Flamenco became part of my identity at UCLA where I took a dance class that I thought would be “just for fun.” Well, for the past twelve years of my life, this “just for fun” class has dictated and defined the choices I have made regarding work, friends, husband, lifestyle, goals and aspirations. I instantly became enthralled by the challenge of learning this new language, began exploring the culture and dances of my ancestors, and discovered this vibrant community of artists in Los Angeles, who just like me, have given themselves over to their passion for Flamenco; not for money nor for fame, but because it calls to us.

Estrella Morente was the first Flamenco album I ever purchased. I remember going to Amoeba records on Sunset Blvd. and perusing through their world music section until I found “Mi Cante y Un Poema.” I played this, her debut album to absolute exhaustion, learning the words, teaching myself to recognize the different Flamenco rhythms, but mostly letting the music fill and move me. Those first years, like the start of any new relationship were innocent and exciting. But twelve years is a long time and going from 22 years old to being almost 34 has not been all ruffles and polka dots in Flamenco land.

I have loved and hated Flamenco. It has made me feel elated and then made me cry from frustration. It has taken me on adventures and then abandoned me in the conventional world. It has brought me a sense of community and at the same time isolated me within it. Flamenco, as many would agree, is a complicated and tumultuous relationship to maintain. It gives back what one puts in, but it is never ever enough.

flamenco compas

Hearing Estrella Morente live for the first time on Sunday, brought me back full circle though. Twelve years, like the length of a full compas or rhythm cycle, have passed. Royce Hall, the first stage I performed Flamenco on, sitting next to my then classmates who have since become my sisters, my then and now colliding as I listened to these songs that were once my introduction to flamenco life and are now like intimate friends. I felt happy. I felt closure. But mostly, I felt renewed.  

I am ready for the next compas.

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My 30’s, the Middle School Years of Adulthood

intentional change

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As a woman in her thirties it has repeatedly come to my attention that change is my friend and my foe. While my twenties whirled by in a chaotic mess where each “surprise,” (quotes around surprise since we are all very much aware of what is said about hindsight), was a catalyst for change, my thirties have felt like the complete opposite; intentional. I am not passively awaiting my next adventure, I am causing it and planning it and throwing myself into the vast unknown. I wish I could say that I was doing so fearlessly, but that would be a lie. Change is even scarier when one has calculated both benefit and cost in advance.

This is a topic I have often returned to because it is in this decade where we are setting the tone for the rest of our lives. The twenties are like the childhood or the elementary school years of adulthood. It has been documented to exhaustion in books, movies, music and magazines that the 20’s are a decade for exploration and discovery. The 40’s are like the high school years of adulthood in that, (hopefully), it all starts to make sense- career, family, goals and life purpose. And if it doesn’t make sense, the midlife crisis too has been a topic of much discussion. So what are the 30’s? Yup you guessed it, the awkward middle school years of adulthood.

Just like in middle school, in our thirties, changes are starting to happen to our bodies that we are not totally comfortable with, ideas of what we want to be like or do when “grow up” are taking shape, and just like the math geek in middle school can turn into the prom queen in high school and join a new social circle, we start to form relationships that will either continue into the next decade, or get left by the wayside according to societal commonalities like proximity and like mindedness.

So yes, I strongly believe that our thirties sets the tone for our adult lives. Of course I also believe in the fluidity of change and its necessity for growth. Change, an intrinsic state of the universe, can happen accidentally or be instigated at any age.  But I have to say that I am so impressed and so inspired by the thirty-something women out there who are not letting the decade define them, but are out there defining the decade. I am inspired by the women I know and I think of them, packing up and moving in order to change careers, going back to school, fighting for the rights of others, raising exemplary children, falling in love and pursuing the unconventional, gathering the courage to leave unhappy circumstances, never giving up. I think of them when I start to fear upcoming change, or begin to feel stagnant. I think about the intentionality of their decisions and about how they are setting the tone for their lives and suddenly I am reinvigorated.

Telenovelas, Mean Girls & Sharkeisha: Questions About Woman on Woman Hate

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The following may be a universal statement: Women are mean to each other. I work in two traditionally predominant female trades, Dance and Education, so I get to see the very complicated dynamics of female interaction first hand and on a daily basis. I have been able to observe teenage girls at school, colleagues out in the field and the women of various ages, social class and education levels that make up my extended network. I am an expert in the field of mean girls, and even more so since my students made me watch the 2004 Mean Girls movie with Lindsay Lohan. I know all about the “Regina Georges,” “Plastics” and “Burn Books” of the world. I even know to remind myself when I encounter a mean girl that “She doesn’t even go here” and then chuckle at the not-so-inside, inside joke.

My mean girl studies began early on though. I come from a land where the Telenovela is a nightly family ritual, and from an environment that almost reflected what played out on the screen. It was by tuning in, that I not only improved my Spanish but also acquired a basic understanding of what being a woman could be like. I was fascinated by the dichotomy of the female characters. I learned that good girls were prettier but suffered the most, and that bad girls had way more fun but always ended up crazy, dead, or in jail. Good and bad were always at odds and as a kid, I wondered which one I was going to grow up to be. Spoiler alert: I became both. As a real woman in her thirties, (and not a two dimensional character on an admittedly cheesy yet so addicting soap opera), I have mostly been a good girl who sometimes dabbles in mean.

mean girls

Of course, the definition of good and bad varies with perspective. I have been called mean when I thought I was being helpful. Likewise, I have unknowingly accepted compliments that were intended to sting instead of boost. It is difficult to talk about these qualities whose definitions are so tied to cultural and societal beliefs, but I will be so bold as to say that a couple of months ago, I saw a video that depicted the epitome of a mean girl. At the urging of my students, I watched a YouTube video that had gone viral about a girl named Sharkeisha. If you have never seen it click here, but fair warning, it is upsetting to say the least. Sharkeisha is filmed punching an unsuspecting girl in the face and then became famous for it. I was horrified by what seemed to be unprovoked violence, horrified by the nonchalant voyeur who stood by to film it all, but mostly disgusted by the millions of people who glorified her actions and rewarded her behavior with fifteen minutes of fame.

(Side note, since the video went viral, Sharkeisha has faced some very steep mean girl consequences. I am happy to report that she is currently in jail with a misdemeanor charge.)

The Latin American soap opera as well as movies like Mean Girls and the Sharkeishas of the world, are just some examples that portray the archetypal relationship between women. So yes, women are mean to each other, but why is this an accepted cultural and societal norm, so much so that industries are built around the concept? There have been numerous studies done on issues like black on black crime, bullying and domestic violence, but has anyone ever really delved into the issue of woman on woman hate? This is not rhetorical. I am genuinely interested in reading something that will explain why the girls I interact with at the High School I work at, are emotionally and verbally abusive to each other and then proclaim to be best friends. Why it is that I have gone out with my girlfriends only to be stared down by another group of women for the mere transgression of being in the same space. Or why just this morning, I received an email from a friend who happens to be living abroad, describing how she is judged and treated by some of the women in that town.

I am a dancer and throughout my life, all of my closest female friends have also been dancers. Because of this, I learned two life altering lessons very early on.

  1. There is always someone better than you so there is no point in wasting time or energy being jealous.
  2.  Everyone has their own path in life. Enjoy your own and stop worrying about what somebody else is doing.

mean girlsI have been extremely fortunate because I have always had strong relationships with women who were smarter, richer, more talented, better looking than me, one, or all of the above. In my small peer group there is mutual respect and admiration, sisterly banter and the occasionally tough reality check, but never hate stemming from insecurity. So it is from this background that I am completely baffled when I experience another woman, as my students would put it, hatin’ on me.

Why does being a woman, at least outside of my peer group and in the society that I live in, often feel like a competition? Ladies, shouldn’t we be helping instead of hatin’ on each other?

On Valentine’s Day, an Ode to the Thirty-something Woman

By: Antonio Triana

30-something womanThen:

Perfect visual specimens at the apex of their beauty

Women that have some adult experiences while still retaining mystery,

a bit of innocence, and vulnerability…

Sophisticated, graceful, passionate

A woman, at the height of ambition and inspiration

She is no bright eyed bimbo

She drinks wine in the moonlight

She is at the peak of development in ability and readiness to procreate

She covets, craves, yearns, and requires sex and love, or love and then sex

She writes cookbooks and serves fresh bread, wine, and herb tea

She gets her legs waxed and it’s not even summer

The head is classically shaped; the features chiseled to handsomeness – oh the beauty of this certain age!

The body is athletically muscled and gives one the feeling that even its sweat would smell good…

30-something womanNow:

The 30-something woman of today is an inaccessible, far flung being. The advent of the internet isolates her somewhat and provides much more exacting choices in life, while becoming remote to the everyday man. I doubt I will know with great pleasure, and delight in the perfection of the 30-something woman again. I am after all a guy at 55, losing hair, thin, swollen in the mornings and way too fastidious. (I’m still a good entertainer!?!)

To the 30-something woman, what can I say, I love them all, then and now.

 

tony on her 30'sAntonio Triana is a professional Flamenco Guitarist and now guest blogger on Her 30′s,  currently living in the Los Angeles area. Learn all about him and upcoming performances at http://www.antoniotriana.net/ .

Trattoria Amici

As featured on Love Happy Hour dot com

Thin crust pizzaPizza is possibly my most favorite food. I know, how uncouth of me, but how can anyone not love a staple of the human diet? The saying goes that one cannot live off of bread alone but I beg to differ, especially when that bread is covered with cheese and sauce, and baked into a perfect crisp. Pair that with a deep crimson wine or a cold Italian beer, and you’ve got Happy Hour.

I’ve been trying to explore my much transformed hometown of Glendale, CA. Growing up, I hated how boring and suburban it felt and I especially hated how the mall was the center of all social activities. Downtown Glendale had so much potential what with old theaters, independently owned shops, and it’s very own public transit system that was actually functional and cost only twenty five cents. Apparently, I was not the only person who thought that my hometown had potential because gradually developers have transformed it into a consumer’s wet dream. The new mall called the Americana, houses high end shops and restaurants and is literally built like a town square, fully equipped with a trolley that takes patrons on a tour of the premises. My husband said it best when he said it felt like Disneyland but for adults. Because of this very reason I was reticent to accept a Happy Hour invite to Trattoria Amici which is located on Americana Way. The only reason I went was because my friend said the magic word: pizza.

I pulled into the vast parking lot that had me looping from floor to floor. I then rode the escalators down through the chandeliered and carpeted lobby and slowly emerged into the bright and overcrowded square. Frank Sinatra followed me as I crossed the trolley tracks and the faux lawn until I finally reached my friends, who were already partaking in an al fresco Happy Hour experience on the patio.

happy hour wineI don’t want to admit it but I really liked Trattoria Amici. Because it is located in the Americana I wanted to hate it but I couldn’t. I felt like I was in a sidewalk café in Europe. The waiter was Italian, my company from Spain, there were cloth napkins and real silverware on the table, the bread basket warm and the olive oil just the right amount of acidic. We ordered wine for $5 a pour and Italian beers for $3.50. We ate personal sized pizzas with thin crispy crusts and veggies for $6 and generally enjoyed the simple yet sophisticated atmosphere.

Happy hour glendaleTrattoria Amici has Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30. Their Happy Hour menu has specials on wine, beer and classic cocktails like Mojitos and Margaritas. They also have a wide range of gourmet pizzas catering to meat lovers and vegetarians alike. I had the pizza with artichokes, but the next time I go I will have the funghi and then the classic margherita, and well, I guess I will have to keep going until I’ve tried every pizza on their menu.

I Would Love to be a Housewife. There, I’ve said it.

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modern housewife bookWhy do I feel so guilty and so old fashioned admitting that my week as a stay at home wife was awesome? I felt healthy. I was able to cook my own meals, do Yoga while I watched reality TV, went outside to garden, rode my bike to the store, and took dance class. I felt relaxed. I didn’t feel any outside pressure, no one was around (except for my 2 gigantic cats) to stress me out, and I was able to visit my Mom more often which made her and me happier. I was extremely productive. I had the luxury of undisturbed and uninterrupted time to do what I would do if making a living, and receiving a steady pay check was not a necessity. It was glorious! It was better than any expensive vacation I have ever taken, where oftentimes artificial relaxation is the only kind of relaxation achieved. So why was I hesitant to proclaim my love for housewifery?

My real life, not this housewife fantasy I had the luxury of living out this past week, is hard. As a woman in her thirties, I have had to become an expert at balancing 3 jobs: the day job, the dancing and the writing, all of which I need in order to pay my bills. I have a husband, no kids yet, but I do take care of my elderly parents which is almost like having children, and I maintain a healthy social life. My current reality, would in most circles be considered personal success in the work life balance debate. I am conflicted and filled with guilt but I have to admit that if the opportunity presented itself, I would abandon my job to become a housewife. I must come across like the anti-feminist, but is it not very feminist to be true to oneself and have the courage to do so regardless of societal criticism? For isn’t that what the early feminist had to do in order to start a movement?

I want to state that I have read Betty Friedman’s the Feminine Mystique as well as Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and everything else I could find along the way on the topic of women’s studies. I understand that if all educated women chose to leave the work force there would be a brain drain in the world economy. I understand that there is still a battle to be fought for women’s equality in the work place regarding fair and equal pay, as well as in the home regarding the distribution of household labor and child rearing. But in modern American society, and I am generalizing here, becoming a housewife or a stay at home mom is a choice, a choice that only families with certain financial stability can afford to make.

So while I feel guilty admitting that I would become a housewife if our household finances permitted it, turns out that I am not alone. In my very unscientific study on the subject, and after interviewing women in my homogenous social circle, (women in their thirties, balancing artistic careers with the steady paycheck job), the unanimous conclusion was that becoming a housewife is the dream.

As stated earlier, my week as a housewife was glorious. I know that it was only one week. A week sprinkled with the glow of vacation. I am aware that my view of housewifery is most likely skewed, but as the week progressed, and the inevitable realization that going back to work was not just an option but a requirement, I started to get angry. No, I did not get angry when I noticed that I did not have that many interesting stories to share with my husband when he came home from work. No, I did not get angry when I noticed that I was putting my husband’s basic needs before my own. I did get angry as I was scrubbing the toilet and cleaning up cat diarrhea though, but it was not anger at having to do these disgusting tasks.

I live in very expensive Los Angeles and I know very few one income families with no children. As I was cleaning, I realized that my anger was directed at these housewives who I am not certain are aware of how good they have it, and instead waste time and energy complaining and harboring feelings of inadequacy. Women should not be made to feel guilty, inadequate or old fashioned for choosing to become housewives, but they should feel guilty for not appreciating it. To the complaining housewife I say, get over it, embrace your fortune and do something productive with your time. To the old fashioned housewife I say, it is anti-feminist what you are doing! A true feminist would never let herself be a victim, rather she would take the situation by the you know what, and squeeze until she got exactly what she wanted out of it. Ok, so I got really angry one day…

I am a very independent woman. One of the best compliments I ever received was my father-in-law stating that I was the most self-sufficient woman he had ever met. I should be an advocate on the “women can have it all” camp, but in good conscious, I cannot. I believe that women can have it all, and do it all, and be all to everyone in their lives all of the time. It is possible, it is sustainable for long periods, but is it healthy or the best possible quality of life for women and everyone they are being “all” to? No. I know that I am not as healthy or as happy when I am over extended and over worked and in turn, neither is everyone else that depends on me.

Call me old fashioned, (I’m fine with this label), but during my week as a housewife, I discovered that there is something comforting and familiar about traditional gender roles. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where my mother had had a career prior to having children. She was then able to stay home until I was 7 years old and in later life embarked on an entirely new career, in a new country. Once in a while, especially when my father was starting his own business, she was the sole provider for our household. Needless to say she has been an excellent example of the vital need for women in the home and in the work place. But culture and tradition are deeply rooted and when I told her that I was going to stay home for the week instead of going to work because my husband had financed it, she was thrilled. I literally had to ask, “Why are you so excited by this?” I think the question embarrassed her as my admitting to her that I was a housewife for the week initially embarrassed me.

edit fifties-housewife-postersI have always said that I would make a very good rich person, and now I can add modern housewife to that list. Modern housewife because I have to believe that as women chose to leave the work force and return to the home they are doing so with a plan. The modern housewife is too interested in life to be bored or idle. She no longer wastes time feeling guilty or wondering if her feminist membership is about to be revoked, rather she treats housewifery as a scholarship. An opportunity to pursue long abandoned goals, the opportunity to be the economist, investor and financial consultant for her family, the organic farmer and chef, the early childhood educator, home business owner, the philanthropist, the artist and anything else she might do if for cooking and cleaning, she was paid in time and peace of mind.

How Men and Women De-Stress

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Here’s another one to add to the list of how men and women differ: how we unwind after a stressful day. My husband and I both work in Education and this week marked the beginning of the semester, and the first week we both went back to work full time. I have noticed that while the common de-stressor for both of us has been a glass or two or three of wine, after the evening formalities are done, we retrieve into our own space to unwind.

de-stressor for menS kills things. It is so simple and so true to male character since the dawn of man and probably for all of time. He kills demons and mythological creatures on a gigantic screen that goes from window to window in our living room. He sits there pressing and punching buttons, slapping a controller that serves as his only weapon against evil. The character on screen kicks and punches, runs and leaps, and while I don’t understand the appeal, this is how S unwinds. He vicariously takes out the day’s aggression on monsters and when the battle is done and dinner is served, S is reset. I would say this is a pretty typical way for a man to unwind.

dance moms season3If one had to guess how a woman in her thirties unwinds after a long day of work, the typical answer would be a candlelit bubble bath, a yoga class, maybe even happy hour with friends. These activities all sound lovely but what I do at the end of the day in order to reset, (and yes it is my new guilty pleasure), is watch an overweight dance coach scream at talented little children who perform beautiful choreography at competitions all over the country, while their bourgeois mothers play psychological games with each other and cry all of the time. Yes, “Dance Moms” is how I unwind after a stressful day. No, I have no idea why or what is wrong with me but allow me to attempt to come up with a logical answer.

1. I am a dancer and at one point I too attended dance competitions. I watch it as any man would watch a sport being played on TV. That’s it! “Dance Mom” is my version of watching the game to unwind.

2. I have been a teacher, specifically a dance teacher and let’s just say that I would have loved to speak to some of my students the way Ms. Abby speaks to hers. I am living vicariously through Ms. Abby who makes children cry for fun and gets paid a ton of money to do it.

3. I am fascinated by the study of female friendships. The moms and the kids are supposedly friends but they happen to always be in direct competition with each other, and are always vying for the love and approval of Ms. Abby who happens to be the “male” “dominant” “figure of power” character in the entire show. I think psychology, women’s studies and sociology term papers could be written about this. My best friends have always been the girls I have dance with and I would be lying if I said that at some point there was not a trace of competitiveness or need for approval from the person in charge.

Women are mean to each other and I am perpetuating that aren’t I? I am an avid consumer of a program that propagates and glorifies these kind of female relationships and the over sexualizing of little girls. Ok, so I really need to find a new way to unwind… I guess it could be argued that the difference in how men and women unwind is not so different. S captures and kills monsters. I watch women catch and kill the spirit of another.

The Older I Get the Faster Time Passes

By: Wendy Castellanos-Wolf

www.her30s.comIs it me, or is time speeding up? As a kid the days felt endless. In my twenties, the days were full but time never surprised me the way it does now as a woman in her thirties. I can hardly look at a calendar without cringing and experiencing an internal clamor that demands to know “Where the F did the time go?!” Popular Science Magazine explains that the rotation of the Earth around the Sun is slowing down and that 140 million years from now humans could be living out 25 hour days. So again, if science has already proven that the days are ever so slightly getting longer, why do I instead feel like the days are getting shorter? I’ve tried to explain this phenomenon to myself and what I have come up with, is that I have more to do.

I’m not talking about just the mundane like washing dishes and the need to modify my personal grooming routine as I discover tiny wrinkles and the emergence of ever more gray hairs… (Ok, I really want to expand on the latter comment but I will save that for another ranting blog post about aging.) What I mean is that my twenties were a fun period of discovery and experimentation. I always had a lot to do, but it was (and allow me to get a bit new agey here), an unconscious time. As if feeling my way through the darkness, I did everything from instinct or by chance. And when one has no specific goals or troubles, time cruises by unannounced and undisturbed.

In my thirties I have decided and defined what I want to spend my time learning, doing and focusing on. It is this awareness that makes time seep away like water cupped in my bare hands. All of the sudden, when I began to pursue very specific personal and professional goals, time sped up.

TimeI don’t want to get into detail, but my life drastically changed 3 years ago right before I turned 30. With more responsibility than I had ever had in my life prior to that, feeling like the freedom I had enjoyed up until then taken from me, and a sudden awareness of what I wanted to do in my life, I embarked on a frantic and stressful journey that has lasted 3 years. I am exhausted! My circumstances have not changed drastically but my perspective and how I react to certain situations has. In these past 3 years I have learned to be an adult, even if most of the time I still feel or act like a kid in private.

In my Dance career I have always been great at quick changes. I act quickly and precisely and I do not get nervous. I have been able to do this because I prepare ahead and I do one thing at a time. In 2014, I have consciously decided to embark on a new journey. One where life reflects one of my backstage quick changes, where no matter how stressed or how fast the clock is ticking,  I am the master of my own time, seconds are plenty and with a confident calm, I can accomplish everything I want to do.