It’s funny, when I entered my 30s five years ago (gasp!), all I craved in life was simplicity. I had a young daughter and knew I wanted another child shortly thereafter and after a long, tiring decade of working and hustling and navigating the daily grind in Los Angeles, I wanted simple.
I wanted a quiet little suburban life, with a two-car garage so I wouldn’t have to look for parking. I wanted to be able to walk to a park, make quick trips to Target when needed, smell fresh-cut grass and have my mom a stone’s throw away for support. I wanted life to be simple. I didn’t really care what it cost or what it took to get it. I just wanted it to be easy to navigate and a little slower-paced and routine. I wanted routine. I got all of the above and more when we moved from Los Angeles to the suburbs and for many years, it fed me. I looked around at the landscaped streets, watched people walking their dogs, drinking their Starbucks, filling up their carts with non-essentials at Target. And I loved the simplicity. I loved the ease with which you could grow and take care of a family of four (which we now were).
I appreciated it all.
Now I am halfway through this decade and simple seems so…routine. Still convenient. Still dependable. All good things. But I realized that the word, the feeling, the thing I am looking for now isn’t a simple life, it’s an inspiring one. I get sleep now (for the most part), my kids have the essentials they need, the day-to-day is nicely established and it works.
Now I am looking to feel inspired. I am looking for the conversation that will motivate me, inspire me, drive me. I am looking for that life-changing book. The perfect Pin. The dress or lipstick color or vase that will fill my eyes and soul with its beauty. I want to talk to people who are doing great things, or want to do great things or just dream of doing great things. I want to cook and taste and relish. I want to feel and hear and see. And I don’t care about it being simple. It can be complicated. It can be challenging. It can be intimidating.
My husband kind of hates me. Wasn’t I the one who wanted this simple, manicured suburban life? Yes. And I still do, in many ways. Real-life doesn’t make it easy to go chasing inspiration when you are 35, self-employed and have two young children to care for. Moving to Paris for a few months isn’t necessarily an easy – or smart – choice for us right now. But I don’t think that means I need to settle for simple. I can still strive for a life inspired. I can still seek out those great conversations and the people doing cool things and that glass of pinot noir that feeds my soul (hint: it’s not to be found at Target). And I have a feeling all four of us will benefit from this second half of my 30s, this next chapter I am looking to write.
I believe that simple was good for building a family. But inspiration is good for growing it.