Hi hey hello!
Have we met? It seems like it’s been forever! Sorry for the distance loves. We were in Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the last 9 days and I just couldn’t manage the 12 hour time difference+blogging+all of our activities. There were a LOT of activities. But I’m back! Where were we? Oh yes. It was Thanksgiving last time we chatted. How was yours? Still feeling grateful? Caught up in the pre-Christmas overload?
I’m totes excited for this Christmas season. We kick everything off tomorrow with back to back Christmas parties on Friday AND Saturday night. This is my one shot to pull out those (rather limited) red items in my closet. Because you know this about me by now: #allblackeverything
We can get caught up on Dubai some other time because I want to focus on an epiphany I had on our last night.
Brandon and I had a jam-PACKED agenda for the first 8 days of our trip. Like – non stop. We were moving almost as fast as the F1 race we went to while we were there. Okay, maybe not that fast. But close. I have to give a big shoutout to our friends, The Wear Family, for flawlessly planning every last detail of this trip – it seriously was once in a lifetime and they are to thank.
But back to my epiphany on the last night. We had a dinner planned with a friend and he was introducing us to his friends who live in Dubai. Both parties are highly successful in business and live extraordinary lives.
As I was getting ready for dinner, a realization washed over me. I was in the sitting area of our hotel room and I RAN over to Brandon, who was blow drying his hair in the bathroom, to share with him this ah-ha moment. I started to articulate what I was thinking and he immediately understood. He had be thinking my exact thoughts. That went a little something like this: here we are. In freaking Dubai. I’m 25 years old. In this surreal age gap relationship. But it’s not surreal because: it’s real. This is our life. This is my life. And every moment of my story, each decision, every piece has led up to this very moment. And I’ve got this. I was made for this moment. And every moment that comes my way.
I am smarter than I give myself credit. I’m courageous and bold. This is my place and this life is my choice. And it’s our choice.
Brandon and I are both on the precipice of our next big phase. Our next adventure. And what I want to share with people is my journey – the steps I’m taking to move from a young girl who is still very much figuring things out to a force with a partner by my side, who are unstoppable together.
In many ways, I started this blog to chronicle these years of my life. The years where I lay the foundation. What I wouldn’t give to be able to watch how the women I admire grow into the people they’ve become. What books did they read? Who did they surround themselves with? How did they fail? What did they learn?
I didn’t create this blog to have a perfectly curated timeline of this period of my life. I created it to wrestle with the hard stuff. To share where I’m at in order to gain perspective once I get to where I want to be.
So this post is for me, in 10 years, maybe even 20 or 30 years from now. To look back on and smile. To remember what I was wrestling with. And to use as a keepsake to be able to point back to and say, “I was there too.”
Now is a period of time where I’m particularly struggling with ideas. With the next move. With how I get from A to B. And I work hard at it. Brandon and I talk about it constantly and candidly. Every single day. His advice is always: Fail fast and fail often. Don’t be afraid of failure.
Failing is freaking hard. And yet, I’m learning more than I’ve ever learned. I’ve read more than I’ve ever read. I’m watching new content. And subscribing to new training. And desperately trying to figure out my path in the midst of what feels like failure but is more likely just uncertainty. The productive kind. The kind you need in order to shape your future.
I am just 25. And in the hotel room, on Tuesday night, my realization was that every single woman I truly admire didn’t “make it” until her 40’s. I sat back and imagined everything I can apply myself to over the next 15 years. I mean, let’s get real: 15 years ago I was 10. To say I’ve changed over and over again over the past 15 years would be an understatement. And I’ve been watching interview after interview of women I look up to – most notably Elena Cardone, Bethenny Frankel, and Vera Wang – who are open about the struggles they faced in their 20’s and 30’s. Being 40 is a lifetime away. And the resounding questions I kept asking were these:
Am I willing to fail until I’m 40? What about 50? What if I don’t make my dreams come true until I’m 60? Will I be okay with that?
The answer is: of course. I’m willing to wait out the process.
But the age gap messes with me. I feel an overt amount of pressure. To make it. To figure it out quickly. And not to fail. As if being with someone older should come with having it all together. I feel the need to come across as sharp and intelligent but am often in conversations and situations where I want to be the student. I want to ask the questions. I want to learn. If you’re not in the situation, it’s probably difficult to understand. But take my word for it: it’s an incredibly challenging balance to strike. Not looking like a dumb, blonde, young idiot without brains because I ask what a reverse triangular merger means or the difference between a 2% and 4% cap rate.
The paradox is most people probably expect less of me, not more, due to the age gap. So in reality, I should feel no outside pressure at all because anything I do would exceed other’s expectations. But when you’re in it, it feels paralyzing.
I’d relate it to the children of extremely wealthy, self-made parents. Just because their parents were ingenious and successful, doesn’t mean their offspring will be. But that doesn’t prevent their kids from feeling the pressure of creating success. It either drives people or paralyzes them.
The funny thing is that I knew all of this when I started this blog. I had this same realization last January. I knew I didn’t know what I was doing.I knew I didn’t have the answers. But I also knew I wanted to document this process. I started the blog because of these reasons. But in the process, it’s easy to get lost. I’m trying to find my way. I get lost constantly. But I’m okay with redirecting. And will continue to redirect. Because this is just part of the process. This is only the beginning.
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