What’s New for 32

It feels as though it was only a few weeks ago that I was twenty-years-old starting my first professional opportunity with the Utah Shakespeare Festival as a stitcher in their Costume Department.  I was eager to tell everyone my birthday was June 1st and that I would be twenty-one, and I couldn’t wait to celebrate this milestone event and my recent employment.  Fast forward eleven years later in my current role as a Communications Assistant for the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Marketing and Retail Shop Assistant for the Southern Utah Museum of Art and I have a completely opposite reaction.  It’s not that I’m ashamed or think that I’m old.  In fact, I feel refreshed and invigorated to take on my next future: graduate school and my mission to advocate for arts and artisans throughout the world.  I no longer need a validation that turning a certain age means certain things.  In fact, entering my thirties had made me realize something even more important when it comes to age as I found with my recent birthday.  I’m still working on completing goals from my 30 List, but this year I’m beginning to see even more meaning behind the goals I set two years ago.

Museum Campus

A view of Chicago from above, the city where I ended 2015.

Numerous times I’ve rolled my eyes at my younger counterparts who claim, “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number!”  We may not be that much apart in age, but as I approached my late twenties I began to realize the restrictions of my degree and career choice.  I began to feel my energy dwindle as I worked on balancing multiple jobs with school.  I was grateful for every opportunity, but as I became older, I realized I wanted more than what I originally signed up for.  As I racked up various job opportunities and classes trying to figure out what to do to branch outside of my costume career, I constantly wondered, “Will this amount to anything?  Does this accumulation of experience mean anything?”  Job hunting at the beginning of this year and receiving countless rejections didn’t help answer any of these questions, until graduate school for a MFA in Arts Administration and training for something that combined all of my talents and experiences appeared.  Suddenly, my energy was renewed and #25 on my 30 List had me smiling everyday until I was able to return to my hometown and start my assistantship with the Southern Utah Museum of Art and the Utah Shakespeare Festival for graduate school before the fall semester begins.

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks National Monument, near my current location.

Working on various social media, marketing and retail projects for my assistantship hasn’t come without a few missteps here and there, but it has come with sense of eagerness to learn and assuredness in my steps (#27).  It’s surprising to me that social media marketing has become my passion, but my love of writing and constant inspiration for ideas says otherwise.  Maybe becoming a published author (#8) will take more time, but what isn’t taking time is the realization that I can do what I’ve always wanted as my writing gains engagements whether it’s through a Facebook post from one of the organizations I assist or a current blog I’ve shared (#22).  My younger colleagues might be right about age not mattering, but it does make a difference as I begin to see that I don’t worry as much about what others think and I see criticism as room for improvement, not something to dwell on.  My twenties I felt so less sure of myself and I thought I had to prove something, but now I’m beginning to see that the need to prove people isn’t necessary.  All that matters is what I think of myself, and that I need to be much kinder to myself than I have been in the past.  During my twenties I constantly felt as though I didn’t measure up to my peers as I constantly tried new work experiences and opportunities that seemingly didn’t accumulate to anything.  Now I’m beginning to see the strands of my work backstage, my internships with sustainable fashion, my world travels and my blogging starting to all become braided together (#3).

Portland Japanese Garden Bridge

From my visit to the Portland Japanese Garden, where I spent my 31st birthday.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about age, it does matter, but it doesn’t restrict you or define you.  Getting older makes a difference as your goals and priorities change (just ask anyone who has a family or someone on the brink of retirement), but what matters is what you chose to do with your years.  So, as I plan on making the most out of the next two years of graduate school and my career after that, I’ll also remember to take time out for what I love (#28), possibly plan a trip with friends on the Pacific Coast Highway (#5) and finish reading all the books I’ve bought over the years (#9).  After all, school is just the beginning of my learning and my thirties are opening up doors to a new and different life.  It’s ironic to think that so many years ago my career was starting in costumes at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and now in my current role I’m opening up another career path that has endless possibilities.  Until I discover exactly what those opportunities are, I’ll be enjoying myself (#19) and living life like I’m at the beach (#26).

This post is a part of Practical Mondays hosted by The Practical Mom.

8 Comments

  1. Ralph Hummel

    I love people who reflect deeply on their lives and achieve the kind of insights you display here. I came to similar conclusions when I was your age. Your last idea is brilliant — and I deploy it daily to defeat the depths of despair that arrive in old age.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thank you for sharing your wonderful insights. I always appreciate your comments and thoughts on my blog posts. Having people share lessons they’ve learned and gained throughout the years is always a pleasure. 🙂

  2. As the great Muhammad Ali said, “don’t count the days” or in this case, the years, “make the days count.” Happy Birthday – wishing you a happy and fulfilling year!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks Sammie! That quote from Muhammad Ali perfectly sums up how I feel, thanks for sharing!

  3. Mary-The Boondocks Blog

    Congrats on your Birthday Brooke. I believe it only gets better as you get older. All the wisdom that you accumulate serves to put your life in perspective and makes for a very satisfying outlook. I became a blogger in my mid 50’s and I’m having the time of my life. You have much to look forward to.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thank you for your wonderful encouragement and support, Mary! I’m inspired about how you started blogging in your mid-50’s and are doing fantastic job at it! I look forward to the next decades of my life, 30 so far has been amazing.

  4. acraftymix

    It only gets better from here and your writing style is beautiful, so #8 will definitely be happening. Keep me on your list, I’d love to read your first book when it comes out.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thank you Michelle! I’ve always wanted to be a writer, so it feels wonderful to hear you enjoy my writing. I am definitely looking forward to the future, it will be great! Thanks for all of your encouragement!

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