I spent my 30th birthday in London. 6 months prior I had decided that I was going to be successful by 30, which at that point only meant that I wanted my bank account overflowing with extra funds by then.  Not exactly the best foundation for success, by the way.

However, It seemed serendipitous that the graduation of the event was on the turn of decades for me, and I thought everything would pull together because it was so perfect.

I’ve never had a huge desire to go to London, it’s mainly due to the lackluster weather and cuisine they’re known for. For that reason, I should’ve realized my plan was flawed already, but we are good at talking ourselves into things that seem perfect, aren’t we? It’s like seeing the best shirt ever in a store, only to try it on and realize it really doesn’t suit you, yet it’s so hard to walk away from that perfect (but actually not perfect at all) shirt.

London as a city ended up being nicer than I thought, besides the exchange rate obviously. If I was a Brit, I would travel 90% of my time and get everything for 90% off.

I stayed with 2 different new-ish friends in London. If there’s any advice I’d give to people starting as early as possible, it’s to befriend people who have that travel itch, or who are from different countries. There’s nothing better than having a familiar face and a comfy homey bed in a foreign place.

Back to my birthday, I spent it at the Ritz, at the business event with 15 chicks. Old world glam, besides being impressive in itself, doesn’t interest me too much. Having all the tiny details attended to is fun, but I really just want to tell everyone to go up a bit on the relaxing and true smiles. Getting everything you want should be a happy experience filled with lots of laughs.

I did, however, get a delicious birthday cake brought out by the staff, which was crazy yum. So their cake bakers get an A+.

What the business event that day taught me about most of all is that everything is connections. Life is about relationships. What really matters is the people you interact with. I don’t get very emotional but the people who did, I noticed that all of their emotions traced back to people. It was never: “that $1000 didn’t make me happy” or “my Facebook ads have ruined my life;” it was “I was abandoned when I was younger and it’s affecting me. It was “my mom said something to me and it’s shaped my life negatively” or “my husband doesn’t quite agree with me and I need to please him first” or “I don’t want to outshine my sister” or “I don’t want others to not trust me because someone broke my trust and I don’t want people to feel the way I did.”

If we can realize that it’s actually our “people pleasing” that is holding us back in almost every scenario (test it for yourself), we could go crazy crazy further than we ever knew was possible. 

It’s actually insane.

Please give some time to think about who you’re unnecessarily trying to please in your life. This can include your kids too. I recently reminded my mom that it’s more exciting for us kids to see her passionately pursuing her dreams rather than trying to please us by being there at every beckoning.

What’s this require? Boundaries. Knowing you deserve more. Making it non-negotiable. Quitting using old stories as a crutch. Moving past the fear. Giving way more time to yourself. Taking action immediately. And most importantly recognizing all of your excuses and stopping all complaining.

You’ll find it really empowering to hear all the “buts” you’re using and having to turn them into immediate possibilities.

My latest “but” sentence was simply in my head. Those are some of the worst, by the way, because they are the stories you tell yourself on repeat without realizing. Things like “I want to start posting on social media regularly but It’s a busy time right now and I don’t want to be inconsistent.” With one sentence, you’ve successfully rationalized an excuse to yourself. A really bad habit if you haven’t realized already.

Say more yesses, you’ll thank yourself & your biz will thank you too.

Upon completion of the day, we all decided to go have a drinky in the posh lobby. I figured it would probably be the most expensive drink of my life, and my 30s must have made me smarter quickly because I was right. $35 for one drink. It better have been made of gold right? Well, my lucky day, it was sprinkled with flakes of gold. Now that’s the way to start a decade off golden.

The Kiwi friend I was staying with unfortunately left on my birthday to go to Spain to hang with a man she’d met 2 weeks prior on a visit there. He better have been hot. My bf was on vacation when he met me too, so I’m actually all about this.

My friend’s roommate lovingly filled in and wanted to accompany me for some birthday dinner and drinks which was quite sweet. I had a cheeseboard in my mind and of course looked for a highly rated cute place we could get one.

What I found was beyond perfect. Now, I have a talent for finding cute places that are out of the way and gems so it’s good I still kept that talent in my new decade. La Beaujolais was the name. We would’ve simply enjoyed our bottle of Bordeaux and our old school plates of 8 cheeses and an array of cold cuts this American didn’t recognize, but it got better. Apparently, two young girls in this super old establishment isn’t the norm, and an old La Beaujolais regular, Robert, came over to chat with us. He eventually brought his friend, the chef and owner of one of the most famous French restaurants in London, over to join in the lively conversation. 

You may have thought this post was a general post of my day, but it is actually only about the following 2 hours.

Robert was probably 70, a man who smiled when he talked, had a story for everything, and sprinkled in quotes and the authors of the quotes for every topic we touched on.

A common question I ask people when I hear the line of work they’re in is: do you enjoy it? I’ve come to recognize immediate how people feel about their work and when they are looking for more meaning. People want to be asked deep questions and I encourage you to get deeper with people as you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much more meaning the convo will have. More recently I’ve found that people actually respond to this question with a lot of enthusiasm which not only makes me excited but also shows me that I’m surrounding myself with a good bunch of people.

When I asked Robert if he liked being a Baroner (trial lawyer) and wearing a wig to work each day, he responded with the most sincere, “I don’t just like it, I adore it.” And continued with the quote about turning your passion into your work so that you never work a day in your life.

What line of work would make you have the same response?

We spent a long while chatting about Roughing It.

Roughing it: the art of getting by in life in less than ideal curcumstances by utilizing creative ideas.

He said the best stories come from either Roughing it or doing the opposite aka my day at the Ritz. How true is that?

Think about the best stories you tell people. Let me tell you one story I don’t tell: I took a workout class this morning. What do I tell? I got lost, started crying twice, and somehow summited a huge mountain that a few years ago I thought was only for extreme mountaineers. What else won’t you hear me telling: I went on the same beach vacation for the last 3 years and stayed at the Holiday Inn. What will I tell? My boyfriend and I flew to Amsterdam first class but yet didn’t book a hotel until we landed and ended up with the most adorable apartment right on the canal. Or maybe I’d talk about that time I was sleeping outside in a hut on stilts in Panama in the middle of nowhere rainforest when I saw a spider the size of my hand 5 feet away.

Which stories to you want to listen to?

I say do something bold whether it’s one way or the other, because there’s a lot more to life than taking the middle of the road, the safe, normal route.

Too many people think the normal way is the smart way or the safe way will get them the furthest. Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Or maybe you like that comfortable life. What you don’t know, is that you could be getting a lot more if you’d let go of what you think is your perfect life. Do something crazy, rough it, or treat yourself extravagantly. Make a story out of the experience.

On another note, oddly enough, if you google the French chef’s restaurant, Bellamy’s,’ an article titled “Why Bellamy’s is the Queen’s most visited Restaurant” pops up. I reminded him, as he talked about serving the queen and other prestigious persons with no emotion, to be proud of himself. We get in these places where we forget to be grateful for all we have and give ourselves the grace to be proud of all we’ve done. I know this from personal experience, where I dumb down big things I do, because, by the time I’ve achieved it, I’ve forgotten how much hard work it took to get to that point, and often don’t give myself enough credit. The more we acknowledge the amazing things we do, the more we will give space to enjoy the adventure of going for more because we won’t be so focused on striving for perfection in ourselves or others.

After another shared bottle of Merlot, chosen by Stephane, he decided we must go dance at Little Italy, and I spend the rest of the entire night (until 5am) having bubbles in Little Italy.

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Have the best day of your life today!!!

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