Hello fellow learn-it-all,
Greetings from the city that got dumped 10 inches of snow last night.
I turned a quarter of a century yesterday!
Over the weekend I hosted a fondue gathering with some friends from college and it was such a treat. I used to LOVE going to The Melting Pot restaurant for my birthday in high school. It was cool to be given the space to mix and match different toppings with different dips. The best splurge of this year so far was on a fondue pot. I made a three-course meal of cheese fondue, then steak and chicken and topped off the evening with chocolate. It was so easy and so tasty and such a more fun experience than at a restaurant.
Now, let’s dive into letter 47 from a learn-it-all. Enjoy!
Birthdays tend to make me feel all types of ways. It’s usually heaps of excitement, dollops of love, scoops of gratitude, dashes of reflection, sprinklings of joy throughout, and a hint of melancholy. Yet this year feels different than others. Not quite stolen but fast-forwarded. I didn’t have clear expectations of where I’d be today, but I know I am far from whatever was on the agenda. I'm slowly realizing life tends to do that.
These lessons are helping me crystallize ideas and realize what’s important in my life. I am trying to redefine what success means for me in order to navigate my own compass and recalibrate from here. I want to lead a life that I enjoy, and that brings me richness now rather than waiting for someday in the future. This one year changed my life.
I organized my lessons into four themes: I learned five things from losing my job, five things about learning, eight things on reinventing myself, and seven things on relationships.
The TLDR version is here:
- Mood follows action.
- Don’t dither on answers that aren’t there.
- Rewrite your story.
- Don’t overlook dividends.
- Take more risks.
- Keep a fucket list.
- Planning instead of plans.
- Have intentionality with learning.
- If you don't ask, you won't receive.
- Write online and don’t stop.
- Evidence breeds confidence.
- Trust in yourself to manifest your desires.
- Know WHY you are pursuing something.
- Set boundaries.
- Be the scientist and run experiments.
- Do things that make you feel young again.
- Systems shape who you are and shift your identity.
- People you surround yourself with matter so be choosy.
- Your health is your wealth, so invest in it-- physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Go out on a whim to connect with someone.
- Love yourself.
- Embrace imperfections– they make you, you.
- Laugh at yourself.
- True connection can be cultivated online.
- Seek self-knowledge.
🧪 Aroma Workshop
I wanted to do something new for my birthday, so why not get in touch with my nose?! I smelled 30 different scents. They were split across different categories of floral, flavor, citrus/ fresh, and nature/woody. You had to trust your split reaction of whether you like the scent or not. It was like a lightning round of how well you knew your nose. I smelled all of them and circle your top 10 and the perfumers mix them to see which ones are the most complimentary. They narrow it down to three and then I choose.
I ended up with a perfume that was a blend of the scents Big Sur, Jade and White Tea. This makes sense as floral and the woody scents were my favorite. I was worried my nose was tricking me after all the smelling that I wouldn't like the scent the next day, but I could in fact trust my nose! I like this new scent t
I ended up naming the scent “quarter-life crisis”. I thought it was timely and now will get a chuckle before each time that I use it.
Thanks to my pals this was such a hoot to make personalized perfumes. What a fun experience I won’t forget. It was so interesting to see our reactions to different smells. It was all over the spectrum of loving and hating the same smell. I think we should use our noses more often.
I had a bit of a dance party after the fondue gathering. This consisted of listening to much Britney Spears and Gavin Degraw. Specifically the song I don't want to be by Gavin DeGraw who was the theme song to the dramatic TV show One Tree Hill about 20-somethings who find more questions than answers as they try to keep their dreams alive and their friendships intact.
It got me thinking about how any TV show I used to be obsessed with is drilled into me. What a great way to build an audience. What would the theme song be to reading a newsletter? Who knows 🤷♀️ but it'd be a cool memory technique to use.
I read an article from the stoic author Ryan Holiday when he turned 24 and took a Hard Right Turn. I found the below lines to be comforting:
Anyway, here I am at 24. Not close to the millionaire I naively promised myself years ago I’d be by the time I was 25. But I do have more than I know what to do with. And thanks to Philosophy I can’t see myself realistically chasing that goal very hard anymore. Because when you figure out what is important to you in life, you can throw out all the rest. You can stop chasing ghost and shadows and illusions. You can lean on what is real and what is necessary. And you can laugh and pity those can’t. You can realize, as Seneca wrote, that too often they ‘win’ at the cost of life.
And so you focus on yourself and what you need to do. And block out all the rest.
🔎 Word to define
Precipice: A headlong steep; a perpendicular or overhanging place; an abrupt declivity; a cliff. Also a hazardous situation; a point where danger, trouble, or difficulty begins.
Etymology of the word: First known use in 1613. From French précipice or Latin praecipitium ‘abrupt descent’.
Example using the word: I expected 25 to come with a feeling of being at the edge of a precipice with some existential angst. However, I have found peace in it. I'm grateful for my years of life and looking forward to the ones to come.
Photo by Sheldon Martineau | Unsplash
🌟 Quote to inspire
"Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. Have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition.” -Steve Jobs
❓ Question to think about
What does age actually mean to you? Why do we allow society to impose on what we should have accomplished by a certain age?
📷 Photo of the Week
To my writing peers for helping me get my essay above to a place, I feel proud of publishing it. this includes: Gwyn Wansbrough, Ayomide Adebayo, Dan Hunt, Diana Hawk, Ergest Xheblati, Steven Ovadia, Jamie Russo
To wearing party hats with my roommates because it's fun
I appreciate you reading this! If certain ideas resonated or you have feedback to improve my future newsletters, I’d love you to leave a comment, reply to this email, or send me a message on Twitter @JenVermet.
Never stop learning 😁
Until next week,