TURNING THE BIG 3-0: MY STORY OF TRUST
The big 3-0. Like most, I wasn’t sure how I really felt about turning thirty. My twenties were about to be behind me and I would be left with the unknown and the inevitable life-changing milestones ahead. But I think that no matter if you’re turning a quarter century, “over the hill” or the golden sixty, every girl wonders what’s next. And sometimes this requires an extra leap of faith, trust and bravery. I had recently left my stable career as an art director to pursue my dream of growing a successful business of my own and now I was entering another decade. If that wasn’t scary enough, what soon-to-be thirty year old gal doesn’t think about marriage; career; success; and building a family? Then add a committed relationship to a wonderful yet busy man in the Boston start-up scene to the mix. This was going to just be the beginning . . .
Leading up to my birthday, I toyed with the question, “do I celebrate this ‘once in a lifetime’ milestone or do I brush it off like just another day?” I had just launched Bash in the new year to fulfill my passion of creating memorable experiences and curating product for social occasions and private events. “Would this mean I plan my own birthday?” Sure, I could certainly try to pull it off, go a little nuts along the way and try to play birthday girl and host. But after an honest reality check with myself, I decided I wanted a casual brunch and I would leave it all up to the person who knows me best—the boyfriend. Jake would plan the entire thing.
Somewhere between a business trip to Las Vegas and getting roped into a three-day jury duty leading up to my birthday, Jake was planning my brunch. There were a few times I thought about sharing my two cents but bit my tongue instead. It’s in my blood to know the details, what my options are, what the vision is and will everything be covered? So for someone who’s usually in creative control, this was going to a true test of my will power. I wasn’t entirely sure what a health and fitness enthusiast knew about hosting a brunch but I knew that no matter how it came together, it was truly about the people around me that mattered the most. So despite my natural instinct to go to the flower market or thoughts of a seating chart the morning of, I had to believe that this wonderful man is not only more than capable but also knows me better than anyone.
As my gut expected, the flowers, seating chart and extras that I thought would be critical weren’t necessary at all. On a clear winter morning in January, Jake had arranged for a black car pick us up outside of our home. It was a crisp Saturday in Boston. I was feeling excited and ready to celebrate this big birthday with my friends. We cruised into the Back Bay as I made my guesses along the way. I had not a clue where we were headed which sparked a few butterflies in my stomach. We pulled onto the beautiful Marlborough Street and the car stopped. With no restaurant insight, I thought Jake was trying to throw me off. We entered through a small gate and up the steps to a quintessential brownstone where we walked into a gorgeous home. Jake had organized an intimate birthday gathering at the private residence of neckwear designer and interior designer, Anthony Corey. My jaw dropped and my heart skipped a beat.
Excited for what was around the corner, I walked into a grand living room to see the morning sun shining on twenty smiling faces of my closest friends and our parents—all there to help celebrate my birthday. Black and gold balloons floated up to the tall ceilings and the home filled with equestrian paintings, silver and gold accents, luxurious furniture and creamy details. It was the most beautiful place to be with those I love. After catching my breath, Jake walked me into the open kitchen to introduce me to Chef Stephen Coe from Kitchen Surfing. Chef was ferociously cooking up an indulgent brunch menu that Jake and my parents had crafted. We enjoyed all of my favorites—waffles, french toast, homemade sausage, Chef’s signature pasta, fresh fruit, pastries and omelets to order! And our friends made sure everyone had a drink in hand mixing up mimosas and our favorite Bloody Marys decorated with olives, cheese, and crisp bacon!
Jake had truly thrown me for a loop! I’m still speechless when I think about what he pulled off in such little time and all the thought that was put into the details. To top off brunch, black and white cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake were decorated with my initials. My mom created a sweet floral arrangement from the heart and filled the room with baby photos and memories of my childhood. These touches were more special than anything I would have put together because they were from them. Together, they wove in all of my favorite things including a tremendous amount of love and support. It was like the world stopped. I felt overwhelmingly grateful and fortunate to step confidently into my thirties with love and support by those closest to me. While clinking, mingling, laughter and cupcakes, white fluffy snow started falling from the clear blue sky. This was Jake’s one last wish for me. We ran outside, made footprints in the snow, and I cheered from the tiny voice inside. And there I was, letting go of turning the big 3-0.
From that day on, I will do my best to wake up each day without fear, approach my business without judgement and stay true to my creative self. Naturally, we can get distracted by what others are doing and doubt tough choices but we can’t possibly get a taste what’s waiting for us around the corner unless we take some risk, trust others and most definitely, ourselves. And you can’t do it alone. To every woman and creative entrepreneur; for every hustle, leap and bound—put yourself out there, baby steps are OK and wish for big victories. To the hopeless romantic, power couple, and lover, sometimes you just need let go and trust that your other half is with you. I know now that I have company in this crazy journey of life, love and career.
Here are some photos to show for a very special day in my life captured by our dear friend and guest, April Obey.