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33 years of Wisdom

Virginia FrancesComment

Roughly every 29.5 years the planet Saturn returns to the place it was in orbit on the day you were born. From an astrological standpoint, Saturn Return is known as a sort of 'wake up' call in one's life**. About a year and a half ago, I participated in a 5 week group, with four other women who had just turned 30, called Saturn Returns. Facilitated by the amazing Laura Close, the premise behind this group is to reflect on our lives thus far, illuminate areas for growth, and make steps toward the things we really want to accomplishment in the next decade. I especially loved that this group was centered around sexism- how it's impacted our lives thus far and how we can work through it moving forward.

At our first session, we were asked to reflect and share some personal wisdom. It was the first time in my life that I actually thought about the fact that I've now lived long enough to "know some shit" about living life. I joined the group because I had just started making a real GO at this business thing (transitioning from my full-time government job) and while I was feeling super excited I was also feeling sort of lost (thanks Saturn!). Since then, though, my business has grown a lot and so have I. 

I've continued to think a lot about this question of WISDOM and have decided to share my list with the world. Thirty three words of wisdom from this now 33 year old.  Happy Birthday to me :)

  1. Do everything you can to explore and utilize all your skills and passions. Use both sides of your brain as much as possible and you will be fulfilled in life. 
  2. Make lists.
  3. Take care of your body. 
  4. Friendships are all about quality over quantity.
  5. Get a dog.
  6. Learn how to truly listen to others. Listening requires full attention without judgement. 
  7. Listen to yourself. Trust your gut and the life experience you have that helps you make informed decisions.
  8. Never stop learning new things.
  9. Keep your parents and siblings (or whomever you consider family) close at heart. Make time for them and get to know them as people. 
  10. Be open to multiple life paths. Life isn't meant to be linear.  
  11. Take time to reflect. When things go well and even more importantly when things go wrong. 
  12. See as much of the world as you possibly can.
  13. Be with people who bring out the best in you. Weed out the people that don't.
  14. Help bring out the best in others.
  15. Go outside!
  16. Marry the person who supports your (ever evolving) dreams- and I mean really, actively, helps you make them happen.
  17. Before you marry that person, travel with them. Experience new things with them. See what they're like when they are outside of their own comfortable world.
  18. Own your privileges in life and take responsibility to fight for changes to the system that was built to make life easier on you and harder on others.
  19. Spend time alone. It's difficult at first but get into the zen of it and you might discover something new about yourself.
  20. Get your finances in order! Educate yourself about student loans and debt management. Save money but don't be so frugal that you don't enjoy life now.
  21. Learn to say YES! And then learn to say NO.
  22. Leave your phone at home. This isn't practical most of the time but do it when you can (even if its an accident) and embrace the freedom.
  23. Seek opportunities to be inspired. Music, art, theater, dance, books, podcasts, whatever it is be open to the inspiration it brings. 
  24. Eat well.
  25. Embrace endings. Be okay with closing the door on one thing and starting anew. 
  26. Give your time, money, talent to make the world a better place.
  27. Put your $ where your mouth is. Buy local and support small businesses. Resist the urge order everything on Amazon!
  28. Do everything you can to support, encourage, and lift up other women. Women supporting women can change the world. 
  29. Learn how to separate work life and personal life.
  30. Smile. Or don't. But at the very least try not to make anyone else's day worse by your own bad attitude.
  31. Connect with people. And connect those people with other people. Life is all about connecting.
  32. Be informed on politics. Educate yourself on the issues, vote, and actively participate. But...don't get sucked into the daily minutia of it all.
  33. The World is your RUNWAY!! Dress like you mean it. 

What's on your list? I encourage you to make your own and share it too :) You are much wiser than you probably even know.

**FUN FACT! No Doubt's 4th studio album was titled "Return of Saturn". Accourding to Wikipedia: The album's working title was originally announced as Magic's in the Makeup in May 1998[3] and later as Saturn Returns in November 1999.[12]Stefani was confused by her feelings of depression and interest in Sylvia Plath while recording the album. Her boyfriend Gavin Rossdale told her that she was going through her Saturn returnSaturn's orbit takes 29.4 Earth years and, in astrology, the time when Saturn returns to its position during a person's birth is believed to be a period of self-evaluation. Stefani was born October 3, 1969, and many of the songs were written during her Saturn return.[8]

Photo by Nate Watters <3

The Great vintage road trip

Virginia FrancesComment

I’m back in Seattle after nine days of the great #vintageroadtrip. If you’ve been following me on social media, you’re aware of this fun little adventure I’ve been on, but I’m here to tell you a bit more of the intimate details.

Nothing helps clear my head more than driving on the open road. I always find a sense of clarity and new perspective on long road trips. Living in an ever-growing city and working in the hustle & bustle of its downtown slowly wears on me. The funny thing is that I truly do love big city life, yet the minute I start to drive away with that skyline in my rearview, I feel a huge weight beginning to lift. The further down the road I go, I feel like the truest version of myself.

Here’s the complete list of all the little (and big) towns I stopped in.

Washington: Roslyn, Thorp, Moses Lake, Spokane

Idaho: Coeur d’Alene, Kellogg, Wallace,

Montana: Missoula, Bozeman, Livingston, Red Lodge, Bridger, Fromburg, Joliet, Billings

I took four days getting to my “basecamp” in Bridger, Montana and then spent another four days exploring the area there. Just about everyday I scouted inventory, doing my best to shop at small non-profit thrift stores that put the dollars spent back into the local community. I’m also a sucker for yard/garage sales as I love learning a bit about the people putting them on. One old sun-worn hippy guy in Billings was managing the sale of his “lady friend’s” eclectic collection of stuff to help her out while dealing with a “nasty divorce”. He was quite a character and I walked away with some great finds!

A few observations and highlights from my trip:

  1. I have the best travel buddy in the world! My dog, Maddie, was just so awesome and fun to travel with. Because of her I explored more parks than I would have and that’s pretty cool.
  2. I listened to a lot of Dear Sugar Radio. Do yourself a favor and check it out if you haven’t already!
  3. You guys, there are far too many Trump Campaign signs in Eastern Washington. Living in our little liberal bubble of Seattle we tend to forget about the rest of the state.
  4. The best roadtunes are: Lucero, Robyn, Blitzen Trapper, Creedance Clear Water Revival, Daft Punk, Frank Ocean, Jenny Lewis, Rocky Votolato, Sylvan Esso….to name a few J
  5. Yard sales were the absolute best I’ve ever witnessed in Billings, MT. Every intersection of every street had 3-4 signs pointing in all different directions. And they all had pretty sweet stuff!
  6. I spent some quality time with my future mother-in-law, Jean. How did I get so lucky in that department?! She’s just so great in so many ways! Not only did she raise an amazing son she’s an incredible artist and photographer. We did a super fun photoshoot one evening which I can't wait to share with you all soon!
  7. Oh and two other highlights: I read a great book, Brain On Fire, which I highly recommend!! Also, I made a cherry pie. From scratch! With cherries from our yard in Seattle that traveled with me all the way to MT. It was beautiful (with fancy lattice crust top) and delicious!!

Flying home yesterday (thank God I didn’t have to drive another 14 hours home!), I felt like I was ready to tackle the world again. I’ve got big exciting things coming up and it feels good to sort of start with a fresh perspective on things.

As far as all the STUFF goes: Seattle area friends, come to my First Thursday Pop-Up in North Beacon Hill on July 7th for first dibs on some of the most amazing vintage finds from my #roadtripcollection!