State of the Galaxy: April & May 2017

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In conjunction with my already defined identity dimensions, my monthly State of the Galaxy reports will help me stay focused and thriving in 2017. Read more about my Identity Galaxy theory.

My last State of the Galaxy update in March finished with this paragraph:

I want to carry this simplified version of my life into April. I want to be even more relaxed, more accomplished, more healthy & more happy by May!

May already has two big events scheduled:

  • Graduating with my Master’s
  • Going to Paris

So I want to spend April building towards those events. I want to tackle April with confidence and pride.

Little did I know that’s exactly how April and May would unfold… with the addition of getting engaged! It’s been quite a time to be me, that’s for sure!

I didn’t set any goals in April or May. I knew it would be a month of preparation, and by the time I was well into May, I realized I never paused long enough to reflect on all the happenings in my life. These two months flew by & I’m buzzing off all the excitement.

While I was in Paris, though, I made sure to sit down & began to reflect on everything that was happening to me & everything I was questioning around me. As I do for most trips, I wrote a few questions I wanted to answer while away – questions that I hoped would guide my thoughts as I wandered foreign streets.

Here’s a quick look at those questions & what I learned:

Beyond “UX” – what is it that I’m passionate about?

Advancing Education: Education is the way to the future. It introduces thinking, reasoning, questioning.

Spreading the notion of design thinking: Spreading design thinking means to me teaching others how to logically & systematically reason through problems so everyone can benefit.

Capturing & sharing stories of women: Gloria Steinem wrote that women have been written out of history. I feel compelled to right that wrong for the next generation.

What is my next career move?

I finished my Master’s & am asking myself: What now? 

After identifying some passions, I combined them to define my perfect career:

“A career that allows me to use design thinking to capture & share stories of women, in order to advance education.”

I’m not sure that job exists. But I want to take the time to find it or create it.

What does a second marriage mean for me?

Getting married a second time before the age of 30 wasn’t exactly my plan… but here I am. I am in love with an amazing man who has totally opened up my view of the world, my view of myself, even my view of what a relationship can be. And I am running into marriage number two excitedly, full of optimism and belief this is the right decision.

So what does a second marriage mean to me?

  • hope. promise.
  • a chance to grow.
  • opportunity.
  • a family!

Brian is teaching me to relax & capture the flavor in life; two things I want to continue to explore.

How do I keep myself – or really define myself – in this new marriage?

I didn’t know myself before my first marriage. I was 21, still in college. How could I? But now I’m 28 – quickly nearing 29 – and while I don’t have all the answers, I’m definitely more aware of who I am. Over the last 18 months single, I’ve leaned in to who I’ve become – a feminist, independent, a seeker of solitude, career-focused, book lover.

What I’m struggling with is the things that may shift once married again. What parts of myself may I have to give up, but with the knowledge marriage will also create something new in me? I don’t have an answer to this one. I’m moving toward marriage optimistic getting married will bring out good things within us.

What other life goals have I never thought about?

My previous moments of enlightenment have always come from odd moments of clarity – usually inconvenient or out of the blue. It’s difficult to ask myself this question unprompted from occasion. But here’s some ideas floating around my head:

  • I want to write a book. Not sure what about, or when, or how to even start.
  • I want to teach. Not sure about WHAT I want to teach or the education required to get there.
  • I love food & cocktails. Should Fueled by Cocktails return? A burlesque bar? Dinner parties?

How do I take a love & passion and turn it into something meaningful?

How do I truly embrace a fully healthy life? What does that mean for me?

I was so inspired by the Parisian culture around food, drink, exercise. It’s so full of intention and enjoyment. They sit and eat, talking the entire time, sipping casually on their moderate amount of alcohol… and they walk. I walked so much while in Paris, all without intention. I mostly just wandered.

Wandering is an element missing in my daily life. I don’t possess the desire to wander while at home. My desire is mostly to stay in the know. It’s comforting. But I think for me, living a healthy life requires me to find a way to incorporate wandering into my life.

And while I’m left with more questions than answers, I believe I learned a lot about myself from April & May. Going into June, I’ll once again return to setting goals & intentionally planning the way I spend my time. Check back in next month!