Last night I had dinner and drinks with a college friend I hadn’t seen in… 8ish years and it really got me thinking a LOT. We basically did the 5 minute version each of where we’ve been in that time and what’s happened in our lives. For example, in that time, I moved across the country 3 times. When you lay it all out like that… well, you’re bound to have this moment of overwhelming, abounding perspective. Or at least I did. It all kinda hit me like a ton of bricks. The last time I saw my friend, I was in a relationship that was on and off (and on and off and on… and off…) and totally unhappy with my work situation. I specifically remember at that time that I really, truly believed that that was it, that was my life from here on out. Now I know better. I’ve reinvented myself and my situation over and over since then… and I think I’m getting the hang of this thing called ‘life’ more than ever before.

There’s proof, too: I’ve decided to bring people into my life who can help me with things I’m not good at doing myself. For example, I’ve been working with Annie from Live Simply to get my home organized and I’m about to sign on to work with Lauren D. Russo for some coaching and help getting some structure back in my life. Plus, I’m even thinking about working with a financial advisor. There was something about turning 30 that made me want to get all of my ducks in a row. Actually, it was that thought plus the realization that I can’t keep going it alone, I need help. In some instances, it felt like what I’ve been doing up until this point hasn’t been working for me, so I need to try something new… or I just need help breaking through and taking things to the next level. Either way, I’m so grateful and excited to see how this all plays out.

There’s something else, too… I’ve done all of this on my own. I’ve never had a partner supporting me, footing the bill if I have a slow month. I’ve always relied solely on my skills and I am damn proud of that. To me, that is a huge testament to what I’ve built and how I’ve personally and professionally grown. I don’t mean to be disparaging toward people who do have partners, not at all. And really, part of my pride in doing it all on my own comes from the jealousy I feel toward people with partners. I WISH I could take time off to regroup sometimes, but instead I just have to keep going. If I had a partner to help share the burden of rent, bills, dog and cat food… well, then I could take some damn time off.

But anyways, back to perspective… I realized over wine and dessert last night that I really am doing ok, despite how hectic things feel on a daily basis. I look around and see so many people getting engaged, married, having babies, owning houses and it’s hard to suppress the lump in my throat that suffocates me and tells me I ‘should’ be living my life differently. Those are all things that I want, but I’ve also made the decision that my career and my vision are way more important to me. While everyone else has been doing normal life ‘stuff,’ I’ve been building my personal ’empire’ to quote my friend Mike. I just have to constantly remind myself of that as I scroll through facebook sometimes. It’s hard.

I don’t even know where I’m going with all of this. I just know that these realizations have been important to me and I wanted to share.

photo from my Instagram — follow me here!

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

Let's stay in touch:

Shop my picks on Amazon

Shop now

Please note that I use affiliate links at times here, as well as on my social media accounts. This means that if you click on a link to a product and purchase that product, I may receive a commission based on your purchase. I only feature products that truly inspire me. Any products that have been gifted to Jojotastic for review are noted at the bottom of the post. Sponsored posts are noted as such. All opinions are my own and always will be! Thanks for supporting content that keeps Jojotastic going.

Leave a Comment


  1. 5.3.15
    Kaisa said:

    Such a great post and I must say your friend Mike must be very wise ‘cos I like his quote about building a personal ’empire’. :) I just discovered your blog and I look forward to discovering more. x

  2. 4.5.15
    Annie said:

    Oh heyyyyy!

    My vote: You’re doing great! Things are going to be great! You’re great!

    EFF FACEBOOK. (We broke up years ago and it’s the most toxic relationship I never miss).


  3. 4.3.15

    I love this. I’m hard on myself – I’m guessing you are, too – and am constantly looking at ways to improve and better myself (read: I’m a perfectionist). But every now and then, I’ll read something I wrote years before, see an old photo, or have a memory of a passed experience and have this feeling of “OH yeah – I guess I’m doing ok.” It’s hard to see growth and accomplishment in ourselves, but every now and then it all becomes clear. Yay!

    • 4.3.15
      joanna said:

      you are absolutely right!! thanks for chiming in :)

  4. 4.3.15
    Anne-Marie Amy Preston Seib said:

    My darling baby cousin, you have done what no grandchild in the family has done; you graduated college and LIVED YOUR LIFE! YES, WHEN YOU HIT A CERTAIN AGE, YOU SEE your friends having babies, getting married, taking family trips, and sometimes you feel lonley. Jojo you are 30, you still have so much to accomplish and then start a family. Focus on you girl and all of your talents, I don’t care what anyone says, when you have kids, it’s not about you or your job, it’s about your kids and family. I know you will make a fantastic mom. Madison would have left with you in a heartbeat. Love you always. Make all your dreams come true Jojo!

    • 4.3.15
      joanna said:

      thanks for the great reminder!