I turned 55 in April and I just have to say, age is only a number.  I feel great and in my mind, I'm in my 40s.  I am loving life right now and that wasn't always the case.  So, if you haven't read the About Us on the website, I am from a small town.  Really small.  450 people small.  But I always considered myself a big thinker and was anxious to leave the small town to chase bigger and better things.  I was a trend follower but it was difficult to dress on-trend when your only choices were Maurices and Vanity in the town 30 minutes away and a strict parent who wouldn't let you drive your car outside the city limits.  I dreamt of owning 501s, Sperry Topsiders and the awesome stacked bangles Madonna was wearing in the 80s.  Fast forward to my current life as a buyer and owner of a boutique where I spend quite a bit of time looking through line sheets and wholesale websites for the perfect mix of clothing items that I and my customers will love.  The fact that the Sears Catalog and Teen Magazine has been replaced by Instagram reels and Youtube showing exactly how to create a capsule collection or style a skirt ten different ways is something that blows my mind.  The fact that I can see an outfit I like in a post, I can put it into a cart, buy it and receive it in the mail in days makes me feel like I'm sounding really old right now….

Back to being 55.  I am thankful for my life and the wisdom I have because of the experiences I have had.  I have tattoos commemorating big events like running a marathon, my besties coming to visit for the first time after I moved to Arizona and we all got matching tattoos and after getting divorced.  I think YOLO describes my mindset right now, I'm living and you only live once is why I want that to be my tattoo.  I believe in living balls to the wall because we only get one life and I don't want to wish I had done something when it's too late to do it.  I am blessed beyond belief to have three children who are happy, healthy and living great lives, same with a husband who is successful, healthy, spontaneous and loves adventure.  I love that we have been traveling more than ever before because I didn't fly on a plane until I was a sophomore in college and one of my best friends who was in the navy in Orlando bought me a ticket to come see him and Daytona Beach.  Travel is life, it is living.  I'd rather learn about a place and a culture by visiting it than by reading about it.  It's so much more meaningful and the memories last forever.

I love reflecting, because in order to truly appreciate where we are now, we need to remember where we came from.  I've had some fun jobs and come into contact with some amazing people.  I loved my job working for Francescas and traveling to other cities to do the floor sets and prepare the stores for their grand opening.  I love traveling everywhere and searching out small, unique boutiques and meeting the owner and hearing their story.  I love going to markets to buy for my boutique and meeting people from all over the country who have a passion for the same thing as me.  I love that I had an opportunity to do social media for a flower shop and that I helped my friend by baking, cooking and staging food for blog posts.  I love that I was able to be a Girl Scout leader for my daughters and that I was able to teach myself how to water ski and that we were able to take a hot air balloon ride in Arizona.  I also love creating photo books and journals which I know I will especially enjoy when I'm older and running out of steam and just want to reflect by going back through all the amazing experiences and memories of my life.

This year has me chasing music.  Many of my faves are touring and we're working on plans for how to see them all.  Lenny, Greenday and Dierks Bentley are all confirmed, but there are many others we will be adding to the itinerary.  I am also chasing ease.  I had a boutique, it was so much work and I worked nonstop so I'm really enjoying the ease of being inside a collective space, The Painted Tree and The Merchantile have allowed me to keep my brand alive, providing clothes even when I might be in New York or Japan.  Right now we don't have any big bucket list trips on our agenda, but we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary in January and can't decide if it will be in Jamaica, where we got married or somewhere else.  I really want to tour the east coast from Maine to Niagara Falls, The Hamptons and more as well as the west coast, Napa Valley.  

To those of you who dread getting older, I hope you'll reconsider.  Getting older means you're wiser, you give less of a f- what other people think and you can be more decisive about what you want.  Getting older means you've gone out of your comfort zone countless times and it's made you what you are today, a true badass.  Embrace your age, whatever it is, and just live because You Only Live Once.  


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