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  • Writer's pictureJena


Photo: RF Studio

I've been off the radar for a few weeks and I originally just wanted to send my best wishes for the Thanksgiving holiday (to readers in the US) and to tell everyone all over the world that, as I take this time to reflect on everything I am thankful for, I am very thankful for you and your support. This blog and The Gaudy: Insights podcast ( wouldn't mean much without readers and listeners and I am so thankful for your engagement and your input. Thank you so much.

Something else has been on my heart the past few days and I wanted to share it with you. I've been looking at a ton of personal finance vlogs and blogs over the past couple weeks and I started reflecting on all the choices I've made over the past decade in terms of finance. Should I have made different decisions early on that could have possibly put me and my family further ahead in our goals? Some of these financially independent people are 22. There are tons of things I could have done differently at 22. I'm 34 now. Is it too late for me? And the more I thought, the more worried I became that I had somehow missed the boat...(and I had definitely missed the point of all of these vlogs and blogs...which is that, rather than lamenting all the things I could have done in the past, I have the opportunity right now to take control of my financial life.)

Thinking about "missing the boat", however, led me to remember all the times I'd felt this same way about my creative work- sure I was acting in plays, short films, and modeling in various campaigns but I was far from a household name and there were so many goals I hadn't achieved and...there were teenagers who had more credits and more followers... There were people out there who had already written their novels and shared their stories with the world. There were people who had already done so many great things and I...well, I...still felt like I was just getting started. Was it too late for me?

We live in a culture where it is very easy to look around and see what other people are doing. We have television and we have social media, which lets us look at what other people are doing 24 hours a day if we want. And although these outlets give us something valuable in letting us see that certain lifestyles, jobs, activities, etc. are possible, if we aren't aware of our mindset, we can quickly get into the unfortunate habit of comparing ourselves and our lives to those of other people. And most of the time, anything online looks a whole lot better than what we have currently going on. I have had guest after guest on The Gaudy: Insights podcast say that their best advice is for every creative to concentrate on putting out their best work instead of falling into the comparison trap, and I think that's fantastic advice. If we're not careful, we can become consumed with what everyone else is doing and start to feel the ominous tick...tick...tick...of some invisible clock telling us that we need to get on the ball! We need to achieve! We need to produce! A panic that, instead of being productive could, instead, strangle our creative or personal endeavors.

There is a Chinese proverb that says: "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." Sure, it would have been great to have learned and implemented everything I know now when I was a teenager, but it's just as great to use it right now. The future me will definitely be appreciative!

No matter what you want to do in life and regardless of whether it is related to the creative sphere or not, you can do it and it's never too late. Some people want to write a novel, some people want to show their art to the world, some people want to make a big career change, some people want financial independence, some people want to change the world for the better, some people may have more personal goals like taking better care of their health; whatever it is, I hope you keep going and keep working toward your goals and your dreams. Anything positive you do now will have a huge impact on your journey and your future self. And added bonus: seeing you moving forward on your journey will likely inspire other people to get started on theirs.

The sky is the limit.

Some inspiring articles:

Photo: Amina Filkins


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