At a recent birthday dinner, a friend asked me what she thought was an easy question.
“Now that you’ve finished one decade,” she said — I was turning 31 — “what’s your vision for the next one?”
For most of my 20s — perhaps even my teens — I had an answer ready for what I envisioned for my 30s. Your 20s, I always thought, are when you establish your career. Your 30s are when you grow it. So, had someone wanted to know my plans for my fourth decade on Earth, I’d have said simply to build, build, build — in the professional sense. If a house or a husband came along in that span, that would have been fine, too. But for an overachiever like I prided myself on being, professional ambition, not personal growth, was the stuff of long-term goals.
On the cusp of my 30s, though, this question caught me off guard.
Originally published by Notre Dame Magazine at magazine.nd.edu in its Summer 2023 issue.