30 Things

so, i just turned 30 this week. and anyone who knows me knows that i love nothing more than a list--i think i literally have a list for almost everything, from the usuals like grocery lists to the more obscure, detailed minutiae that i for some reason love. some lists on paper, some on the computer, some on the blog. today i wanted to write a more personal list as i'm entering a new  decade and have been thinking back to what i've learned in my 20s. i'm so excited to start a new decade and looking forward to seeing where the next 10 years takes me with playground. 

  1. it's ok to say no. to people, things you don't want to go to, another drink. in the words of one of my dear (french) friends, "no....but, no."
  2. your perspective plays a huge role in your everyday experiences (and your happiness). you can choose how you see the world and the events around you. it's not about being a realist or an optimist, but owning your own headspace. 
  3. most things are temporal. both good, bad and in-between.
  4. it's worthwhile to ask for help.
  5. turning your phone off or setting up do not disturb blocks is life changing. 
  6. reading is immensely useful and enjoyable, but experience is the most effective (and usually least enjoyable) teacher.  
  7. taking time for yourself isn't selfish, it's essential. 
  8. not everyone will like you (and that's probably a good thing). 
  9. sexism is real (as are a lot of other -isms unfortunately). but it doesn't mean it can't be defeated. 
  10. as a boss, the buck stops with you. be responsible for what you put out into the world. i think we can all agree that we already have enough ugly buildings, bad (or worse, banal) logos and people that we don't want to support (cough: trump). don't help the bad guys, don't make ugly things. 
  11. related to number 10, advocate for the end users. those people who are going to end up living in that building or sit in that chair for a three hour meal at a restaurant? they may not be my direct client, but it's who i'm thinking of with each design decision. this philosophy ultimately ends up helping our direct clients to create sustainable, sound businesses.
  12. inspiration comes in different forms, but it's always there. sometimes it comes from a picture-perfect instagram-worthy art museum experience that everyone oohs and ahs over. other times it comes from clunking my head on a cabinet and realizing that there's a better way to structure the way we live. 
  13. look beyond the surface and find the motivation behind a person or a project. what's the driving, underlying force? what really matters?
  14. you don't have to be good at everything. my life got so much better when we hired a bookkeeper so i could do more of things i'm good at and actually enjoy doing. 
  15. setting boundaries isn't easy but it's essential for your sanity. 
  16. take time to refuel. you can't create anything of value if you're totally burnt out. 
  17. curiosity is a gift worth cultivating. 
  18. invest in things of quality. quality over quantity, always. 
  19. playing it safe means you're not really playing at all. #playeveryday
  20. kindness does not equate to weakness. 
  21. make every day count. we have one short little life so don't waste it endlessly scrolling through facebook. do something! make something! 
  22. trust your gut. 
  23. the world doesn't owe you anything. but the universe has got your back. 
  24. spend money on memorable experiences or beautiful things that bring you pleasure each time you see/use them. 
  25. gratitude and ambition are hard to balance. there are days when there is more of one than the other, but i frequently find that my best, most productive days i have ample amounts of both that fuel each other. 
  26. don't be afraid to change your palette, switch up your aesthetic or go against your grain.
  27. nothing good gets away. i've been amazed countless times by things coming back around that i thought were truly gone. 
  28. never apologize. just own it and do better next time. 
  29. resist the trends. define your own style. 
  30. your world is as big or as small as you make it. it condenses greatly if you only spend time thinking about yourself.