“When I was in my early 20s, I felt unmoored. After college, I moved to New York City by myself. My apartment had mice, I was very single, and I was so broke that I would skip getting tomatoes on my bagel because they cost fifty cents extra. I was trying to have my Mary Tyler Moore moment, but wasn’t sure how. Was this it?
“Then, one day, I magically stumbled upon the best advice I’d ever heard. In a blog interview, photographer Stephanie Congdon Barnes said: ‘You can have the life you want.’ It was just the encouragement I needed. You can create the life you want. You can figure out what exactly that means to you, and instead of getting caught up in an imagined rat race, you can work hard, grow in your career, spend time with your family, ride your bike by the river, eat too much spaghetti, have friends over for wine and cheese, go on vacation and take funny photos… I suddenly felt like it was possible. I could carve out the life I wanted. Ten years later, I remember those beautiful words almost every day.”