This letter was written by Kristen Totaro to herself at age 30.
So you are 30! You are working in Manhattan, on a path of success as the director of business development for the National Audubon Society. Working hard and playing hard. You are making money, hanging with successful people, driving a Porsche, working out every day and traveling. You are finally an independent strong woman. Ms. Independence! Then comes 9/11 and the world changes. Audubon downsizes and lets you go. You get married and move to Philadelphia. It’s not the life you expect. So, you buckle down and start your own agency. You and Chad take Philadelphia by storm – network, meet new people and get some great clients. Wow! You’re going to be a player in the advertising world in Philadelphia! Ms. Independence.
Then, just a few short years later, you have a child on the way. You always knew that you were not going to “settle”. But you do. You do not have a picture perfect marriage. You know that you made a big mistake. Your husband travels all the time, and soon you are left with two babies. This is a whole new world that you don’t know and don’t like. You gave up your business to care for your children in the suburbs! And then he leaves you! Are you kidding me?!
Who knew you would be a single mom of two, divorced, and bankrupt. You are kicked around by the unfair court system, have to care for your children and rebuild yourself in the business world. Alone. Scared. Angry. Ms. Independence kicks in again. You can do it. You align yourself with positive people and figure out what you need. You start your own photography business. Then, two years later, you start N2 Publishing.
You fight through adversity. You start at the bottom. You are strong, surround yourself with influential and positive people, and don’t take life too seriously. Now, take every day one at a time, and you will be fine. Follow your gut. Love your children. Be you. Keep your priorities straight. Love what you do, do your best and it will pay off. Ms. Independence will be fine – and never have to settle again.