Traveling the Road Untraveled

I never thought my life would read like a storybook by age 30. Like chapters in a novel with clear starts and finishes. I guess I envisioned this life as more of a continuous story rather than one with beginnings and endings. Sometimes it’s easy to tie a chapter up, complete with a bow, knowing you put your stamp on that part of life and sometimes you grasp so hard to keep it open as long as possible.

I’m turning 31 next month. Wow that came and went fast. I’m transitioning into the “next” phase of life. The one where I’ll have a family and discover a new part of life not yet revealed to me. It also means creating another chapter in my life’s story. Closing the “I graduated college, got a job and worked really hard to be a professional in the biz world.” Yes – we work REALLY hard for that!

Transitioning causes all kinds of questions; what do you want for your future? What type of lifestyle will afford you that? Buying a house for the first 2013-09-28 14.00.42time, ugh…how do I do that? Think about being in high school and planning what you thought you wanted to do in your professional life. How were you supposed to know that at 17 years old?

Life is always unpredictable, throws curves balls just when you think you’ve got everything under control. It’s no easier now than it was in my college days to “figure it out,” but what has changed is the confidence and experience of dealing with other situations in the past and knowing that I got through them….and I will get through them again.

I’ve found these principles to be the most helpful in traveling an untraveled road.

1) Stop making excuses and make a decision. These don’t have to be huge life decisions, but small incremental choices that take you in the direction you feel good about. Dissatisfied in your job? Put your resume out there. Want to move? Create a plan. Is traveling your top priority? Set aside money every month.

2) Under-react in stressful situations. Our minds have the uncanny ability to dream up scenarios before they have played out in reality and most the time, what is in your head is far more exaggerated than what will be. By under-reacting you buy yourself time to analyze the situation appropriately and make better decisions.

3) Count on yourself. Stop looking for other people to build you up, take risks on you, be proud of you. When you start investing in yourself, that’s when other people will invest in you too.

I’m embracing my next birthday and have committed to doing so for every year to come. And when the going gets tough, I remind myself of these guiding principles that have led me through the road untraveled several times before. Every year, and every chapter, brings a life worth living for. So keep your eyes open to all those opportunities.

2014-05-31 20.15.09Kristen Rocco is a 30-something public relations and marketing professional in New York City. She also authors a blog called When Opportunity Knocked that shares stories and advice from entrepreneurs to inspire others to find their passions. Follow her on Twitter at @kristenmrocco and find a place to exchange thoughts about life aspirations on her Facebook page at

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