5 Lessons I've Learned by Forging My Own Path

Jennifer DeSimone
January 16, 2024

When I was 20 I had the perfect answer when people asked me what I was planning to do with my life. 

Graduate college, go to grad school, get a job, get promoted. Buy stuff, get married, take a family vacation every year.

And then at 27, I found myself, unhappy, unhealthy, and unfulfilled. I had to take back my own power and change my mindset in order to carve out a new life path.

In the midst of losing my path and carving out a new one, I have grown and morphed into a woman I am proud to be.

I’ve realized that in life you have to be brave, bold, and kind. 

Being bold is facing my biggest zip lining.

Here’s what forging my own path has taught me:

1. I’ve learned to free to myself

One of the best gifts I’ve ever given myself was completely getting rid of my TV addiction.

 It freed up so much time to spend with loved ones, read more, and do things I love. By freeing myself from something that disempowered me, I found that I opened the door for better things to take its place. 

Cut something out that is holding you back today and you'll find you gain more than what you lost.

Having more time for doing things I love

2. I’ve learned to be bolder

Being fearful is part of life but being bold? That’s power. 

When I closed the door to my apartment for the last time in October before moving to Costa Rica, I cried fear out of me and boldly dried my tears. I acknowledged my fear and I walked right by it. 

So what if you make a mistake? Better an "oops" than a "what if". 

Anyone can place fear or doubt in you but no one can take away your courage.

The night I found this book in the wrong spot and realized it was a sign.

3. I’ve learned to be truthful

People judge me and have opinions about my lifestyle choices. 

I used to make excuses to avoid their judgment, only to find they still judged. 

All my self-doubt came from the stories I told because those stories weren’t my truth. Now I put my cards all on the table and own who I am. 

I am confident and I stronger because of it.

4. I’ve learned who my tribe is

These are the people who love and support me unconditionally. 

We celebrate our wins together and mourn our losses together. We inspire and challenge each other. 

We can’t go at it alone and finding your tribe allows all of you to go further together.

My U30X Tribe has always been by my side

5. I’ve learned to be kinder to myself.

My biggest struggle is showing myself kindness. 

My Instagram feed is filled with little love notes to myself that I read as a reminder to not be so hard on myself. I have a long way to go on this journey, but every time I am kinder to myself, I give myself permission to live fuller.

Today when someone asks me, "What are you doing with your life?", I smile & close my eyes to see all the blessings in my life. 

When I open my eyes, I say “We’ll just see...” and I continue on, knowing that no matter where my path leads me next, I am living my most true and authentic version of my life.

Find your truth and live it.

Jennifer DeSimone
Currently based in Austin, Jennifer is the Chief of Community for U30X. She has a passion for creating connections, community, and opportunities for more empathy. In her spare time you can find her on her yoga mat, whipping up something yummy in the kitchen, or reading a good book.


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