As the curtain falls on this project/experiment/challenge/call to action, I am looking back at Thirty Voices with immeasurable gratitude; to everyone who contributed and especially to Clare and Stacy who made it happen and stuck with it.

Thank You.

Because of this project I took the time to really think about my writing… what inspired me, tired me, wired me. I got motivated to finally put all of my disparate ramblings together and actually put a blog out there that I feel proud of and compelled to continue.

Because of this project I have new people in my life that I think about on a very regular basis and feel connected to in very real ways regardless of distance, difference, diffidence.

One year down the road I have seen a lot of changes and made a lot of changes and feel just that much more ready to take on whatever comes my way. I am not sure how much of that has to do with any one thing in particular, but I am sure that somehow the convergence of events in my life that has included Thirty Voices undoubtedly contributed to this sense of well being. Older? You bet. Better? Uh-huh. Wiser? I guess we will see…

I would like to be able to echo the sentiments of all the writers who answered this post before me and so to avoid redundancy I will say, ‘I second that emotion…’ and sign off.

ell-oh-vee-ee

Amanda, still blogging here in Hong Kong

I just wanted to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to this project. It was definitely one of our many online chats that Clare and I came up with the idea. It was mainly born out of frustration of giving in to our analytical sides and not being as creative as we hoped to be. I think, well, I know that isn’t really the case anymore for either of us.

So what did I learn in the last year? I learned that I am a great idea person, but I need to work on sticking with stuff instead of letting my ADD-riddled self go off the deep end. 🙂 Honestly folks, if Clare hadn’t picked up the ball many moons ago, this may not have grown into an amazing, honest portrayal of womens’ lives across the globe. Of course an idea without any substance is just a poof of air, and this is where our great contributors come in. I have learned so much from you all. I know I have been quiet on the comments, but it’s mainly because my brain has been squished into a million pieces. 🙂 You all are amazing individuals and I hope that my Google Blog Reader will stay in existence so I can continue following everyones’ lives.

What this site has given me is the opportunity to spread the creative wings and become bolder about my creative choices. I have stopped waiting in the sidelines for someone else to write about their life, I have jumped in full force and started working on the book I have been wanting to write. I have also jumped head first into the performing space and not only have I finally mustered enough courage to read my stories in front of people, I am also co-producing an open mic and a burlesque show now! This is all from finding the courage and the ability.

I encourage each and every one of you to continue on your creative journeys. You will, like me, be continually amazed at where it can take you.

Thank you again, and Good Night!

– Stacy Jill- My Blog

Sometimes I get so caught up in my own little middle-class world that I forget how amazing and diverse life is. Let’s face it. Here in suburban Chicagoland, I tend to hang out with people like myself. Usually with a couple of kids in tow and a minivan parked in the driveway, who watch TV in the evenings for fun. Life seemed like an endless procession of playdates, child sleep issues, bills and trips to Target. It seems a long time since I started a conversation without saying, “How old are your kids?” It seems a long time since I could imagine a life different than the one I’m living.

So what Thirty Voices has given me is a reminder that life doesn’t look or feel the same for everyone, yet we all have commonalities that bring us together. It’s been a very long time since I was part of a community of women who were all so overtly interesting and creative. It has also been a chance for me to reconnect with the interesting parts of me, before I was “mom” and that’s all. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s stories and sharing in them. It feels like I’ve gotten to know a whole new group of friends, and I’m grateful to you all.

http://sleeplessmommy-nukegirl.blogspot.com/

Helen, 35, Glenview, Illinois, USA

I can’t remember exactly how the idea for Thirty Voices came up – I can only recall it was during one of the many online chats I was having with Stacy.

Thirty Voices not only gave me the chance to connect on a regular basis with women in my age group around the world, but it also gave me a chance to grow a bit as a person. Having to commit and be responsible for something on a regular basis without being able to slack off or give up enabled me to prove to myself I could do it. Thinking up challenges, writing posts made me use my brain for something creative – when my everyday job forces me to be the opposite to think laterally and technically.

The biggest thing though I think is the friends I have made through this site. It’s hard to think that a year ago, the blogging friends I have made through the site weren’t part of my life. I can’t imagine not going through my list of blogs I read (not every day sadly but at least once a week) and finding what is going on in Hong Kong, Colorado Springs, Thailand, Chicago, Belarus, Santa Monica etc. And that would have never happened if it hadn’t been for Thirty Voices.

I can not express how grateful I am to every single person who has contributed to the site in the past year – thank you for being part of something that started off as a little idea and became so much more. I really will miss you all.

Not Goth, 34, Redondo Beach, USA.

My personal blog is http://notgoth.wordpress.com

10th March will be the 1 year anniversairy of 30 Voices and the end of the project.

It really has been a great learning experience being part of this forum. We have learnt a lot from all the voices and appreciate them sharing some really intimate moments.

Although we never managed to get to 30 Voices, 29 Voices isn’t bad! The site definitely didn’t end up being what we expected it to be – it actually ended up being better than that – a little community!

So that just leaves one last challenge.. what (if anything) have you gained from being part of this project?

Voices will not post about anything other than this challenge from 10th March onwards but if readers wish to keep up with particular voices personal blogs will be mentioned in their last post.

Thank you again most sincerely for being part of 30 Voices – whether as a voice or as a reader. We will miss you all!

Clare and Stacy, founders of Thirty Voices.


my Betty mug
Originally uploaded by

4ever30something.

I couldn’t resist adding my 20/20 to the pool.

What I would tell my younger self:

5) Pay attention to the details around you and don’t think that just because you are young today, you will never be afflicted of age tomorrow

4) When you decide that skipping that one day of class, or aerobics, or being a healthy you isn’t going to hurt anything, you couldn’t be more wrong.

3) Go after your dreams, and don’t be dissuaded by small bumps in your path; instead let them propel you to a new understanding and to heights you’d never have imaged for yourself before then.

2) Be a woman, mother, sister, first and foremost; in the end, it is your loyalties to family, friends, children and grandchildren, that matter most in this world.

1) One day you’ll look back at the time when, standing in your grandmother’s living room while her cold fingers press pins into the waistband of a skirt she was sewing just for you, you scoffed at her ignorance of the way things really were in this world, and how they would be in the future. It is on this day that you’ll realize that, even though you thought you knew it all, from the perspective of having lived she knew then what you are finally realizing today; experience trumps bold youthful zeal any day of the week.

Roxanne, 39, South Dakota

Of all the things I could think of to tell my younger self, or perhaps warn my younger self about, I think the one thing I would say is this: YOUR MOM REALLY IS RIGHT.

Basically, anything I have to say to myself of years past, my mom did tell me. Of course, I didn’t listen to her then and I wouldn’t have listened to the ethereal older me either. Experience is not only the best teacher, in so many cases it is the ONLY teacher.

 Still, here are a few samplings of things-my-mother-told-me-that-would-have-made-my-life-easier-if-I-had-listened-to-them: (more…)