Retro Active

It’s all well and good to be confident, forward thinking, and motivated to construct your own destiny, in fact it’s very good. But if who we are is the sum of who we have been and our dreams of who we want to be, then our pasts cannot be ignored. More worrisome, sometimes the past cannot be avoided.

We spend our lives amassing a network of friends, coworkers, and even family that become the framework of your future, and who give you something to talk about at cocktail parties. But what about when the framework seems to be constantly forming more durable and reinforced bonds in the wrong direction? Is it even possible to rip apart the welded bonds of your past to restructure your destiny? Both the easiest and the most difficult way to accomplish this is to abandon your old life altogether and start from scratch, which is both freeing and terrifying. It’s also nearly impossible with modern technology, but you can still achieve a fair approximation of it if you’re brave.


The more reasonable option to get yourself back on course has to start with knowing where, exactly, you would rather be. So much easier to plan out a path when you have a destination. On paper all of this makes a whole lot of sense, but the real challenge comes when you have to emotionally distance yourself from the life that is holding you back to seize the one you want with both hands- and the optimistic hope that it will all work out the way you want it to.

Risking everything to go after what you want is one of the most terrifying things you can do, but in my experience it is also the most fulfilling and rewarding. It almost never happens the way that you envision it, but I can’t say that I have ever come to regret throwing caution to the wind either.

Make a plan. Keep your (emotional) baggage limited to a small carry on. And take a chance.

Fiscal Responsibility is Sexy

Not everything is about money. There is even a fair argument that money can’t give you any of the things in life worth having: happiness, validation, love. But as long as money is the currency of choice to bring certain material things into your life- shelter, food, one shoulder silk ball gowns and patent leather pumps- we are going to have to pay attention to how we use it.

Like the things it buys, money can very easily disappear if you aren’t aware of how it works and how to use it to your best advantage. It is equal parts tempting and terrifying to imagine yourself in a Becky Bloomwood state of existence, but “overdraft” is a really bad word, and we need to treat it like one.


It sounds glamorous and fabulous to spend money on what you want, when you want it, and there is something luscious about indulging your see, want, have impulses, BUT what is really sexy, and classy, and sophisticated is a credit score over 700. If you budget your income, and don’t spend money that you don’t have then one day you can do awesome things like buy a house and pay off loans for education and business endeavors. And when you use your credit card frequently and responsibly other companies offer you more credit cards, which you don’t even have to use, but having tens of thousands of dollars of credit available to you does allow for some pretty detailed run-away-to-foreign-countries-and-drink-and-dance-and-eat fantasies. Not to mention the whole perk of being able to suddenly buy a car, if you had to, should you find yourself stranded in Costa Rica.

All of these things will make your bank manager really happy (and probably encourage him to be very nice to you) but they will actually make you happier, too. You will have circumvented the stress of not knowing if you have enough to pay for the essentials, financial independence can easily support all of the other important kinds of independence, and the guys who matter will find it hotter than being able to change a tire.

Obviously it’s nice to have friends and family on hand to take care of you, but even they will like you much better if they don’t always have to buy your lunch because you’ve spent your entire paycheck on pink champagne and three different colors of the same ballet flat. And you will find that when you do organize your money intelligently that you find yourself with a bit of extra for that amazing bag that is going to last forever. Or even that epic vacation, with the eating and drinking, without having to apply for welfare when you get home.

Fiscal responsibility is not the first thing that most people think of when you think of sexy personality traits, but it’s one of those long run, even after those laugh lines become permanent, sort of admirable qualities. Knowing what you’re spending does not mean never spending any of your money, but doing it thoughtfully, with grace and confidence. So sexy.