twenty something

Slowing down to see the divine in our lives

Erica Tighe was 26 when she made the leap: She would set out on her own to be a calligrapher. Full time. In order to pay her $800 rent and cellphone bill and $1,000 college-loan payment and also hopefully afford some food.

She had a sociology degree and lingering burnout from teaching in Brooklyn, her latest stint. She'd recently moved to Los Angeles, but after a few months of looking for a nonprofit job, she couldn't find one that would cover her rent and college debt.

TWENTY SOMETHING | Lessons on reaching out from the ‘Angel of The Gap’

Little did he know what a noble purpose awaited him when Don Ritchie, a former Navy seaman and retired salesman, settled into a house on Old South Head Road back in 1964. Along with his wife, Don was eager to soak in the stunning view of The Gap, an ocean cliff at Watsons Bay in Eastern Sydney.

But just as the vista attracts tourists from across the globe, it also lures desperate souls looking to end their lives with a jump, claiming an average of 50 suicides a year.

TWENTY SOMETHING | Waltzing on ice: on crisis and community

When it came time to interview prospective sailors for his expedition across Antarctica, Ernest Shackleton had clear-cut criteria. He had to pick the right men for his journey to the bottom of the world, a newsmaking attempt to be the first to cross the continent via the South Pole.

It was 1914, the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and the famed British explorer had received hundreds of applications. One applicant recalled Shackleton "asked me if my teeth were good, if I suffered from varicose veins, if I had a good temper and if I could sing."

TWENTY SOMETHING | On cracked knuckles & self-care: A resolution for 2018

The themes emerge predictably. When it comes to New Year's resolutions, we gravitate toward the biggies: get healthy, get organized, get a life. We vow to travel more, read more, save more and volunteer more. We conjure visions of the expansive, to live life to the fullest.

Scan Twitter and you'll find a multitude of plans.

"In 2018, I will skydive. No exceptions."

"Put myself out there. Don't be afraid of making a mistake."

"No more plastic bags!!"

"I'd like my life to be as on point as my eyebrows in 2018."

"I resolve to use my cookbooks more often!"

TWENTY SOMETHING | The art of giving, the challenge of Advent

Oprah Winfrey sang and clapped when presented with the $69 lunch box that made her 2017 "Favorite Things" list.

"I looooove!" she belted out in mock falsetto.

She didn't need to finish her sentence by naming the object of her love. The list of items is expansive; in a video of the selection process for her biggest gift guide, it covers 102 items, totaling $13,400 in value and ranging from a $2,000 55-inch Samsung high-definition TV down to a $10 earbud case.

TWENTY SOMETHING | Finding ways to give thanks despite feeling empty

Even before she was married, Emily Stimpson Chapman asked for baby prayers.

"I'd be in an antique store buying little trinkets for the wedding decorations, and I would be asking strangers: 'Pray that we have a baby!'" she said.

The Pittsburgh-based Catholic writer had long yearned to enter into motherhood, so when the love of her life got down on bended knee, she began dispensing prayer requests. She was 40, and math was not on her side.

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