Birthday Goals


Evening dress, by Madame Grès, 1984, from Metropolitan Museum of Art

Today is my birthday. I’m 30. I feel like I’ve been looking forward to this birthday for a long time. Some people might dread 30 or feel like they have to accomplish a whole list of things before the year rolls around. But I’ve always viewed 30 differently.

My 20s were focused on education and getting stable jobs in my field. Now I have my masters and a great job at Columbia College Chicago running the Fashion Study Collection. I’m proud of the last 10 years. Of course they haven’t been perfect. I’ve taken some detours and made a handful of mistakes, but I’ve ended up in a really good place.

So looking to my 30s, I see the next decade as a period to challenge and push myself. No complacency here, I need to keep growing, learning, and putting experimentation first. It’s time to pursue new research paths and then get published. I want to do more curatorial work in my collection and, perhaps, independently propose exhibitions at other institutions. After my experience co-organizing the Midwest Costume Society of America symposium this past fall, I’d like to start a symposium series. None of those goals will be easy, but I’m ready to take them on. Time to get to work.