Life Lessons:
Jennifer Purdie

*Are you happy at the moment?

At the moment yes. I started following new passions in humor writing and began a new position as a writer in the health and fitness industry.

*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to take risks. As a shy girl, I worried about talking with new people and wouldn’t open up to others. Move to New York after college to pursue your passions.

*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

Taking on new challenges can feel rewarding. This year I started signing up for classes from anything like improv to stand-up comedy to trapeze school. All pushed my comfort limits and made life less mundane.

*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

I would like to get a book deal for my most recent memoir titled The New Year’s Eve Project, as well as follow more humor writing opportunities.

*What’s your secret to happiness?

Giving back to others and consistently changing up my life. I heard that life is 80% blasé and it’s that 20% that really matters. I decided to make the most out of my 20%.

*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

I run almost daily. It’s my meditation time when I can let my mind go. As an introvert, I always have conservations in my head—my brain does not shut off. Running gives my brain a rest.

*What’s your biggest regret?

Not knowing what I wanted earlier in life. I wish I had it figured out at age 22 and could be further along in life achievements.

*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

Don’t take a back seat in life.

*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

I pull out my hair and suffer from an OCD called trichotillomania. After suffering through adult bullying a few years ago, I pulled it all out and had to wear a wig for 8 months. I wish I could break this habit to grow my hair long. It’s amazing how much more feminine I feel with hair.

*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

Pursuing triathlons when I first had no ability to swim.

*When were you happiest?

As a child before things like the Internet and cell phones were invented. I went out and played.

*What ten words best describe you?

Adventurous, driven, shy, quiet, introvert, focused, athletic, detailed, enigmatic, and curious.

I am a freelance writer based in Southern California. I write for the Los Angeles Times, Running Times, Phoenix Magazine, Purple Clover, among other publications. I suffered from adult bullying and used cognitive behavioral therapy to help bring back my self-esteem. Follow me on Twitter @jenpurdie and visit