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Create A Life You Love

Everything Era: The Decade When Your Life Gets Decided

Stephanie May Wilson with Create A Life You Love Book
I'm Stephanie May Wilson!

I'm an author and podcaster and my specialty is helping women navigate big decisions, life transitions — creating lives they love.

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Create A Life You Love: Comes out on April 30th!

The pressure to figure out what I wanted to do with my life really cranked up around my twenty-fifth birthday. Sure, I’d made some significant life decisions before turning twenty-five, but it always felt like there was a little more grace around the edges—like bowling with bumpers.

But then, right around the time I turned 25, everything changed. It felt like everybody else suddenly knew who they are and where they're going in life. And the second I saw one person making big decisions and moving forward, it felt like I should be too.

Have you experienced this? 🙋🏼‍♀️

One day you feel like you have all the time in the world; the next, you’re behind, and as you see more and more people getting engaged, or buying houses, or getting “real jobs,” or having babies, you feel like you might be running out of time.

It feels like the margin of error is thin, and you really don’t want to screw this up.

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

🎂 Maybe you're about to have a big birthday and you're feeling extra stressed about it, because you're just not where you thought you'd be by this point in your life.

✍️ Maybe you're making a massive decision — you're swimming in lists of pros and cons and still don't know what to do.

🤦🏼‍♀️ Maybe you know exactly what you want in life, but you don't know how to get it.

🫤 Maybe you have no clue what you want, but you know you don't want what you're “supposed to want” and the conflict raging inside of you as a result is totally consuming.

🤹‍♀️ Or maybe you're juggling several dreams and aren't sure how to fit them together.

Who you are, what you want to do with your life, where you’ll call home, who your people are, which person you’ll share your life with, and whether you’ll have kids—

—there's major pressure (internal, external, and even biological) to decide the major plot points of our lives, all within just a few short years.

I've spent the last 10 years wrestling with these big decisions and the pressure that comes with them — and I've talked to countless women who are doing the same.

But I didn't know it was a thing — actually a thing — until two years ago when I heard a statistic I will never, ever forget.

In a rare study of life-span development, researchers at Boston University and the University of Michigan found that 80% of our life’s most defining moments happen before we turn 35.

In fact, the average woman makes the majority of her biggest life decisions in the decade between her 25th and 35th (ish) birthdays.


So… I wasn't exaggerating, it wasn't my imagination, this season of life is actually as big, and hard, and consequential as it feels.

I was talking to my friend Mariko when she summed it up perfectly. She said, “Steph, the fact that the very best time for us to start and grow a career overlaps exactly with the very best time for us to start and grow a family — it's like this cosmic double booking of this season of life.”

Yes. Exactly that. 👆

And of course, that's only true for women. 🫠

So that's when I started to dig. I needed more information. I wanted to know more about what's happening in us during these years, and what's happening around us. I wanted to know why all of these big decisions are crammed into these ten short years — if it has to be this way, how it got to be that way, and anything we can do to make it easier.

I also started to wonder what these years have looked like for the generations of women who have gone before us, because I realized I didn't actually know.

I found so much. It's like I went to pick up an ice cube and ended up yanking up an iceberg.

It turns out SO much is happening for women during these ten years — cognitively, emotionally, physically, socially, societally, biologically. There are a ton of reasons why this season of life is so packed with decisions (and opinions about how we should be making those decisions).

Note: None of the reasons this is so hard is because we're behind, we're lazy, we're dramatic, we don't have the right planner, we just can't get our sh*t together, or because we're doing it all wrong. (Just a reminder I'll be singing from the rooftops for the rest of time).

This is actually a thing, not just for me, not just for you, but for *gestures to women everywhere for all of time* — all of us.

For everything that I did find and learn — what I couldn't find was a name for this season. This is such an important time in women's lives — the decade-ish when we make many of the decisions that will come to define our lives, yet these years have somehow gone unnamed.

They’re not our twenties or our thirties. They’re both, and yet the exact time frame is a little different for everybody. They’re not our postgrad years, and while we are still young and we are adults, “young adult” doesn't feel right either.

And while many aspects of this season certainly look and feel and quack like a crisis—we’re certainly asking the same questions: “What am I doing with my life? What’s the rest of my life going to look like? What’s the point of everything?”—we don’t fit neatly into either quarter or midlife.

I never knew what to call this time in our lives… until finally, I did.

The Everything Era.

Welcome to what I've officially named, “The Everything Era” — this weird, wonderful, and wildly difficult span of years during which you’ll make the most biographically significant decisions of your life—all at the same time—and in front of an audience, no less. 🫠

(Yes Aunt Sharon, I know you were married with three kids by the time you were my age. No, I'm still not seeing anyone special. Yes, I hear you that I'm not getting any younger.)

For women, this season of life can feel like a big game of Tetris — with your hopes, dreams, body, finances, and most important relationships. 🤦🏼‍♀️

You're wondering how (and if!) everything will all fit together.

“If I get married by this age, then I'll only have this many years before I need to start trying to get pregnant. But I need to get to this place in my career before all of that…” 

All the while our biological clocks are ticking louder and louder with each passing day.

The stakes are high. The things you do (and don’t do!) during this time can have ripple effects across years and even generations, and you do not want to look back and have regrets.

And then there's the peanut gallery…

The trickiest thing about The Everything Era isn’t just that we’re making rapid-fire decisions that will determine the trajectory of our lives – but also that we have to make these decisions in front of an audience — and let me tell you, it’s an audience that has opinions. 

Everyone and their mom (but especially YOUR mom) has an opinion about what you should be doing with your life…

Which makes it extra hard to figure out what you actually want.

Friend, if this feels so hard and so overwhelming right now, know that you're SO not alone. 🙋🏼‍♀️

I've spent the last 10 years wading through my own Everything Era

A born people-pleaser & rule- follower who second-guesses everything, I learned these lessons the hard way.

I've wrestled with so many big decisions over the last ten years: Is this my person? Do I want to live here or here? What do I want to do with my life (and what do I do when what I want to do isn't working out?), Are we ready to have kids? Do I even want to be a mom? If so, what kind of mom do I want to be? And then, becoming a mom doesn't actually necessarily answer the question of “What do I want to do with my life?”

I spent so much time feeling like there must be a right way to do all of this, and like I was certainly getting it all wrong.

But ultimately, through a lot of trial and error and a lot of help from the brilliant people in my corner, something finally clicked and then unlocked for me.

I was finally able to identify what's important to me, and build my life accordingly — and not only did I end up really loving that season of my life, I love how it’s turned out!

I’m walking out of that defining decade-ish having built a marriage, a family, a career, a home, a community, and a life that I truly love — a life that I’m proud of and excited to wake up to each day — a life that looks and feels like ME.

And now, knowing how hard that was to figure out, I’m on a mission to help other women do the same …

Not build a life that looks like mine, but build a life that looks like THEM.

I’m on a mission to be the person I needed when I was younger: a guide, a sounding board, and a friend who’s both been where you are and gotten to where you want to go.

And that's why I KNEW I had to write this book.

On April 30th, I have a brand new book coming out that will walk you through this.

In it, I'm going to share with you everything I've learned about the Everything Era — from walking through it myself, to helping hundreds of thousands of women navigate some of their life's most defining decisions, to walking through it with so many of my friends, and then to studying it for the last two years (and really, the last 10 if we're being honest — again, I just didn't have a name for it!).

The book will help you take the pressure off what you think your life is supposed to look like by now and intentionally, confidently, and authentically build the life you actually want to live — a life that looks and feels like YOU. 

Create a Life You Love book to help you navigate The Everything Era

It's called ​Create A Life You Love:​ And it will walk you step-by-step through the art of figuring out what you want in life.

Our Everything Era is way too hard, way too important, and way too beautiful to go through alone.

I'm so excited to talk about this more in coming weeks.

In your corner always,


P.S. Thanks for coming to my TED talk. 👇

(But actually, on April 17th, I'm actually… *omgoshhhh* … giving a real life TED talk all about this! 😳)

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  1. Natalie says:

    Hey, Stephanie! You posted this on my 25th birthday, and I’m currently feeling ALL the pressure. Thank you for talking about this and giving it a name. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  2. Josephine says:

    It’s a HUGE relief knowing that this season is one where I’m not alone in how I feel. You affirmed the journey I am on and helped me feel the freedom to give myself a whole lot more grace. This is so needed and timely. My 26th birthday is around the corner.

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