Non-Career Advice: Sarah Ann Noel.

Non-Career Advice is a series that asks people - young, old, and in a range of occupations - for words of wisdom unrelated to work, career-building, dollars, or getting ahead.

Name: Sarah Ann Noel / Writer
Also: Library builder / image bearer / color coordinator
Age: 31

Live (and love) what's right in front of you. "Last May, my husband, two daughters, and I tucked all our worldly possessions into our car and moved across the country, from Denver to New York City. At that point — after graduating college, getting a job, buying a house, having a baby — life had seemed to slow down incredibly. The future seemed to be more about intentional planning and less about the curious excitement of the unknown and I was becoming suddenly, deeply nostalgic for the past. "All these major milestones have come and gone," I thought, and I worried that I'd somehow missed something. Done it all wrong.

But here we were, making a cross-country move. It was an unforeseen adventure, a surprise I hadn’t expected to be around the next corner — and I considered how I’d only just been longing for those early twenties days, where all the excitement seemed to live, wondering if I’d taken it for granted then. Someday, I realized, this adventure would be in my past, and I might be nostalgic for these moments. 

Suddenly, to live in the present made perfect sense to me—not in a pressured, striving manner, like, 'Pay attention! Be here and now!' But more an appreciation of mere moments and seconds. I love to stop in the middle of the sidewalk to feel a crispy, beginning-of-autumn breeze; to ride the train with no other amusements than to watch the people around me; to drink in the actual words of a book I’m reading; to sit still and listen to my daughters’ laughter echo down the long hallway of our apartment. Probably none of these moments will propel me forward in any measurable sense; maybe they are what I’ll be nostalgic for some day later on. 

I am so skilled at living in different places—in ten years from now, in next month’s big adventure, in one hundred versions of a hypothetical situation. But it's the life before my eyes right now that I have to work with. And it is beautiful: more tangible than anything that has happened before, and lovelier and more pure than anything I could dream up for the future."

Thank you for such beautiful advice, Sarah. More from the Non-Career Advice series, here.  


  1. a lovely description of what it means to "be in the moment." beautifully written and inspiring. yet another reason why i love non-career advice -- what a wonderful series.

  2. This is beautiful. Thank you, Sarah.

  3. Wonder what kind of writing Sarah does. Being mere 31 yrs old, she has big milestones under her belt, she is very driven, strong, intelligent and I am sure there are lot more in her.
    She and NYC are good match.

  4. wow, this is beautifully written, so eloquent and the advice is perfect. thank you for this series and thanks, sarah, for the wonderful words.

  5. I love this! One of my favorites!

  6. I love this " maybe they are what I’ll be nostalgic for some day later on." It's so true and beautifully written too!

  7. thank you, sarah! such a beautiful reminder to stay in the moment.

  8. The tears that appeared...such beauty, understanding, such inspiring, take-my-hand willingness to just be.




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