Defining Moments

Maryam Autry

September 4, 2017

written by:

Manifesto (man·i·fes·to): a public declaration of one’s intentions or views.

A life well-lived is found in the balance. But how do we do that?  There’s no template or recipe to follow, and we certainly don’t profess to be soliciting one here.  We too are striving for balance.  So, instead, consider us forward observers in pursuit of the good life.  

One scroll through Instagram and it’s no surprise that creating the good life, one to be proud of, seems to always be on the other side of manufactured perfection.  Don’t get us wrong. That shit is beautiful and inspiring. But let’s be real. It’s also stressful. The self-doubt it breeds is exhausting. And, expectations of perfection blare at ear-piercing levels. You gotta know when to turn the volume down, and you gotta know how.

The line between inspiration and aspiration is blurry. And years spent quietly observing has led us to believe that the good life is found somewhere in between.  

Some women seem to have naturally cornered a joie de vivre approach.  It’s not just a term of art that is used to describe the part of the world that you might find them. It’s the cornerstone of their existence. They are women who inspire us to relish in life’s simple joys, seize the present, and embrace imperfection with wit and sophistication. Their ability to cut through the noise with such ease is enviable.

So is the woman steered by ambition and opportunity. She is a dreamer.  A woman driven to carve a path for herself and unafraid of hard work.  She sees the future, and the future is her–the one that will help us figure it all out.  And while the future is waiting for her and the to do list grows, there’s something to be said for enjoying the fruits of her labor.

We’re not saying you gotta chuck the list altogether. By all means, hold on to it. We certainly are. Checking an item off a to do list really does something for a girl. That said, why not set it aside for a moment and find a rest stop along Highway Ambition on the way to American Dream? We have a feeling the future isn’t going anywhere without you.

It’s a lofty goal, pursuing a richer, fuller life that intentionally hangs in the balance, especially when there’s no one recipe to follow. The only choice is to use what you have, laugh as you make a mess, and know that we’re all doing the same thing.

Ultimately, that’s what it means to be Très Américain. It means finding inspiration worlds away and from the world right before us; stripping away fabricated expectations and arming ourselves in truth; acknowledging our limits and constantly pushing boundaries; deciding when to give a damn and what is strictly for the birds; saying yes (and no) to opportunity; calling a spade a spade; and sifting through the noise in order to find our voice.

If a life well-lived lies somewhere between ambition and celebration of life’s simpler joys, it’s the balance we’re after. It’s also why the Très Américain manifesto is important to us.  It’s a reminder of our intentions, declared publicly, so when the noise reaches a fever pitch, we know exactly how to turn the volume down.   

Maryam Autry


  1. Lauren says:

    Absolutely beautiful my friend.

  2. Erin Baker/autry says:

    Love it Maryam

  3. Lorraine Gilman says:

    Wonderful! Beautifully written and well thought out.

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