Egg Shop Founder Sarah Schneider and Jenna discuss Sarah’s inspiring perspective that we have the opportunity to write our life story every day. She shares how cultivating the mindset that everything you do is written in your story, and thus will be read in the book of your life, serves as a constant reminder to be your best self and aspire to have the most meaningful experiences. We also discuss a very special ritual to create a physical manifestation of your story.
The Story Of Your Life
Sarah Schneider's insight — “Our journey is our story. Make it a good one.” — caught my eye while preparing for our interview. It seemed like she genuinely lived it. When she was 21, she visited a friend in New York and was so captivated by the city that she asked her dad to ship her things and never went home. She’d recently opted out of college and was beginning what would become an impressive career in fashion, which she pursued for 14-years before founding a restaurant entirely inspired by egg sandwiches.
“The idea of living the way we’re ‘supposed to live;’ Following the linear journey that’s become the norm…I just knew I wanted something else,” she said. “I wanted to write my own life narrative…to create, feel, and see what I was made of; To find the depth that exists within all of us.”
Five years in, Egg Shop is a neighborhood favorite, with two locations and a cookbook, which Sarah’s grown while simultaneously creating a beautiful life with her partner and fulfilling her personal passions. Her zest for life, and genuine appreciation of it, are contagious. It was a joy to hear how she’s writing her meaningful story, and we all can too. Here are a few of the insights I’ve been reflecting on since our conversation. You can learn more about Sarah’s journey in our podcast.
Consciously write your life story
Sarah’s been pulled by the desire to chart her own path since she was a child, but the feeling intensified when she read Elena Ferrante’s novels. Here’s an excerpt of how they impacted her:
“It made me ask myself: If someone was writing a book about my life, what would I want it to say? What would I want it to look like?
Becoming aware of that changed the way I make decisions. I started pausing in moments I normally wouldn’t and asking: How will taking this risk impact my future? Or, how will this choice influence my relationship with this person?
It’s really important to think that way because we create and manifest our life. No one is pulling the strings for us. We have to do the things that matter to us with purpose.
That’s how I try to live my life. Everything I do goes back to trying to write my story in a way that reflects the person I want to be.”
Focus on writing the lines, not the titles
To fully embrace our roles authoring our stories is to acknowledge that the truth of our work lies in the lines we write every day. Sarah aims to live a life of joy and strives not to be burdened by daily stresses. She shared two insights on presence and perspective that help her stay centered.
— On presence: “Your day to day life is your life. The small choices you make — what you’re cooking for dinner, the friends you’re spending time with — that’s your life. Those small things create your bigger narrative. We’re used to thinking about the future, but it’s about how you get there. I’m trying not to just focus on what my life will be like, but to enjoy my day to day because that’s creating my story.”
— On perspective: “Life is challenging and full of ups and downs. You are going to face problems every day. If you don’t learn how to respond to them, you’re going to be stressed every day. You don’t need to be stressed every day.
When you think of the big picture, you see that the minor day to day issues, while important, will be resolved. You’re not always going to be happy with the solutions but you can’t fight them. Sometimes things are out of your control. When they are, step back, take a deep breath, and say: ‘Whatever is going to be will be.’ Then, move on to the next thing. Learning to do that is a process."
Create the book of your life
Sarah and her husband Demetri, who is also an Egg Shop co-founder, not only strive to write the story of their life but to create a physical manifestation of it. Their family book is the perfect description of the balance Sarah emphasized between seeking adventure and being present for our every day moments.
A few years ago, for Sarah’s birthday, Demetri compiled all of the emails they'd exchanged and annotated how he was feeling next to each in a book. It’s Sarah’s most prized possession and now a project they work on together, adding meaningful moments, like Egg Shop’s first menu, as they unfold in their lives. The book becomes richer with each entry.
I was very grateful Sarah shared this special family ritual, and for the reminder it leaves us with to follow her lead and regularly ask: What do I want to be written in the book of my life? What do I want it to look like?