Courtney Spence on How Family Relationships Change With Age

In Chapter 7 of 19 in her 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, non-profit executive Courtney Spence answers "How Are Your Family Relationships Changing as You Get Older?"  Spence shares how the relationships are strengthening and why she is learning new ways to appreciate her family as she moves into her 30s.  Courtney Spence returns to Capture Your Flag for her Year 3 interview.  As Founder and Executive Director, Spence leads non-profit Students of the World to empower college students to use film, photography, and journalism to tell stories of global issues and the organizations working to address them.  Spence graduated with a BA in History from Duke University.


Erik Michielsen: How are your family relationships changing as you get older?

Courtney Spence:  They’re strengthening, you know, I am blessed to have been raised by 2 wonderful parents and a wonderful brother and a wonderful sister. I mean my immediate family and then my extended family have been a big part of shaping who I am for the good, for the absolute good. I mean, I wake up every day thankful for the family that I have and I’ve always been close with them but as I get older my ability to appreciate them grows. And even though I don’t think it can – I can appreciate them any more than I can today, I know I will tomorrow, I think especially as you start to accelerate into your 30’s, I feel like I am – I think I’m learning more than I ever have before.

I feel like I’m in a place personally where I am motivated again by cultivating my personal life and really thinking about where do I wanna be in 10 years, in 20 years. And as I think about those things, really for the first time ever, I mean I’ve never been someone that really plans my life out or is like I wanna go be that in 30 years.

And I’m starting to think in those ways, and not that I want to mark things by money or that house or that car, it’s more of the kind of life I wanna lead, and who do I wanna be as I get older. And as I’m thinking through these things, I’m looking to my parents predominantly and seeing where they are and learning from them and seeing them go through, you know, great times and difficult times, as they are, you know, at their age now. And I think because I have that appreciation that’s growing for them, my relationships with them are strengthening as well.