We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Pettigrew Pryor and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauren, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I don’t think work-life balance is something I’ve ever believed in. At an early age, the moment I observed how settling for an unfulfilling career can lead to intense unhappiness, I promised myself I would never become that person. As I progressed through college and my early professional years, the idea of just existing, going numbly through the motions, and punching a clock felt soul crushing. I wanted more out of life and out of work. So I began my pursuit to create a life where I wasn’t working for the weekends. The saying, “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from” always resonated with me. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe in disconnecting, exploring as much of the world as possible, and dreaming of new adventures. But the fundamental premise behind it has always influenced how I’ve tried to “balance” my life and work, and ultimately blend them into one. Although it was a long and, at times, difficult road, I didn’t settle until I found a career that allowed me to pursue my passions and look forward to work instead of constantly trying to escape from it. There’s no perfect job, and work certainly doesn’t always feel like vacation, but being able to work on these passion projects for a living is something I wish for everyone. I don’t know if that means I’m always working, or I get to do what most consider play for a living, but for me, blending my professional and personal life has always been the ultimate dream.

 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Working as a Social Media Manager of a small business is a unique role. On any given day, I am a content creator, strategist, marketer, photographer, editor, creative director, project manager, sales support, trend analyst, and so on. The world of social media is constantly changing and no day is ever the same, which is part of what I love about it. The opportunity to meet some of the most genuine, hard working people in our community and share their story is such an honor. Keeping a finger on the pulse of San Diego lifestyle and having the ability to share the best of San Diego with our followers never gets old. It certainly wasn’t an easy path to get to where I am today professionally. There were times where I was mentally and financially drained (more on that in my previous story). But I’m glad I didn’t give up and eventually landed where I am now.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve lived here for nearly 8 years and my husband is born and raised, and we continuously discover new places to check out. It’s always tough to pack all of our favorite things about San Diego to share with visitors in one trip, but here are a few highlights that come to mind:

– Cabrillo National Monument
– Stroll Sunset Cliffs
– Blue Water Seafood Market and Grill: watch the sunset while enjoying scallops and craft beer
– Barbecue and Topo Chico margaritas at Grand Ole BBQ
– Convoy District Dining Tour
– Visit our countless craft breweries
– Hotel Del Coronado
– Padres Game
– Concert at The Observatory North Park
– Hike Annie’s Canyon
– You & Yours Distilling Co. for cocktails
– Mister A’s: dine on the patio and watch the planes fly in
– Black’s Beach and Torrey Pines Gliderport

There are so many picturesque locations, mouthwatering meals, and memorable things to do that represent how lucky we are to live in San Diego that I could go on and on. Not just the attractions we would share with visitors, but endless hidden gems for locals as well. So here’s my shameless plug to follow along on San Diego Magazine for more!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my husband, Morgan. He has been so supportive on my long journey to find happiness in a career. He has never hesitated to come along for the ride for any project I’m working on and jumps right in to contribute. He’s been a scout to find the perfect shot, a second shooter, and is far better at food descriptors than myself. We’ve really enjoyed working on these lifestyle projects together and I’m so thankful to have him as my partner in life.

Website: sdmag.com

Instagram: @sandiegomag @laurenashleylifestyle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sandiegomagazine

Image Credits
Valerie Durham, Kimberly Motos, Cody Page

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.