Finally, the good news [#52weeks]

Fabulous news from a fabulous person!

jessysaurusrex

After what has been one of my favorite weeks since moving to San Francisco 2+ years ago, I finally have the time to sit down and share the news:

After taking some time to find my place in the world, I’m incredibly excited absolutely thrilled to share that I’ve joined the team at Couple as their first Community Manager. The app is a messaging app, availible for iOS and Android, and is designed to strengthen the bond between two people by serving as their main channel of communication. (Note: it works well even if you aren’t in a romantic relationship with the other person)

When it comes to work– a place where, depending what’s going on, I could end up spending 40-80 hours a week (otherwise known as ALL of my time)– there are three things that are very important to me:

  1. I have to believe in the product,
  2. I have…

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“No one deserves a tragedy” or, the end of life as I knew it [#52weeks]

I’m so glad I know people who can be so articulate about horrific and nonsensical events when they occur, to make up for my inability to find words. ❤

jessysaurusrex

We’re going to have a little talk about Sunday, April 15, 2007… the calm before the storm that erupted six years ago when 32 students were murdered in cold blood on my college campus. We’re going to talk about it because it was the last day of my normal life– I didn’t know it then– and it is the last time I remember life without the anxiety, the heartbreak, the loss, the panic, the PTSD and everything else I’ve had to work so hard to overcome since that terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.

We’re going to talk about it because it was Reema’s birthday, and because Reema was a classmate in an Urban Affairs and Planning Course that I took during my junior year to fufill some Core Curriculum requirements towards graduation. We were in the same 10:10 class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and she was one…

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The Tale of Gunnbjörn the Dwarf (and other thoughts) [#52weeks]

Gunnbjorn2

A couple of weeks ago, a thought popped into my head: I miss playing World of Warcraft. Now, I know what you’re thinking: *back away slowly, don’t make any sudden movements, just leave the crazy lady alone*. Before you jump through the wall, leaving a you-shaped hole and a trail of dust, I’ll say I only played WoW for a few months and I was never addicted. I can say this with complete confidence as someone who is addicted to plenty of other things (who wants another cup of coffee? anyone? no, just me?). Although I miss it, I don’t think I enjoyed the game for the same reason many other people do.

Ok, the leveling up is fun and feels pretty rewarding. The gear is pretty fun to collect. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to play with some real-life friends. But in reality, the main thing I really miss about WoW is my character. I only ever made one. He is a dwarf. His name is Gunnbjörn. He has a pet bear named Bearbjörn. And I miss the heck out of those guys.

I’m not sure if it’s sad or sweet that video game characters can sometimes feel like old friends from the past: gone, but fondly remembered. It certainly means that the game designers were doing their jobs when that happens. I think, though, that it has a lot to do with the same phenomenon that causes very vivid memories to come back when a certain song plays on the radio. That song, those characters, they remind you of the people and places that you associate with the time in your life when you used to listen to that music or play that game.

Gunnbjörn was around for a time in my life filled with anticipation and excitement, as well as stress and a certain amount of ambition and accomplishment. I started and finished playing WoW during my senior year of college. During that time I both felt like everything was on the line, and that there was so much out there in the big wide world, waiting for me to go grab hold of it. Maybe I really connected with WoW during that time because it reflected some of the epicness and struggle that I was experiencing IRL.

I’m currently playing a whole different set of games, and now that I think about it, there may be elements of them that reflect my current situation. More on that next time.

Conflicted [#52weeks]

It’s hard to write this week. I keep coming up with ideas of things to write a post about, but when it comes time to write, there are too many peripheral thoughts tugging at my focus. Sadly, I think I’m going to have to leave those ideas for a different night. Tonight I can only write about my state of mind.

Right now, I am conflicted. But before I get there, let’s go back to a few weeks ago. I had turned a page and I was looking forward to looking forward. I had just turned a new page and was looking out into the wild blue yonder. Anything seemed possible. Fast forward a few weeks to today.

Good heavens, anything is possible.

MotherofGod

Well, ok, not anything, but the world is now filled with possibilities. This is a terrifying fact to me right now. As I said in my previous post, I like to plan, gauge probabilities of outcomes, assess potential consequences. But right now there are so many different scenarios floating out there in the ether, it’s impossible to examine every contingency. What am I to do if I feel I can’t do that with any reliability?

I truly don’t know.

Clearly, this is a life skill I need to work on.

The good news is that I’m starting a new Tai Chi class tomorrow night. I took a semester of Tai Chi in college, and I have to say it helped me feel centered and calm in a turbulent time in my life. I hope it can help me out now, too.

Next time I’ll stop being so egocentric and write about something more exciting, like my World of Warcraft character (cc Dan)!

When everything (or nothing) is tacos [#52weeks]

jessysaurusrex

tacos

I’ve been thinking alot about tacos lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my relationship with them is one of the most important food relationships I’ve ever had in my life.

I know, I know. It sounds crazy. I’ll explain.

If you know me at all, you know that when I get excited about something… I just don’t shut up about it. As I tend to get easily excited by all things food– chocolate! sparkling water! caffeine!– I have a tendency to take to the Twitters and go on a rant about it. Case in point, Tuesday:

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I relate to a lot of these feels. Even if you have a general sense of the direction you want to be headed, it can be daunting knowing how to get there or what steps to take. Ack!

kayteawhy

Oh my goodness, where have I been?!

I wish I could tell you I’ve been productive. You know, looking for jobs and what not, but really, I’ve just been sulking. …or something like that I guess.

I really have just tried to take my time and reboot: figure out where I want to go and what I need to do to get to that point. So, in my month hiatus, I’m happy to inform you on my progress.

I. Am. Nowhere.

Man, literally nowhere.  So far, a couple of my colleagues have accepted offers and already put in their two weeks.  Me? I just try to moonwalk my way out of every conversation involving the future. I don’t like talking about it.  I thought it was because I was worried about what on earth I’m going to do. But if I can just be honest, it’s because I’m pretty embarrassed…

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Give it to Me Caliente: A Love Letter to Tacos [#52weeks]

<3tacos

Dear Tacos,

I know I’ve never been totally honest about my feelings for you. Now is the time for me to open up. I’ve felt this way for a long time, probably even longer than I realized. But after a while I came to see that you’ve always been there for me, tacos. You were there when I needed a light snack, and there when I felt like I could just about fry up a whole horse and eat it. How could I not fall in love with you?

Tacos, you make me feel good no matter what we’re doing. Wether we’re out on the town, and I’m in a little black dress, or cuddling up together in sweatpants on the couch. You make every moment better. There’s nothing complicated about being with you.

And I want you to know, tacos, I’ve never doubted you. I never look at you and ask myself: “Why do I love tacos?” There’s never a dull moment with you, either. But I can still take you home to meet my parents. Even my friends like you.

I remember, back in college, when I was out in Massachusetts and we were trying the long-distance thing… that was a hard time in my life. I missed you so much, tacos. They don’t understand you out there. I know we were able to laugh when someone couldn’t pronounce “carnitas”, but it hurt. Let’s never do that again, ok?

Now you know, tacos. Now you know that I love you. I can only hope that you feel the same.

Yours always,

Emily xoxo

P.S. I know I’ve had a thing on the side with Pizza from time to time, but you gotta believe me baby, Pizza and I will never have what we have.

Constructing happiness [#52weeks]

jessysaurusrex

Last year, I began work on perhaps one of the biggest projects that I will have ever undertaken. It hasn’t been a Kickstarter project or a stealth startup, rather, it has been something infinitely close, personal, and vital for my future– the architecture of my own happiness.

The past few months of my life have been one of the most vibrant periods of personal growth I’ve ever had, and it all came about when I realized one thing: that the only thing I could change about the world is myself. (The world wasn’t going to change, surely, and approaching it in the same way and expecting different results… we call that insanity, yes?) When I needed inspiration, I sought out beauty; when I needed a solid foundation, I found myself (a non-believer) spending my Sunday mornings in a cathedral studying the tenets upon which so many others have laid the groundwork of…

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Looking Forward to Looking Forward [#52weeks]

First off, I just want to say that I never really intended for this blog to be as much about my personal life as it’s become. But such is life, I guess. I keep telling myself that my next post will be about something else. Perhaps there’s just been a lot for me to ponder lately.

In any case, today I want to talk about letting go of something you hope for, in exchange for the hope for something unknown.

Freedom is close to the top of my list of things I value. But I’m not talking about the kind of raw independence that you see championed so often in the US: the desire to be able to do whatever one wants with no regard for consequences or external factors guiding choices made. I’m talking about real freedom. I think it’s something that you can really only find in your mind. It’s the ability to look out in front of you while you’re standing in the present, and see everything out there as future, as opportunity, but most importantly as unknown.

So often we plan and plan and plan, and hope, and try to control outcomes. And after so much hoping and fretting and plotting, you look out in front of you, and suddenly chunks of the future are already the past in your mind. Those plans and scenarios, conditions and contingencies, they start to restrict what you see. The options you see start to diminish, or mutate so that they can fit into this predetermined future-past.

I’m perhaps the most guilty of doing this to myself of everyone I know. It’s because I’m systematic, I like to plan, I like to judge my decisions based on predictable consequences. In my head I tell myself it’s my duty to myself and others to make informed decisions.

I didn’t think I’d manage to do this, but I’m going to work in video games to my explanation here, of the effects of all of this. Have any of you played World of Goo? Ok, for those who haven’t, you string these little goo guys together to try to build structures, but you have to be careful that they don’t warp or topple over (see Exhibit A). All this planning is just like that. The more you build up, the greater the stress that the whole thing will collapse, and the more restricted the options for your next move become.

Exhibit A via Manapool

Last night I tore down one of these gooey, future-past structures that I had been building for a while. And I won’t lie, it feels really sad. I said goodbye to a future me that I thought already existed out there somewhere. But it doesn’t compare at all to the burden that feels lifted. The past is back where it belongs and the future’s out there somewhere. And I maintain my faith that no matter how good my imagination or planning skills may be, I can’t imagine or plan anything as wonderful as what the future will reveal.

I’m going to take us out with Zee Avi, who besides having a beautiful voice, wrote an album of songs that very accurately describes my past 18 months. I highly recommend checking it out.