An Angel Investor

A Pair of Shoes

A while back, I emailed my husband Tim an article about the Sony email hack. It was about the child of a Sony executive who – the email exchange suggested – was given favorable status as an applicant to Brown University due to her influential, wealthy family. I was outraged.

Tim’s response came in the form of a Gchat: re: the gawker article about rich ivy leaguers… that may be an interesting small answers…since that happened for me

What followed was an intense, occasionally contentious, and ultimately not-fully-resolved discussion between us about privilege, guilt, and personal responsibility. This interview has been edited and condensed, and “Paul” is a pseudonym.

(read more…)

Eat, Pray, Love Under The Tuscan Sun

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AIEA, HI— I live where bravery and foolishness blur.

The coordinates, a Zen treehouse in Hawaii.

In June, I left Chicago and corporate success behind, indefinitely, for an island and a home I knew only through pictures. At 31, I had never taken time to process my recent divorce, and felt a strong need to examine my identity and career path.

Yes, this is Eat, Pray, Love Under The Tuscan Sun. (read more…)

Does Your Greatest Strength Reveal Your Biggest Weakness?

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It’s a typical Sunday when my boyfriend is happy to relax and laze about in the hammock in my back patio — and I join him for about 15 minutes before I get restless and ask what we’re going to do next. This ability to easily relax and enjoy leisure is what I call his “vacation brain.” Very little upsets him; he is generally calm and almost never defensive. There is a flipside to this enviable quality, though. His relaxed demeanor means a certain detachment. He prefers to avoid difficult things and easily puts them out of mind (sometimes to my annoyance).

These opposing traits are two sides of the same coin, or, what I think of as a Janus face.  Janus is the Roman god of motion and transitions. Since these concepts are complementary in nature – starting one thing means ending another, arriving in one place requires leaving somewhere else — Janus is usually depicted as having two faces, one looking to the future, and one to the past. Similarly, our greatest strengths are typically the inverse of our biggest weaknesses. (read more…)

My Fake Friends

My friendsSometime between asking two friends to help me do my hair for my wedding three years ago and today, I became a secret and devoted watcher of beauty videos on YouTube.

If you don’t know, these are four to ten-minute long videos where peppy, pretty, girlish women, largely in their early 20s, talk about hairstyles, makeup, fashion, and personal care products.

There are different kinds of videos, all variations on a theme. In tutorials, they show you how to do your hair a certain way or get a certain look with your makeup. In haul videos, filmed after buying a bunch of products or clothes, they walk through each item, laughing and telling you what they liked about it, where they got it, and how they plan to wear it. In “vlogs,” (video logs) they simply film and narrate their daily lives as they eat breakfast, go to the gym, hang out with friends, and more. If this sounds pointless and uninteresting, it is. I cannot honestly recommend them. (read more…)

My Baby Stole My Confidence

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What if I told you that my one and a half year old son stole my confidence? What if I, a 32-year old woman, explained to you that my son grabbed the sense of self I’d gathered from my once-somewhat-assured hands and I don’t know where he put it or how to win it back?

You would laugh at me uneasily, smiling and raising your eyebrows at the invisible studio audience nearby, like, “IS SHE UNHINGED AND SHOULD I RUN AWAY NOW?”  

Stay, please, I’m kidding! I know that my lovely, willful, fascinating kid didn’t abscond with anything of mine, aside from several pennies and a grocery receipt for bananas. I’m not going to foist all that on any human being, least of all one who, with great sincerity, refers to sheep as baa baas. I may be a mess, but I am not a piece of shit.

I wish I could pretend that my career was chugging forward beautifully at age 30, when I got pregnant, but that upon birthing him, he ransacked everything, hijacked my dreams and my heart, and I am now stumbling through the detritus, blindly seeking a path, any path. While that part about the detritus is true, the rest is somebody else’s story. (read more…)