I Could Tell Some Really F*&)(&ing Personal Stories. (Please weigh in.)


I write a lot about how and why to do things at work – I’ve explored the academic, the productive, and the professional. But this post is different. It’s the beginning of exploring the personal. 

The oldest writing advice in the world is “Write What You Know.” Reflecting on this, I decided to take a wild leap and begin to share the deep down dirty stuff here… the stuff that’s important to ME as a PERSON. The stuff that I know more about now – because I just went through it – than I ever will again. I feel a volcanically strong urge to bring these ideas and this temporary form of “life expertise”, opinion, and passion out into the world.

But spewing personal hot lava is not very professional and while it certainly informs me it’s not what my business is about. So I’ve built a new home for my work writings at Kickass Enterprises and am going to start taking over this blog with the rest of my ideas. And I have a lot of those ideas and opinions that I haven’t been sharing. Until now.

For context, I’m now ending month 4 of maternity leave and I’m feeling so ready to return to the world again. Before I get too busy with my coaching and consulting practice,  there are some personal stories I’d like to share…. a lot of them. Here is a list. Weigh in – what sounds most interesting to you?

12 Things that are True:

  1. I have a unique name. Here’s what that’s like.
  2. I married my first love. Here’s what that’s like.
  3. Prioritizing partying and friends over studying was one of the smartest lifestyle and professional decisions I ever made. Here’s how it has consistently paid off for me.
  4. I have turned down a lot of good opportunities in my life – writing for the HBR blog, writing for PsychToday, publishing a book, working at IDEO, and in college, running the art studio at Bruin Woods. Some were smart decisions and others were scared decisions. Here’s which were which and how I would decide if given the chance again.
  5. I have given birth to two babies – both at home in my living room, in the water, and with hypnosis, not drugs. First baby was in the UK, where home birth is NHS standard fare. Baby two was born 4 months ago here in Los Angeles, where home birth involves quite a bit more legwork and administrative finagling. Childbirth was actually comfortable and fun both times! Yes, it’s possible. Here was the journey that got me there.
  6. We moved countries when baby #1 was just 5 weeks old *with colic* – DUMB! Here’s how not being “settled” affected EVERYTHING.
  7. Baby 1, my son, had colic… turns out he had tongue tie and we didn’t know it. Baby 2, my daughter, had tongue tie too but got it snipped at 6 weeks old. This has been the most amazing medical intervention we’ve ever done in my family. Might you or your kids have tongue tie? Here’s what that means and why it’s so interesting for babies and grownups alike. (You’re not out of the woods when you stop breastfeeding… here’s what we’re still going through for my son and why we will probably have his tongue released too at age 4!)
  8. I finished a PhD after developing major back problems and switching advisers – twice! Two years after getting a great job on the tenure track, I dropped out of academia to go back to working with startups, which was a much better fit for me. I don’t think a PhD is a good choice for most people – here’s why. I will also tell you how I managed to Phinish.
  9. I was raised religiously and opted out of being officially confirmed. Here are the parts of me that are still Catholic, totally not Catholic, a bit Christian, and seemingly secular. Here’s what it’s like being both scientific and spiritual and here are the debates I have about raising kids with and without religion.
  10. I live in an historic Mills Act house – it’s almost 100 years old and was built by the guy who designed the Redondo Beach pier, out of the cindery rubble from a local train car crash. Here’s the story of the house and how original owner died inside of our family room.
  11. I let my head get the best of me when I was an actor. Here’s how being too serious turned my art into a business and then into nothing.
  12. I have lived in 4 countries outside of the US. Here’s why, here’s how to make that work, and here’s what I learned about hustling in the process.

Now… please my friends and visitors, weigh in. Which stories should I write? Leave your votes in the comments. And thank you to those of you who encouraged me to write the truth.