WO: Weekly Obsessions

It should come as no surprise that I’m ex-haus-ted this week. It’s a good problem to have, given how many fun experiences and projects I’ve had lately. But it’s all caught up to me just in time for a wine country day Saturday and the big 3-0 Tuesday. Here’s what’s helping me attempt to unwind before then:

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. Tracey Mammolito Photography: The woman responsible for those amazing photos I shared yesterday, y’all. Tracey’s energy was contagious, she made me feel comfortable (despite looking VERY silly in a public park) and her communication was spot-on. If you’re in SF and need a profesh photog, Tracey’s your girl.
  2. BachFantasy: This isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to betting on “The Bachelorette,” but it is my first season in a BachFantasy league. The recaps are entertaining, and the spreadsheet is a wet dream for OCD nerds like me. We’re up to the mid-season draft, and although I’m pretty far out of first, I’m hoping my dark horse picks will make a comeback soon.
  3. Sutter Health: Remember that career leap I mentioned yesterday? Well, today I can officially share I’ve accepted an offer to join Sutter Health as their Manager of Content Strategy and Multimedia! Sutter is a not-for-profit network of doctors, hospitals and health services for millions of Californians, and I couldn’t be more excited to call it my next home. I’ll have more to share soon, but at least that cat’s out of the bag 🙂
  4. “California Girls” – The Beach Boys: Call me old school, but there’s something about this classic that just puts a sunshiney smile on my face. I don’t know that I’m considered a true Californian at just a few years in, but my family can attest to my lifetime appreciation for The Beach Boys. Bonus: They remind me of my dad, and riding around in his beat-up ‘91 Ford Ranger.

Images courtesy of: Tracey Mammolito, Twitter, Twitter, Wikipedia

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should know…
30. Why they say life begins at 30!

Courtesy of Tracey Mammolito Photography

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What a long, strange trip it’s been. As I enter the last week of my 20s, I find myself talking about turning 30 more than I ever thought I would. I’m embracing it head-on — some might say a bit too much — but I’m genuinely excited for what this next decade may bring.

I’ve talked about it before, but I truly never want to look back at a time in my life and think “Those were the best years of my life.” That feels futile and sad. And while not every week, month or year can be the best all the time, I want to look forward and remain hopeful that the best is yet to come.

The editors of Glamour write this week’s closing (before sharing a few more Lists to consider), and they make an excellent point about why 30 often feels so different.

The “comparathon,” as they call it, is generally over. Your 20s are largely about what others are doing, where you “should” be and what’s wrong with you if you’re not there yet. At 30, you start focusing on your own timeline and appreciating what you have done, instead of what you haven’t.

Of course, I had grand plans when I was a child about where I might be at 30. I may not have ever been a “dream wedding” kind of girl, but I thought I’d be so old at 30 — I’d surely have a husband and kids and a white picket fence. A week before 30, and I don’t have any of those things. And that’s not only “OK,” it’s 100% authentic to me.

I have a career I’m quite proud of, one that’s about to reach new heights in just a few weeks (more on that later). I have a social circle of close friends and family, who I know would drop anything when I’m in need. I have a lovely shared home in the most expensive rental market in the US and am no longer sweating over the bill each month. I have relationship experiences which have taught me countless lessons to take into my next partnership.

I still would love to marry someday, maybe have kids (or not!), and own a home. But I don’t think I’m any less successful than my peers who have those things. I’m biased, of course, but I don’t believe success is defined by anyone else but yourself.

My definition of success relates to things you have to work for — whether that’s your education, career accomplishments, parenting wins or being committed to a relationship. A wedding in and of itself, in my opinion, is not an achievement. (For more on this subject, check out this article.)

Your definition of success may be in polar opposition to this. And that’s OK, too. No matter where you are in your life, if you’re happy with it, I’m not going to rain on that parade. I just hope you won’t rain on mine, either.

Some may say I’m making too big a deal over 30, taking more than half a year to chronicle this series, organizing a wine country day and a fundraiser, and — oh yeah — doing a photo shoot. But as I’ve said from the very beginning of this series, I believe in celebrating full blast… getting older is a privilege denied to many.

Cheers to that — and to you all who’ve stuck with me ❤️

ThankYou1

Courtesy of Tracey Mammolito Photography

Photo credit: Tracey Mammolito, hired via Thumbtack
Sign credit: LaineyBugsDesigns, hired via Etsy
Cake credit: Whole Foods
Props credit: Target
Shirt credit: Meee
Accomplice credit: Stephanie Merek & Bear

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Courtesy of ThingLink.com

It’s the longest day of the year today, and it sure does feel like it! Not that it’s a bad thing — I am quite amazed at how we’re already well into June and don’t mind a day off feeling a bit longer.

Why am I off, you ask? Well, my HS bestie is in town for a visit and we’re taking on San Francisco like never before. We have tickets to a comedy show, a comedy drag show, wine country and more… a jam-packed 72 hours is in our future.

She even brought a little southern sunshine with her, as our temps climb into the 80s and SF residents freak the F out over the heat. I’m not immune to freakouts myself — life without central A/C is no joke.

So although it’s been a few weeks of less-than-stellar obsessions, I promise to be back at it again like Damn, Daniel next Wednesday.

In the meantime, please enjoy…

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should know…
29. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.

In true Wittyburg fashion, I was going to start this post by apologizing for how late it is in the day (particularly for you East Coasters). The past week was a true roller coaster of highs and lows, and The List eluded me as I clung on for control.

Instead, I won’t apologize. As the editors of Glamour write, there are many situations in which we say “sorry,” when we’ve done absolutely nothing wrong at all.

They make a mild statement about how this may be because it’s “drilled into [women’s] heads to be sweet, accommodating and nurturing.” Ahem. Yes, that’s exactly the root of the issue. I know The List was written in 1997, but this edition was published in 2012. We can be more firm about how traditional gender roles and constructs shaped us all.

Courtesy of The Odyssey Online

Whether it’s someone bumping into us, manspreading on public transportation or cutting us in line, why do we feel the need to apologize? I’m guilty of it myself, don’t get me wrong — but I’ve made a conscious effort over the past few years to minimize my apologies.

Some would argue I’m failing at said effort, for which I have no apology. Feeling bad when others make us uncomfortable is a quality of most women I know. In the past, we haven’t wanted to inconvenience others by speaking up or arguing. Being a “feminist” is still a bad word, for fuck’s sake.

But what I’ve learned — particularly in the past year, and while working in tech — is you can’t apologize for everything. You can be vulnerable and empathetic, of course. But you can’t let others run you over and then say sorry to them.

The criteria where apologies are perfectly fitting? When you hurt someone’s feelings. When you inconvenience them. When you wrong them in any way. NOTE: This does not mean you had a difference of opinion or want them to correct their mistake.

In fact, the longer you accommodate someone and refuse to call them on their BS, the more a disservice you do to them both. If the office gossip is never told to cut it out, they’ll never see the hurt they’re causing. If the friend of family member is never corrected for their poor behavior, they’ll never think they’re doing anything wrong. The entitlement simply won’t end if people aren’t called on it — and most of the time, they don’t even realize they’re being disrespectful!

So while I haven’t banished “sorry” from my vocabulary altogether, I’m doing my best to be more conscious of using it thoughtfully, and when it truly applies. Otherwise, I’m the girl who cried sorry, which makes my actual mistakes and subsequent apologies feel less genuine and meaningful.

It’s a slippery slope from being the sorry girl to the doormat, and it’s one I hope we can all help each other overcome in my lifetime.

Courtesy of DailyHaha.com

WO: Weekly Obsessions

I’m running out of ways to say how messed up the world is. I read about the Virginia shooting on my way into work, only to learn around 9am (from my desk) about the UPS shooting in San Francisco, five blocks from my office. We were told to stay inside, and our security staff remained on high alert until the area was clear and the shooter was confirmed in custody.

Trying to make sense of these people’s motives feels futile: It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on, how you feel wronged by your employer — any of it. Lives are lost at the hands of others, who very clearly need help and healthy ways to express their anger.

Hot on the heels of the Pulse anniversary, my heart shattered today when I called my mom and heard her crying. I can’t imagine what these families are feeling, to know they aren’t able to hear their loved ones respond and say they’re OK.

I don’t have the answer to gun violence and/or control. It’s a complicated issue, obviously, and I don’t believe the answer is as simple as a sentence or two. What I do believe is that violence is not the answer. Hurting others doesn’t solve these problems. Pointing blame is pointless.

So it feels tone deaf to share about the week I’ve had, when others aren’t as lucky. Instead, I suggest you call your loved ones — for no reason at all, except to say hello — and to hug those you can a little tighter.

This playlist has been my inspiration all week, and it’s worth a listen if you’re in need of comfort. As always, if you need more than music, there are organizations to help.

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should know…
28. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.

Remember when The List covered such fluffy topics as umbrellas and makeup? Trust is far and away one of the most difficult topics for me to discuss on this blog — isn’t it ironic, Alanis?

I’ve been through all sorts of ups and downs in personal and professional relationships. I’ve trusted too much and been burned. I’ve been given too much trust and done the burning in a moment of anger. I’ve trusted too little and burned myself. Trusting and burning, trusting and burning, rinse and repeat.

Courtesy of JeremyChin.com

What does legendary gossip columnist Liz Smith say about trust? Well, she’s got more than 50 years of experience in the business, pissed off many — from Sinatra to Trump — and she’s lived to tell the tale.

Smith’s tips are as follows, with (you guessed it!) my own take below each:

You can usually trust a gal who says it like it is.
This may come in many forms, but I’ve personally tried to live by Maya Angelou’s words: “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” This opens up a debate of show versus tell, but I think the point is the same: Most people aren’t living double lives. How they treat a customer service agent, hired help, someone in need… it’s pretty telling of who they are as a human being.

When it comes to romance, heed these words: Trust and verify.
In today’s dating world, we have the ability to research a potential match before we even meet them. There’s the episode of “How I Met Your Mother” which explores the battle of mystery vs. history, i.e.,  wanting to know you’re not meeting up (or already dating) a psychopath, but wanting to keep some mystery alive. My take? It doesn’t hurt to know some basics, like their name, their age (range, at least), what industry they work in… and of course, their app bio says a lot about how much they value words and/or the English language. But some things can also be discovered on a real, live date — and make for a hell of a story after.

Never trust your instincts when you’re angry.
Remember how I said people show you who they are? This might be the one exception. Who hasn’t been frustrated with Comcast after 90 minutes on the phone with them? If you can recognize it in the moment, at least, you can mitigate any major faux pas and save yourself the embarrassment of feeling like a total A-hole. Same goes for traffic temper tantrums, though I think we’re all thankful I haven’t driven regularly in nearly five years.

Assume you can’t trust anyone who’s just handed you a contract.
I don’t have a mountain of personal experience with contractual obligations, aside from rental leases and a million Terms & Conditions I’ve toootally read through. But Smith’s point is 100% valid: Get legal advice before you sign anything! I’ve asked for second opinions on work contracts, and I’ve learned the hard way to get freelance agreements well-documented in writing. Feeling the burn? All right.

Life’s just too short to take every little betrayal personally.
This one may be the hardest of all, because it’s natural to feel like certain behaviors or responses are directed toward you. And with social media, Lord knows some of those are directed at you. Instead of getting into a Twitter feud or FB debate, I’ve learned to not engage. If it really irks me, I might privately message or call the person to try and talk it out. Yes, the trolls are real. But holding onto hatred for them only hurts you.

There are no real secrets, so you might as well tell the truth about things.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Public Relations 101. Only you can manage your story. If you’re not up front about certain things — whether it’s being a single mom on the dating scene or messing up at work — the truth will come out. Maybe not right away, and maybe not even with the person you’ve offended. But it will, so why not manage the message and take ownership from the start?

Truthfully, this entire post made me sweat 😅 But being open and vulnerable with you all is kind of the whole point of this series, right?

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Today was one of those days where it didn’t seem anything could go right. Let’s recap, shall we?

I tossed and turned all of last night from bad dreams. I don’t like calling them “nightmares,” because I’m not 5 years old, but I woke up multiple times and only got a few hours of actual sleep.

So obviously, I missed my workout class. Good thing I just bought a monthly membership — there goes my one free late cancellation.

It didn’t take long to get ready for work, since most of my stuff is in the women’s locker room at the office. I booked my Chariot ride (PS it’s a shuttle service; I’m fully aware how pretentious it sounds). So I left the house at 830am because I literally couldn’t sleep.

I realize a few minutes in, I’m on the wrong route. I booked the route to my gym, not to work. Stellar. I update my drop-off point to the last stop, because I know there’s yet another route that’ll take me from there to the office.

All morning, I worked on an upcoming presentation. I like independent work, but it’s a rare project where I feel like this:

Courtesy of HerCampus

On to lunchtime! Shoot… I signed up for a webinar, and since my Blue Apron delivery didn’t come last night (a story for another post), I didn’t bring lunch. Thankfully, we just installed a fancy vending machine so I could grab lentil samosas — tastier than they sound — and nosh while muted on the call.

All afternoon, I was in a marathon of meetings. Great when you want the day to go by faster. Not great when each meeting ends with action items and tight deadlines. Commence internal screams.

Courtesy of Giphy

To cap off the day, I had to reschedule plans with friends I haven’t seen in a while. I usually enjoy canceled plans, because I’m an over-scheduler, but was really looking forward to tonight. The next time we’re all available is mid-July LOL.

Suffice it to say, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I won’t be coping with alcohol tonight — much as I may want to — and will instead enjoy the rest of the Warriors game in the background as I work.

Here’s hoping tomorrow will be better, and thanks for sticking with me ✌🏼