Happy Single Awareness Day

Six years ago, Dean and I met on Friday February 13 at Amelie wine bar in San Francisco, then went out to dinner for Valentine’s the following day, and were engaged within months. We’ve now been married for almost 5 years and have a 9-month-old son. Swear to God, I find it mind-boggling because I thought I was going to remain single forever! I truly thought I’d date casually for the rest of my life, keep on going to Burning Man year after year, and take trips around the world with my girlfriends and gay best friend.

At the time, I had this ‘woe is me’ mentality and cried myself to sleep as if I were the only single person left in the whole universe. If I could go back in time, I would slap that girl silly. I was leading an INCREDIBLE life. I could stay out past last call, sleep in, go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I may not have been partnered up, but I always had a friend to accompany me anywhere. And even if I didn’t, I was perfectly fine sitting at the bar by myself, enjoying a glass of wine. I met lots of guys that way.

My advice to singletons on this contrived day of love: While it is normal to long for a committed relationship, don’t let it get in the way of enjoying the present. Trust that if you were meant to be with someone, that it will happen at the right time.

And in this digital age, how challenging can it be to meet someone…anyone? Back when I was dating, there were only a few sites: Craigslist, Match, eHarmony. Now there’s OkCupid, Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, It’s Just Lunch, Tawkify… I’m always curious and amazed to see how many different data apps there are. There’s no excuse.

So what if the dates don’t work out or the relationship ultimately comes to an end? Yes it can be sad and depressing, but there’s something so magical about getting dressed up and going out. Isn’t it nice to flirt and hold hands? I’m still friends with the majority of guys I dated because even if I didn’t end up marrying them, there was still value in those connections! Romance is magical. Seize the moment.

Lead On Watermark’s Silicon Valley Conference for Women

A few weeks ago, I wrote that my word of the year is Rejection. To remind me, I purchased a customized ring on Etsy yesterday. The jeweler had all these samples of her work, engraved with words like Love, Peace, Believe, whereas I emailed and asked her to customize mine with Rejection! Ha! There’s no silliness involved because my laser-focus on rejection is working.

I’m thrilled to report that I’ve been selected to be part of the social media team for the inaugural Lead On Watermark’s Silicon Valley Conference for Women on February 24 at the Santa Clara convention center. It’s going down in two weeks.

The one day schedule is jam-packed with keynotes, workshops, panels, and roundtables led by experts on leadership, career advancement, negotiation, personal development, social media, small business, and entrepreneurship.

Check out just a few of the speakers. Hillary Clinton…Swoon! You all know how much I love Hillary, right? #Hillary2016

Kara Swisher? Love her. There isn’t anywhere else I’d rather be than this conference.

I believe there are still tickets available, but the conference is definitely going to sell out soon.

I will be live-tweeting the event with VIP access. Mark your calendars Tuesday February 24th and follow me here. #LeadOnCA

How to Land an Apartment in San Francisco

In the dog-eat-dog world of San Francisco, it’s not about finding an apartment (if you can afford the rent), but whether you can convince the landlord to pick you out of a stack of rental applications that read like Silicon Valley resumes.

As landlords, Dean and I found ourselves in the unenviable position of playing with housing destiny as our rental unit has recently become available. There were four very interested couples that were each so amazing that after every interaction, I told myself, “Yes they’re the one!”

We were so torn that Dean and I ended up rank-ordering each couple on our own, handed our list to the other, and laughed because our top pick was the same–whereas the other couples ranked differently on our lists. Dean said he felt like we were on a reality TV show. I agree, it was very Bachelor-like.

Now that we’ve gone through this and seen some incredible people, I know what it takes to be the top candidate on any list.

In this ultra-competitive market, let me tell you how to land an apartment in San Francisco.

1. Be prepared.

One couple nailed it with their preparation. They had a packet with their smiling faces on front including a brief summary. That summary included their places of employment and in parentheses their annual salaries. BAM! I know right away their names, where they work, and how much they make. Music to a landlord’s ears. In the packet, they had credit reports, offer letters, and a landlord recommendation. Hello! No need to fill out an application. They had every detail I wanted and more.

Do this. Put together a rental package and include W2s. Staple your business cards to the package.

While everyone else was wasting their time filling out an application, we had more time to chit-chat. Serial podcast? Bring it! You love wine? So do I! I LOVE YOU GUYS!

2. Have a connection.

Securing an apartment is akin to rushing the Greek System. You have to connect with the people in the fraternity/sorority otherwise you’re toast. Don’t just fill out an application, then leave. First ask smart questions about the apartment. Then talk interests. “The backyard is perfect because I can see myself out there barbecuing and drinking a glass of wine.”

This is the area where Dean and I struggled with the most because we had a connection with every couple. I especially liked one couple. She was from Beijing and he was from Shanghai, and the two of them debating the merits of each city (when I asked, “If I was going to China for the first time and I could only pick one city, which should I choose?”) had me cracking up. By the way, I’ve traveled to Shanghai and loved it, except for the fact that I got tea-scammed. Haha! They had a hoot over my story.

3. Be aggressive.

Be aggressive. Be be aggressive. And here, my friends, is why one couple landed at the top of both of our lists. Granted the texting and phone calls were a bit much at first; in the end, their genuine love of the place and willingness to commit could not be beat. When someone says they’re coming over with a check, I mean, you can’t turn that down! Kudos to them. We’re happy for them, but we would have been lucky to have any of these couples as our neighbors.

This whole process made me realize…well actually, I already knew this, but the process only validated the fact that there are really cool people living in San Francisco. Cool enough that after a 20 minute conversation, you want them to come over for BBQ and wine. This city and its inhabitants are the best ever!

Now go forth and find your happy place!

REJECTION!

There’s too much going on in my life right now to come up with resolutions. Besides it’s already the end of January! I’m barely keeping afloat, but there’s a philosophy for living my life that I’ve latched onto recently, so much so that I’ve decided to make it my word of the year: rejection. That’s right. I’m all about getting rejected.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve gotten so many job-related rejections which would be totally depressing if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve got four interviews lined up over the next two weeks. BAM! I’ve been talking about getting a new job for a while now since I’ve been in the same department for the past seven years. All talk, no action. The problem is, I actually like the work I currently do. I also enjoyed being a product manager and working for a startup…so I am just really confused and torn. I am researching career coaches and hoping to work with one soon, as I am at a major crossroads with my career.

Here’s what holds a lot of people back. They simply don’t ask. Want a raise? Ask! Want to go on a date? Ask! You’re a small business owner (i.e, blogger) and want to work with a major brand? Just fucking ask!

It’s not hard, it’s just that the majority of people fear rejection. If, instead, it becomes part of your mantra and every day, you set out on a quest to get rejected, then every so often, someone is going to say yes and you will be floored! If the blind squirrel can get his nut, you mindfully-advanced human, can have your desires granted.

This is probably my favorite of all TED talks. It’s given by Jia Jiang on 100 Days of Rejection. Changed my life.

Pictures from the Petting Zoo

Dean and I love all things animals. We adore the show Meerkat Manor and in fact, have a meerkat at home. She’s fake, of course.

One of our favorite trips was to Roatan where we got to hang out with so many animals, you’d think we were on safari. I’ve traveled this great big world and my best trip ever was to the Galapagos. If I could, I’d go back in a heartbeat to take selfies right next to tortoises and sea lions. They’re totally cool with you getting in their business!

So I’m pretty sure Franco is going to grow up just like his animal-loving parents, especially since we take him to places like Little Farm at Tilden Park in the Berkeley Hills. The working farm is free and open every day of the year. You’ll see: goats, cows, sheep, pigs, rabbits, ducks, chickens, and turkeys. Bring lettuce or celery to feed the animals!

Franco is fearless. He kept hold of the lettuce even if the cows aggressively slurped near his hand.