My family has this lovely tradition that on your birthday you get asked three questions that help you reflect back on the year you’ve had and also, on what’s to come. The three questions are “What was the best part of your x year?,” “What was the hardest part of x year?,” and “What are you looking forward to during your x year?”. Since it’s my birthday and I can cry if I want to I spent some time thinking about those questions. I wanted to write down my answers so when I look back at my blog in a year or 10 years from now I smile and remember the life I lived. My 26th year was one of the best years of my entire life and one the hardest.
What was the best part of your 26th year?
This is a hard question to sum up because so many wonderful things happened last year.
I fell in love with the most amazing man.
I went barely being able to run a mile to running the San Francisco Marathon. Thanks to Melissa, Glenn and our running group for the support during the grueling 20 week training program.
It took me 5 hours and 20 minutes. I cried at the finish line out of happiness and a month later I lost two toenails. Gross, I know.
One of the greatest things about living in San Francisco is the amount live shows and festivals that seem to happen in your backyard. Some of the most memorable shows and festivals I attend this year are Justice, The Weeknd, James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem, Simian Mobile Disco, Outside Lands and Treasure Island. Of course I can’t forget to mention Coachella the most magical and glorious festival that I’ve ever attended. Some of my highlights from Coachella are seeing Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre perform next to a hologram of Tupac, Radiohead, Florence and the Machine and Usher and Rihanna being surprise guests in the Sahara Tent.
I gave my first ever talk at Railsgirls in San Francisco.
What was the hardest part of your 26th year?
This was probably one of the hardest years of my life and I haven’t spoken to many people about it. I’m going to keep this section short because I don’t want to dwell too much on the negative. Three significant things happened that have greatly affected me: loss, burnout and my dream job ended up being anything but that.
At the beginning of last year many of us lost a very dear friend. It was so sudden and unexpect. For me that was the first time I had lost someone close to me. During that time I wrote a blog post about what I had learned from experiencing loss and seeing so much pain. If you have a second you should read it “Life is Very Precious so Enjoy Every Moment”.
For many of you that know me you know that I’m an outgoing happy girl that enjoys life and loves what she does. I have incredible friends and a loving family that has given me everything I could have ever asked for. Despite all of this I suffered from depression for the latter part of last year. I didn’t wake up one day and realize I felt depressed, it was more gradual over time. I completely stopped working out and I stopped taking care of myself. Work was my number one priority. I barely saw any of my friends and if I did go out I wasn’t really present. I worked insane hours and when I did get home I would just crawl into my bed and cry. I felt pretty numb inside. The worst part was my unhappiness was hurting the people that loved I most. My poor boyfriend had no idea what to say or how to help me. I will forever be grateful for his endless hugs.
I promise this story has a happy ending. In mid-December I decided that I needed to get away so I jetted off to New York City for a couple days to visit friends. I made the conscious decision to not check email or work during that time. Instead, I took care of myself. I went for a run around Central Park and I attended a few yoga classes. I danced with friends until the sun came up. I laughed. I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my face. I read a silly romance novel and stayed in bed all day. What that weekend helped me realize was that I wasn’t depressed at all, I was fucking burned-out. After four years of working at startups without taking any real vacations, where I shut everything off, I had burned myself out. My priorities were all fucked up. I put my job above my happiness and health instead of trying to find a balance. I’m happy to announce that I finally feel like myself again.
As many of you might now know I no longer work for Prismatic. It was the best job that I’ve ever had and I’m extremely proud of the work that I had done there. In the end it just wasn’t the right fit. They needed someone that was a consumer growth expert, someone that could take them from thousands of users to millions of users.
What this job helped me realize was that I’m passionate about developer marketing and technology. I missed working with developers. I missed attending tech events and learning about technology. So instead of rushing into another job I decided that I’m going to take some time off to really think about what I want to do next. To keep myself busy I’ve signed up for a few programming classes and a writing class. I’m going to take my time finding a job that’s right for me.
What do you looking forward to in your 27th year?
I’m looking forward to being happy and enjoying my life. I don’t know what my future holds but that uncertainty is exciting. There are two things in particular that I’m beyond excited about for. For over a year now I’ve been trying to convince my boyfriend to move to Berlin with me. My family is from Czech Republic and it’s always been my dream to live in Europe for a few years. Hopefully, if we get our shit together we will be residents of Berlin by May. Finally, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be speaking at MMConf this year. 2013 is going to be awesome!