Archive for October, 2012

October 23, 2012

“Wherever You Are, it is Your Friends Who Make Your World.”

I am fascinated by people. I love people. Not to be confused with that I don’t necessarily like every human being, but I do love people. I love learning about people, how we think, interact, our differences, our similarities, our gifts and our flaws. I believe people are the best asset this world has, and as human beings, we ought to be connecting, sharing stories, learning from one another, helping each other, and challenging each other. (Go figure, why I write this blog)

Last week, my boss told me that I have a skill to connect with, communicate with, and keep in touch with people. I was a little confused at first, because to me, it comes naturally, and I only do it because I truly enjoy it. I feel blessed to have a gift to be able to talk to, and listen to, people. Growing up, my dad was always frustrated at me for my overuse of talking on the phone, texting, and time on Facebook (yes..even MySpace). Now that I’m not a teenager anymore, I use these activities in a much more productive manner, but still for the same concept. I enjoy catching up with old friends, being in constant communication with my close family and friends, and networking with all different kinds of people. Although, that is the catch: the word ‘networking’ isn’t in fact what I am talking about. I am not talking about networking at a happy hour event with others to advance your career, which isn’t a bad thing by any means. But what I mean, is connecting and building relationships with people from all different places in life, different places geographically, from different backgrounds, who are reaching different ideas of happiness, and were placed in your life at different times. These are the people in your network, who can really make your life’s worth.

Now I know, most people would just love to constantly catch up with old friends, or even catch up with their current friends – if they had the time. That’s the kicker. Relationships take time, and you just have the make the time. Make a little bit of time every week, to send someone a nice text, email, call or catch up with lunch. The most important investment you can make in your life, is in people. You would be so surprised, how easy it might be to pick up with an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Even better, you could be surprised how easy it might be to mend a previously broken friendship. And for those who are close to you, especially family or a significant other – they are sometimes the ones that need the most TLC time in our busy lives. I will continue to text my brother even though he only responds 1/10 times. I will continue to call my Granny even though it is easier to rather not. I am so lucky to have a best friend, still in South Africa (who just got engaged!), that I keep in touch and can Skype with. The relationships you make, and keep, help make you who you are, and allow you to experience so much more in life than just what you do on a daily basis.

I am blessed to have some amazing people in my life, who have invested time in me, as I have in them. Recently, I have connected with a few people from my past that, you guessed it – it couldn’t have been easier to pick up where we left off. I was able to spend time with two friends in Seattle that I hadn’t seen in years, but it was so wonderful learning about where our lives have taken us so far. Another friend I still haven’t seen in years has been catching me up on the last, very eventful, year of her life in Oklahoma. I had two friends drive quite a distance to come spend a little bit of time with me while I was in Arizona for work recently, just to be able to say hello, catch up, and reminisce on old stories for a very short amount of time. I am also blessed with some amazing family and friends from home, who have stuck with me through my move to SF, have made plenty of visits to see me, and invested their own time into keeping a strong friendship even though we are now miles apart. My sister hates to talk on the phone, but she has sacrificed and is willing to now that I’ve moved away. And of course, my experience in SF has proved to be exactly the same – I have invested my time to meet new friends, friends from all over the world (literally), and entirely different backgrounds. I have made strong, deep friendships with three particularly lovely ladies, while we may be somewhat inseparable – the four of us have been enjoying every little thing that San Francisco has to offer.

The point is, don’t forget to appreciate, take the time for, listen to and invest in people. The more you put into connecting with people, the more you will get out from experiences, learning lessons, having fun and understanding life. Your network is much more than your followers on LinkedIn. Your network may not automatically get you that dream job you have been wanting, or get you tickets to the sold out World Series games. But your network can give you the power to experience others, what they are going through, and how they can impact your life. I’m not asking you to call a person you maybe-might-have-met thirty years ago. Start small. Start by actually listening to someone when you ask them how their day is going. Start by sending a ‘I hope you’re doing well’ text. Start by thanking someone who did something nice for you. Start by doing something nice for someone else. You don’t have to like every single person, but you can appreciate where they’re coming from.

And I appreciate you reading my blog.

I bought this card at a Chocolate and Wine Bar my sister and I stumbled upon in Seattle on a rainy day a couple weeks ago. I had to have it.



October 1, 2012

Bring your Head but Follow your Heart

I would say that many people know whether they usually follow their heart, or their head when making decisions. Most people find it more comfortable, and logical, to make decisions based on evidence, data, or rationalization to use their heads when making a decision. They usually want to know what the outcome will look like, before making the leap. And while that’s understandable, and a dose of rational thinking is probably always a good thing, I’m here to advocate for those of us who think mostly with our hearts. The people like me, who have a more difficult time doing, or not doing, something because we are so inclined to do it – when sometimes we are not even sure why. We follow our hearts to make a decision, and see where life wants us to end up.

For me, following what my heart tells me to do is something that just happens naturally, and I’ll admit, sometimes it happens without me wanting it to really happen. There have been times, when I make a decision to do something that I really can’t understand why I was so drawn to do. And yes, I will admit, I have made plenty of mistakes and wrong turns. But for me, that it what life is all about. Any of the mistakes or dead ends I’ve turned down, have always guided me to a better path and I’ve ended up right where I was supposed to be.

I had to follow my heart to move to San Francisco. Sure, I had thought rationally about making sure I had a place to live, a job and a map before moving. But to get where I am today, came from my attitude to embrace the new city, my foundation to find and surround myself with good people, taking chances and constantly enjoying new experiences, and following my heart to know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be enjoying my life right now. If I hadn’t followed my heart to San Francisco, I would have missed out on what has so far, been some of the most remarkable experiences and adventures in the last 20 months. I am so grateful and ecstatic that I followed my heart, and brought my head along too.

To give you some further context, there is a band, as some of you would know, called ‘The Head and The Heart’, which I was introduced to a few months back. Naturally, I become somewhat obsessed with their music and their lyrics (you don’t have to listen to their album on repeat like I do; but you should probably check them out. They will, of course, be in San Francisco this coming weekend!). I was also recently at an airport, wasting time yet again due to another delayed flight, and came across a book at the store titled ‘The Heart and The Fist’, which is also proving to be a phenomenal balance of distinguishing between the two. The point is, I’ve found myself recently appreciating more and more, the idea that following my heart is a good thing – the proof is where it has gotten me.

The past few weeks have been great evidence of the fun adventures I’ve found myself in. From museums, concerts, camping on the coast, picking grapes at a winery in Napa, Giants baseball games, city street festivals, hiking to a secret German beer garden, rooftop views, meeting new friends, and surprise visits from old friends – I have been enjoying life every single day.

Life is about taking chances, having fun, seeking adventures and experiencing it to the fullest. Of course, what denotes what I enjoy versus what you enjoy, is beside the point. Your experience will inheritably be different than mine, and your definition of fun is up to you. But I want to remind you, if you normally think solely with your head, maybe tune-in to the channel of your heart more often. And if you normally think solely with your heart, don’t forget to occasionally bring your head along for the ride.

But take it from me (or the band) – Don’t follow your head, follow your heart. You never know what adventure is waiting for you to find.