Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 1st: 4 paragraphs on Lean In

The reason Lean In is powerful is not because it taught us things we didn't know.  And Sheryl Sandberg is aware of this.  The reason it resonates is because it synthesizes all the facts about women in leadership and reminds us that in order to make a change, we actually have to make changes.  

My MBA friends and many other folks have likely heard of the "recency effect", a cognitive bias whereby we recall recent events in order to make decisions or generate probabilities, from simple things like what restaurant to go to to more complex things, like where we want to volunteer or what causes we support.  What Sheryl Sandberg is doing, is saying "Hey - remember this movement that we started?  The equality one?  Well there are 500 other tradeoffs in your head and we think you've forgotten how important this movement is.  Let's remember it again, and use it when we make decisions in our lives." 

In this way her words will be meaningful, even if the facts are ones we have heard before.  It's not as much a new call to arms, as to remember where we left them.

On that note:
Women! Advocate for yourselves.
Go for a job you're not qualified for.
Take a seat at the table.
Don't let doubts overwhelm you because you are talented, and you deserve success.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8th: New hobbies

Unstaffed Sam is unstaffed.  I've been supporting a due diligence (which is when a company asks you if they should buy another company that looks pretty ok, and you have to work out if it's a polished turd/pig wearing lipstick or a lump of really, really hard carbon).  That requires some effort, but not as much as my normal day job, which is nice.

Anyway, this slightly increased amount of time has led me to take up a couple of hobbies, briefly alluded to last time, which I will list herewith:

  1. Chess tactics
  2. Codeacademy
  3. Checking the cost of flights to Australia so I can come back and give everyone I miss back there the biggest hug they ever had. (Current plan: Xmas)
That is the plan.  And now that you've seen .. the plan.. I'm going to go and show the plan... to someone else (jumps out window into garden and bolts off into distance).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1st: All of the other things are an unknown unknown

So I decided that people with hobbies and things are happier than people without, So instead of being just a person who works
I wanted to do other things.

To be a person 
Rather than
Just work.

I have started doing some things, like more running, and thinking about the future, about the future of Sam and what it looks like and which parts are worth trying for - really trying for - and which parts are just wait n sees.

In the words of my friend Ray: "So, I read your blog and it looks like nothing has really changed". (Which is not a compliment or an insult as much as it is just TRUE)

My evening as told to a dog tied to a lamppost

We sat until I was too cold
And I rolled my sleeves inside of themselves 
towards my hands and I was still cold
And you could press my fingers
It would be like you were touching a rock
Or they touched a nose that didn't know
What was touching it.

Once inside, the chess starts: I was black
Because if you're not white, you're black
and it means you can see the scene unfolding
and then react to it with the appropriate vigor,
If you play like George does
With all of the surprises not unlike 
Go Fish with a duck.
(if i could see the feet paddling before the dive,
I would know instantly when the attack was coming)

We talked about making an app (very modern)
and my friend was going to make an app
To walk dogs of people who have dogs
And he likes to walk dogs
George said he volunteered at a shelter once
Because his girlfriend liked dogs
And he said,  "I don't really like dogs"
Luckily, dogs like dogs
So the circle of life is probably
going to be ok.

I hope you can expect more creativity, more blogging, more hobbies, less working-is-the-all and more SamB from me in the near future.  Peace out for tonight, world.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 18th: So this is work, and what is life.

Working is much like school, except there are less things you can genuinely ignore and more repercussions if you do so.  My job so far has been amazing, but admittedly the long list of personal things I want to achieve has not progressed.  Hours have ranged from 55 to 80, not terrible, not banking hours, but not enough time to learn Spanish, start a band, or ... blog.  I was a dedicated Yogi (read: too cold to run) for the first 6 weeks of this year until I started on this latest due diligence, which turned even sleep into an elusive hobby.

Life in New York is going along swimmingly.  I have a fabulous apartment in Gramercy, with a roommate, and with a spare room, which has hosted many guests.  I'm working on building a posse in this city which is a bit challenging, what with the hours and the turnover resembling a summer camp. 

When I reflect on business school as I do from time to time, I like to think about the soft lessons I learned.  It's true that I continue to be an imperfect version of myself - the same clashes happen, the same mistakes are made, the same sensitivies resurface - but I hope I am becoming more comfortable with what is there and what will never be there.  Any and all changes we make are so very incremental, so very on-the-edges.  So we have to be comfortable with the underlying truth, to some extent, and evolve to fit it into our lives instead of trying to beat it out of us completely.

And I still have no idea what I am doing. 

What is nice, and what I missed at b school, was the consistency of the future, and planning things, and knowing where one will probably be and who will also be there.  There is less flux now, more stability.  I can build things.


Building things feels wonderful.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 11th: Things I want for my birthday

  1. Everyone in my life, past, present and future, to be happy
  2. The courage to be judged only by the weight of my heart.
  3. A pony.
I really just want (1).  My cup is as full as I can fill it.  Of other things that I cannot control, all I want for is patience. 

Oh wait, I want everyone to start saving cash so we can have my 30th birthday extravaganza somewhere cool.  It will be like a destination wedding, but, you know, just a birthday. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 24th: Quicksand

New York pulls you in, wherever it is you want to be.  There is so much happening but also there is just you, the person, in the big world.  Endless opportunities define exactly what you are, because you are not a product of scarcity.  I think that's why it is so heavy, because there is no end.  You have to flick the switch to "off" when you have had enough.  And those that know me, know that my off switch can be somewhat defective...

So it's kind of like the internet, and about as "real life" as the internet much of the time.

Three other pieces of news:
1.  Fall is here.  I bought my first sweater. (see footnote)
2.  Off to Chicago for recruiting this week and then to California to see my dear brother for the weekend.
3.  Work still humming along nicely.

Note: Amusingly, my parents pay careful attention to what clothing items I mention buying on my blog/facebook.  My mum on the phone last week, "How are your new polka dot pants going?  And your wedges from Barneys?  Are they hard to walk in?"

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 18th: Some stories for you.

People have asked what my life is like in New York.  The thing about New York, is that your life is whatever you want it to be.  For the most part.

So last Saturday evening I went bar hopping for a significant amount of the night, with all different people, wearing fabulous 5 inch platforms and a silver velvet backless dress.  The New York-ness maxed out completely when I jumped the line at the Standard to get into Le Bain, simply on account of being too fabulous to wait in line.  If this sounds ridiculously obnoxious, well, it is.  But that's New York.

Someone else's photo of Le Bain at the Standard.  There is a jacuzzi in this nightclub.
American Apparel swimwear is sold in a vending machine next to it. 

I also attended a blackout brunch with a friend which involves all-you-can-drink mimosas for as long as you are eating.  It just so happens, that we were eating for 5 hours.  Then a lazy dinner in Brooklyn happened with another friend.  

This weekend I went to Riot Fest, a punk rock festival in Chicago.  It was just another big party.

I am a little bit all over the place at the moment, and not centered yet in NYC.  Which is fun, but I find myself craving the company of good friends back in Chicago.  Real conversations.  Intensity.  So I flop around the East Coast and Midwest, doing a little of everything, and wondering what to do next.  

My brother is coming over from Australia in a couple of weeks and I am very excited.  Newness is fun and great but I couldn't be happier to just bask in the warm familiarity of being Twin II for a couple of days at Lake Tahoe.

On the work front, my job is awesome.  There's nothing nicer that feeling both challenged and competent, and having great working relationships.  It definitely feels like I've found "it", but I know it will change as soon as my next project!  There's a true joy in solving problems and finding out new things, I feel like Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting when he starts working for Professor Lambeau.  Except, you know.... stupider.

Other than that, just doing what it is that I do.  Which is running fast, without an off switch.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24th: Blogging.

I acknowledge my blog has been particularly emo lately, even without Ray emailing me to complain about it.

Anyway, here are some great things that are happening to balance it out.

My job is pretty awesome.  I'm working on interesting questions with cool people. 

New York is basically the most amazing place on earth.  But damn expensive.

Cassie is visiting this weekend, and if last time Cassie visited is any indication, this will be an awesome time.

My friends are totally boss.  I'm bringing back the word "boss".

I went out and did something fun every night this week.

And finally, I bought a pair of polka dot pants yesterday that I wear to work.  They are the sunniest pants ever.  It makes me happy to own them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 23rd: Lessons

So it's not true that there were no lessons out of that experience.  The lesson was to not stop trying, and to continue to hang out in the either, to try, to take chances, to see things with new eyes.

To not become world weary and suspicious, but to just dust it off and do it all again.

Not sitting backstage, not someone's +1.