Coming soon: The Work of Women (this site is officially under construction!)

I took more than a year off from working a “normal” job beginning the summer of 2015, shortly after turning thirty. I wrote a book and got an agent, I traveled, and I tried to come to a better understanding of who I was outside of an institutional identity bestowed upon me by a school or corporation. I needed to figure out who I was other than a “Yalie” or a “Googler” or a “techie” or a “frequenter of SF brunch eateries.” After ~16 months, I returned to the corporate world, joining Facebook, yet another famous (and sometimes infamous) institution, and it was while working there that I realized that my time off was only the beginning of a much longer, tougher journey. I continued hacking a new path through the underbrush of a life that had been defined by large organizations since my late teens, often stumbling along the way, but learning more in my two years at that company than I did in the five before. My learnings led me to a new job these last couple of months, as well as to a realization that I want to focus more of my free time on what I have found the most fulfilling in 10+ years in HR: helping women succeed and engaging with them in their careers.

When I look back over the last decade-plus, the moments that stand out to me are the ones in which I coached women to reach their full potential, often learning alongside them as I asked probing questions, gave advice, or simply provided a listening ear. I’ve had immense privilege to work with women who have what many would call high-powered or extremely successful careers–and I’ve still seen these women encounter and overcome obstacles that few men even have to consider. I’ve also seen peers, friends, and colleagues from different generations and backgrounds take on new personal and professional challenges despite of these obstacles, from switching career paths and starting their own businesses, to becoming first-time parents and navigating loss and change. Some of these colleagues and friends have sought my advice and help, professionally or otherwise, and it’s been a true joy to provide it, and to discover a new confidence in my ability to do so.

I’m therefore going to spend the next month or so transforming this personal blog into a new endeavor: The Work of Women. The Work of Women will be a blog and, hopefully, an online community where women and those who identify as women can learn and grow together as we face new challenges and opportunities in the workforce of the late 2010s and beyond! I’m still working on planned content, but I’m going to begin with a series of profiles of women in different careers and life-stages, with the goal of exposing readership to stories which will inspire them and make them look at their own career in a new light. I’m also tentatively planning a monthly book club, a newsletter, career tips drawing on my professional expertise, and, if there is enough interest, a regular advice post accepting questions from readers. (I should note that while my intended audience is women, men should still feel welcome to read, learn, comment, or write in if they feel so moved. This site will not, however, tolerate abusive or misogynistic comments or attitudes and is meant to be a safe, constructive space for women – so if misogyny’s your bag, please consider this your polite invitation to see yourself out now!).

Interested in learning more or have suggestions for content or other things you’d like to see on this site? Feel free to comment below, email me at, and please do fill out the short survey here to express your interest:

Thank you so much for reading, and if you liked this post and this project, please do share on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media with your friends and family!

Happy New Year!



We Won’t Calm Down

“Calm down.”

“Take a breath.”

“Don’t get upset, that won’t solve anything.”

The above are some of the most infuriating phrases in the English language. I’ve been on the receiving end of them many a time, and they never fail to make me more upset, stressed, angry, or agitated than I was to begin with because of their disingenuousness. People say these things not to ease your mind or soothe you, but to help themselves, particularly when you are a woman. “Calm down, upsetting yourself isn’t going to help,” is really just code for, “Your blatant display of emotion is making me uncomfortable, and I’d like you to accommodate me by being quiet so I don’t have to help or address your concerns.”

We all occasionally get upset over nothing. It’s part of being human, and sometimes a blatant display of emotion isn’t helpful. When you getting worked up over a minor typo in an office email, or when a waiter gets your order wrong, or you can’t get cell reception, or you spill tomato soup on your brand-new white shirt, “calm down” is an appropriate, if ineffective, sentiment.

Now is not one of those times.

Over the next several weeks and months, Senators, Congresspeople, media pundits, men (and women) on the street, newspaper columnists, elite “thinkers,” people on Twitter and Facebook, and pretty much anyone in any position of power are all going to be beaming the same message out to the people of color, women, LGBTQIA+, indigenous and native peoples, and anyone else who dares to be angry, agitated, stressed, sad, or otherwise non-accepting of the tragically corrupt confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to SCOTUS: “Calm down!”

“You’re being unreasonable,” they’ll say from their podiums and pulpits. “What’s done is done; there’s no use being upset about it,” they’ll sneer to protesting crowds. “What a dangerous time for our sons!” they’ll lament from verified Twitter accounts followed by dozens of Neo-Nazis and white supremacists and PUAs. “Things aren’t that bad; they’ve been worse before,” they’ll write condescendingly in their Medium columns catering to Bernie Bros. “So just calm down.”

No. I will not. My anger, and the anger of so many of my fellow citizens, is warranted and righteous. My fear and stress are reasonable. My wariness of a president and a party who confirmed a partisan hack to the Supreme Court while mocking sexual assault victims and complaining that freedom of speech and to protest, the concept upon which this nation was founded, is “embarrassing” is more than justified. I will not be gaslit. I am a grown-ass woman, and I’ve seen enough to know that we are going in the wrong direction much more quickly than anyone would have thought possible twenty-four months ago. If my rage and fear at our slide into fascism make you uncomfortable, well, that’s just too bad, because I’m not going to back down from expressing them. I’m not going to let anyone tell me or any other woman or survivor or marginalized community member that we’re being unreasonable.

This post is a reminder that I’ll come back to when I’m doubting myself, or when a pundit or a neighbor or the guy on the bus implore me to just chill out. Remember: they’re protecting themselves, not you, from guilt or laziness or facing their own privilege. And that’s their problem, not yours. And if they don’t like it, they can calm down.


It’s our turn to fight

I haven’t written in a long time because I was job-hunting. I have a new job now. So yeah, I’m back.

And this is my election post for the day (also found on FB).

Last night I was despondent. For a few moments, my depression reared its head in the ugliest way. I barely slept.

This morning, I realized a few things:

I am white
I am well-educated
I have an amazing job with amazing benefits
I have an amazing support system
I am cis-het
I live in California

Barring a national overturning of Roe v. Wade or an uptick in assault on women in general nationwide, my rights and I are ok for the foreseeable future. Which is why it is now my job to fight for others.

For people of color, ESPECIALLY women of color
For those who don’t have the chance to go to college
For the unemployed, under-employed, and disabled
For the uninsured or those soon to be uninsured
For the poor
For the LGBT community
For people in places like Flint (STILL NO CLEAN WATER Y’ALL) and Ferguson and Standing Rock.

If you are like me and you enjoy many tremendous privileges, it is also your time to fight.

In municipal politics
In state politics
In national politics
In our communities
In our homes

I’m scared tbh. But I know I’m not nearly as scared as those in the marginalized groups above. So it’s on me. It’s on us (that mostly means you, white people).

I start by setting up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood, which will be crucial to the well-being of women and girls and even men in the coming months and years if the ACA goes down. And then I research my next steps.

To 2018 and beyond.

Much love.

On writing

After years of vaguely dreaming that one day I’d have the time and drive to actually write something real, I’m finally doing it, and it’s been an incredibly eye-opening experience.  I used to write short stories “for fun” in the summers in high school and college, but then I started working and everything else in my life sort of disappeared because capitalism.  Throughout my twenties, I would sometimes come home from work and open a doc on my computer, intending to commit ideas to (virtual) paper that had been floating around in my head for months or even years.  After a sentence or two, or maybe a paragraph, I would stand up, pace around my bedroom/kitchen/living room while silently berating myself for wasting time that could be better spent exercising or sleeping or doing actual work, and then close my computer to go watch the Daily Show before passing out.   This all changed a few weeks ago when I came back to San Francisco after over a month of leave time at home with my family.  After completing the requisite grocery shopping, pharmacy, and laundromat trips, I realized that I had a lot of fucking time on my hands.  I had all sorts of grand plans for how to fill this time: I was going to volunteer, and do yoga seven days a week and get ripped abs, and take a psychology class, and knit, and also perhaps learn hip hop or some shit.  I was ambitious, ok?

Instead, without really planning on doing it, I started writing a novel.  I’ve written 1-3K words per day on average for nearly four weeks.  I think some of it is great, and some of it is awful.  Most of it is ok and can be made good with revisions. When it’s done I will see what I can do with it – if I can sell it, or self e-publish it, or just share it with my friends and family who will tell me IT’S TOTALLY AWESOME no matter how shitty it is.

What’s interesting is that after a decade of intending to write without doing anything about it, now that I’m actually writing it’s not at all what I expected.  Here is what I have learned from nearly a month spent writing:

  • Writing is super easy…when you’re inspired, which happens like for five minutes on average per day.  You’ll be writing one particular piece of dialogue, or a sentence or two of description, and it just flows, man, from your brain, and you’re like, whoa, I am a fucking genius, this is some Charles Dickens-level shit right here!
  • Writing is extremely fucking hard…the vast majority of the time.  And also boring.  You’ll type a sentence, and look at it, and realize you left out four words, and then fix it, and then realize that you used “surprisingly” twice.  And then you’ll fix that, and realize that you just replaced one instance of “surprisingly” with “to my surprise,” which is basically the same fucking thing.  Then you go on to look up synonyms for “surprisingly,” and the first option is “exceptionally,” and you’re like, why the fuck would I want to use the word exceptionally, I want surprisingly, but I can’t say it twice, jesus why is this so hard I WENT TO COLLEGE! Then you delete the sentence and start again, and this is why writing novels takes longer than like, a week, for most people, Stephen King, you motherfucker.
  • Writing is best done in coffee shops…because if you try to do it at home, you get distracted by things like your refrigerator, which is full of food, and so you eat it, but then you have dirty dishes in the sink, and you know that because it’s San Francisco the fruit flies will be all over that shit, so you wash the dishes, and then it’s been thirty minutes and all you’ve managed to do is look up synonyms for “surprisingly” on
  • Writing in coffee shops is a terrible idea…because everyone there is also writing on their laptops, and they look really professional and/or like tortured artists in skinny jeans and flannel and hipster glasses, and you start thinking, well, shit, that bitch over there is probably the next Harper Lee or something and here I am writing some contemporary romance crap, and then you scoot your chair over to get a better look at what that girl is writing, and it turns out she’s just checking Facebook, and then you’re like, HAHA SHE’S SO LAZY WHAT IS SHE EVEN DOING IN THIS COFFEE SHOP WHICH IS FOR ARTISTS ONLY?! And then you realize that you’ve been in the coffee shop for ninety minutes and have written only 200 words, consumed two mochas, and really have to pee, but you don’t want to use the coffee shop bathroom because it’s gross, so you go home to pee, and then are distracted by your refrigerator again and it’s a vicious cycle.
  • The internet is really helpful for writing…because you can do “research” and look up synonyms on instantaneously, and in the olden days people had to actually own real thesauruses (thesauri?) and dictionaries and if they went somewhere other than their house they had to lug it with them.  Poor Jane Austen.
  • The internet is the worst thing ever in the history of writing…because of literally everything else on the internet that is not, including

I’ve probably learned other things in my month of writing, but I can’t remember them right now because I got distracted watching a video of a German Shepherd doing laundry on YouTube. 

Guys, my book is going to be AMAZING.