Get you some gals who can do it all (Happy International Women’s Day!)

Four and a half years ago, I went to Europe for the first time. I’d saved up a little money and bought a spot on a loosely-guided tour through Contiki to London, Paris, and Rome. I went completely by myself, without knowing anyone or having much planned out.

That’s where I met Kristina and Mary.


Kristina was my randomly-assigned roommate, who had a cheery disposition and a habit of touring hard all day and still going out at night. She was also one of the very few people who went on to Rome after Paris, and we got some real quality power-touristing time in together.

Mary was that take-charge person who had all these guidebooks and knew what things we had to do in each city. I, like many others, gravitated toward her during the trip.

After the trip was over, we made a lot of promises to see each other. I didn’t really expect it to pan out, as hopeful as I was. But less than a year later, I met up with them for a US-based Oktoberfest celebration. We wore dirndls daily and drank way too much beer.


Since then, we’ve been all over the world together (sometimes just two of us at a time, too).

When your primary relationship with someone is travel, it’s easy to not really get to know the other person. You’re not a part of their daily lives, so you miss out on a lot of the conversations about things like the person you’re dating, or the weird interaction with your boss, or the things that your parents said when you last saw them. But something started to shift in my friendship with Kristina and Mary. We would take breaks from sightseeing to watch trashy TV (mostly Bravo) and drink beers in our room. We’d have real conversations over dinner or while waiting in line. It started to feel like a genuine and meaningful friendship.

I began to learn a lot about them and understand our ‘roles.’ We are all major planners — which is probably an obvious, since we all travel so much — so we split the burden on putting together these trips. Mary always finds the deals and always has some sort of connection who can hook us up with some new experience (or, frequently, access to Vegas pool parties). Kristina handles a lot of logistics, like the time we went to Calgary Stampede in Canada and she had pre-purchased all of our transportation and scheduled us down to the minute. (It. Was. AMAZING!) And I generally will make sure we have reservations for any meal. (Priorities.)

I learned that Kristina and Mary are both engineers — one oil, one airplane — and I know where they went to college, where they grew up, where their parents live and how many siblings they have. We’ve talked about our exes, our partners, our plans for the future. We’ve taken painfully necessary naps after late nights and gotten each other Pedialyte and Sprite. And they put together a hell of a special Bachelorette experience when they accepted my request to be my two Maids-of-Honor.

They are the definition of rally-ers. They can dance at a Parisian club all night and get comp’d bottles of Grey Goose, then still make it on the bus to Versailles the next day. (True story.) They are true joy in woman form. They are intelligent, hilarious, amicable, contented, organized, weird, enthusiastic, confident, and two super fabulous human beings. They can wear un-laundered dirnls three days in a row and consume all-you-can-consume sausage and beer, then give a killer toast and embrace all your guests at your wedding. They can do it all. They are exemplary women to celebrate any day, but especially today on International Women’s Day. And I’m so glad they became more than just my travel friends.

Optimism in the most expensive place in the US

Calgary Stampede

I shared earlier this week that being in the Bay Area has made me severely dial back the money I spend on fun things. I am essentially in the lay-off process of all the fun excursions and adventures that are presented to me.

For this upcoming Thanksgiving, my S.O. and I thought about going on vacation instead of visiting family. That was when I realized: I’ve spent SO MUCH on little weekend trips, that I’m really not in a place to (responsibly) shell out $600+ for a flight plus all the money spent on actually being on vacation. We weren’t thinking cheap, either: we thought about Hawaii. I fell into the weirdest, most unsettling temporary depression about the realization that I shouldn’t go. I’d been really “living”: in the past 12 months, I’d been to Chicago, New York, Vegas (3x), Calgary, Seattle, Spokane, and back to Southern California a few times. I’d made the most of my local weekends, as well, staying in Sonoma and visiting coastal cities like Monterey. I dine out a LOT, and I pay hundreds for improv courses. On top of that, Amazon Prime is the best and also the worst, because it’s way too easy to spend money on a whim.

In sum, I’d been spending way too much. This budget was fine when my rent was 50% of its current total; now, I can still absolutely go on vacation, but I can’t be spending $1000+ on my average quick weekend trip, and take those weekend trips 2x per month, while also spending decent money locally.

The bigger toll of these weekends and mini-trips: I’m EXHAUSTED. The more I am away from my normal life, the more I spend money unnecessarily, the more I have to wake up at 4am to catch a 6am flight to get back to work on time, the more I create stress on myself. Why was I so unable to stand still for so long? I’m happy in my life. I have a sweet man at home (my cat) (and also my S.O., haha, hi honey). Why was I constantly in need of that next trip?

When I was in college, I never was able to spend money. I worked a part-time job at the main library on campus making just over minimum wage. I didn’t go anywhere for the weekend unless it was mostly free (family vacation homes, etc) and I knew not to spend money on the “nice to haves” for the most part. Somewhere in the years after college, a paradigm shift occurred, and I got to the point of buying anything I wanted (to a degree) and having the ability to not feel financial pain. The day before I left for Europe in 2013, I got a flat tire and ended up replacing multiple tires, and it didn’t make a bit of difference. I bought a really nice and expensive leather jacket in Italy without a flinch. I loved the idea of spending my money on experiences.

Now, I’ve realized, I’m entering the point in my life where I genuinely want to slow down. Jetting from place to place was exhilarating, and it’s something I won’t be able to do one day when I have children or a mortgage. I’ve been through much of Europe, sunbathed in Mexico (and, uh, bathed my insides with tequila), gotten rowdy at rodeos, spent a weekend at a music festival only to wake up early the next morning to go to Disneyland. But I have a really happy life right now, and it’s my time to put my weight into that, to build toward lifelong happiness. That might mean that for a while I won’t be quite as flush with airline miles and awesome Instagram posts. But you know what? I’m pretty darn excited. When I was leaning in to my ability to travel and to spend money, I was doing that because I was entirely independent. Now, there’s a life at home that’s just as good as a life spent seeing the world, and I don’t have to buy a plane ticket to get there.

You’re so much better than you think you are

You’re in an interview, and the person behind the desk asks you, “What are your weaknesses?” That good ol’ cliche weakness-but-not answer: “I’m a perfectionist.”

I’m here to tell you that perfectionism is a REAL and SERIOUS weakness. Being a perfectionist means that you are NEVER satisfied with your own work, even if it meets all criteria demanded. There’s always something more to be done. Perfectionism delays launch dates. Perfectionism causes other work to not be done. Perfectionism causes anxiety and panic. Perfectionism is a SERIOUS weakness.


I am a recovering perfectionist. I have always leaned into an all-or-nothing approach to my life and my hobbies. This was great in some ways: I have discovered my natural talents and obsessively pored over them to make myself better; I graduated valedictorian from high school (never mind the size of my graduating class); I did well for myself in my career at a very early age. It also caused me to feel suffocated in the middle of a restaurant before I was even 21 years old — that was my first panic attack.

I have run two races in the past week: the Tinker Bell Half Marathon (at Disneyland!) and the Bay Area booze classic, Bay to Breakers. You may recall that exactly 7 weeks ago, I ran the Rock’n’Roll San Francisco half marathon. I haven’t run this many races since I was in high school cross country.

Last weekend before the Tinker Bell half, I was 90% sure I would not run. I was running on only a little sleep, and I had run a total of four times in the preceding six weeks, along with two SoulCycle sessions, which I count as hill repeats. That makes an average of one “run” per week. I started to feel so burdened by this race, and I swore that I would take a break from running. And yet, I woke up at 3:45am the morning of the Tinker Bell half, drank coffee, ate a piece of cold pizza (remember, I was #dgaf about this race) and I ended up running THE ENTIRE THING. To me, this was a huge freakin’ deal. It also made me realize: I was discounting myself.


Perfectionism and impossibly high standards cause anxiety. Undeniable fact for me. The moment I realized that I was going to make it through 13.1 miles without stopping or getting injured, I was energized beyond the endorphins: I experienced a breakthrough. If you’re someone who doubts yourself or feels stuck going uphill, do something HARD and do it at all. Do like Woody Allen said and realize that showing up is [percentage variable depending on source] of the equation.


Our cool dude friend Aaron cheered us on mid-race, just after Hayes Hill. #BayToBreakers

I signed up for Bay to Breakers 12k a couple days before the race took place, which is when I realized I wasn’t even sore from the half marathon. Next on my list: next week’s Color Run in San Jose, where I’m going to run faster than my longer-distance pace. Also: I’m kinda just going for everything in my life as if it’s good enough. Need to send a card to someone? No need for an epic ode. Whatever you write is good enough. Want to get fit? Working out a couple times a week at your own pace is good enough. Somehow, “good enough” became “bad and lazy,” and that’s so wrong. Perfect is the enemy of done. Don’t let some unwritten standards come between you and a task/goal/idea to be executed. Insert some joke here about Nike and JUST DO IT!

Vacation without all the hotels

I’ve been on vacation since last Thursday. Now I see why people desperately need to be void of responsibility for brief periods of time. Let’s take a snapshot of my life right now so you can get real jealous.

WHO: my parents, some friends from high school, my cat, my cat’s favorite new toy, and me

 My dad and his friend Lenora (not my mother) who will dance with him

High school friend Mikal’s parents run the pickle booth that we worked last weekend. 

WHAT: the best several days ever, because I literally have done nothing of importance with the exception of paying a toll from when I recently crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. (Ps, did you know that it costs $7? Now there’s a #TrollToll.) I “worked” at Stagecoach country music festival, then went to Disneyland, then relaxed in the pool and watched Seinfeld reruns and went shopping at the best outlets near my parents’ place. Deals like WOAH. I got a pair of Joe’s Jeans that fit perfectly for VERY LITTLE MONEY. Bow down.

The only picture we took at Disneyland, because I have a million in front of the castle from yesteryear.  

For some reason I was genuinely terrified of Splash Mountain even though I can keep my eyes open and hands up on that massive California Screamin’ roller coaster they have. 

WHEN: Over a week, before I start my new job on Monday. Seriously excited.

He’s the most perfect specimen, and he loooooves his toys.  
WHERE: where not? The Palm Desert area, Disneyland, up and down California in my Ford Focus. (Try not to be jealous of my sweet ride.)

Gorgeous sunset in the desert during Stagecoach.  

This is Eric Burdon and a couple of the Animals. Totally killed “House of the Rising Sun.” Such a bucket list moment. 

This has been the best and most refreshing few days of my life. Something about being with your folks and just living life with no commitments has been the most restful time. I highly recommend booking a few weeks between the end of one job and the start of another — completely worth it.
The one thing lacking? Exercise. I have walked a TON but no running, no spinning, no barre/yoga/whatever. It’s just so hot and I don’t belong to a gym. But I have a half marathon, uh, next weekend. Straight up yikes.
I really want to join Equinox. It’s just SO EXPENSIVE. But I think it might be worth it, because I like to work out early and then shower and get ready at the gym before going to work.
Who has an Equinox membership? Is it worth it? What should I know?

Do you normally take a break between jobs?

What do you recommend to rejuvenate before going back to work?