A Year of Firsts

2011 was truly a year of firsts for me, and I remain grateful for all of them. Hopefully 2012 will bring many new adventures!

Here were some of my firsts:

1) I appeared on Kofy TV’s Dance Party.

2) I helped host a friend’s bridal shower while battling laryngitis & organized a wonderful spa bachelorette outing for her.

3) I visited London and Paris for the first time.

4) I organized Team Don’t Stop Believing for American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event and participated in fundraising, open house planning, and the 5k walk itself. Our team raised over $3500 in the fight against breast cancer!

6) I served as Maid of Honor in my good friend’s wedding.

7) I ran a 10k, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, on Thanksgiving Day.

8) I saw my mother fight breast cancer and emerge even stronger.

Here’s to 2012!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Year of Firsts

  2011 was truly a year of firsts for me, and I remain grateful for all of them. Hopefully 2012 will bring many new adventures!

Here were some of my firsts:

1) I appeared on Kofy TV’s Dance Party.

2) I helped host a friend’s bridal shower while battling laryngitis & organized a wonderful spa bachelorette outing for her.

3) I visited London and Paris for the first time.

4) I organized Team Don’t Stop Believing for American Cancer Society’s and participated in fundraising, open house planning, and the 5k walk itself. Our team raised over $3500 in the fight against breast cancer!

6) I served as Maid of Honor in my good friend’s wedding.

7) I ran a 10k, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, on Thanksgiving Day.

8) I saw my mother fight breast cancer and emerge even stronger.

 Here’s to 2012!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Making Strides 5k!

On Saturday, October 29, 2011, I participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k in downtown San Jose. The event started at the Arena Green, wound its way to the Children’s Discovery Museum, out to San Jose State, and back to the Arena Green. It was unlike any event I’d ever done.

Over the course of 3 months, our team grew from 3 to 18 strong. We fundraised via social media, emails, word of mouth, and printed marketing materials.  We also worked with awesome  local business owner Cindy of It’s a Girl Thing who was kind enough to donate a portion of a day’s profits to us. (She also allowed us to sell baked goods in her store, and all profits went to the American Cancer Society). The piece de resistance, however, was our team open house, an event which raised over $1000 for the ACS. Our final team fundraising tally was a whopping $3570, nearly $600 over our collective goal of $3000!

The walk itself was incredible. 12,000 participants came together, rocked their pink, and made strides to end cancer. There were survivors with pink sashes; teams with black shirts and tutus; and amazing ACS volunteers standing along the sidelines and cheering us on throughout the event. It was immensely powerful to see how many people had been touched by cancer and who were here because they knew they could make a difference. I was thrilled that my father, my brother, my cousin, my mother’s sisters, our neighbor, and others were able to join us for this event.  I wished that my mother could have been there, as she was our team’s inspiration, but she told me afterward that she was planning to do next year’s. Her sisters and I rocked stickers for her:

It was wonderful to hear people take up our team name, Don’t Stop Believing, and start singing the song. The name became a rallying call for us throughout this whole experience–Don’t Stop Believing, Mom will get through chemo (she’s now finished 7 of her 8 treatments). Don’t Stop Believing, you’ll reach your fundraising goal. (We even exceeded it–and I exceeded my personal goal of $1000!) Don’t Stop Believing, Mom will feel better (she could even go out to dinner with us this weekend–what a change from before!)

This event truly allowed me to channel all of the sadness, fear, and anger that I initially felt when hearing that my mother had cancer into something far greater than myself. I feel as if this event, this entire fundraising process, and watching my mother stand up to cancer, have all truly changed me. I view the world differently now, and I definitely want to do this again next year. My cousin has also invited me to participate in a Relay for Life, which sounds amazing as well.

Don’t Stop Believing isn’t just a song, it’s also a way of living your life and embracing the possibilities. My mother still faces surgery and a recovery process, but if I’ve learned anything from her, a positive attitude makes all the difference in the world.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer: And so it begins…

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kick-Off Breakfast

     My cousin J and I attended the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kick-Off event this morning at the Embassy Suites in Burlingame, CA.   It was amazing to hear from courageous women who were 10 year breast cancer survivors, 14 year breast cancers, and one woman who had 2 masectomies 26 years apart. I felt so inspired to be among women who had fought breast cancer and won.

 
   My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of this year. She’s nearly halfway through her chemo regimen, sporting a sassy red wig, and determined to get through this challenging time. She mentioned that before receiving the diagnosis, she hadn’t really been looking forward to her 60th birthday. I said, “Mom, I can’t wait till we start planning your birthday.” She now feels the same way–she’s looking forward to next year, when we can plan a fabulous way to ring in her 60th year.
 
    Until that time, I’ll be working to raise money for the American Cancer Society, and leading a team at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event in San Jose on October 29th, 2011. If you’d like to help our team meet its goal, please visit Team Don’t Stop Believing at http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/MakingStridesAgainstBreastCancer/MSABCFY12California?team_id=983026&pg=team&fr_id=35954  Your donation will also help cancer patients get rides to treatments, ensure that there is 24 hour support for questions, and help patients receive scarves, wigs, etc during this time. Every donation truly helps.
 
 
 
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sisyphus

I first read Albert Camus’ “Myth of Sisyphus” during my senior year in high school. It was quite a striking image–a man doomed to push a large boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down. When we discussed it in class, it became a larger metaphor for the human experience–toil, sorrow, and the absurdity of life. However, Camus also talks about Sisyphus’ “silent joy” and how he is “master of his days.” He knows the rock, he knows his task, and it is his own.

Sometimes I think that life mirrors this image–we each push our rocks (daily tasks) up the mountain, only to greet the next day knowing that we need to repeat the same things again (or if not the same things, new and challenging ones). There are days when the rock feels ridiculously heavy, and we don’t know if we’ll make it to the top. There’s definitely an absurdity to it all as well, especially if our work seems without purpose.

In class, we tossed around the idea that Sisyphus might enjoy the walk back down. Without the rock, despite his connection to it, he can relax and savor those moments without it. I think that our daily efforts need purpose, that we as humans crave a reason for what we do and want to be motivated each day to do it. Perhaps the rock is practicality–we want to love what we do each day, but we have to eat as well. I feel myself struggling with my own rock–work, dance, relationships, etc. I love much of my life but acknowledge its more challenging aspects as well.

In the end, I’ll have to side w/Camus and simply make the rock my own. We all have choices–choices to reduce the size of our rocks, or increase our rocks because we relish a challenge. For me, I think I’ll try to savor the walk back, and try to make use of my “down” time…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fashionable thoughts

My husband and I are planning a trip to Europe, and as I don’t want to look like the ultimate tourist, I’ve been studying some fashion blogs so I can better blend in when we go.

For London, I’ve been scoping out The Style Scout: http://stylescout.blogspot.com/

For Paris, I’ve been perusing Easy Fashion: http://easyfashion.blogspot.com/

My current style is a blend of the fun and the functional (plus, the somewhat common lazy jeans and a sweatshirt days).

Here’s what I wore yesterday. For my European travelers, does this scream American, or with the proper scarf and jacket, would it work?

photo
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Mulling

     I’ve been spending a great deal of time lately mulling over my path in life. I’m immensely grateful for my life right now: I have a phenomenal husband, amazing friends, and a wonderful dance community (IRL and online) to which I belong. I have shelter, employment, and an (unexpected!) new car. Still, the career portion of life keeps nudging me, reminding me that there may be other opportunities to change, grow, blossom.  Part of me thirsts for change and further development. As such, I thought it would be useful to share my thoughts on the ideal job. I recognize that no single job will necessarily encapsulate all of these items, but the right one will share the most important ones. Here are my thoughts:

An ideal job should…

  •  challenge you to create new ways of doing things, and promote incremental change
  • wear you out in a good way, so you leave feeling tired, yet happy that you’ve accomplished something
  • have an environment which is open, yet professional, and not take itself too seriously–there should be moments to laugh, make mistakes, grow, and improve
  • have a supportive staff including people of different beliefs, ages, and personalities
  • pay enough to live on, but not overpay you for not doing enough work
  • offer the opportunity for advancement and new positions
  • offer appreciation for your work
  • remain a part of your life, but not your entire life
  • incorporate social media and invite your voice as part of the conversation
  • (or the company, rather)–be willing to listen to your ideas, and incorporate them if feasible

     I recognize the abundance in my life and remain grateful for it. Still, I don’t think it’s wrong to explore other options.

Is anyone else out there attempting a career pathway switch? How are things working out for you?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment