Wow, life has been busy. No posts here since March! Lots to update on, but that’s a post for another time. Just wanted to quickly note how crazy life is– four years ago this month I was visiting the doctor almost daily, giving myself shots, and getting blood drawn on the regular. I was miserable, I was probably experiencing some kind of PTSD, and I was not at a good point in my life.
Fast forward to today, and I’ve just bought my first pair of size 4 jeans… ever! That’s at least five sizes down over the last four years, maybe more. I’m probably the fittest I’ve been since I was four years old. That is kind of mind-blowing for me, to be honest. I’m really not used to thinking of myself as a small person. I’m used to having constant body-negative commentary running in the back of my head.
I have been seeing a personal trainer since 2012 (two over the years), and it’s not easy. I find that it’s a constant struggle to fit in the exercise, to push myself, to go hard, to eat well, to not have that second glass of wine. And that’s why I pay someone to essentially watch me sweat, and yell at me. But she’s also there to share in the good moments– like when I told her today about my clothing size revelation. I don’t always hit my major milestones in life, but sometimes the small ones are just as sweet.
October nights are for watching scary movies, exclaiming ‘holy shit!’ at a particularly heart-in-throat moment, and having your cat give you a look of scorn for being such a baby.
Wow, things got gloomy there for a little while, huh? What can I say… it was very nice to wake up today and feel happy and back to my usual self. That’s what friend cheerleaders, exercise, and awesome She Geeks Out events will do for ya, apparently!
The Ladies Lounge- Tech talk (courtesy of General Assembly, WeWork, and Just Us Gals Boston) last night was, in a word, fabulous. Sitting among a group of amazing women reminded me of how lucky I am to be living in an area where we have such a vibrant and active community. I remember when I started working on women in tech-related issues 2-3 years ago… at the time I didn’t really consider myself a ‘woman in tech’ (now I do, but that’s a topic for a whole different post!). I didn’t know any of the major players in the field. My network game was not strong.
I started off slowly, getting connected to one or two women. They in turn connected me to one or two women (and some men!). And so on. I began to figure out who did what, and I started learning about different groups and organizations. I researched. I cold called and emailed. I had lots of coffee dates! There was sharing of best practices, commiserating, and brainstorming.
Yesterday was awesome. I felt experienced, I felt like I belonged, and I felt invigorated. I know that networking and putting yourself out there is difficult, but the work does pay off.
One of the things we spoke about yesterday was whether success was due to luck, or tapping into an unmet market potential/need and providing a solution. In general women tend to downplay our successes and accomplishments, so it is hard to get out of this mindset wherein I want to state that I’ve been incredibly lucky. So I won’t say that. Instead, I’ll say that I constantly go back to something I was taught in business school: ‘networking is like breathing.’ Put hard work into your network, and it will pay off. And you’ll feel super lucky.
I was recently contacted by a student from my alma mater, Haverford College, who asked if I would be willing to participate in a series of Q&A about my career and the journey from HC to where I am now.
Of course I said yes! I loved loved loved my time spent at Haverford. I think it is so important to give back and provide support and guidance to students who are just starting to figure things out. I remember quite vividly being in that same position, not knowing what I wanted to do, feeling like the whole world was open to me, and what a burden that was. A crushing amount of opportunities, making it so hard to decide where to take the first step (this is possibly one of the only downsides of a liberal arts education).
Answering the questions made me reflect on my current situation. It is strange to me to think that I have advice and guidance to give others, since I still feel like I have an eternity of information left to learn. But the takeaway is that everyone has something to offer, and we should not downplay our own experience(s) as they may speak poignantly to another.
Imposter syndrome is real, and it exists. I’m a woman working in technology, but frequently I have to remind myself of that fact. I have many thoughts on this subject, and it really deserves its own, separate, fully thought-out and fleshed-out discussion. A blog post for another day.
For today, I want to let you all know about an exciting project that is up for release next week. Science Club for Girls, an awesome local nonprofit that supports girls in STEM, is presenting the Media Team’s documentary project “Femme in STEM: Finding a Formula.”
The girls on the SCFG Media Team came by my office several months ago and interviewed me as a local woman in STEM. It was quite the experience! It was great to give the girls a tour of the office space and show them my working environment (I had to clean up my office in advance to make sure there was nothing embarrassing in plain view). Even better was hearing their questions, and speaking about my experiences. They handled everything from coming up with questions, interviewing me, setting up the space and the lighting, and filming.
For local friends, you can watch the entire film, participate in a Q&A with the filmmakers, and participate in a hands-on activity at their Cambridge Science Festival event on April 23, 2015 at 5:15 p.m. RSVP for your ticket today at femmeinstem.eventbrite.com.
You can also help SCFG spread the word about this film by investing in a small crowd-funding campaign to produce DVDs. Every $5 = 1 DVD. Check it out here: https://www.pledgecents.com/cause/kmyxjv/femme-in-stem
Goodness I really dislike watching myself on film, but for this I’ll make an exception. Can’t wait to see the entire finished product, and I hope to see some of you there too!
One of the things that I don’t talk about very much is the fact that I am partially deaf. This is a genetic condition and I have been wearing hearing aids for more than 25 years now. This is a simple part of who I am and an additional facet to my person and character. I sometimes feel like a robot, because I can program myself! I have programs for activities such as talking on the phone, going to concerts, sitting in noisy bars holding conversations with people, etc. I have a great excuse when I want to ignore something someone has said, and I almost always sleep very well at night.
This isn’t a secret, and if you stand close to me you’ll see the hearing aids– they aren’t exactly tiny! But a lot of people still don’t realize that I have a hearing disability. I’ve found that in recent years I’ve started talking more and more about this side of me. I think that this is partly due to my increased self-confidence, which extends to many different areas of my life, and partly due to the realization that there is no point to not being open about this. This is my life!
I was contacted by the corporate PR team at my company a few months ago, asking if I would be willing to give an interview to a magazine called CAREERS and the disABLED. This magazine is a career-guidance and recruitment magazine for people with disabilities who are at undergraduate, graduate, or professional levels. The interview is out now, which is super exciting! Have a read if you have a few free minutes.
My specific pages here:
http://bt.e-ditionsbyfry.com/publication/?i=251899&p=44 and http://bt.e-ditionsbyfry.com/publication/?i=251899&p=45 or http://bit.ly/1bUvp0Z for the entire edition.
I finally took the plunge and set up an actual website for myself! I’ve been blogging for years and years with WordPress, but now you can go and learn more about me, check out some of the cool stuff I get up to in my free time, and let me know how this all makes you feel!
I’ve been thinking about setting up a home for myself in the vast wilds of the Internets for a while, but only got around to doing so fairly recently. This is a major change for someone who used to blog totally anonymously! In a way having all of my online activities gathered in one spot speaks volumes to my organizational, order-loving soul. On the other hand, it’s incredibly revealing to have all these bits and pieces of me hanging out in one easily-accessible location.
I’ll still be blogging, but now I will be able to incorporate a lot more. Check it all out and enjoy!
Is it ever going to stop snowing? Wishing I was anywhere but here in Boston right now. So far February has been quite the mixed bag.
My goal for this month is to STOP OVERTHINKING THINGS. I need to learn how to live in the now. Take things at face value. Be happy. I’ll let you know how this goes.
I’ve been writing this blog for a long time. Since 2003. It’s just a random little collection of thoughts, and has evolved over the years. College life, job stuff, business school, dating crap. I’m pretty sure no one really reads this except for a few friends, co-workers, and my dad.
Boom! Guess what guys– not true! I’m a celebrity!!!
I was at BU the other day to speak on a career panel about my job and career path since graduating, and afterwards there was a mingling session in the atrium. I was chatting with some fresh new bschool students and this guy came up to me. Here’s a rough approximation of our conversation:
Him: ‘Hey, so I was at the first career panel that you spoke at, and I wanted to ask you a question but didn’t want to ask in front of everyone else.’
Me: ‘Sure, what is it?’
Him: ‘So, do you write a blog?’
Me: ‘…Uh, yes…?’
Him: ‘Is it called ‘Felishdadish’?’
Him: ‘Yeah so I read some of your posts about starting business school… and then I read the whole thing.’
That’s right, I was recognized! I feel so famous! This is a first for me. Simultaneously one of the most hilarious yet embarrassing moments ever. I can’t believe that not only did someone totally random stumble across my blog, but then actually recognized me in public. What a small world!
According to my celebrity stalker (Hi Nate!), he found it ‘incredibly refreshing to find an actual real human’s opinion on the MBA experience rather than the typical bullet points that make up the rest of the internet. It definitely helped me relax about any one of the nightmare scenarios I was thinking up at the time (“..armies of investment bankers, RUN!”)’.
Embarrassment aside, how awesome to know that my random ramblings were helpful to someone. That’s so cool. As proof that he’d read my blog, Nate sent me this screenshot of his phone:
Excuse me everyone, I’m going to go and try not to let all this new found fame get to my head.😀