“Stay angry, little Meg,” Mrs Whatsit whispered. “You will need all your anger now.”
No matter what happens next week, these wise words by the brilliant Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time, remind me that there is so much work ahead of us to build a better world. And we can. And we will
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~Gilda Rader
The older I get, the more I’ve learned to love the imperfections of life and of people. The crooked path, the flaws, the messiness. Those things are what I remember. Those are the things that taught me what I needed to learn. Perfect hasn’t given me anything except anxiety and fear. Imperfect has given me possibility, opportunity, empathy, and compassion. Which would you prefer?
Sukkot is my favorite Jewish holiday because of the joy it embodies. This yr, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan’s Sukkah is filled with gorgeous mixed media art by Avner Sher. My neighbors and I marveled at its beauty. Stop by and see it. All are welcome! Happy Sukkot to all who celebrate.
A few months ago, I asked myself the question, “In 5 years, what would I like to be doing in my career on a daily basis?” I could only think of 1 answer: I want to spend more time with animals. While animals have always played an important role in my life, they’ve only once been a (very small) part of my career. I thought about working at a museum, zoo, animal hospital, or a nonprofit like the ASPCA or Wildlife Conservation Society. I explored those ideas and found that the jobs that match my experience are all administrative, and that’s not what I wanted. I wanted actual work with animals.
I care deeply about making our cities sustainable, living, breathing, joyful places. They aren’t now, and I think my passion for changing this coupled with my experience in product development and management, and business is not only helpful but critical.
So I began to think about how to bring my profession in business and product, and my passion for science together. Biomimicry—the study of biological structures and processes, and the application of their wisdom to our built environment—is that answer to my question. Biomimicry involves learning from the wisdom of all six kingdoms of life: animals, plants, protists, fungi, archaeans (single cell organisms found in extreme environments like boiling water), and eubacteria (single cell organisms mainly found in soil and other organisms).
This reflection was part of what prompted me to think about getting some formal education in biomimicry. That’s how I found the online graduate program, Master of Science in Biomimicry at Arizona State University. I’ve applied and am waiting to hear if I’m accepted into the program. They only take a small handful of people every year. Despite the odds, I put my best foot forward in my application. And in the meantime, I’m reading and learning everything I can about the field and its application.
I continually evaluate my life and career. Every day I ask myself if I’m happy, and I then I answer the question why or why not. This reflection holds me accountable to me. And even better, it also helps me find and follow my dreams.
Yesterday, I did an interview for a podcast called How Humans Change. I spoke with hosts Josh Chambers and Leiv Parton about change, transformation, death, trauma, writing, mental health, choices, poverty, technology, career, the passage of time, therapy, science, dinosaurs, biomimicry, super powers, and how healing, while difficult, is the best motivator of all. It’s my most personal interview to-date.
Some people who hear it will be surprised, and others will have answers to some long outstanding questions that I have rarely discussed in the past. I’m making a more concerted effort to address these topics thoughtfully, authentically, and often.
I always love meeting members of my tribe and these guys are definitely part of it. Thank you to my amazing friend and mentor, John Bucher, for connecting me to them. I’ll share the episode link when it’s live. Until then, give their first season a listen by clicking here.
We are just days away from the next NYC’s Secrets & Lies at Caveat and I. Can’t. Wait! Sea monsters, the mob, partying with punk bands, fancy dresses of high society, and concerts of world-renowned artists for the dead and the living in the same underground space. What is even happening at this show? You can’t miss it! Tickets on sale now: https://www.facebook.com/events/244046669616498/
I picked my tattoo design that I’ll get on stage (!) at Caveat when we host incredible speakers at the storytelling show Illegal Ink. They’ll discuss New York City’s 36-year tattoo ban. You can get inked, too, by our flash artists! Storytelling + a tattoo = best #SundayFunday ever. Come hang with us next Sunday, Sept 30th, at 7pm! (Getting a tattoo is not required.)
If there’s something you’re burning to do, do it now. Last night I learned that a man I greatly admire, someone who was an enormous help to me during my job search last year, passed away of a sudden heart attack. He went out for his morning jog, in seemingly perfect health, and didn’t come home. He was only 49 years old.
His advice and introductions were a tremendous source of encouragement to me at a difficult time. I had just moved back to New York after two years away, was doing a full-time job search, and was dealing with a heavy dose of change and uncertainty. Though I wore a brave face, I was constantly worried about just about everything. The first time I met him in person, I was having a particularly low day.
I went to his office and despite the fact that he was insanely busy, he gave me so much of his time. He was completely relaxed and didn’t rush me at all. I felt right at home talking to him, as if I had known him all my life. That’s the kind of person he was. He listened to my dreams, and immediately started introducing me to everyone and anyone he knew whom he thought could help me.
When I got my job offers, he helped me think through them so I would make the best choice. All of his advice was spot-on. The last time I saw him, he gave me a big hug, and said, “You know it’s all going to be okay. It always is. You just keep working hard and it’ll work out.” And he was right.
The best way I can think to honor him is to follow his advice to the letter. And I will. Don’t wait to do what you love. You never know how much time you have.
If your idea of a good Friday night involves secret New York City history in a storied museum learning about tattoo art, then I have an event for you! And the best part—all proceed go to support the restoration and public display of a rare collection of tattoo art housed at the Seaport Museum.
On Friday, September 21st at 6:30pm, the amazing Michelle Myles of Daredevil Tattoo and the Seaport Museum’s Michelle Kennedy and Martina Caruso will talk about the tattoo culture and scene in New York City and the Bowery in 1900s, and about the artists in New York that Gus Wagner, a merchant mariner and artist, had contact with. They will share rarely seen artifacts from the Seaport Museum’s tattoo collection that discuss Wagner’s experiences, including a selection of pages from the artist’s scrapbook—a 400-page diary book composed of press clippings, postcards, business cards, sketches, and photographs. Tickets are $10.
On Saturday, September 22nd, you’ll have a rare opportunity to receive a truly historic tattoo based on the nearly century-old collection of tattoo flash housed at the museum. Renowned New York City-based tattoo artists from Daredevil Tattoo, 5 Points, Kings Avenue, Three Kings, Red Rocket, Saved, Greenpoint, Fun City, and NYHC will be on hand inking designs inspired by Gus Wagner’s original artwork. Tattoos will be first come first serve.
More details about the events on Friday and Saturday are available here: https://southstreetseaportmuseum.org/gothamandguswagner/
You’ve always wanted to be in a secret society, right? These skeleton keys are your way in and I’m saving one just for you. To claim it, grab a ticket to NYC’s Secrets & Lies storytelling show at Caveat on October 9th at 7pm w/ Zak Martellucci, Alex Taylor, Michele Carlo, Erin Leafe, and Andrew Ousley. See you there!