Why Reading Harry Potter As An Adult Is More Magical Than You’d Think

As with most people in their late twenties who effectively “grew up” with Harry Potter (Happy kinda 27th, Harry!), I remember my first encounter with the famous wizard. I was in the fifth grade, and my teacher Mrs. Congdon read the first book to our class in one-hour increments each day after lunch. Each day during for that one hour, I escaped the struggles of my world (among which were math, friendship, and piano) and entered the universe of galleons and Grims. For the next several years, I would eagerly await each new book’s release, pre-ordering…

How I Learned That It’s Okay To Ask For Help

In my childhood home, my dad’s office den was the most exciting forbidden room of the house. While it wasn’t hard for us to keep away from the expensive machines and important papers that filled a majority of that room, my brother and I found it impossible not to sneak in and play with his (yes, my dad’s) toy collection (he called them “desk props” and “paper weights”). Among them included a small plastic crate with a small hole and square button. Through then hole shown an eye, representative of a creature…

How To Keep Running When You Can Barely Walk

I have a lot of hobbies. Some that I dabble in (camping, letter-writing, crafting, cooking) and others that I pursue with rigor (running, writing, soccer, mentoring). I consider any of these activities equally productive uses of my time. I’m more advanced in some than others, but I’m not “world-class” in any. I often question whether my smorgasboard approach is a good one. If I want to be a notable writer, shouldn’t I spend every free moment drafting, submitting, or agent-finding? If I want to be a runner, shouldn’t I enter and train for marathons?…

What Abraham Lincoln Can Teach Us About Choosing (And Keeping) Our Words

There is an adorable elderly man with an ice cream parlor in San Francisco’s Western Addition. His eyes sparkle with authenticity; his smile glows with friendliness. He is the kind of the ice cream server you stop to see, even when your lactose intolerance says you shouldn’t. He is the kind of man who, when he meets your parents, will tell them that he enjoys your visits, but that you don’t visit too often. No matter how my life changes, this man and his ice cream parlor have been my constant. His eyes and…

How Asking Questions Can Make You Rich

Last week, someone tried to steal my money. Before she could run off, I caught her in the act and fought her off. My weapon? A simple question. Now before you imagine any grand scenes of my fighting crime on the streets of San Francisco, let me explain. I was on the phone with an agent, signing up for renter’s insurance. I had already completed an online interview and received a quote of $10.83 per month. The next and final step was for me to talk with an insurance representative who would “help me get…