When Neither A Life Of Balance Nor Imbalance Is Sufficient

Last year on my birthday, I declared that this would be my year of imbalance. After spending the prior year scrounging for balance as I recovered from injury, I was influenced by Brad Stulberg’s New York Times op-ed “Maybe We All Need A Little Less Balance,” to strive for, and value, imbalance. Almost six months in, I’m not only discovering the bounds of my resolution, but also questioning its virtue. Over the course of the year, I experimented with healthy imbalances like having a bias for walking to and from work over taking…

Why 28 Is The Year I Need To Do What I Want

Each year on my birthday, I reflect on the year behind and the year ahead, the person I am and the person I aspire to be. I don’t need to write anything down, but I like to. I want to. This year, I drove two hours north of San Francisco along the coast to spend my day outdoors. Long rides always remind me of how I learned to plan my pees as a child. I was (am) obsessively compulsive about restroom cleanliness, and refused to pee in public restrooms if they did…

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?…

“Simple can be harder than complex.” -Steve Jobs

Last Tuesday, a friend and I watched pianist Yuja Wang in concert at the SF Symphony. “I thought we could relive our piano days,” my friend said when she invited me. She and I started learning piano at very early ages, and when we met in high school, we immediately bonded over the hours of practice and obscene amount of stress that accompanied piano recitals and formal evaluations. If you’ve never performed in a recital, what you don’t know is that by preparing your music, you will only be half-prepared.…

“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” -Aristotle

A couple nights ago, I was a fly on the wall while a heated conversation echoed through the room. The show was not very good but all the performers claim to have received rave reviews. The saddest part is that they probably did. Nobody will ever give them honest criticism. Criticism, even of the constructive sort, is like a pill. It’s hard to swallow even when we know it will help. As I sat there listening, I realized that the for this performance troupe, life was going to be one…