25 Things I am grateful for - A Life Update

So another Birthday has hit the books and I am so incredibly grateful for the well wishes, the cards, and the phone calls. Its exciting to have all of the attention on you and more than the attention, its an honor to be in relationship with so many awesome people. So I thought I try this exercise of giving everyone an update to my life and giving thanks at the same time, so without further ado: Unknown-5

1) I am grateful that my parents have always refused to give me a dime of money. I know this sounds negative, but I am serious here. It has always meant that I knew how to hustle to get money when I need it and to always have a substantial savings account. In fact, I saved 80% of my salary at my last job, just in case things didn't work out. (And of course they didn't).

 

2) I am grateful that my last job did not work out. I have never been made so ill by a job in my life. Like I got nightmares about it ill, because it was something that was not aligned with where my life needed to be. The universe literally had to shake me, as a sign to let me know that I was off track, despite of the money and the prestigious  title.

3) Further I am grateful that my last boss told me, as we were parting ways (his choice, not mine in the actual sense) that I can do anything I put my mind to and he hopes that I find that "thing". Which incidentally has been said to me by every damn boss that I have ever had. So I feel confident in calling that a "pattern". A pattern in which I take jobs because they sound like good roles on paper or because of the money, but not because I was ever genuinely interested in the role. And this sucks because I feel unfulfilled and then I feel bad when I eventually disappoint whoever hired me.

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4. I am grateful to my former landlord for kicking me out of my apartment giving me about 2 weeks to find a new spot. Which forced me to ask myself the important question of where I want to live because honestly I would have never moved out of that mansion, despite the fact that we had a DEER infestation problem (yes, you read that right). After a few half-assed attempts to find a sublet, I got the novel idea to sleep on my friends' couches  for a week at a time.

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5) I am grateful to my friends, who let me stay in their apartments, on their couches, and on their floors for over 2 months, in which I ended up spending $611 dollars total - $140 of which was on a beautiful pair of Kate Spade heels which were like 80% off, and of course making them a Must- Buy. I then got a random idea that maybe I should be fabulously unemployed in LA because at least I can lay on the beach everyday.

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6) I am grateful for Airbnb. I am currently living on the Venice Beach Canals with one of the most amazing views. I picked all of my favorite stuff, packed my car and drove to LA.  I can walk to my coffee shop with the super cute french/armenian/italian/greek/Insert hot European ethnicity barista and plop down in the comfy chairs. I sit each morning attempting to plan out what next with my life as I sit next to screenwriters, coders, and other people pursuing some creative endeavor or actively bullshitting someone out of their money.

7) I am grateful that I have no plan. Turns out that I have always been a master planner. I studied for the SAT, when I was 12, when I overheard that my classmate Josh Snyder was declared a genuis when he got a 1600 and was allowed to skip the 8th grade. At 16, I knew every college scholarship, every internship, what grad schools to go to via getting a "consortium" scholarship or a "MLT" scholarship and I also knew that I was going to work in consulting at first, before working at either Disney, P&G, or Clorox, work at startup and live in SF. ( For those who don't know me, I did all those things in that order). So right now I have no plan but I do have a severance+ unemployment+ year savings+ no debt+ rental house+ life hustle+ 7 VISA cards.

 

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8) I am grateful for my new LA roommate who is a tantric dancer/art consultant/play consultant/videographer/fortune teller/ street performer who writes really amazing things on the sidewalk, like today's word: "presence". I am also grateful that she asked this question the first day she met me "Are you living your life big or small?

 

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9) I am grateful to live 3 blocks from the ocean. As a former "black girl" who couldn't swim. I am proud to be a reformed black girl who can swim, and lays on the beach to get "tan". I am also grateful that living near the ocean means needing to being able to rock a bikini with confidence at any moment.  I have lost 26 lbs.

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10) I am grateful to the beautiful men of West LA that have given me the ability to have high school crushes all over again. Seriously, these men are gorgeous, and after spending a few years in San Francisco, where everyone was pasty, pudgie, and slightly aspergie, I have come to realize that I am SHALLOW and that my feminine energy is less turned on by money or intelligence and is totally ignited by tall, fit men with man jowls and chiseled jaws. And trust me there are a ton of hot broke actors in LA.

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11. I am grateful to my mom for giving me a great sense of style, because I honestly  live out of a suitcase and  I only have 4 pairs of shoes. Everything I have worn in the last 90 days has been  sunset orange, royal blue, or hot pink.

 

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12. I am grateful for my 15 year old Toyota Avalon beater car. Which I swear I have only taken to the shop once and for which I get an oil change every 6 months. I know that everyone is embarrassed by my car with the missing handle, the duct tape, and the broken tail light(s) but as I mentioned, I am debt-free due in part to the fact that I haven't had a car payment in 12 years. I also recognize that my car may be a death trap.

13) I am grateful for the freelance work that has fallen in my lap, that has allowed me to keep my mind in the game just enough to not completely float away into hippie outer space land.

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14) I am grateful to have lived in SF, so that my expectations of what things should cost are so fucked up that I get excited to pay $3  for valet and $5  at happy hour. I am also thrilled that rent is like 40% less here and you get 400% more sun.

15) I am grateful to my friends, who listen to me and challenge me. I am even grateful to the friends that I have had to break up with, which serves as a reminder to me, to only surround myself with positive people who do NOT have drama.

 

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16) I am grateful to my college bestie in LA, who has such beautiful children, that I can get my "cute kid" fix instead of stalking this kid on Instagram and Pinterest (okay I admit it, I do follow him on instagram, but only on instagram). While also confirming that pushing out children is not the path I chose for myself at this time.

 

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17) I am grateful for my dad, who while not really ever having any answers, always supports me in whatever flavor of the week idea I present to him. Especially, when I know that he knows, that I know that he has no understanding of what I am talking about.

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18) I am grateful to the melanin in my skin that I still look youthful. I mean really is that the look of someone who is in their mid 30s? Is that vain? All I would say is slather your face daily with coconut oil, people. For REALZ.

19) I am grateful that I have a fool's understanding  of the stock market and that I invest in dumb stocks like Zynga and ETFs with names like Pacific RIM Emerging Markets Tiger 3 Fund (How racist is that fund's name)  and have managed to earn money. And that I have been investing since I was 13.

20) I am grateful to the universe for giving me my sense of humor. Despite whether you think I am funny or not, my ability to see the joke in everything has allowed me to go thru some dark times in my life and still feel a general sense of lightness.

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21) I am grateful for my writing partner, who is keeping me accountable for my new project, which is a book about entrepreneurship and the economy. Yes, I have this crazy notion that I can write a book, which is funny because 1) I hate to write (my grammar is like the WORST) 2) I  literally know nothing about the economy. You can follow the progress @thesideeconomy on Twitter.

23) I am grateful for my comedy classmates. Turns out I found an old college journal and standup was one of the things on my bucket list, so that has become my second project of the summer. I love that I can say all of my ridiculous f#@$$#%$%d up thoughts to the group and not get judged by it. It is incredibly freeing to not be " corporate" Kimberly or "mba" Kimberly.

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24) I am grateful to the tinder app which has replaced grindr as my new favorite app. Its shallow, brainless and quite effective for boosting one's self esteem :)

 

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25) I am grateful to having gone to business school, because it still tricks some people into thinking that I am smarter than I really am. I really only went to B-school to buy a super expensive awesome rolodex. I am grateful that business school, in fact, did turn out to be an awesome rolodex and that I have access to people at all levels and strata of life.

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26) I am grateful to my friend's Hulu+, Netflix, Showtime, and HBOgo accounts. So that when I am not chasing unicorns and farting rainbows I can pass the time watching Game of Thrones, True Blood, Arrested Development, and House of Cards.

And if you read this far, I am grateful that you are in my life and if there is anything you may ever need of me, please do not hesitate in asking. And for clarification, I did not move to LA. I like to think that I am summering on the beach or I tell people that I am testing out being "First World homeless".  That said, I have no plans and I am not really sure where this adventure will lead. But for right now I am happy to sit on the beach, do yoga, write my book, drink kale juice, and lust over cute LA boys.

XOXO

Kimberly

Don't Let Your Setbacks Be Your Story

How to Be Awesome- SetbacksI usually don't read the stories that pop up in my Facebook Feed, probably because most of my friends post articles like "50 cute pictures of baby kittens" or "the 25 Hollywood couples on their way to divorce due to a younger man". But alas this morning, this story was post on my feed. The article was about a man, who as a child was randomly attacked with Acid, which resulted in most of his face melting and the complete loss of his eyesight. You can  already imagine the story arch -  the terrible lows of a suddenly blind 4 year old, the bullying from his classmates and the stares from strangers, and the eventual triumph of overcoming his setbacks. Not to downplay that part of the story, which is both sad and amazing, but what really struck me is the impact that this child, had on the author, and how the article came to be. The piece was written by a journalist, who had been friendly with both the attacker and the victim some 40 years ago. In fact, he lived 2 houses down from the attack and before the accident had played with both children, at least before the attacks. After that fateful day everything changed for him. He writes it was the "crime of his childhood". As he, approaches middle age, he has often reflected on the fate of that little boy who lost his sight. So being the journalist that he is, he wanted to tell the story of that boy and showcase that you can live a normal life, despite having suffered a huge tragedy. So the journalist reached out to his former childhood friend and pitched his idea for the story. And this is where the story gets interesting to me.

The victim, now 40, married, with 2 kids was hesitant about sharing his story. He didn't want publicity for the story of his setback, but that if he was ever to be famous, it would be because of his work and his legacy. He declined multiple requests for the interview over time, but recently accepted because he finally felt like his accomplishment spoke for himself.

There are two lessons in this. 1) What do you want to be known for? How have you left this earth better than when you arrived? 2) Your setbacks is not the story.

How to Be AwesomeI think lesson 1 is fairly obvious, so I will drill in on lesson #2, your setback is not the story. Switching gears from the NYT to Reality TV, I recently watched an episode of The Face, a new model competition show hosted by Naomi Campbell. Basic premise, a bunch of skinny, attractive girls, compete in a bunch of Faux-related modeling competitions to win a chance of winning a modeling contract. At the end of each episode, the bottom two girls have to plea their case, so that one of them can stay in Magic Modeland. As with all Reality shows, the bottom two have to "prove" why they should stay. Usually, this is the time where you talk about how "hard working" you are, how you have so much more to "learn and prove",  how you were homeless with 7 kids, and used to be a former drug addict, a and if you could just stay on this TV show for one more episode, maybe your life could be better. (Was that too harsh?). Anyhow, Naomi Campbell, of all people, who genuinely does have a sob story of her own, couldn't give 2 rats behinds, about the sob story. In almost prophetic wisdom she told the girls, " I don't care about your  setback story, don't play on my heart strings, hoping to leverage my pity for an opportunity. Let your "work be your story".

Let your life story be about what you broght to the table not about the setbacks that you overcame. Setbacks should be the footnote.