If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know two of my tenets for social media marketing and PR campaigns are: “Sharing is Caring” and “It’s A Conversation.” Since so many of you shared very personal stories with me through email and Twitter for “Stick It To The Man” week, I wanted to share a little bit more about myself than you can get from facebook, LinkedIn, or my “About Me.”
Last week, the New York Times told the world my age, so I don’t mind telling you guys that yesterday, I turned 31. Moving in to my 30’s has caused me to examine where I’ve been, where I’m at now, and where I’m going.
Two years ago, I moved to San Francisco from Berlin, Germany, with nothing but a suitcase of clothes and a box of books. My younger brother, Mike, was going through a lot of rough times after doing a very courageous thing and needed some emotional support. He offered me a computer and a roof if I moved out to live with him. In tough times, all we have is family; I couldn’t refuse, plus I was having my own patch of bad luck.
Berlin is an amazing city. Besides Barcelona, there is no other city in the world, to me, that has such an amazing art and music scene. As a musician/performance artist/graphic designer/photographer/writer, I was knee-deep in the scene. I had a great job at an Entertainment and Event firm, some musical partners, and a monthly party.
In the winter of 2005, everything changed when I returned from vacation to find everything in my life gone. Someone I’d been helping get back on their feet took everything I owned. In addition to clothes and everything else normally found in an apartment, other things stolen include: DVDs, four years of journals, my laptop, recording equipment, backups/originals of my digital photography and writings. Even though I had a nice job, there would have been no way for me to save money and buy replacements for any of those things. I didn’t have means to create my art. And, worse than anything else, it felt like all my children had been kidnapped. After six months of sinking ever deeper into depression, I accepted my brother’s offer, packed my bag and moved to SF the week before Halloween 2005.
Two years later, I’m happy and healthy. My brother is engaged to an amazing woman. We no longer live together, but I do live with an incredible group of people. I also work at one of the most kick-a firms in the healthiest work environment I’ve ever experienced.
It’s been such an amazing ride over the last two years. Every day feels like a blessing, and some thanks are in order:
- My parents for raising me and kicking my butt.
- My grandparents for instilling a work ethic and sense of spirituality. Also for making me realize I can “create my own world.”
- My brother for his support. He’s my sounding board.
- My aunts, uncles and super-star cousins for making me smile.
- My BFF’s around the world. You know who you are. You know what you do.
- My housemates for creating a peaceful living space and for putting up with my silliness.
- SHIFT and all the SHIFTers, especially my team plus Todd Defren and my mentor, Parry Headrick, for embracing and bolstering my creativity.
- Mad props to Lindsay Olson at Paradigm Staffing for pairing me with the right firm. She seriously is the most amazing PR recruiter I have met. Also, I’ve gotta thank all my references 🙂
- TO ALL THE “3Q’s in 3 Min” GUESTS: You guys are awesome! Thanks for the pleasure of an interview.
- TO EVERYONE ON MY BLOGROLL: Thanks for bringing me a social media utopia when I was working at a place where I couldn’t experiment.
- TO ALL MY READERS: Thank you SOOO much. You make socialTNT possible. You inspire me daily. You are the reason I do this. (And if you haven’t done so, please subscribe to my feed. ;-))
I can’t wait to see what this next year will offer. Hopefully, you will stick around and experience it with me.
Happy Friday, everyone!
[Photo above, “Heart no. 2” by bymanu on flickr, used under Creative Commons]