My interview with Peace Revolution

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be interviewed by Dennis Odeny of Peace Revolution today! Peace Revolution is an online platform that aims to help individual cultivate individual inner peace before sharing the peace to people around the world.

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A story of life, love & divorce -- with two dogs.

We didn’t know at the time that our relationship was doomed. It wasn’t like we had gotten the dog as a last-ditch effort to save our marriage like some do with a child. We just both connected over this shared empathy and affinity for pit bulls and knew we had to get one. 

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A mountaintop dance party for #LiveDan

I went to Nepal largely inspired by the spirit of my late adventure role model, Dan Fredinburg. Dan was a fellow Googler who exuded warmth and joy and attempted to climb Everest, twice. On his second adventure, he passed away at Base Camp in the 2015 earthquake. I didn't know Dan very well - we had only spoken a couple of times - but I was always inspired by his adventure badassery. I also had a crush on him. I think everyone did. 

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Mandarins and wildflowers: My Japanese mother

She and her husband both accompanied me to the train station and we were mostly quiet as we snaked around the mountain. The mist was thick and the drizzle matched the way we felt, I think: a little sad to say goodbye. 

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Imagine you have zero responsibilities...

Recently a friend and I were sitting at a cafe when someone walked by, apparently talking to himself. I looked over to her with wide eyes and high brows like, “Yikes.” She said, without a hint of sarcasm, “Let’s assume he’s got a bluetooth in his other ear.” That struck me; I realized it’s a really powerful thing to give people the benefit of the doubt.

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6/4/2015 Journal Entry

6/4/2015

I’m just so fucking happy to be alive.

I’m happy for it all. I’m happy to hear the sounds of the traffic outside my window. I’m happy to eat the dinner I made myself. I’m happy to have beautiful people in my life. I’m happy to send them cards and maybe brighten their day just a little bit. I’m happy to hug my dog and feel her incredible energy. I’m happy to meet new people in ordinary places. I’m happy to fall in love with half of the people I meet. I’m happy to work in a job in which people are passionate about what they do. I’m happy to feel the energy of people I know and meet. I’m happy to have a little bit of struggle. I’m happy to have endured some struggle so far, and everyday, and still feel grateful to feel things and happy to be in this life.

I made a decision recently to quit my job and leave everything that I know. I made this decision knowing people would think I’m crazy and tell me it’s a bad idea. But I’m grateful to be powerful enough in my own life to say “Fuck all y’all, I don’t care. I know this is what’s best for me.”

I am so happy today because I experienced a difficult time in my life. I didn’t survive cancer, and I wasn’t destitute or hungry. My life wasn’t in danger. But even the small, insignificant period of sadness and hopelessness in my life was enough to provide perspective. In order to feel this incredible feeling of happiness and gratitude, all I had to go through was losing several friends and loved ones and the depression of losing a marriage to a person I loved. That’s it. It felt really hard. I felt depressed, I gained weight, and retreated within myself to a place of pain.

But today, to feel how I feel today...it was nothing. The pain was worth it. I feel so strong, so capable, so ready to take on the world.


In some ways I feel bad. I feel that I’m a person of strength, of confidence, of common sense. If anyone could survive tragic death and divorce, I could. But even so, as a result of that pain and sadness, the power I feel today made it all worth it. Could I have seen that in the moment of hopelessness? No. I didn’t feel it, and I certainly didn’t know it was around the corner.

But life goes on. If one possesses the strength to persevere, there is an incredible gift on the other side.

I do understand that this happiness that I feel now is transient. I may not always feel this happy, this powerful, this connected. But I do feel that I appreciate it. I appreciate it in a way that I never could had I not experienced the pain.