10 things I did in 2017

1. I ran six marathons on six continents: São Paulo, Copenhagen, Gold Coast, Mexico City, Casablanca, Bangkok; with an average finish time of 3:48:34 (New PR 3:33:57).

2. I made a photography portfolio on my experience of ten years in the US, then made a pop-up show to share it with my friends. I also finally made my photography website live.

3. I became a Google.Org ambassador, worked all year round to engage YouTube employees with non-profits and led the global volunteering month and giving week campaigns at YouTube.

4. I continued to learn Italian and finished all intermediate level classes, while kept improving my French and learned a little bit Arabic.

5. I worked on interesting and impactful projects at YouTube. Once during a presentation, I argued with an SVP in front of three VPs to defend my work.

6. I went to four new countries (Brazil, Australia, Morocco, Thailand) and finally set my foot on all six continents.

7. I hosted 29 couchsurfers at home and have made lots of new friends through traveling.

8. I fell in love with pasta and have been really enjoying cooking for myself and for my friends.

9. I have been practicing letting go of possessions, and tried to live a simpler life.

10. I turned 32, and after ten years in the US, I feel reborn.

10 things I did in 2016

1. I passed DELF (Diploma of Study in the French Language) exam at B1 level.

2. I have been learning Italian for a year, it is really fun.

3. I went to 7 new countries this year (Malta, Mexico, Iceland, Ireland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania).

4. I had three wonderful trips in Europe, highlighted by solo camping by a waterfall in Iceland, an unforgettable night drinking with strangers in Bulgaria, and connecting two friends in Hamburg and bar hopping with them.

5. I have been running all year, finished my first marathon in Stockholm (PR 3:39) and did it again in San Francisco, and ran a sub 7’00 half marathon (PR 1:31).

6. I hosted 21 couchsurfers this year, despite a long break; and made some great friends while staying in hostels in Europe.

7. I transferred to YouTube and it has been awesome in almost every single way.

8. I further stepped up in Googlers Give initiatives, led a much larger campaign at YouTube and sponsored two organizations during Giving Week.

9. I finally moved to San Francisco and life is fantastic here.

10. I turned 31, and I feel empowered.

10 things I did in 2015

1. I finished my goal of visiting all 50 states, also made it to Puerto Rico and had an amazing camping trip in Alaska.

2. I delivered a wedding speech in French, in France, in front of 100+ French guests.

3. I built a photography portfolio through the continuing study class at Stanford.

4. I had two wonderful trips in Europe, hosted by the family and friends of some of my best friends and made many new friends.

5. I ran San Francisco half marathon again and improved my best time to 1:41.

6. I hosted 54 couchsurfers at home and many of them became good friends of mine.

7. I had a promotion at work. I worked hard to get it so this is a toast to the hard work.

8. I am heavily involved in both GoogleServe and GiveWeek this year.

9. I had a couple of spontaneous trips including one to Athens, GA to surprise a friend at his party. And it’s totally worth it.

10. I turned 30, and I feel great. Both physically and mentally. I’ve never been so happy in my life.

The Element of Friendship

I have been wanting to do this for a long time — making livinglow tote bags for my friends. I have one for myself for quite a while and I enjoy showing it to everyone. Recently my friend Lina is leaving San Francisco for Stockholm (hopefully just temporarily!), and I really want to make a present for her. So I started to develop this idea of making a personalized tote bag for her. And here it is, the very first “Element of Friendship” edition of livinglow tote. If one day you also get one from you, hopefully you can decipher the code.

livinglow tote bag

 

Element of Friendship Edition #1

 

les imparfaits

La semaine derniére, mon amie Emilie m’a écrit un article sur son site Oak Street Laundry Chronicles avec la traduction d’un texte d’Anna Magnani, une actrice italienne qu’elle aime beaucoup. Aujourd’hui, je l’ai enfin lu. Je ne sais pas que comment exprimer ma gratitude, parce que c’est vraiment un article très très beau. Vous devriez le lire.

Tu mets une vie entière à te plaire. Et puis, tu arrives au bout, et enfin tu t’acceptes. Tu t’acceptes parce que c’est finalement toi, et parce que pour te plaire, tu y as mis une vie entière : la tienne. Il te faut une vie entière pour comprendre qu’à qui tu devais plaire, tu as plu. Et à qui tu n’as pas plu… Mieux comme ça. – Bon, il faut quand même reconnaître qu’il est plus rare de rencontrer un type à qui tu plais, et qui te plaît aussi, que de tomber sur un mec plein aux as à Porta Portese !

Il te faut une vie entière pour compter tes défauts et en rire, parce qu’ils sont beaux, parce que ce sont les tiens. Parce que sans tous ces défauts, tu serais qui ? Personne.

Combien de fois je me suis observée dans la glace, et je m’y suis trouvée moche, effrayante même. Avez ce pif, avec ces pommettes, et tout le reste. Et quand les hommes me lançaient dans la rue : « Bella Annì ! Qu’est-ce que t’es bien gaulée !», je comprenais pas. Et entre moi et moi, je pensais : « Belle de quoi ? ».

Et malgré tout, après un million d’années, je les ai compris. Ça m’a pris une vie entière. Et maintenant, quand je m’entends dire: « Bella Annì, t’es vraiment jolie ! », j’en rigole comme une folle. Et je réponds haut et fort, sans en avoir honte : « Ta gueule bigleux ! ».

– Anna Magnani

Il nous faut une vie entière pour nous comprendre, nous accepter, et nous plaire. Mais à la fin, nous sommes là, aprés les larmes et les douleurs, nous serons tous là, plein de bonheur. C’est plus important que tout le reste, n’est pas? C’est le voyage d’essayer nous plaire qui définit nos vies. Et pour toi, ma chère, et pour tous mes amis, je vous aime parce que j’aime ces qui vous êtes. J’aime vos défauts et je les ai aussi, même plus que les votres; et j’aime vos luttes parce que je sais que vous serez mieux. Personne n’est parfait, et vous non plus, mais personne n’est vous. C’est vous, et c’est moi, les imparfaits, qui me veut dire le monde.

K君的故事

0.
K君是我的室友,准确的说,前室友。

1.
K君白天活动的时候,百分之八十以上在客厅,电脑放餐桌上,或学习或上网。顺便开着我的电视,或看或不看。K君晚上睡觉的时候,百分之六十以上在客厅,扯条毯子就睡在沙发上。常常一大早起床,发现K君的卧室空旷明亮,床上没人,下楼就看到他安详的躺在沙发上,呼吸均匀。
我问K君,你为什么喜欢在客厅活动啊,K君说,他房间太小太乱,客厅又大又空。

我心里特别难受。我想,K君房间乱,只能每天委屈在客厅都是我的错!
不,都是我妈的错!就怪她没把我生得再勤劳勇敢温柔娴淑一点,好每天为室友收拾和扩建房间!

2.
K君不会做饭。完全不会。
但他还是去中国超市的,买速冻饺子,速冻汤圆,速冻炒饭,速冻一大堆。总之足够帮我们塞满整个冷冻室。
K君做速冻一大堆的时候,或煎或煮,或粘其锅或焦其锅,未见例外。无论锅粘,锅焦,锅糊,K君洗锅均以水缓冲之加清洁布轻抹即毕。华丽潇洒,不拘小节。
白德伟,那是我的锅。某次我只好自己清洗K君洗过了却依然保持着粘焦糊之历史风貌的锅,K君视而未语,低调深沉。

K君还会白水煮鸡蛋,煮一宿,水全干,锅糊,不知裂否。不过这回这是室友歪歪的锅。后来我看到K君试图清理炉子边上因为锅烧了一夜而留下的锈垢。K君沮然,告我数张湿纸沾水擦拭完全无效,不知何如。我看了看,告诉他,用清洁球。K君在我指点下找到了清洁球,并且成功的快速的有效的擦去了污渍。K君大悦,直夸我博学多才,连这都知道。

我心里特别难受。我想,K君不会做饭,不会洗锅,不会清洁厨房都是我的错!
不,都是我妈的错!就怪她没把我生得再勤劳勇敢温柔娴淑一点,好为室友每天做三餐!

3.
K君有一任台湾女友,故台湾腔严重。然K君三番五次于我看< 康熙来了>之时深刻抱怨无法忍受康熙的台湾腔。我相当感动,想必K君是终日自省而出此言。更有一日,康熙来了。K君说,“我真的超级受不了台湾腔的,我不明白耶,怎么会有人把国语说成酱紫啊”。

我心里特别难受。我想,K君声泪俱下地控诉台湾腔都是我的错!
不,都是我妈的错!就怪她没把我生得再勤劳勇敢温柔娴淑一点,好教我室友改掉酱紫的国语!

4.
K君搬来一个多月后,有天问我在哪里倒垃圾。
我给他指了指,门口对面的小垃圾处理站。K君激动万分,原来这么近啊。
K君搬来一个多月后,有天问我在哪里洗衣服。
我给他指了指,不远处的高楼。K君激动万分,说以前他都是去布莱克维尔德的(某很远的楼)洗的。

我心里特别难受。我想,K君搬进来一个多月,不知道在哪里倒垃圾在哪里洗衣服都是我的错!
不,都是我妈的错!就怪她没把我生得再勤劳勇敢温柔娴淑一点,好天天为我室友倒垃圾洗衣服!

5.
K君来的第一天,我出于地主之谊,及其详尽的向他解释了,家里的大门,是怎么操作的:
把手上有个小闩。拧直,门就锁了。拧平,门就没锁。从家里转动把手,可以开门,但小闩还是竖直的,所以出门直接关门就好。从外面用钥匙开门,开门后小闩就平了,所以进屋锁门还得再拧直小闩,不然门只是关上了并没锁。门把手上面还有一个双保险,往右拧一下就锁,往左拧一下就开。
K君搬来的前几天,每天都要用半分钟开门,我在楼上听的痛心疾首。一个月后的某天清晨,K君在门外大喊开门,待我去开门后,K君大呼原来这个门只要一关上就锁了,太奇怪了。

我心里特别难受。我想,K君搬进来一个多月,还是不知道家里的门该怎么开关都是我的错!
不,都是我妈的错!就怪她没把我生得再勤劳勇敢温柔娴淑一点,好每日站在门口迎送K君!

\infty + 1.
K君已经搬走数月了,这些话在电脑里待了也有了半年多了,今天忽然给翻了出来。于是发上来,献给我无比勤劳勇敢温柔娴淑的新室友戴维。