December 22, 2023No Comments

A Year in Review: 2023

In 2022 I finally wrote one of my own “Year in Review” posts after years of mulling over the idea. I did it because I finally reached a breaking point when it came to experiencing my own life and was sick of feeling like a bystander to major milestones and events. In my first annual reflection, I had written, “I don’t want my life to be something that just happens to me, and for the last few years it feels like it’s just been whizzing by. So, I am hoping that writing ‘Year in Review’s and intentionally reflecting on the last twelve months will help me feel like that’s less of the case.”

Twelve months later, I can confirm that it’s been an incredibly fruitful experience. This year feels, for lack of a better phrase, very much “lived in.” I opted for a different approach compared to 2022 and wrote a reflection on a monthly basis with the following questions in mind:

  1. What experiences did I have this month?
  2. What did those experiences mean to me?
  3. What major realizations did I have as a result?

Opting for a monthly reflection rather than an annual one that began at the end of November continuing through the last week of December made my feelings and thoughts feel more…genuine and less like I’d miss a crucial detail or two. And it ultimately made this “Year in Review” feel less rushed. Moving forward, I plan to continue with this approach.

Now let’s get into it!

Read more

December 29, 20223 Comments

A Year in Review: 2022

One of my favorite things about the end of every year is the endless list of “Year in Review” posts I get to read. I tell myself on an annual basis that I’ll write one of my own, not for public consumption but for the sake of keeping track of a life that moves at 1,000 miles an hour. Annually you’ll hear me say, “I feel like I blinked and now it’s 202_” and it’s true! I used to have a personal newsletter that helped me keep track of most, if not all, of the events in my life and that was helpful but I really had to dig through the archive to get a sense of the entire year.

I don’t want my life to be something that just happens to me, and for the last few years it feels like it’s just been whizzing by. I am hoping that writing “Year in Review”s and intentionally reflecting on the last twelve months will help me feel like that’s less of the case. So here we go!

Read more

December 19, 2022No Comments

Design Management for the Wary

Read time: 7 minutes

Last February, I received a message on LinkedIn from a budding designer who requested thirty minutes of my time so that she could ask me about my design experience. Just two weeks later, I received the same request from a second designer.

Up until then, I was certain with every fiber of my being that I was uninterested in design management, and responding to these requests felt very much like dipping my toes into that. The only reason I had agreed to not one but two requests for my time was because I had done the same to a handful of people a few months prior, and those folks ultimately became my colleagues at Dialexa. I had experienced firsthand how thirty minutes could change the trajectory of someone’s career.

So, I agreed.

Read more

August 5, 2022No Comments

Love That Endures

My grandmother loved me.

Read more

June 3, 2022No Comments

“Proud” Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It

Sometime in high school, I remember laying in bed with my then eight or nine-year-old sister lamenting about petty drama. I was complaining about something insignificant, yet my sister’s response in that moment wasn’t to poke fun at my feelings. At eight years old, Michelle had offered a really grown up response, actually. What those specific words were, I can’t recall, but what I can remember from this tiny blip from our childhood is the way she made me feel: heard, but challenged. She had posed a question offering a different perspective, and my first thought was, “Sorry, aren’t you like, eight?” followed by, “Actually, I hadn’t thought about it like that.”

Another memorable exchange I hold fondly from our upbringing is me randomly exclaiming, “I love sleep! Don’t you?” to which my eleven? or twelve-year-old sister responded, “Yeah, but it makes me feel so disconnected from the world.”

Girl, what?

Read more

December 30, 2021No Comments

Running Through the Worst Year of My Life

At the end of 2020, I discovered a running app called Any Distance. Enamored by the design, and as someone who has a relentless need to set lofty goals, I aspired to run a total of three hundred and sixty-five miles over the course of the next year. To me, this felt attainable because when you do the math, it really is completing just one mile per day. One mile, just ten minutes out of my day. As an avid runner, I thought I had set the bar really low for myself and felt an internal pressure to up the ante.

What I didn't account for when setting this goal was that 2021 was going to shape up to be the worst year of my life. I will admit on the record right now that I am an extremely (!) dramatic person, but when I say that this topped 2020 in being the Worst Fucking Year in the World I'm not being hyperbolic.

Read more

August 22, 2019No Comments

Shining Light on an Unexpected Career Path

I really, really enjoy talking to people. So much so that I came up with a project that allowed me to converse with others about their careers and consume some of their time in exchange for a portrait taken by me. As soon as I found out that I was attending Strive, a user experience (UX) research conference based in Toronto, I knew I wanted to learn about research, design, and strategy through the process of interviewing other conference attendees.

Here is the second part of that series, in which I speak with Lorraine M. about how adjusting lights led to a career revelation, the distinction between academic research and UX research, and the pros and cons of both.

Read more

July 9, 2019No Comments

Engineer-Turned-Filmmaker Nikita Hattangady Turned One Bad Day into Her Film Debut

Last month, I had the privilege of speaking with Nikita Hattangady after meeting her at the DFW South Asian Film Festival (SAFF) earlier in May. Hattangady, a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to everything related to engineering and filmmaking, is the writer and director of Falafel, a short film about a woman whose chance meeting with a man in a café changes her life. Situated at a wooden table right outside Mudsmith’s on a warm but breezy summer day, she and I discussed everything from the benefits of dabbling in multiple disciplines to Falafel’s British origin and how you can make even Dallas, Texas look like London.

Read more

June 25, 2019No Comments

The Grand Re-Union: How a Physical Storefront Provides a Sense of Home

Oak Lawn has a new neighbor coming to town! At 3705 Cedar Springs Rd. now sits Union, a community-oriented coffeeshop that offers sweet Onyx beans and a mean Matcha Mint that'll give you a run for your money. I had the opportunity to sit down in this new space with Mike Baughman, who is the founding pastor and community curator who spearheaded the entire initiative, and we discussed his intentions with Union and the potential the newfound coffeeshop holds.

Read more