Holidays 2009–look back at 2008

small rainbow.jpg2008 has had more change for me than any recent year since 2005.

 In the past year, I left a executive job at a large company, worked as an advisor running an amazing non-profit social venture competition, went to Israel on a blogging trip, started a company and went to Boulder, CO to do TechStars, a venture incubator, stalled that company and then started another company which we are working hard to launch in Q1 2009.

On a personal level, I moved around more than I have since my 20’s–giving up the post-divorce apartment in Palo Alto for sublets in Boulder and Berkley—and, classically, used these transitions to re-think my life.

Most importantly, 2008 was the year I fell deeply in love, enough to want to live together, something I didn’t expect would ever happen. Because of that love, I now live in a house in Oakland and it is great.  2008 is also the year I connected–in a more adult and playful way–with my son, who has always been amazing, but who is becoming one of my best friends as well as a great family member.

For me, the big lessons of this year were that meaningful work matters
incredibly and that I want roots in a place, want to live sustainably
and want to feel connected to creating positive social change. If that
can include doing product development, helping others with new business
opportunities and solving problems and doing a kick ass start-up, great!

This was also the year I reconnected with myself as not only a blogger,
but as a writer–both a poet and an essayist/article writer–skills
that were part of me for a long time, but have recently come back to
the fore.

Like Blanche DuBois, we all depend on the kindness of strangers(and friends)–this was especially true in my case, this year. 

There are so many people who were so kind at different points during this year, I don’t think I can call them all out, but I would like to single out some of the people, who for me, help make this year of transformation very special indeed.

The (former)  and present Yahoos!: Ryan Kuder, Barbara O’Conner, Gail Schumpert, Elizabeth Churchill, Salim Ismail, and others.

Boulderites: David Cohen, Andrew Hyde, Brad Feld, Ingrid Alongi and the most amazing Amy Gahran, along with techstars mentors Susan Kunz and Lisa Rutherford, and fellow teams at TechStars, with special call outs to Samantha, Brian & Emily. And my wonderful friend Jem. And Joe Juhasz & Tom Vilot & Dan P & Dr. Hellspawn. You all rock!

The Florida crew: Gary Kebbel & Alberto Ibarguen for giving me a chance to work with them. Jose Zamora, Kristen Taylor, Marc Fest, Jessica Goldfin, Robbie Adams, Jenne Hebert & Heidi Miller for working together on the Knight News Challenge.

The home team, East Bay & Valley divisions: Keith Teare, Mary Hodder (who went over and above in helping me out), Ed Falk, Jared Brandt, George Kelly, Patty Mitchell, David & Jennie Coleman, Robert and Maryam Scoble, Jory des Jardin, Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, Renee Blodgett, Craig Newmark, Sarah Lacy, Lori & Seth Neumann, Raines Cohen & Betsy Morris, Sylvia Paull, JD Lasica,and Carrie Sealine.

The SF team: Marnie Webb, David Cohn,Cathy Brooks, Sarah Dopp, Christine Herron.

Northland: Ponzi Pirillo, Roland & Barb Tanglao, Boris Mann.

My posse (East coast): Co-founders Lisa Williams & Nancy Soriano, problem-solvers Chad & Erin Sullivan Capellman, Deanna Zandt,  The amazing Viviane.

Thank you for being in my life, for what you give and teach me (and how you make me laugh, sometimes).

 

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  1. Roland Tanglao says:

    thank-you it’s an honour to be on your list, great to hang with you in “Northland” (one niggle: Barb’s name is Barb Wong, she didn’t change it!)
    happy holidays!
    peace and love from Vancouver! …Roland

  2. KSO says:

    Cheers to a year of changes, Susan. I hope that your holidays are filled with good times & cheer.
    KSO

  3. Elisa says:

    Susan, what a lovely way to end the year. You are the living embodiment of a philosophy I try to live by: Have enough trust in yourself and confidence in your abilities to actually try the next wild idea you get or opportunity that comes your way! So often the honest answer to “what’s the worst that could happen if I fail?” is really not all that tragic.
    You’ve been making leaps of that kind of faith all year. I respect you for it, and I’m happy for what it has brought your way this year. Here’s to 2009!

  4. Heidi Miller says:

    Susan, it has been a pleasure working with you. Your life changes are an inspiration to me as well. I only hope to do with my life half of what you have done with yours!

  5. Patty says:

    thanks so much for the mention in your year-end recap. what a year you’ve had indeed! i am very grateful for having met you in this spectacular and big year. when i get back from germany in january we must get together again! i miss you!

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