Self help tips for tech lady freedom fighters (Lets stop being scared of Github shall we?)

Addendum: I want to make it clear to anyone reading this blog that I don’t condone the mistreatment of women in tech and that I acknowledge that it is a thing …if that’s not obvious in my addressing said problems. However I don’t want us all to be afraid of having a lack of power in our careers, because it makes us quit and I want to share something that’s helped me not be afraid about this concern that I used to have. I want all the women coming into tech who want to have the large amounts of impact and fulfilment and make the large amounts of money that I know they can, to not get scared away by Julie’s story, because I know some people are disrespectful, but they can’t keep you from success, and they didn’t keep Julie from success. I don’t want leaders of companies who ignore and devalue women working with them to be able to keep taking advantage of those women, and I think this is the only way WE can and will change that. Technical people are so valuable to companies. Even if you think you’re at a disadvantage as a woman, you’re at an advantage in terms of working and being where you want and getting great opportunities if you keep going and learning in tech. We all have so much power in our careers as technologists, we shouldn’t be made to feel like we don’t. So here’s how you DO have power and CAN get more.

I’ve had a really bad feeling about all this media attention we’ve been giving the Github fiasco.

I just want to share something with all of you reading that I’ve really stepped into and realized fully lately but also noticed gradually more and more over my life which is that the only way to have the things you want in life, is to have integrity, and the only way to have integrity, is to make a point, a very singular non-negotiable, fervent point, of only allowing yourself to talk think and be about the things you want to create in the world, and not talk think and be about the things you don’t. To look for the things you’d like to bring into your life, and reach out to grab those, think about those, be about those and avoid thinking about talking about and being about the negativity you don’t want. You don’t need to think the law of attraction is real to realize this makes sense, but yeah that’s also a thing and it makes this even more important than most of us actually realize, but I’m not going to talk about that here.

I think if we apply this to the lady freedom fighter that is Julie Ann Horvath we can all start to see how this works. Ok so Julie really wanted to help the women’s movement in tech (Fuck yeah!) but she seemed to be going into the experience with the false belief that large companies like Github somehow control the creative power and success of women in the industry. Based on this belief, it was her intention to go in, infiltrate the culture, and from the inside out change the company so that it was welcoming to more women so that they could be successful in tech. Holy shit thats a tall order for just one woman. Especially considering (if you’ve read books like “Good to Great”, great examples) how impossible it is to effect lasting change at a company that doesn’t have good leadership. So we all heard about what happened and heard about Julie’s great Passion Projects campaign (though not as much as we’ve heard about the other controversy, and she could have steered that if she could have realized at the time(not an easy thing to realize) that the most effective thing she could have said after releasing her statement about what happened is “I don’t want to talk about it further I released my statement. It is what it is. I’m moving on and I don’t want it to take away from the Passion Projects campaign lets talk about that instead.“), but lets think about “What if?”. What if instead of thinking that the key to our success is in the hands of toxic peoples’ ability to change, she started off thinking that the key to our success is in our ability to create things and surround ourselves with positive people in tech who aren’t toxic. Then, we can say (without arguing much about which one is true) that if she’d gone into the sector believing the second thing, she would have had a more pleasurable work experience because she would have probably chosen a different one possibly starting her own company, or not staying at Github as long as she did, and she wouldn’t have helped put so much power and attention in the hands of Github. She’s helped the company with her passion. And if they have a toxic culture with leaders who allow this, this means she invested in something we don’t want as women and I’m sure the thought of this is frustrating to her now (not trying to crucify her, just showing how beliefs effects our choices). What if all women believed they had all the power in their careers? Well no women would work for Github… and I don’t care what you think of their culture or the individuals who happen to be working there ok? IF Github has a toxic culture and you give me the argument that we SHOULD be focusing on and calling out companies with toxic culture (oh I know they exist) and we as women in tech stopped focusing our attention on what we didn’t like about tech and start focusing on all the places we really DO want to be that make us happy, and call more attention to people being inclusive rather than exclusive, and just create all of the things that we know we’re capable of bringing into this world (not saying we don’t already do that last thing) and having fun with it, then none of us would bother with anywhere that had really toxic culture for very long and none of us would be working for Github…THEN would that not hurt the company more than the statements of one or even many employees? And would we not all be better off for it as individuals to surround ourselves with things that are conducive to our growth and advancement? Now everything isn’t black and white, Github probably does have learning and growth opportunities for different women at different points in their careers, but you can only go so far..if it’s really not fair there..then leave, don’t waste your time. If you really really want to be there only stay as long as it works for you. Which is what she did, good, again I’m here to talk about who you think has control over YOUR career as a woman in tech and how it goes, not pick out what someone could have done better.

Look this Github thing scared a lot of women, I know it would have terrified me 4 years ago. 4 years ago I broke down crying in a board room with a manager because I was scared that he wasn’t giving me a fair chance. I thought he was bullying me and I really just wanted to have a conversation with him to try and clear the air because I liked him as a person and thought he must know better and I couldn’t help tearing up. After that talk though I started realizing I needed to be more firm with him and I realized that so much of what I read in articles in business and tech magazines psyched me out for my work experiences. I thought that all the power in my career lied with my supervisors, in what they told people about me, and that if they ever saw me cry I was screwed and maybe in other sexist industries it does, but not in tech. Even if you run into bullies, technical people are so valuable, so you’re valuable, you don’t have to put up with it. That supervisor thanked me for making him think about the way he interacts with people, we became better friends and had lunch even after he left the company. He even told me I was smart and should apply somewhere better, but even if he hadn’t thought about how his attitude effected me, I was wrong to think all the power was in his hands, and it shouldn’t have taken him telling me I deserved better for me to realize I could have even more opportunity and a better place to work, but it did, and now that I spend time focusing on what I can control and don’t spend time worrying about the things I can’t control, my life is much smoother, I get more respect and I have more time and energy to learn, grow, and play in life. It’s still hard sometimes but I know that when I let things go (while still educating people and standing up for myself in uncomfortable sexist situations) I feel so much better than when I hold on to the incident. I’m better off if it’s water off my back.

Now I know a lot of you might say. “Lana What if you really want to work with a certain technology and company X is the best at it and they have a severely toxic culture.” I get it. I’m a woman in tech, I get it. I’ve had my fair share of intellectual emasculation. (“Fighting these attitudes levies an emotional tax that constitutes a form of intellectual emasculation Neil DeGrasse Tyson on being a black man in astro physics.). I’ve been talked I needed help, like I didn’t have agency. I’ve been at conferences and felt alienated, but I also realize now that I’ve avoided conferences, I’ve avoided open source, I’ve avoided OPPORTUNITIES because I was afraid of the words and opinions of people who would only have been negative because of fears THEY have. I also know that I don’t like being in around negative people if there’s nothing particularly rewarding for me there, so I don’t go, and I ignore the people who say “Aws but why didn’t you go 😦 were you intimidated?” But do you know what I realized? If I really want to try something all the shit I’m afraid of is bullshit. Because once you go to those places it’s exciting to face your fear and get your bearings and talk to those people who can teach you. It’s also bullshit because if I don’t spend most of my time caring about the foolish unconscious negativity of other people I can feel really grounded and the emotional tax I pay is far less significant, and I can actually enjoy what the people or experience has to offer me and as long as I’m still a great programmer and I keep learning (*feels her pockets and looks around* “Yup still true”), I’m going to keep having great opportunities no matter who wants to talk about me or troll me in the negative environment I walked into to learn valuable information. So if you really want to try working for that company just so you can learn, but you think it might be a negative space, just get your ass in there! Keep a group of good people around you that can support you OUTSIDE of work. Meditate. I had a boss who called me his “little code princess”(could have worked at much nicer places btw in retrospect but I still learned a lot) but on days where I did a Silva method meditation on the bus before coming in, I was on a cloud at work, he couldn’t touch me. I mean most days I would still laugh him off but if he was really intense or unorganized he’d get on my nerves, but never on a Silva day 🙂 :P. This guy would joke about a woman on the street being fat and not sexy (this individual has had sexual harassment lawsuits filed against him), and I’d joke right back about his cellulite, it was fun for me even, as long as I got away when I needed, mentally, and then physically(quit). Whatever you need. Make the most of your time, while you’re there, think of it as temporary, if they can’t keep you that’s their fault. Women tend to stay at places longer than men, keep that in mind, because I think sometimes we stay longer than we should. Go through every resource while you’re there, and respectfully and with a whole truckload of self respect ask anyone who can, to help you learn, and do you know what you do if someone treats you like a dumb bitch? The same rule applies, you give that as little of your attention as possible, don’t go anywhere near the negativity and focus on what you love there that you came there for, get happy about it, call it out, email it and tell it you want to buy it lunch and go over some code tomorrow, and you’ll get more of that, and if you can’t stand the culture, just go if it’s not worth it to you personally, it’s not worth it to you personally. You did your best, but don’t let your fear that it might be bad be the reason you don’t work there.

Now people might say. “If I ignore the stuff I don’t want I’ll get more of it if I don’t call it out, and other women will get more of it too” No you won’t. This isn’t the same as that. I’m not saying never call people on their shit. I do that ALL the time. I just have fun when I do it. Because if I’m around egoic people I’m not there to confront them I’m wherever they are having fun and learning, because I don’t go anywhere(not yet lol) to confront people with big egos. I make jokes about their false assumptions. They like this and it actually gets them to question themselves sometimes. I say EVERYTHING BUT call them an asshole outright and I do it with a smile and then if they go to a negative place again I ignore them and talk to the other people around. I’m just saying don’t focus on what you don’t want, focus on what you do want, so that when you DO call people out it’s moving things in a positive direction. Also avoid things you know you can’t control. I know a lot of stuff from Nintendo is sexist, but I’m not going to tweet angrily at them, they seem very unwilling to accept the fact that they can hurt/help culture. Telling parents about not getting their games for their kids? Ok, more effective use of our time as lady freedom fighters maybe, but personally (personal preference) I’d rather be tweeting support to a cool female indie game developer, and it’s a much more effective use of my time, and it makes me feel better in stead of worse. The bad stuff will bother you less if you don’t waste as much time thinking about it. Only think about it long enough to fix it, and if you can’t control it, don’t waste ANY time on it.

I don’t want us to waste any more of our valuable time working for people that are going to get in the way of our happiness and our success. That’s the whole point of the principle. Not wasting your time. If you’re a dev and you’re not shy about searching for a job and you keep looking you’ll certainly find something more suitable than a job with a culture that ignores and marginalizes women and be much happier for it, and the power of who you are will support them. I want us all to really commit to that because I think we can have a huge impact here. Tech is filled with more jobs than the number of people qualified for them can handle, recruiters hit us up all the time and learning about technology is self empowering. The large percentage of women who leave the field don’t see it that way because they think it will be bad everywhere and that all learning more technology empowers you to do is keep working in a shitty environment, but there’s so much opportunity and so much you can create for yourself here if you look around, opportunities are everywhere. I get that it’s daunting, but daunting is an illusion really, if you were a man what would you do? Focus on what YOU want, focus on your own entitlement. By the way there’s no wage gap in tech…Just a bunch of well paid men and women minus a large percentage of the women who came into the field in the first place. There are lots of different ways to interpret why this happens but we have choice as technologists, and choice is power.

Julie will be fine, she has a new job. Don’t worry about having her experience, because it’s brave to talk about discrimination on twitter, but if you don’t want to have to deal with a bunch of trolls, you don’t have to talk about your experiences with discrimination on twitter, and once you build up enough hutzpah, if you want to yeah do it if it helps someone, and when you do ignore the trolls because honestly if she chose to ignore all her trolls it would have made life easier for her. Am I holding her responsible for the fact that there are so many people outside her control who would tweet at her? No! Don’t worry about the people @tweeting you because you can’t control that. The most successful people in the world get negative messages all the time. How much time do you think they spend on that? How much time do you think Obama spends looking at negative tweets about him? Ok well if it’s beneath Obama then it’s beneath you ok? Realizing that is so important to all of us. All you can control is what’s on your twitter wall, and who can pm you, and if you keep it positive on your wall instead of constantly tweeting at the things you don’t like and keep being about what you’re about and trolls keep being about what they’re about, people will get it. No crowd control necessary. How often do you see what people tweet at the people you follow, if they don’t reply to those tweets? For me it’s never.

I am of the opinion that Hovarth would have had more joy and power in her career if she had started out with the belief that her power didn’t lie with Github. I am also of the opinion that almost all women in tech start out with that belief. She probably loved things about Github too, but you don’t get to hear about that, and I think it sucks that all women in tech get shoved our faces all the time, is the shit end of the stick and  it makes us think that’s what’s in our future. I love seeing women in environments that support them and being outspoken from a more powerful place that way and I want to see more of that. I love seeing women starting their own companies and coming together, and want to see more of that, and I hate it when people try to force their false beliefs on me and tell me things like “Don’t women hate each other?”,”Lana why do you want a female business partner? I hear women don’t get along.” No they do get along, especially women who know how to ignore the bullshit that people keep telling them because they’ve learned that it’s not important to them as individuals. Women who are talented in business and tech and doing big things, they can’t wait to meet each other. And women who have honed this skill of ignoring the false beliefs that people feed us all the time, about who we are or who we should be, they recognize each-other, they fucking love meeting each other, and they lift each-other up. It doesn’t matter what sector you’re in these women love helping each other. They say hey you’re getting this too? Ok lets do it together! 😀 It’s not like they won’t talk to you if you’re not perfect, but it takes a BDASS(my way of saying badass) to know a BDASS and if you hone your inner BDASS you’ll be in REAL good company. ❤ 🙂 Not begging for scraps at the feet of other people who you think control your fate.

The perfect example I can think of this principle of focusing on what you do want and not what you don’t want in action is one of my favourite people on earth right now, the incomparable Greek Goddess that is Ariana Huffington. I remember hearing all of the drama that people were stirring up about her firing Mike Arrington a couple years ago. Everyone was so in a huff (hehe see what I did there? :P) about Mike trolling her. And Mike is like THE TROLL I mean look at his troll credentials:

What would you do if you were in her position? Seriously what would you do? I want you to think about this for a moment.

Well if you’re Ariana you don’t talk to anyone about all the toxic comments and then you throw a fabulous party with all of your classy intelligent friends including several nobel peace price laureates, and you win like a boss because of it.

Does anyone remember that? I bet you can hardly conjure thoughts of when this was an issue in the media because now all we think about when we think about her is the movement she’s created with her book “The Third Metric” Everyone wondered what she would say, everyone speculated about what her rebuttal would be, they made it feel and sound like the situation was a disaster waiting to happen and she sailed right through it, because she knew it wasn’t worth her time, and if you’re saying oh Lana you’re asking a lot of these women, no I’m not I’m asking far less of them because look how effortless Ariana make it look. Because she’s not pushing a giant negativity boulder up a mountain, she’s not trying to change anyone’s minds, because she gets it, she gets that you have to “Change the channel darling” 😉 (I wish you could hear me say that in her voice because I do a really great Ariana lol) She’s only surrounding herself with people who respect her because she respects her self enough to ignore the trash or take it out, or get somebody else to take it out for her 🙂 and then life becomes pleasurable for her and she’s able to share this and all her creations from that place with all of us and it’s marvellous! 🙂

People don’t respect you for telling them how they should treat you, they respect you for having integrity, and really the second way is the only real way you can have power and all the things you chose in your life. So I want to say to all the many women who I’m more than certain have been inspired to enter into tech, to hone their technologically creative super powers, only to have yourselves second guessed and scared and talked out of industry by people with excuses as to why they haven’t followed their own dreams or by people with false beliefs about women, by false beliefs about who YOU are or can be (whether it’s that you’re trying to be more like a man somehow by just boldly speaking your truth, or some guy is trying to white-knight you on a project when they’re not even as good at algorithms as you are). All false beliefs only have as much power for YOU as the attention that YOU give them, and it’s that simple and it’s that easy if you can really embrace that idea. If you learn to shift your attention to how you SHOULD be treated and what you DO want you’ll find yourself less in the presence of trolls and more in the presence of the people you know respect you and getting to talk to them, and then you’ve done your part, that’s all YOU can really worry about and if someone tries to help you like you can’t help yourself, just know that they’re wrong, knowing that is the most powerful thing you can do. Sure you can tell them that you’re more than they think you are, and that you understand that they mean well but that the way they are offering you help is disrespectful to you right now. You can do that, and sometimes doing that is a solution, but you can’t control other people so it won’t always work and do you know what’s even better for you than just doing that? Knowing all the while that it matters more to you that you’re happy and doing and receiving all you can be in life than the fact that some other person outside your control saw you as lacking. It’s far more liberating than trying to change them or stoping yourself from following a dream you had for the sake of avoiding the unpleasantness of that.

Your ego thinks that you are who you associate with. Your ego wants you to be the only woman at that company because that company looks prestigious and you think being associated with it is going to say something about you and about women. But your heart knows you don’t need them. Your heart knows that you are what you bring to life and not who you associate with so you better make sure you’re living and growing and doing your best and surrounding yourself with great supportive people so that you can offer more and more, by virtue of what they teach you and the way they make you feel about yourself. See this blog on rate of learning being the most valuable form compensation at a startup, NOT money, NOT perks, NOT equity. Your heart doesn’t want to work in a toxic environment and knows that you are smarter and more worthwhile than what you can get other people to think or not think about you, and your heart knows you’re going to find  the right smart people who recognize that to work with, and you’re heart knows you’re gonna get your due. Ten fold, cuz you’re gonna make it work bitch.

Happy self loving tech lady freedom fighters ❤

Love Lana

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Whispers: You can be, do, and have, anything.

So I’m doing this Oprah course online called The Gifts of Imperfection with Brene Brown (Oh yeah..all the feels up in here haha) and one of the assignments I have to do for this thing 😛 is to take a picture of a time in my life that I’m least proud of, or embarrassed about, or just a sucky time, and write/draw around it in my scrapbook “whispers” of things that I wished I could tell the person (me) in that picture.

Now it’s taken me a while to come up with a really great whisper. I have the picture, from when I was in HS. I had a bunch of stuff ready to tell her but they were all kind of cookie cutter; things from the course, things I’d told myself before, that I knew resonated with growth that happened for me back then “Forgive yourself for betraying yourself” I even meditated and came up with a little line about standing with yourself and not by yourself and how friends who don’t stand with you can make you feel more alone than when you’re alone and standing with yourself. But I didn’t feel ready to put them on paper. I didn’t like them. They weren’t new to me. They weren’t super profound or inspiring to me today.

Then tonight I was re-watching a video I’d put up on twitter of a talk from Awesomefest:

And right at the moment where he says “You can be, do, and have anything you want in life” I just paused the video, got out my journal and started writing the following:

You can be, do, and have anything you want in life, and the woman you are inside will chose grace, will chose love, will chose greatness. So never ever be afraid of where you’re going, only be afraid of your resistance to that which you would chose from your heart, and snuff it right out before it snuffs out your divinity.

I loved it so much I was compelled to jump on here and make a blog out of it.

This might sound a little funny, honestly, to anyone who hasn’t been reading a lot of the spiritual teachings I’ve been immersed in lately. (and THAT might sound snooty lol) but really there’s so much resistance that gets in the way of us living the life we were meant to, and so much of it comes from thinking we should “do the right thing” when really maybe “the right thing” is just what we think the world expects from us. What our families want, what our boyfriend wants, what our colleagues want, what society expects us to be, or even what we think society expects, when no one really expects anything from us. And at the end of the day, it’s really an excuse. An excuse to not take a chance on ourselves. An excuse to stay within the confines of the ego’s fear based agenda, which, at the end of the day, is really the riskier behaviour, as it causes us the most distress.

Gonna finish this with a quote I put from a course in miracles in my last blog because I think it’s relevant again:

“The journey that we undertake together is the exchange of dark for light, of ignorance for understanding. Nothing you understand is fearful. It is only in darkness and in ignorance that you perceive the frightening, and shrink away from it to further darkness. And yet it is only the hidden that can terrify, not for what it is, but for it’s hiddenness.”

Like Kamal Ravikant says in the video. “Whenever I feel fear, I know there’s magic behind it.” This quote can apply to anything in life, whether we’re afraid to tell a loved one how we feel, or afraid to embark on a new chapter of our lives, or we’re afraid to hurt someone else, or afraid we’ll get hurt, or we’re afraid of judgement or failure or even afraid to make a decision and pick a path. None of these things are as scary as we make them out to be, and they’re all fears the ego uses to keep you in the dark, because if the ego isn’t in the dark anymore, it’s destroyed. The ego is just one big illusion, and it will do anything to keep it’s self alive. Whatever is behind your fear, is the light of day that will snuff out the ego. So step through fear as you would step into the sunlight. And trust that the divinity in your heart is bringing you “one step closer to knowing”-U2

Happy self-loving

Lana 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mirror work

I love self help stuff. I think understanding ourselves and how we work is one of the most valuable things we can learn, which is probably why I got my psych minor..not because it was the “easiest” stream of computer science *sigh* haha

I follow Louise Hay on Facebook. I love her. She’s brilliant. The founder of HayHouse publishing, she talks about the importance of positive self talk and self love and positive affirmations a lot in all her books. She asked about people’s experiences with mirror work recently and I thought I’d post my thoughts on the value of mirror work here.

Mirror work is essentially facing yourself in the mirror and trying to be kinder and more loving to yourself. I think people get a strange stereotypical image of this practice when they imagine it. Like that viral video of that little blonde girl doing morning mantras “I love my hair! I love my mom! I love my house! I love my clothes! I can do anything!” haha, but it’s not exactly what mirror work is like. A lot of people, I think, start out with mirror work and try the stereotype, feel like they’re just lying to themselves, and give up. My practice of noticing my self talk/self image goes way back to high school for me, before I ever read any positive psych literature, it was critical to my survival, incredibly transformative, and anyone can benefit from it, no one is above this 😛 Not the most gorgeous successful man or woman on earth. Awareness is always a vital practice.

I think that women in male dominated fields can particularly benefit from mirror work. We may feel pressured to represent ourselves a certain way. We may have a lack of role models or even discouraging images of women in our field. We might be processing feedback from trolls. Even when people try to encourage us it can give us the impression that they see us as wanting. When we’re congratulated for just being a part of the field or completing our degree, or we’re just not challenged as much as our peers, it can effect our self image, but at the end of the day we are the only ones who live in our heads, and this practice of self perception awareness is really valuable for us in removing the more abstract barriers that are tricky to navigate.

Certainly men can also benefit from this. I would almost say more but why compare like that. We both have pressures put upon us and we all need to be in touch with our inner guidance system.

So what else is mirror work if it’s not just asserting mantras at your face? 😛

Mirror work forces you to think about how you see yourself. To look yourself in the eyes, and in that moment you can’t lie to yourself. You may not have been very self aware in the past, or maybe you were but then lost that awareness. You might think your relationship with yourself is great because you have all these great outside things, but in front of the mirror you come face to face with the only person who can really judge you on this earth. Who can determine the way you feel each day when you wake up, and how much love in your heart you have to share with others. In that moment no matter how good or bad your surroundings are you can’t hide from yourself, you’re faced with all the things you say to yourself on a daily basis. You may be unable to look yourself in the eye for a bit, or you may be overwhelmed by self love and compassion, you may apologize, you might cry, you might just say hi and have a little reflective time but whatever happens you will be making progress. So keep doing it.

“The journey that we undertake together is the exchange of dark for light, of ignorance for understanding. Nothing you understand is fearful. It is only in darkness and in ignorance that you perceive the frightening, and shrink away from it to further darkness. And yet it is only the hidden that can terrify, not for what it is, but for it’s hiddenness.”-A Course In Miracles

I really can’t describe it in any more detail. Everyone is different, every conversation with yourself is different. This is why it’s called work. The awareness is the important thing, that and forgiveness, and loving kindness, but the awareness is really important. Often you’ll find, if you reflect on it long enough, that it isn’t the cheesy mantra that’s the lie, but rather the self thought you had before, or were fed by something or someone else.

When we “do the work” we come from a different place in our lives. A place of integrity. There’s a power to that. In everything we do. Nothing needs to be forced, you always know where you stand, and so does everyone else. Nothing can touch you when you know your real worth, and when you know what you need to work on and can take constructive criticism about it. The only person who truly has the power to determine how others treat you and how you treat yourself is you. And in the end, life gives you what you give yourself.

Happy self loving 🙂


Posted in Feminism, Self Help | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ego

Found this here: Thought it was perfect.

So, so far I’ve taken this blogging thing, too seriously, not that I’ve even touched this blog in ages. I have three half finished blogs sitting in my dashboard, one is an ode to Anita Roddick, which I probably just won’t be happy with untill it’s a book about everything awesome about her 😛 another one is a collection of ideas about ideas called IDEAS!! haha and the other one is an old updated goals list which I should delete. There’s a saying that if you want to get something done, don’t tell people what your goals are. Which is true, because they’ve done studies on this and you get satisfaction, just from the announcement that you’re going to be doing these great things, feel very accomplished, and then don’t do as much work to actually make them happen.

So goals is a bad thing to blog about. I want to be a bit more candid though. I’ve made the effort to do this before but I still apologize for things for no really good reason and worry whenever I want to say something about gender or anything that can be unpleasant to talk about. Myself, in person, I’m always extremely candid. I think that’s a good thing. Some people are really good at getting down to the nitty gritty though, I really admire that. Like this guy. LOVE that blog.

I was having dinner with my friend Jen last week and she was talking about a blog post she wrote recently on her lunch break at work when she suddenly had an urgent idea for a blog and had to get the idea out. Like she says in the post she didn’t even edit it. I’ve been writing songs and poems in my diary for as long as I can remember and the best ones are just when I can’t even control what’s coming out of me and I have no idea where it came from but I HAD TO write it down.

I had a similar experience at 5:30 am last night when I couldn’t get to sleep, and made this Facebook note about ego. I don’t worry about being professional on Facebook, but that’s why I enjoy making notes on there. It’s no sweat. I should do that more here. Cut out the EGO 😛 and just lose myself in the flow of expression 🙂 So here’s my poem/ Facebook note about the ego 🙂

I can’t sleep cuz I drank caffeine at 9pm and my ego was bothering me when I went to bed, so I went for my diary to get it out but I didn’t want to get up to turn on the light so I put it in a note on my windows phone and now I’m sharing it. Tada! Lol I rhyme a lot like Dr. Seus when I’m sleepy, I think :P.

The ego

The ego shocks
The ego toils
The ego struggles and
The ego boils
The ego pricks
The ego’s scared
It cares what you think
But it just won’t share
The ego’s high
The ego’s low
Won’t go near that other person
Who’s only so-so
The ego wants
The ego lies
The ego shouts
and will tell you not to cry
The ego doubts
The ego compares
The ego discriminates
The ego tears
The ego spies
The ego’s sly
The ego never feels it has
Enough to get by
The ego plans
And the ego sees
All the things you need to be
Before you’re complete

It needs to hear your compliments
It needs to get your text
It needs to just ignore that girl
Who’s swooning while it flexed
It needs to take precautions
It needs to have a goal
It needs to keep it’s fitness up
It needs to have control

The ego’s a great big bottomless hole
The ego’s a cold shoulder an idea you stole.
It is only happy when it’s on the tip top but can plummet you down to an infinite drop.
If ever you’re feeling it’s sting in this place, running the rat race at a perilous pace. Remember to stop and to fall on your knees to feel from your heart and to hear out it’s plea, to remember compassion, surrender, and grace, that you were a child once, with mud on your face.

Every thing that I’m feeling, is just something that you’ve felt too, every peice that is inside me is another peice of you. We can change it, rearrange it, pass that stranger on the street. We can dress it up or dress it down, and make it look discrete. But if ever you’re without that and it makes you want to hide, recognize it cuz it’s dangerous, a little thing called pride.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What I love about being a software developer

A developer I met on twitter told me to check out this article a while ago on the benefits of being a female software engineer.  I enjoyed it, but had a few varying opinions so I thought I’d first give my personal list of the things I love about being a developer, and then also some positives about being a woman in the field.

Things I Love About Being a Developer

Feeling like I have the power to build anything

We’re so bombarded with new technology all the time that I think we sometimes take for granted the magic of it. As a programmer, almost ironically, I feel like I get to live in constant awe of this magic. I’ve always been a creative person. I started writing songs and poetry in grade 2 and still do, got pretty good at drawing in middle/HS, and even thought for a while that I might try taking up woodworking in post secondary. The spirit of creation is the midnight oil that keeps programmers glued to their monitors into the wee hours. Having the ability to create programs you can use as tools just blows my mind. If you think it looks boring sitting behind a computer, just remember that’s exactly where you’d be if you were editing that music video in Final Cut Pro, or writing your famous blog that’ll be made into a TV series, or putting together parts for a song with GarageBand, but you wouldn’t be able to do any of those things on that computer without programmers! MAGIC!! :O

Seeing my creations work/do something I wanted to accomplish

Building a program is fun, but using it after or seeing people use and appreciate it is even more rewarding. If you’ve created a piece of software that works well and looks nice, just seeing the fruits of your labor on your own screen is enough to make you do a happy dance, if that is you’re nerdy/cool enough to do something like that *brushes shoulder off* 😛

Making an algorithm that’s just that much better than the other guy’s

Now if you’re not competitive you can still enjoy programing for a lot of other reasons, and just because you don’t have the fastest most elegant solution for something does not mean you won’t be a successful programmer (not at all!), but for myself, I can get competitive sometimes :P. Especially when it comes to challenging projects or assignments. I’m not proud of this one but I know I’m not the only one who enjoys this. When the guys are talking about their solutions for an assignment like “Oh yeah I used a priority queue, and my algorithm does this. Runs faster than most of the other programs apparently. What’d you use?” I love when I can respond with something like. “Oh yeah that’s cool. I used one too but my recursive function cuts off early and uses a shortcut if the player isn’t being blocked, to score faster, which happens most of the time if it’s running against random players, so it ended up working in like half the time after I did that :D” If you’re a good sport a little friendly competition can be fun 😀 I don’t want to make programing look harder than it is right now though, so for anyone reading this who isn’t sure if they’d be good at programing just try it and if you don’t like a language try another one. Some of the terminology used to describe it can make it look difficult but, it’s way easier than it seems, and not everyone who is good at programing likes the more challenging problems, but they’re still every bit as good of a programmer, and they end up being every bit as successful. So many opportunities are there for you if you have this special skill so I want to encourage everyone to try it. Especially more GIRLS! Still, if you’re bright and enjoy a challenge there are career paths you can take and courses you can take that can give you a lot of that 🙂 Feeling kick-ass for solving a difficult problem is just a job perk worth mentioning. If you enjoy solving puzzle games and things like that, or you enjoy math or physics, you might want to check out programing, you’ll probably fall in love with it.


Computer science students, make on average anywhere from 16 to 18 bucks an hour for their first summer jobs during school, and then it can get up to 23 an hour by the time you graduate. Now this varies greatly depending on a lot of things and these are only my estimates based on what I’ve gathered from friends and acquaintances, so if you’re a student reading this, and it’s not your story, don’t worry! Even if you graduate with no work experience you still have a very marketable skill, and probably a great career ahead of you. I just had my first computer science job at the start of this school year (4th year) and now continuing into the summer my salary has gone up. I started late, I never really went after an IT job until last summer when I was coming out of third year, and I started late for the summer so I ended up giving up and waitressing, but I’m making more now than I was waitressing, I have a steady job 5 days a week, and I pinch myself because although I did enjoy my service job, getting paid more than I was hustling tables to do what I love already in my first job is a dream come true. 🙂 If you give up on finding a summer job, just don’t give up on the career. It can feel daunting if people around you have jobs in the field and you’re late for the party(how I felt with my guy friends who almost all had IT jobs since 1st or 2nd year), but even working for free for a startup can be one of the most enriching experiences, and can be worth much more to you in the end than getting paid anything if you want to even try that. It’s not all about the money, but the money is there to be made. Again LADIES! There need to more ladies in my field getting in on this!

Being an expert/ respect

I have limited experience in the field, but from what I can tell there is a lot of respect in the work force amongst developers for each-other, especially if they all bring something different to the table, it’s all “Oh well you’re the expert on the databases”, or “Well I don’t know as much about that area of the product but this is what I think, what do you think?” and “Let me know how you feel about my ideas! :)” or “Let me know if you have suggestions for how else we can go about this! :)” Everyone values each-others input and there’s a real feeling of comradeship, teamwork, and respect. It’s great to feel like you really have something to contribute if you have special knowledge, and it’s great to be respected for what you can bring to a project at work, or for an expertise, which you’ll almost certainly end up developing over time in development, especially if there’s a certain language or type of project that really gets you passionate at the start.

Can always grow/ go new places/ go anywhere

There are so many options in a developer’s career. As an indecisive person it can make my head spin sometimes when I try to think exactly what direction I want my career to take, but as someone with a lot of interests it also makes me glad to know I can always explore new dimensions of the industry. From government jobs, to startups, to contract work, to open source, to future managerial possibilities, to starting your own business, or going to grad school. There are just a whole world of possibilities for career options in computer science/ computer engineering, and you can always learn more if you’re ever bored with where you are. There’s always more to learn and new exciting technology to explore 🙂

Entrepreneurial spirit of the industry

Since my second year at Carleton when I was exposed to a few startup companies in Ottawa I’ve thought that starting my own company was something I wanted to do eventually. I’ve seen other Carleton graduates succeed at it and after working on a 48 hour coding competition to make a game for Windows phone 7 (the Great Canadian Appathon), I know that when I’m working with friends on something we designed and came together to create, I can work tirelessly for days and it doesn’t ever feel like work. I know I’m not alone in catching the startup bug either. It’s something that comes from being a part of an industry where the product is completely digital (so no building materials or shipping or packaging costs to worry about), the industry can change so quickly that being a small and agile company has major advantages, you can be personally involved in all aspects of the creation of your product from start to finish (entrepreneurs like to have control), and the impact your service could have on society seems only limited by your imagination. I say seems because a lot of developers feel like once they build an amazing product people will just come use it, and aren’t used to the marketing/customer service side of the industry. As someone who has always been fascinated with human behavior and motivation, with a minor in psychology, who’s a big people person, I’m also passionate about how people are going to use and react to software so I love all sides of the process of getting an idea from someone’s head, on to people’s computers, and into their lives.

Things I Love About/ Advantages of Being A Woman in The Industry

You are well liked because you bring an energy that’s missing

Before I came to University to study computer science in a program with a girl guy ratio of 1 to 9 (not even: women make up 7% of my program a percentage that’s gone down since the 80’s when the percentage was closer to around 45%) I was in an arts HS with a girl guy ratio of 7 to 1, and I notice now that the guys in our school were very well liked, whereas in computer science the girls are more well liked, and I’m not just talking about crushes here, there’s just an energy that’s missing when a population is heavily dominated by one sex, the dynamic is out of balance, and people are drawn to the energy that’s missing. In HS I couldn’t wait to get to university because I wanted to have tons of guy friends, I wanted buddies to joke around with, I’d had enough of talking with girlfriends about feelings, of shopping and sleepovers, after a couple of years of comp sci, I got sick of having so many guy friends (not that I got sick of the friends I had :P) and started trying to make more girlfriends outside my program to balance my life. That’s just how it is. Whether by nature or nurture, male and female friendships have a different quality to them and we need both in our life. I’m very grateful for all the wonderful friendships I’ve made in my program and in my industry 🙂

Men compete more aggressively with other men they work with

If you’re a woman this means less butting heads or trying to show each-other up on teams who’s members should be co-operating, and smooth sailing in general. Generally once people get older I think they’re more mature and secure so everyone is more supportive and less competitive with each-other in general, but they’ll still compete more with each-other which makes co-operation easier for women in the field. This isn’t because they don’t think you can hold your own. They’re not going easy on you. It’s evolutionary for men and women to compete more with members of the same sex.

I love that I have an unexpected occupation

I get some surprised looks when I tell people I’m a software developer and I know what you’re saying, “Lana maybe they’d be surprised if you were a guy too!”, and yes maybe they would have, it doesn’t always have to do with gender, but it may have something to do with it considering the very low number of women in the industry. When someone says “Wow!…wow good for you!” I’d never be upset by it. They didn’t expect me to be a programmer because people use mental heuristics to try and guess my profession, mental shortcuts, which usually work well. I’m a woman and so chances are you’d be better off not guessing that I’m a programmer if you want to have the best chances of winning the guessing game, but to see someone ask me if I work at the mall, while I put my makeup on on the buss and then get to see their face as they question their assumption, is just a lot of fun for me, especially as a feminist. Never make assumptions about people 😛 Not even yourself 😛

Compliments/ not hard to find a date

A guy friend of mine, in computer science, gave me this one: “Computer Science: the odds are good but the goods are odd” While this is pretty funny, to be blunt, you’d find just as odd goods in any of the other more gender balanced sciences, like chemistry or bio, but in comp sci you don’t have other women to compete with. Seriously though the guys in my program are some of my favorite people in the world, there are a lot more cool down to earth computer nerds out there than you’d think, and if you’re intimidated by the gender ratio, just remember, a lot of them are more afraid of you than you are of them, so extend an olive branch to one or two and you’ll have at worst a guy who stalks you but also makes you feel good about that freshman 15 you put on, or a douche who you quickly get over because all the guys around you are asking you why you’re dating his douche ass, or at best a lifelong friend, or a lifelong partner. 🙂 Maybe even a business partner if you’ve caught the startup bug. Either way most of the guys in my program are wonderful intelligent fun and creative people, so this is just a bonus worth mentioning.

Being able to act like a total dork and get praised for it

I’ve always been nerd at heart. You wouldn’t know it if you passed me on the street or saw me out with my girls but if you could see how I am on the inside I’d probably look like a skinny teenage boy with braces and really thick glasses, and it shows when I’m with my guy friends. I’m a music nerd, I’m a comic book nerd, I’m a psychology nerd, I’m a Youtube nerd, I’m a video-game nerd, I’m a book nerd, and a very proud computer science nerd, and I let out quite a snort sometimes when I laugh, and I snort a lot around the guys in comp sci 😛 I feel like we’re all one big nerdy family, I love it, I’ve never laughed harder or spoke more freely, candidly, or passionately with any other group of people. These guys are my soul-mates 😛 Why is this under the advantages of being a woman in computer science? Why not stick it with things I love in general? Because I think it’s really good for me, as a woman to be around guys who couldn’t care less if I was wearing any makeup, around guys who wouldn’t notice the difference if you died your hair red, blonde, lost 20 pounds or gained 20, guys who don’t care about social graces or which other crowd you’re friends with, around guys who make you feel like you can be yourself, even if that means you feel like swearing like a sailor, not doing your hair that day, and snorting really REALLY loud when you laugh just cuz you feel like acting a little crazy, because I think us girls need to learn to love ourselves, more unconditionally, and worry less about our image/appearance and more about what we can do with our lives. These guys want to hear if I’m working on a software project or learning to play ukulele, because that’s cool and fun, they don’t want to hear it if I buy new clothes or get new makeup, they’ll just compliment you whether you have makeup on or not. They’re chicken soup for the female soul 😛 🙂

My ambitions are not just for myself. I want to succeed for other women/girls

I think I’m naturally a very ambitious person, not in a power hungry or status hungry sort of way, just in that everything I’ve wanted to do in my life I’ve wanted to be the best at it, I’ve wanted to do something great with it, even if no one but my family is going to see it, I want it to have an impact. I want whatever I do to create something awesome and moving. I also have a deeply rooted sense of fairness and justice and if I see something that runs up against that it upsets me a great deal. I won’t ever become upset to the point where I let it invade my life in a negative way and I’m a very balanced and grounded person, but as Martin Luther King said “True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.” I think that there are a lot of leftover outdated attitudes in our society from the women’s movement and before it, that go unnoticed and effect women and men for the worse. When men and women are offered a salary, men will reject it and ask for more 8 times more often than women. In fields like nursing that are dominated by women people are underpaid, and men avoid them, in fields like computer science and engineering we’re paid more and women avoid them, and I know that these things won’t just naturally balance out without effort, because when you act unconsciously in your life, imbalances don’t just go away, they’re self perpetuating, and it’s the same thing with society.

Salary is a big deal. How much we think we can/should make is about how much we think we’re worth to the world, and it’s a sensitive topic, which is why people don’t like to talk about it, but I’m someone who craves real conversations with strangers, I want to talk about things like this because it matters so much, which is why I’m writing so much in this post :P. If you’re a woman and you make a conscious effort to keep yourself aware that the guy next to you is asking for a higher salary 8 times as often, and that you’re worth just as much, and you make a conscious effort to do the same thing, which is not easy at all for most women, then the difference in money you’ll have made over your lifetime by the time you retire is in the millions, but even better than that if you can think about the difference it would make if you end up being the first woman to start a tech company that makes such a significant impact on the industry that your face is on the cover of Time and all the IT and business magazines and that gives little girls something to stick on their walls instead of the fashion models on all the covers of all the magazines they’re used to seeing women on, that’s not just an ambitious goal that’s revolutionary, that’s an Obama moment just waiting to happen that some woman is going to get to have. Don’t you want to be the woman to make that moment possible? You can be. If you pursue a career in computer science or engineering 😉 haha obvious plug right there 😛 but that’s why I’m so passionate about my industry, all the opportunity and all the frontiers out there just waiting for whoever is brave enough to take them 🙂

Hope that you enjoyed the reasons I love software development, and I also hope that you’re a young girl and this got you to thinking about where you want your post secondary education to take you, and maybe that you’ll pick computer science or engineering 🙂

If I’ve left an advantage out or if you disagree with anything I’ve said let me know 🙂 I always love a good discussion about these things 🙂

Shalom! 🙂

Posted in Feminism, IT | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Happy International Women’s Day :D + Good Quotes

So it’s IWD today 😀 and I was copying out all my quotes from my MSN space that I put there in HS, now that MSN is getting rid of their spaces, and there were a lot of feminist quotes and bits of feminist ideals in my old blog posts from when I was a teenager.

I really enjoyed reading them again so I thought I’d put some of them up here for Women’s Day 😀

First, I wanted to share a snippet of a blog I wrote, when I discovered Sinead O’Connor.

“Claim to fame: Sinead O’Connor is a Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter who rose to fame with her hit single ”Nothing Compares 2 U”. She continues to make music to this day.
She did what?!: In 1992, Sinead appeared on Saturday Night Live and took a political turn with her career. Not only did she change the lyrics to her Bob Marley cover of ”War” – she also presented an image of Pope John Paul II to the camera while singing the words ”evil”. She intended to protest against sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church through her lyrics and went as far as to tear up the picture of the Pope and said ”fight the real enemy”. This moment in television history is still considered one of the most controversial moment in music history.” (credit: Paul Natkin/WireImage)

Frigin amasing! Wow! She has balls! lol I love to see outspoken women!! This just makes my day 🙂

Nothing compares to you(her famous song):

No Man’s Woman:
I know it’s a little extreme but I still love it haha leave it up to my feminist brain :P, Especially the part at the start where she’s running from the churtch and then when she’s reborn and spining around with the guitar, and when she says “My friends think I’m alone, but I’ve got secrets. I don’t tell everything bout the love I get. I’ve got a loving man but he’s a spirit. He never does me harm never treats me bad. He never takes away all the love he has” (refrence to God.. I’m asuming lol). mm Beautifull 🙂 I love all the running lol makes me wanna go for a run 🙂
(8)I never wanna be no man’s woman! I only wanna be my own woman! I havn’t travelled this far to become, no man’s woman. No man’s woman, no man’s woman!(8)
I gotta get this onto my iPod lol

The blog reminds me of when I was just coming into my own and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside seeing all of the influences I tried to soak up as that was happening. There are a lot of different song lyrics too on the blog like Put Your Records On and Suddenly I See, and different quotes like the ones bellow that really remind me of my passion and idealism in it’s more raw form from when I was younger 😀

Hope you enjoy these 🙂


“I have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat” -Rebecca West, 1913

“Independence is happiness.” -Susan B. Anthony

“Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade.” -Constance Baker Motley (First African American Woman to become a Federal Judge in the U.S.)

“For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women.”-Elizabeth Blackwell (The first woman in the U.S. to become a physician)

“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.” -Gloria Steinem

“People think at the end of the day that a man is the only answer [to fulfillment]. Actually a job is better for me.” -Princess Diana

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” -Janis Joplin

“Squint your eyes and look closer I’m not between you and your ambition I am a poster girl with no poster I am thirty-two flavors and then some and I’m beyond your peripheral vision so you might want to turn your head…” -Ani Difranco

“The day will come when men wil recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then,wil there be the perfect comradeship,the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race” -Susan B. Anthony

“In every girl is a goddess. ” -Francesca Lia Block


“For myself, I am an optimist – It does not seem to be much use being anything else.” -Winston Churchill

“People with many interests live, not only longest, but happiest.” -George Matthew Allen

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.” -Henry David Thoreau

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” -Albert Einstein

“I am more and more convinced that our happiness or our unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves.” -Karl Wilhelm Von Humboldt

“Never does a man portray his character more vividly than his proclaiming the character of another.”-W.Churchill

“Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.” -Dr. Dale E. Turner

“Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing. ” -Oscar Wilde

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” -Louisa May Alcott

“It’s so clear that you have to cherish everyone. I think that’s what I get from these older black women, that every soul is to be cherished, that every flower is to bloom.” -Alice Walker

“To acquire love… fill yourself up with it until you become a magnet.” -Charles Haanel

“To some the idea of giving so much love to self will seem very cold hard and unmerciful. Still…may be seen in a different light,when we find that looking out for#1, as directed by the Infinite,… the only way2permanently benefit#2” -Prentice Mulford

“…the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you’ve been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude.” -Wallace Wattles

“Keep working hard and you can get anything that you want. If God gave you the talent, you should go for it. But don’t think it’s going to be easy. It’s hard!Always be true to yourself”-Aaliyah

“The heart that loves is forever young” -Greek Proverb, Greek ppl are smart *nods head* haha (I’m half Greek)

“The greatest threat to knowledge is not ignorance. The greatestthreat to knowledge is the illusion of knowledge.” -Unknown

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” -James Thurber

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” -Buddha

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come whenlife seems most chalenging.” -Joseph Campbell

“In a universe of infinite dimensions, every point is the absolute center. You are such a point” -Hans Decoz

“We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respectthat of others, without fearing it.” -Thomas Jefferson 1793

“Improving our own attitudes and our own state of mind takes time. Haste and impatience can only defeat our purposes.” -from This is Al-Anon

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be?”-Marianne Williamson

“Look at every path closely and deliberately. try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question…Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t it is of no use.” -Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. ” -Aldous Huxley

“I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding” -John O’ Donohue

“I always say, when the voice and the conviction on the inside becomes more profound, clear, and loud than the opinions on the outside, you’ve mastered your life!” -Dr. John Demartini

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” -Marcus Aurelius

“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” -William Feather

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman

Posted in Feminism, Music I Like | Leave a comment

Feel Good Music

So a few days ago I was cleaning up my room when I stumbled upon a bunch of cassette tapes and thought I’d give them a listen. Among some of the things that made me smile were a recording of my old vocal teacher, teaching my HS friend her part of a duet we were learning. It was kind of a cat opera song where all the words were Meow. We loved that duet. That brought back some good memories of HS. I know I was a music nerd lol

Then I found a song I’d written in middle school, and recorded so that I could remember how it went. It was just so cute, my voice was really soft and quiet back then. The lyrics went like this “Do you really think that heaven sent her? You’ve been running on a broken lender. So go ahead return to sender, and make it good. Take all of this love I’m sending, and go work on your heaven pending, even if it’s broke and mending, ohohoh and make it good. Make it good.” The first part sounds a little confusing. It’s pretty much about a destructive relationship, broken lender would be his/her heart. It’s called Make it Good. It’s a couple of half finished verses but I thought it was sweet 🙂 Made me smile. 🙂 ❤

The other thing I found was a tape with a bunch of Paul Simon songs on it. I found that tape in our house, when I was little, and fell in love with the music 🙂 I just remember dancing in my room to my Paul Simon tape, bringing my tape player all around the house and listening to it all day 😛 Those songs are such feel good music for me :). Diamonds on the soles of her shoes, The myth of fingerprints, That was your mother, I know what I know, Graceland. I’ve stumbled on a lot of music, that makes me feel good lately so I thought I’d make another blog in my music category and list all the music here 😀

Ruslana: Dance with the wolvesAll these songs are a bit random lol I really like this woman. She’s Ukrainian but the dancing and themes in her music remind me of Greek…ness haha I love Greek dancing. I don’t know a lot about Greek history, and I don’t speak a lot of Greek, but I know a lot of my passion in life comes from my Greek blood, and every summer since I was a little girl when I dance at Greekfest in Ottawa the music and the dancing with the moon above everything, sets my heart on fire with joy…as cheese as I made that sound haha, that’s how I feel about it :). Her music is inspired by the traditions of the Hutsul people of the Carpathian Mountains. I found this song right after I had a crazy wolf dream. In the dream I was attacked by a wild wolf and then I became wild too and the wolf left me alone acknowledging me as one of it’s own. Makes the song special for me 🙂 I love empowering songs. 🙂

Kesha: Heart Fall OutI love the fact that Kesha grew up on music and food stamps, and lived in her car when she was trying to promote herself as an artist. If you don’t know her background look it up it’s a pretty cool story. I think her upbringing gives her a lack of pretentiousness that I find refreshing 🙂 “Don’t let your heart fall out, it’s the only thing you’ve got” Wise words, from someone who’s had nothing in this world but heart and knows it’s enough 🙂 That’s how I see it 🙂

Jo Dee Messina: I’m AlrightI broke up with my boyfriend a little bit ago, and I’ve been feeling down since then. Was a little low at work the other day and this song came on. Now I hum it whenever I feel sad and it cheers me up 🙂

Bless Beats ft. Remi Nicole, Wiley and Plug One: Let It Go

Rascal Flatts: Love is UnstopableHeard this in the tanning salon and had to look it up later 🙂 ❤ Love IS unstoppable! 😀

Pink: 18 WheelerOne of the 20 most played songs on my iPod. Great running song. Makes me feel invincible. Lets me run that extra half mile lol

Paul Simon: I know what I knowWOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP!! Hahaha 😀

Howard Huntsberry: Higher and HigherHad to watch Ghostbusters 1 and 2 before I played the video-game. Btw I’m disappointed with that game cuz even if you pick the female character the dialog doesn’t change, they call you he in the cut scenes. Sux. Love the statue of liberty scene in GB2 though 🙂 ❤ I can’t not dance when I hear this 😛

Marry J Blige: Just FineAnother one of the 20 most played on my iPod 🙂 This song just makes me feel amazing 🙂 I love it 🙂 God bless Marry J for making such good muzak ❤

Posted in Music I Like | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The meaning of a “Girl”

A bunch of feminist-esque songs with the word girl in the tittle 🙂 Enjoy!

Madona: What it Feels Like For a GirlI put up the Glee version, because it really touched me when I heard the guys from the cast sing it, when I watched the episode 🙂

Corine Bailey Ray: Girl Put Your Records OnI found a video on YouTube where the name had girl in it so it counts 😛 and it’s a live acoustic performance so it’s just that much better 🙂 These lyrics are words of wisdom if ever there were any. To me modern feminism is a very positive thing, that’s farther from the past than, I think, most people think it is. It’s something I do just for me. It’s me trying to adapt a way of being and thinking that sets me free in life. Free from expectations I might have about myself or I think other people might have for me. Something that lets me “let my hair down” like the song says 🙂 Just to be conscious of expectations, and avoid any influence that doesn’t serve my life’s purpose and make me happy. I support other women, just like I support my male friends. Feminism is about equality. There was a guest on an old game-show who introduced herself saying “I’m an Aerospace Engineer and a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys. Some people think outside the box, I just like to live outside it 🙂 ” To me that’s what modern feminism is all about; Not letting yourself get boxed in 🙂

Sugarbabes: GirlsThis whole thing started when I heard this song in a shampoo commercial and had to look it up online. I love running to these Sugarbabes songs. Feel good music ❤

Sugarbabes: About a Girl😀

Robyn: Who’s that girlI love Robyn. Her song “You can’t handle me” is one of my favs 🙂 Remember her from the 90’s? Show me love? She got away from her record label after that so she could have more artistic freedom, started doing small shows at first, then larger ones, then made her own record label 🙂 Love to see a woman stepping out on her own 🙂

Marina and the Diamons: Girls

I love this song. I’m def one of the guys sometimes 😛 When I was little I liked vediogames and snowforts more than hanging out with girls who could sometimes be vicious. I’ve known a lot of sweet girls growing up too, but I would sometimes get bored playing with girls 😛 I have a lot of wonderfull women in my life now 🙂 but I still like hanging out with my boys 🙂 Really women treat ourselves the way we do because we’re still a repressed group in society, we don’t want to take up space (stay skinny stay hot stay quiet) and we don’t want each other doing it so it just sucks and it’s not anyone’s fault really but this song just reminds me of my rebellion against that.

I’ve never counted calories, and I hate it when other girls/ women do it.  I pay more attention to fashion now that I’m older, so I can understand the appeal. I don’t like it though, when I see girls at the gym, on the ellipticals, reading fashion magazines while they work out. Are you so bored? You’re not really breaking a sweat if you can leaf through a magazine at the same time, and I feel like they’re just looking at what they want to look like and it makes me sad that that’s why they’re there. I love to really push myself when I work out. I love the rush of it. I just don’t understand going to the gym just to burn calories. The gym would not be a happy place for me, if I went there to burn fat. I wouldn’t go to the gym if I was so bored that I needed to listen to music AND browse a magazine WHILE working out, those are for waiting rooms lol.

Nope, no calorie counting/ burning for me. I love food, I eat what I want, when I want, and I work out when I want to have fun and feel healthy. I’ve always put emphasis on having a positive relationship with food. I hate seeing women torture themselves because they want to eat. YOU’RE HUNGRY! EAT SOMETHING! It keeps you alive! I’ve never been on a diet in my life. Back in HS after I started working at a bakery, I put on a whole lot of weight. I was in a really good place at the time and gratefully I was just able to accept and love my new size. Whatever size I am is perfect, unless it’s causing me health problems. When I started taking gym class again, still in HS, it was just something to try. I was actually kind of sad to lose the weight I did, at first, because I really came to love my curvier self. Funny how that “eye of the beholder” stuff works. Then I started to love exercise. I got really athletic and more muscular in my first year of university, I had almost no curves, but came to see that as beautiful, because I had a positive relationship with the training I loved to do, and I loved to be strong. It’s not like I haven’t had times where I thought hhmm look at those love handles 😦 but it’s very important for me in life, to love what I am, and not try to change that, and that’s a big part of what feminism is about for me.

Marina and the Diamonds (Marina Diamandis) is awesome.”the diamonds” stands for her fans, not her band! 🙂 It’s also the translation of her last name from Greek. Yay! another Greek feminist woman. I love her 🙂 She has a lot of other more interesting stuff out there. Check out some of her videos if you want here(,,,

Destiny’s Child: GirlClasic ❤ I love this one.

No Doubt: I’m just a girlAnother classic 🙂

City and Colour: The GirlThis is kind of an appropriate song for mother’s day too, if you listen to some of the lyrics 🙂 I love this song 🙂 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! I LOVE YOU MOM! ❤ Love to your mother internet! 🙂

Ciara ft T-Pain: Go GirlAnother feel good song. I love running to this 🙂 I can hang, and I think that’s why they call me GO GIRL! 😀

Pink: Stupid GirlsHow can I not include this song into this post. I love Pink. Loved her ever since I got her debut album in middle school ❤

Nikki Flores: This GirlJust found this song for this blog. Such a beautiful song. It’s cheesy but I loved the lyrics when I looked them up. If you don’t want to have to suffer through the cheese here are the lyrics alone 😛 If you’re watching the lyrics in the youtube video: Once upon a time = one step at a time. That bugs me cuz I love that line and there isn’t a single posting of this song on youtube that didn’t have the wrong lyrics in it haha

Shalom internets, and happy mother’s day 🙂

Posted in Feminism, Music I Like | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Positive POWER :D

I did that group meditation webinar thing today, and it really got me feeling good, so my first thing I’m passionate about, that I want to talk about, is self help and the power of positive thinking. If you read my last post you might have been wondering why I put emphasis on positive thinking/meditation in my list of goals. Here’s a few quotes that I think can help describe it 🙂

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. ALBERT SCHWEITZER

The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration. CLAUDE MONET

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.JAMES OPPENHEIM

Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves.HELEN KELLER

I really believe in the power of thoughts, energies, and beliefs, in effecting the quality of our lives. This might sound a little out there, and I don’t mean in any way that hard work isn’t necessary or important in life, but I really believe in the phenomenon described in the book The Secret. It basically says that if you don’t expect good things to happen to you, if you expect the worst and you operate on a low frequency (fear, doubt, guilt, wanting, regret) then bad things are going to happen to you, but if you expect good things from the universe and operate on a higher frequency (love, joy, gratitude, forgiveness, trust) then good things that match your thoughts and your frequency will be drawn into your life. I’d experienced this phenomenon in a very large way just before I heard about the book, so I was quite open minded about it when I bought/read the book, back in High School.

Just after reading The Secret, I thought “Hey! I think I’ll give this a try :)”, so I looked at what it said about summoning wealth into your life, and asking the universe for something tangible but small at first, something you think is doable. So I tried to “summon” a free cup of coffee to see if it would work. So, I do what the book says about visualizing the goal as if I already have it. I imagine the coffee in my hands, the smell, the taste, and how excited I am that I got a free cup of coffee, and I say thank you for it. I go about my life saying thank you for every new day, practicing gratitude and keeping my frequency up, and nothing was happening for about a week. Then I re-read one part of the book that says that you can’t think about ways the thing could come to you, because that’s showing the universe that you doubt it can bring the thing to you. I realized I’d been thinking a lot about how my coffee was going to get to me “OMG What’s going to happen? Is my teacher going to decide he doesn’t want his and give it away? How is this even going to happen?” so I stopped that and just put it out of my mind, and kept doing the gratitude thing :). Then, I think 3-7 days after I did that, this woman comes into my work with a bunch of kids, and she’s just come from the Mac’s across the street. So I serve her, and then I’m cleaning up the front of the store a bit when my co-worker turns to me and says “Hey she forgot her coffee.” and I just gasped. I think the girl I was working with must have thought I was crazy haha. I said “Omg you don’t understand! I summoned that!” haha The coffee was unopened XL filled to the brim with my favorite French Vanilla from Mac’s. No one had ever left a coffee in that bakery in the year I’d been working there, and no one ever did again, in the other year and a half that I worked there. I was dumbfounded. She never came back for the coffee. I didn’t drink it but the experience gave me more faith in the stuff, so I figured I’d try to see if something bigger would work, because the belief in it is supposed to make summoning easier.

So my next goal was going to be 2000$. Now, the secret has a few pointers on summoning money, so I read them, then went ahead and took a bank receipt that I had. My balance was 300 and some dollars at the time, and I stuck a two in front of it on the receipt. I looked at it and I convinced myself it was real. I let myself feel the emotions of surprise and joy and gratitude, like the book says too, as if you already have the money. The important part is to really feel the emotion of having the thing so I really got into it. I think I almost cried with joy haha. Then I put the new receipt in my purse where I could see it, and went through my life still practicing gratitude every day. A few weeks later I find out that the government owed me money and that it had been backing up. 200$ a month for about a year at the time. So before I got the check in the mail my bank account was down to about 100$…and then after cashing it…it was almost EXACTLY the amount on my pretend receipt (2300 and some)

After THAT I freaked out and never used the Secret for anything specific again haha. I was still really greatfull for the money but I just felt weird about the whole magic of it. I mean you need to earn what you get in life right? I think though, that sometimes in life you need to allow yourself to accept blessings, and that can, ironically, be very hard. It’s hard for people to accept love sometimes, or gifts, or help from a friend who wants to invest time in them. I think the fact that I’m Greek means I have a little bit of guilt in my blood. It’s taken me a while to realize that guilt can be destructive and useless. Being humble that’s fine, and feeling remorse if you’ve wronged someone, and respecting your elders, and the people you work for and your teachers, practicing hard work, and respecting those who work hard, those are all good values, but if you make a mistake, it doesn’t help anyone to be hard on yourself about it, or dragging that out. Forgiving yourself is important for moving on to generate more positive things in the world, and you can’t forgive others completely unless you can completely forgive yourself, and It doesn’t help anyone anywhere to think you don’t deserve the best life you can have. So I think that I need to start building up my expectations of the universe again.

To make things clear my plan is NOT to wish myself a good job, and I really have LOVED the minimum wage jobs I’ve done. I’m well aware of the work I need to be doing if I’m going to find a job, and I know that if I had wanted something like a government job, I should have starting hunting for one in December. I never put off job hunting thinking I could just snap my fingers and one would come. I meant to start much earlier, but now that I haven’t, I’m realizing in my job hunting that it’s important I still make sure that I get some experience that’s actually related to my career before I finish my degree, and maybe cut myself some more slack and not work myself to the bone, 7 days a week, like my last summer. I’d take a min wage job on the side if I started working for a startup for free and I couldn’t find a waitressing job. There’s nothing wrong with doing min wage work. I just want to see if practicing more positive thinking can HELP me attract more wealth into my life.

In the end what I took away from my “The Secret” experience was that what frequency of energy you’re on can greatly effect your life and that gratitude is the highest and most wonderful frequency to be on, and being on that frequency brings more of what you want and what you need into your life 🙂 and not just money or stuff you ask for, it atracts better friends and better relationships with family members, and better health and wealth in general into your life 🙂 All things I think some people have trouble realizing they deserve sometimes.

As important as it is to love yourself and accept blessings in life it is just as important though to stay grounded, which is why I think I stepped back from that Secret stuff when I did, so here are some quotes about happiness that are a little different from the first ones to put them in perspective. 🙂

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. ALBERT SCHWEITZER

( About the above quote: Taking simple pleasure in hard work helps bring you on to a higher frequency so it still fits in with the philosophy that the book talks about 🙂 it’s not all about just asking for free stuff and I think the book doesn’t work for people who look at it like that )

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. BENJAMIN DISRAELI

Hope you guys enjoyed this blog and don’t think I’m crazy for believing this stuff haha. Just talking about my personal experiences, and what I took away from them. You can not believe I summoned any of that stuff, that’s fine. I respect the beliefs of anyone who disagrees with me. Just plz don’t judge me for mine. How weak minded of me to look for mystery and something to be in awe of in my life 😛 lol

OMG Why can’t I NOT write a giant essay when I do this blogging thing! It’s 2:47 and I gotta get up at 6:30 :S No hour of reading for me tonight 😦 Too long for yall? what’d you think?

Picture comes from Pink Sherbert Photography this is another cool similar picture with different translations for happiness 🙂

Good night and shalom 😀 All the blessings in the world to you and yours 🙂

Posted in Goals, Self Help | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Start of Something Beautiful

Hi there internet! 😀

My name is Lana, and I’m so excited to start this blog! 🙂  I’m a 4th year Computer Science student with a psych minor (mostly social and cog). I love writing songs and poems. Grew up taking piano, then going through choirs, then went to an arts hs for vocal and then ended up doing comp sci in Uni. Who would have thunk it. If I ever did music as a job I think it would ruin it for me. Some things are just better as a hobby.

I’m unemployed right now and I really want to use this blog to sharpen my focus, both in my job hunting and just in how I live my life. Last year I put off job hunting till exams were over (just like this year :S) I couldn’t find a tech job but I really didn’t try hard enough. I think I’m nervous to do interviews. I love going to talks and conferences and I always have a lot of opinions on the talks I go to, but I never really speak up and talk to speakers after. A lot of people pester them after and I don’t want to be like that. If there are recruiters at a conference I’m always nervous to talk to them too. My lack of job experience def makes me nervous. I think that almost every comp sci student is under qualified for most jobs they start at though. You just have to learn while you’re there. You have to be smart and adaptable. To be frank I think that a lot of the time getting your foot in the door depends on how well you can bullshit what you already know though. I’ve definitely herd guys talking about things they didn’t really understand like they were pros at it. Whether it be security in general, cryptography, or some new technology the last company they were working at was developing. I feel like I’d make a valuable asset to any company and I need to start going harder at selling myself. I’ve got to really want it, because I have some amazing strengths. I’m really good at solving hard problems in assignments, I see things other people don’t, I have special usability testing skills from my psych degree, and a whole lot of knowledge on what motivates people from it that would be great in sales. I’m a big people person and I’m better at communication than a lot of the people in my degree.

This summer I’m gonna do things differently 🙂 No giving up on a tech job no losing focus and no minimum wage panic. Last year I worked two min wage jobs and had to turn away waitressing jobs I wanted later. I’m not paying rent, I have money saved up, and right now I need to look at the time that I’m unemployed as an opportunity to learn and do things that I don’t usually have time for, and get myself back in touch with my life’s purpose 🙂 This article was part of the kick in the pants “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste — and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you thought you could not do before.” quote from the article talking about people who are unemployed/laid off because of the depression. I’m taping that article to the inside of my closet 🙂 It’s got some great points.

I’ve lost touch a bit lately with my motivation/ life’s purpose and I’ve really got to rectify it. I really can’t wait to start my career. I like school but I don’t work as hard as I would if there were any immediate consequences for my work, and I really like it when I work hard and get a big hunk of code I can be proud of. In school no one’s going to see the work you do, or need it for anything, so I need to remind myself what all this is for.

So here’s my goals 🙂

1.Learn HTML and then PHP:

Every day starting tomorrow I’m going to devote three hours of my day entirely to this. Turning the msn off and putting the blackberry on silent! Lets see how fast I can do this 🙂 If the added skill doesn’t get me a job then maybe if I find my way around web dev with the help of some friends I could find some clients on my own 🙂 I think that after I’m comfortable with web dev I should keep learning ruby on rails (I started reading Ruby on Rails for dummies but never finished that project 😛 ) and also try to look into doing open source

2. Learn more about IT companies in Ottawa:

So this is partly for the job hunting and partly for my own education. Maybe there’s a company that really does something I connect with that I’ll want to hound until they let me work for them 🙂 I think I should look at at least one company a day now and try to research them and find out about their work environment and what they do. Another step for this is by at least this Friday I’m going to step into Code Factory with a few generic tech resumes and ask about startups that are looking for students to work for them. Or any other companies who use their space. Startups mostly don’t pay anything but I would work for free if the job really excited me or I really like the people, and it’s a good way to just learn about more companies.

3.Finish all the books that I’ve half read:

So I’m pretty ridiculous like this. I don’t know about you, but I have a hella short attention span when it comes to books. It wasn’t like this when I was younger, I’d eat books up, but now I just jump around like 5 of them, so I decided that I’m gonna do an hour of reading before bed every night and get some of these finished. First book Good to Great Making the leap. By Jim Collins. This book has been my favorite book in the world for like a year now and I still haven’t finished it, don’t ask me how. Gettin ‘er done. By the way, check it out. It’s a fascinating piece of research and compilation of business theories about what it takes to have a great company. Not good, but great. I think the standard in their research was great = companies that had at least 7 times the market value of their industry at the time. It’s not all numbers though it’s got a lot of valuable lessons about life, attitude and responsibility. I love that book 🙂

4. Get back in shape:

I think I’m probably in the worst shape I’ve been in since I started university, so I’m running two miles at least three times a week. Jogged/walked/ran my first 2 this morning. Took me 30 minutes which isn’t that bad but when I was in better shape I could do 3miles in that time so I think I’m going to make that my goal for the next couple weeks.


I wont have time to do any of these things if I spend too much time on FB and I need to cut down on outside stimulants if I want my focus and creative energy back. I’ve been spending way too much time on FB games all of last semester starting around midterms and it’s gotten pretty bad. Totally a symptom of me wanting more adventure/ achievements/ missions which I mean that’s why anyone plays any game. Now that I have real life goals set for myself to focus on I’m not going to waste any time on the virtual ones! You guys this is pretty big, I mean my Zoo in zoo-world is worth 600Mill …that’s very impressive in case you didn’t know lol ok so Deleting Zooworld, Treasure isle and happy island RIGHT NOW! ….THEY ARE DELETED! Yay purging 🙂 that felt good 🙂

6.Meditating / feeding  my creative energy

I just need to get myself in a clear focused creative head-space and I have the time and space to do that now. Now that all the FB games are gone and also half of my youtube subscriptions that were wasting my time that should help. I’m doing this webinar in a couple days too about increasing positive energy and releasing blocks on positive energy. There’s going to be a bunch of people meditating at the same time, so it sounds pretty cool. I’m also going to eat breakfast in silence now instead of watching recorded shows. No listening to music while I do stuff unless it’s The Beatles, James Taylor, or Jack Johnson. Don’t ask me why these three, I just think they’re mellow enough not to overstimulate me lol Also I’m going to talk about things I’m passionate about on here once every two days 🙂

7.Learn guitar:

Ok so a couple months ago I read one of my poems out loud for the first time at a coffeehouse at Carleton that a friend was helping to organize. It was such a rush!!! I was nervous as hell but it made me soo happy. I really miss singing and performing and I think if I could learn guitar and take some of the songs I’ve written and play them with it I could maybe work up the courage to do one of my songs at a coffee house 😀 You might think it’s weird that I’d have to work up the courage to sing in public after doing it so many times. It’s really different if it’s something you’ve written yourself though. You kinda feel naked. This one I’ll get around to whenever the Boy lends me his guitar 🙂

The poem is up on the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) blog from when I was an officer for them:

Rehearsing the poem really helped remind me of some important things I’d forgotten lately too ❤

8.Driver’s ED:

FINALLY!! :O I start taking drivers ed every Saturday in a couple of weeks 🙂

9. Don’t lose touch with friends while I do this 😛

I didn’t see my friends enough last summer so I want to make sure that doesn’t happen again. So this Friday I think I’m going to start by having lunch with my friend Rovic and I’m having a girl’s night/sleepover 🙂 If I’m in the city more it’ll help with this too. There’s a lot of ppl I’ve been meaning to grab lunch with so I might just start going in to town every morning 🙂

Well I’m off to bed because it’s 4:42am…my next goal should be to get to bed and wake up earlier. I promise that my posts will get more concise from here on out 😛 This entry was maybe more for me to help list my goals out 🙂 I find it’s nice though to hear about other people’s goals. It sometimes inspires you to reach your own.

Goodnight ❤ and Shalom 🙂

Posted in Goals | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments