Having to buy your Cabbage Patch Doll on layaway, being bald, & getting fired don’t doom you for life


  • Business plan?
  • Capital?
  • An MBA?
  • Rich-folk/political connections?
  • Skinny-thighs?

You don’t need no stinkin’ business plan, capital, MBA, connections, or skinny-thighs.

Nine years ago I got fired, had none of above and a lot more of nothing, but have since embarked upon the most uplifting, surprising, heartwarming, FUN journey of my life.

So to Ex-Boss, I say THANK YOU.

And to my baby, I say HAPPY 9th BIRTHDAY Mac & Cheese Productions and thank you!

Over these nine years —

You brought me the chance to dance/improvise/step in front of hundreds >>



You brought me a gaggle of interesting, fun, big-hearted people #cheeseits >>



You brought me Husband | Best Friend >>



You brought me a Herman Miller chair #speakerswagbag >>



You brought me a gorgeous work/live space >>



You brought me belief that I could do ‘it’ — whatever it is. Sit at the big-kids table, pay for gorgeous work/live space, speak in front of hundreds, marathons >>



You brought me in touch with children that will forever be ‘my kids,’ even when they’re forty and have no recollection of what a “Saya” is >>



You brought me the ability to claim “I’m an award-winning film maker!” >>



You brought me being featured in the Sunday NYT >>



You brought me the chance to add ‘TEDx speaker‘ to my resume >>



You brought me the chance to add ‘keynote speaker‘ to my resume >>



You brought me the chance to never again need a resume.


You brought me in the footsteps of my entrepreneurial, do it her (non-traditional, self-taught) way mother who created a career of dried flower arrangements, carpentry, and landscaping >>



You brought me the strength to ask and to value my superpowers, resulting in a fairytale bartered $24,000 wedding for $205 >>



You brought me a passion to make the lives of others better through laughter, feeling full, and community >>



You brought me social narcissistic-fodder as one of Chicago Magazine’s Top Twenty Singles >>



You brought me professional narcissistic-fodder as one of Brazen Careerist’s Top Twenty Young Professionals.


You brought me in touch with people who’ve been affected positively by our interactions >>



You brought me insight that my Type A, over-analytic, specific, opinionated, list-making’ness and telling the universe what I want, while nutty on paper, can turn into pure gold  >>



You brought me people willing to be kidnapped to undisclosed locations to do undisclosed things with undisclosed others, willing to be magically VULNERABLE >>



You brought me the self-love to finally move on from the “Bangs Incident,” where you thought if you didn’t want bangs for an upcoming wedding, obviously, you cut them off, resulting in a bald-spot >>



You brought me trips to Rwanda, Portland, and NYC >>



You brought me the knowledge of the power of “yes and…” (below is NOT me, don’t worry Mom. It’s a Fear Experimenter!) >>



You brought me the ability to embrace my ‘abnormalities’ and realize what made me feel like an outcast growing up – biracial, name, single mom, frizzy hair, homemade clothes, tallness, fatness, lack of money, having to buy my Cabbage Patch Doll on layaway, no car/tupperware/microwave/TV – made me the person I am today who overall, despite numerous flaws and stretch marks, I like >>



You brought me being able to claim “I’ve never spent any money on marketing/advertising” due to the awesome power that is WORD-OF-MOUTH >>

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You brought me QUALITY OF LIFE and the realization that being able to go to Trader Joe’s and the post office on Tuesdays at 10AM, waking up to the sun not an alarm, and taking naps, that spending the majority of my moments exactly how I want to spend them is more important than any income number.

So thank you, Mac & Cheese Productions.

Which means THANK YOU Cheese-Its. You make Mac & Cheese what it is. Your cheerleading, spreading, supporting, and yes’ing means THE WORLD.

Now, who’s buying birthday drinks?!