Posted on Jan 2, 2009 | 17 Comments


(the title, a reference to XFN. the picture, a reference from 2007 to my excitement to move to San Francisco.)

I’ve been debating for a while writing a post that is more personal. I don’t typically like blogging about myself, as evidence through my writing at Shake Well Before Use, and most of my personal life can be obtained through Twitter already. I always think “no one cares” to read about me – there’s so much far more exciting stuff out there to be consuming! However, I love reading my friends’ blogs and the idea that they have someone that enjoys reading their more introspective moments in hopes of gleaning some insight.

2008 was an interesting year. Interesting sounds so terribly boring. By “interesting”, there were ups and downs, some of which were captured on this site.  In work, there were a lot of great, new, rewarding experiences that I truly cherished and hope to continue. I’ve now worked in multiple industries: advertising, technology, science, government, and I could be an arse and stretch it to culinary with CupcakeCamp ;) . But, by the end of the year, I felt like I was having empty nest syndrome – NASA CoLab went into hibernation from being a program, Pownce shut down and Yahoo! Brickhouse, where I often coworked, was figuratively demolished.

In dating, it was a year of biting the bullet and putting myself out there – both ways. I walked out of one situation, realizing I valued my independence and all the things I wanted to accomplish more than anything. I walked in to another situation, and for once lifted both of my feet off the ground.

Outside of income-related activities, there has always been my personal work. In years past, blogging took up most of my time (at my peak, I was posting 6 times a day). In 2008, I unintentionally transitioned from blogging to creating projects like Spacehack and CupcakeCamp. I can’t explain the amount of positive energy that is generated by being part of something that generates so many passionate people. Dare I say that it is no longer about the content or the context – it is about the community.

While I miss blogging as often (and I’m seriously considering starting a community management column), I realize that this is in step with why I moved to San Francisco in the first place. I wanted to be around people who actually created things rather than just talked about what everyone else was creating. I also realized that my move to SF was very much following in my mother’s footsteps. After watching Milk (a very emotional movie to watch after Prop 8 passing) and conversing with my mother about what it was like to live through that time in San Francisco, she told me that the first time she walked down Telegraph Avenue, she felt she had finally found home.

I don’t know what 2009 will be for me just yet. I’m filled with so much energy to release right now, so that’s exciting at the very least. December was a personally painful month that I’ve now let pass through me (like a storm, as one of my dear friends put it). All I can (and care to) concentrate on now is what I’m here to do and the people who need to hear what I have to say.


  1. Jeremy Jacobs
    January 2, 2009

    Happy New Year

  2. JohnBfromTN
    January 2, 2009

    Happy new year to you Ariel and may ’09 be better to you then ’08

  3. Ossian Newman
    January 2, 2009

    Hope you have a great year

  4. Todd
    January 2, 2009

    If you are seeking a worthwhile outlet for your creative energies, please contribute all the “community management” ideas you may have to DiSo!


  5. Anthony Howe
    January 2, 2009

    For years I avoided the temptation to blog about anything, figuring that I had little to say that would interest others that was not already said elsewhere. Then I finally caved in after I had seen a friend’s creative experiences with blogging, being infected by Twitter, and having read some of the tweets and blogs of Internet personalities such as yourself. I realised that I had a unique perspective to share as an Canadian living in Cannes, about my views and experiences with technology, and as a creative outlet for my personal writing and development.

    From what I’ve read of you through Twitter and your blogs, you are a dynamic person, who crosses many frontiers, a focal point, the intersection of a multiple Venn diagrams. As a result you are the glue the brings together many diverse people into one or more communities. Don’t be afraid to express more about yourself, because there are people such as myself who are curious about the person behind the personality.

  6. Steven K. Mariner
    January 2, 2009

    As always, nicely done. A bit about the past, a solid note about the future, and some musings on the side. THIS is why I like to read what you write — and it IS a special joy when something more personal pops up amidst your otherwise goals-focused tweets and bursts.

    Here’s to a stunningly happy 2009 to you and yours.

  7. chung
    January 2, 2009

    randomly read your stuff – it’s always, randomly, spot on and interesting. A true testimony to a good blogging. i think you will bump into the right thing.

  8. Steve Hall
    January 2, 2009

    I know I’ve said this before but your happiness makes me happy. Seeing your life now, 2.5 years after I first met you, and how drastically it has changed in those 2.5 years fills me with happiness. That you are in such a good place in your life right now is clear testament to your strength and will to succeed.

    Congrats on your continued happiness.

    And btw, I LOVE that picture. For once, you posted a picture in which you actually smile!

    And you have a really REALLY pretty smile:)

  9. Khayyam Wakil
    January 4, 2009

    You must be big on the interwebs ;) I too battled with writing personally and then I realized that I was the only one reading it. So I continued to write like no one was reading and I found my voice. Now the only dilemma is where to have my voice heard. Your story of packing up to move to SF comes at a time where I’m thinking of doing the same thing.

    Thank you for the inspiration and you never know when your words fall upon the right people.


  10. Be Ewing
    January 5, 2009

    Hi Ariel! … This is Be from the “hibernating” CoLab world of Second Life … I’m still following you and your site/blogs … They bring many smiles to my face … Much happiness, continued success and many peaceful paths to you and yours in 2009! … Take care and smiles … Be

  11. Chris Clemons
    January 11, 2009

    Ariel, I follow you on twitter and read your blog. Just thought I’d let you know that I think you are quite “interesting”. I can’t seem to find many women where I’m at that are into technology and other “geek” stuff. So if you wanna e-date, that’d be fine with me ;)

  12. Little Sister
    January 13, 2009

    I can’t believe a picture exists of you smiling! Mom sent me to this site because I always ask about you, haha. Anyway, very interesting post.
    PS — I had a weird dream you married the current guy on Bachelor. Ahahaha.

  13. Ariel
    January 23, 2009

    Haha, just i came across your site while i was suffering on the web…
    altough little mermaid has an feminine role you were the first girl I met named ariel… actually i’ve met quite a few ariels all over the world..

  14. Nicole Caverta
    February 14, 2009

    I want to send this to a friend.

  15. Mustafa Hajjar
    February 23, 2009

    may 2009 be the best year for you, it is a bit late, but happy new year to you

  16. Doctor Popular
    March 5, 2009


  17. Ariel Waldman » Blog Archive » 3.5 months late
    March 21, 2009

    […] my previous personal post, I stated that I wasn’t sure what 2009 was going to be for me yet. I think it has taken a few […]