It's my birthday! 🎉 Here's my biggest regret
3 min read

It's my birthday! 🎉 Here's my biggest regret

It's my birthday! 🎉 Here's my biggest regret
Photo by ActionVance / Unsplash
"Slow songs are for skinny hoes. Can’t move all of this here to one of those. I’m a thick b*tch, I need tempo." - Lizzo, 2019

Is it weird to tell you my age? I’m officially 32, a Scorpio, Black, Latina, uncomfortably and proudly American.

And as I think about all of the lessons I’ve learned over the past year, the one that comes to mind actually happened the year before. I’m still going to write about what I’ve learned (some of the lessons may help others), but this one in particular was so subtle that I simply can’t let it go.

It was 2019 — the Business of Software Conference in Boston, MA. One of my absolute favorites for learning new things, meeting insightful, inquisitive people, and commiserating with fellow founders. Before arriving in Boston, I made an effort to reach out to a few people I wanted to sync up with for dinner. Every night while I was in Boston, I had dinner plans.

On one particular morning during the conference breakfast, I sat next to none other than Peldi Guilizzoni — founder of Balsamiq, and one of the kindest, most unassuming souls I've ever met.

We open with general catch-up. How’s it going? How’s Balsamiq? How’s it been removing yourself more and more from the business? What are you working on? What does freedom feel like?

I had actually met Peldi at the previous year's conference so it was easy to pick up where we left off, but I had known of him for a few years before that. Back in the day, I pitched him on sponsoring a Railscamp Conference and he agreed.

That was also when I learned that cold sales emails that use his birth name and not “Peldi” are dead giveaways for not really knowing him (of which I was guilty 🙈).

At some point during our conversation, he tells me he's going to a Lizzo concert — yes, THE Lizzo. She's one of Peldi's favorites, and she had a concert in Boston at the time.

Then the unthinkable happened: Peldi had a spare ticket to see Lizzo in concert, and if I wanted to, I could go.

Now dear reader, I'm sorry to disappoint you by telling you that I actually said no. I had plans. I was going to get dinner with someone and would feel bad cancelling.

There was a very tiny voice in my head that said maybe.. just maybe it would be understandable and perfectly okay to ditch this person for a free concert ticket. But my resolve and loyalty were absolute.

Except, in the end, my loyalty never paid off.

As I was getting ready for dinner with my friend, she texted the ultimate coup d'etat: "I'm so sorry but I'm actually swamped with client work. Would it be okay if we cancelled tonight?"

Ooof. Now this I wasn't expecting.

Did my world shatter? No. I actually laughed — cackled, rather — at the sheer irony of the situation. Bird in the hand, two in the bush? Did I ever actually have a bird in hand? What if they weren't regular birds in the bush but something else?

"Boss up and change your life. You can have it all, no sacrifice" - Lizzo, 2016

I learned a few fundamental things that night. First, I learned that the universe presents opportunities for a reason, and to trust the tiny intuitive voice that tells you to simply go for it. Whatever isn't for you will fall away, and clearly those dinner plans weren't meant for me.

Second, I learned that when Peldi offers you a ticket to see Lizzo in concert, you say yes.

So I ask you — what opportunities are presenting themselves to you right now? And what's actually holding you back from pursuing them? 🍰🎉✨