Life After College: 2016 Year In Review + 9-Year Blogiversary!

Written by Marisol Dahl

So much to celebrate as we close up 2016! The Life After College blog turned nine (!!) this past weekend, and in true LAC fashion we are bringing out the cupcakes. 

It's been a crazy-wild year of business growth, new ventures, growing families, and book publishing! Let's jump in . . . 

Our Favorite 2016 Posts

It was a year full of wisdom from the LAC team—Jenny, Melissa, Paul, Davis and myself. So awesome taking a look back at these greatest hits. 

Updates from the LAC Team

Melissa: "MConnected Communications is continuing to grow and we’re about to complete our first long-term corporate consulting contract. I spoke at the Work Life Congress for Working Mother’s Magazine in October, and met some amazing people who are making strides in the work/life balance arena. We launched our course, Strategic Storytelling for HR this year – and it was a success! My biggest lesson for 2016: I was building a business and a growth path that didn’t fit the way I work best. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s also been extremely freeing and satisfying since changing things up! 2017 will be filled with new things for MConnected – and some great insider things for Launch Your Job and Launch Yourself (so stay tuned). It’s going to be filled with a lot of new adventures for me and my peeps."

Paul: "My family made a cross country move! And our third child arrived in August, this time a boy, which I was slightly excited about. I had the privilege of working with companies like Aflac, Wells Fargo, and Stewart Title on reaching, engaging, retaining, and leading Millennials. I was highlighted in various publications on the topics on marketing to Millennials and pursuing your passion on Bloombergthe Chicago Tribune, and even for AARP. I launched my new online course, Finding Your Signature Sauce, a program that helps people uncover the unique ingredients within them to create an attainable action plan where their passion, purpose, and career collide. I'm working on two new books: one similar in style to 101 Secrets For Your Twenties, and the other a fiction storyIf you're looking for something fun to do this holiday break, check out this fun new quiz I recently created at All Groan Up

Davis: "One year since joining Bain, I've helped a biotech company develop a launch plan for a life saving drug, a tech company find more than $100M in savings, and a low-income school system build a teacher retention strategy. In 2017, I will be delivering my first TEDx talk and competing in the World Championship of Public Speaking. The Biggest lesson I've learned in 2017 is that you can't predict what you will do in one year, but you know what you can do today."

Marisol: 2016 was a huge growth year for my career, as I expanded my freelance communications business and explored new areas of work. While the first half of the year was all about career expansion, these last few months have been about contraction—releasing some work commitments and redefining my roles as I zero in on how I want my career to grow. It's been a marathon year and a half since graduating college, but I feel like I now have more room to breathe and can focus on other passions and areas of growth: rekindling those rusty guitar skills, continuing with my new hot yoga practice, and blogging again (!). After taking a 1.5-year break from personal blogging, I've reset the clock on my digital life and start approaching it in a more minimal, and intentional, way. Excited to see how this goes!

2016 Highlights From Jenny

Handing the mic over to Jenny for her round-up of all the great things happening and forthcoming!  

  • PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One was published in September by Portfolio/Penguin Random House! It's been a whirlwind launch season as I just wrapped up my book and speaking tour, connect with new readers and pivoters, and watch this book find its own place in the world. I am overcome with gratitude for all of you here reading, those who shared the book on social media, and everyone who has supported me along this publishing journey.

    800-CEO-Read, Refinery29, JP Morgan and Seth Godin all mentioned it among their end-of-year must read lists, and I'm blown away that PIVOT is close to reaching 100 reviews on Amazon!! If you haven't added yours yet, they are incredibly helpful for generating momentum in these early days of the launch. I read and cherish every single one! Check out the Pivot Toolkit here if you haven't already — tons of free resources and templates :) 
  • In early 2016, I took the Pivot Podcast "pro" by getting it into iTunes, and was surprised to find that it quickly took the top spot for activities that bring me immense joy. I got to connect with many of my author heroes, including James Altucher, Kevin Kelly, Penney Peirce, and many more. Go down the archives rabbit hole here, and search for "Pivot Podcast Jenny Blake" to subscribe wherever you listen to 'casts. 
  • In late summer, Marisol and I launched "Momentum 2.0"—a revamped version of my online community where I connect with my favorite pivot peeps, side-hustlers, and solopreneurs.

More on Momentum 

Momentum is where you can access all my courses and workshops, ask me anything in bi-weekly Q&A calls, and connect with other smart, generous, creative people. Would love for you to join us if it seems like just what you need to kick off 2017 with a bang! Here's a recent webinar on 10 Non-Sleazy Marketing Tips with Pivot Coach Melani Dizon, and here's a recent Q&A call where I talk about facing fears, surrender, and share a short meditation.  

If you're looking to kick off 2017 with an extra boost of accountability and support, thinking about a pivot, or looking to connect with ~65 other awesome, smart side-hustlers and solopreneurs, I'd love for you to join us in Momentum! In addition to twice monthly "Ask Me Anything" Q&A calls, workshops on deck include:

  • Q&A with Jenny: Plan Your 2017 Pivot
  • Q&A with Jenny: How to Lead a PIVOT Mastermind Group
  • January Workshop: Scalable Streams of Solopreneur Income
  • February Workshop: Crafting Your Career Vision with Lisa Lewis
  • March Workshop: Soul Goals: How to Align with Your Inner Blueprint


A la carte, each of these workshops is $47. But if you join Momentum, you'll get access to all five as well as all my other courses, past workshop recordings, Q&A call archive, and private Facebook community. 

Personalized Pivot Planning

Be sure to also check out the 10-Week Career Pathfinder Course: an online career coaching program that guides you step-by-step to find your calling, and Pivot Jumpstart Coaching (two sessions with email in-between): One-on-one support to kickstart and accelerate your pivot-in-progress. 

See you in 2017! 

Above all we are most thankful for you, our incredible LAC Community! Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing your own life after college adventures with us! 

If you have a quick minute, we’d love for you to fill out our super-short two-question survey so that we can make Life After College insanely helpful for you in 2017. We value your feedback immensely and want to make sure we're doing everything we can to make this next year rock. And if you aren't yet subscribed to the weekly #PivotList newsletter, make sure to do that here!

Happiest holidays and wishing you a smashing start to the New Year!! 

Happy 8-Year Blogiversary to Life After College!

Written by Jenny Blake

I cannot believe it, but this month marks the TEN YEAR anniversary (!!) of the Life After College website, and 8 years of blogging. What an incredible, wild ride! 

In lieu of cupcakes and in keeping with our year-end tradition, this final 2015 post is a round-up of our biggest updates and favorite Life After College content. 

Our Favorite 2015 Posts

I could not run this blog without the incredible team of contributors who have become LAC family: Melissa Anzman, Paul Angone, Davis Nguyen, and Marisol Dahl. Their posts always make me think, laugh, and reflect—and this website is richer for it. Here are some of our greatest hits this year:

What the LAC Team Has Been Up To

Paul Angone—All Groan Up: This year my second book released: All Groan Up: Searching For Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job! And it only took me 10 years to see it happen! :) All Groan Up is basically my full, unedited heart and story on paper, and it's been amazing to hear how it's encouraging and speaking to other people's heart and story. Then my first book 101 Secrets For Your Twenties was translated for Thailand and India, and just recently Cameron Candance Bure AKA DJ Tanner from Full Houseshared it on her Instagram and Facebook pages! Signature Sauce: I launched and took the first group of 50 students through Finding Your Signature Sauce–an online course and community to help you uncover the 10 ingredients inside of you to live where your passion, purpose, and career collide. Check out a free 3-part video course called UnStuck: Crush the Things Holding You Back to get a feel for what the course is like and start doing work you love.

Melissa—Launch Yourself: I'm so honored to be a part of the Life After College community and 2015 was a year of quiet work, change and having an attitude of abundance instead of "no." Around the beginning of Q2, my career/business focus changed dramatically - I was asked to take on a more "corporate-y consulting" role, and instead of my automatic no, I said yes. I've been knee deep in using a different side of my brain and building what will be new in 2016 - MConnected Communications. This year was filled with a lot of launching through coaching and many Launch Plan Accelerators, and lots of web coding. Oh, and I was called a millennial at work for the first time, which is greatly shaping my plans for 2016 and confirmed that I'm exactly where I need to be. 

Marisol Dahl: 2015 has been amazing! I graduated in May and moved back home to New York, still unsure where my immediate life after college would take me. Throughout the summer I steadily grew my freelance business in digital marketing and communications—under Jenny's wonderful mentorship!—and am now doing that full time. I am growing into my own identity as a solo entrepreneur and am enjoying all the big "adult" experiences that post-college life brings. Happy New Year everyone! 

Davis NguyenBeginning Life After College: This year, I became the first person in my family to graduate from college and in the process fulfilled the 25 year American dream my family started when they fled from Vietnam.  After graduating, I used money I saved up from summer work to travel, discovering the world and myself. When my world tour concluded, I settled into San Francisco, started work, and officially started my Life After College. I am excited to make 2016 even better than 2015.

2015 in Review at JBE HQ

  • I'm coming up on five years of self-employment in March! Leaving Google in 2011 (see: From Six Figures to Suitcase Part 1 and Part 2: On Big Decisions and Very Real Fears) was a tough decision to make, but I haven't regretted that choice even in some of my lowest moments of solopreneurship. That said, in 2013, two years in to running my own business (affectionately nicknamed Jenny Blake Enterprises) I still hit another wall of "What's Next?" and struggled mightily to answer the question. That search, and my desire to make it easier on others, has inspired my next book . . .
  • Pivot: Much of this past year has involved deep, behind-the-scenes focus on my forthcoming book from Penguin/Portfolio, set to launch September 2016. In fact, I just turned in the final version, and now we move on to page layout!! In ~14 months it has gone from rough first draft to completed manuscript, and I'm thrilled and where the book has ended up. I am bursting at the seams to share it with you next year!! Look out for Pivot: Turn What’s Working for You Into What’s Next, hitting bookshelves September 2016 :) 
  • Momentum: In April doors officially opened for Momentum, my private community for side-hustlers and solopreneurs. I’m so grateful for the amazing group of founding members and for our exchanges—we share quarterly goals, give and receive business feedback, weigh in on each other's logos and websites, and share our latest-greatest books and tools. I also host private office hours, a monthly webinar with special guests, and answer questions via short audio clips that live in a Q&A with Jenny library. If you're looking for some momentum, community and accountability in 2016 we'd love to have you join us!! 
    • You can also start by joining the free Momentum Safari for 3 weeks of reflection prompts to generate focus and freedom in whichever focus area you choose
  • Podcast: The Pivot Podcast went pro! When I first started the Pivot Podcast, I kept it super simple—using an iPhone headset and uploading to SoundCloud. But this last quarter, I’ve been hustling to take it to the next level: including intro and outro music, using more sophisticated audio techniques, and finally listing it on iTunes. Catch up on past episodes, and subscribe and stay tuned for tons more in 2016! If you like the show, I would be very grateful for a rating and/or review in these early days of getting it off the ground. 
  • Lucent Pivot: In August we sunsetted Lucent as a mobile app, and pivoted to Lucent List, hitting on one of our greatest strengths of curating content related to meditation and mindfulness. Check out our new Tumblr page and subscribe for all the latest in the world of meditation.

Favorite Posts at

Onward to 2016!

The entire LAC team and I are beyond grateful for your company this year. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing your own life after college adventures with us! 

If you have a quick minute, we’d love for you to fill out our super-short two-question survey, so we can make Life After College better than ever in 2016! We value your feedback immensely and want to make sure we're delivering content you love. 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year Everyone, See you in 2016!! :)

Much love,

Jenny Blake Signature
Jenny Blake Signature

On Seasons

Fall Leaves There's been a distinct shift in the New York City weather this week -- as dresses and flip-flops retired with the humidity of summer, they made way for the boots and beanies that signal the crisp, brisk and decidedly here-to-stay Fall.

Maybe it's the Californian in me, not yet fully adjusted to having actual seasons, or the simple fact of being a living, breathing animal on this planet -- but I'm noticing a distinct shift in myself as well.

I turn 29 today and have been finding myself in a reflective mood (common theme this year . . . don't say I didn't warn you!). As I've talked about in the past, birthdays are a my personal New Year's -- they are a time for reflecting on the year prior and setting intentions for what's to come.

So today as I enter the last year of a very full decade, for which I have much to be thankful for, I'm letting a few others' wise words take the floor. (And a quick aside to say THANK YOU to everyone who has left such wonderful Facebook notes, tweets, texts, emails and messages today!) 

Nevine Michaan - On Seasons

I went to a yoga workshop this weekend by Nevine Michaan, an incredible woman and teacher who has been studying Taoist theory and sacred geometry for the last 25+ years, and she reminded us that we do best to live, move, and practice yoga by the seasons.

As the Tao says:

"Ten thousand beings carry yin on their backs and embrace yang in their front, Blending these two vital breaths to attain harmony."

According to Michaan, we attain our own harmony by honoring and becoming the master of our own universe; moving energy through our internal nature while being aware of the changes in the outer world around us.

As the seasons go, Michaan says that Spring represents our vision and potential, Summer is for setting goals and seeing them to fruition, Autumn is for patience and reflection, and Winter is for hibernation, substantiation, and making effort.

In this video from 2009, I talked about birthdays and transitions being a time of shedding our old skin (just as snakes do) so that we can make room for what's next. But -- there's a time of being naked in the middle of it -- as we let go of the old and explore what's next. (See one of my favorite related articles on transition, The Parable of the Trapeze.)

The nakedness is our vulnerability, our rawness, our core -- without the protection of the ego or our outer world -- and what's next comes with time, patience, reflection and intentional action (sprinkled with a little crazy too). :)

Khalil Gibran - On Time 

Excerpted from The Collected Works of Khalil Gibran, one of my favorite books of poetry (particularly The Prophet, which you can read online here).

You would measure time the measureless and the immeasurable. You would adjust your conduct and even direct the course of your spirit according to hours and seasons. Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing.

Yet the timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness, And knows that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream. And that that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space. Who among you does not feel that his power to love is boundless? And yet who does not feel that very love, though boundless, encompassed within the centre of his being, and moving not from love thought to love thought, nor from love deeds to other love deeds? And is not time even as love is, undivided and spaceless?

But if in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons, And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.

Cheryl Strayed - On Stretching

This quote is excerpted from an incredible book I just finished called Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar -- a compilation of poignant, wise, moving essays from Cheryl Strayed's Dear Sugar column on Full credit to Grace Boyle for this book recommendation, from her beautiful blog post Matters of the Heart.

When asked about advice for people in their twenties: "Be as magnanimous as you can be . . . because it's harder to be magnanimous when you're in your twenties, I think, so I'd like to remind you of it. You're generally less humble in that decade than you'll ever be and this lack of humility is oddly mixed with insecurity and uncertainty and fear. You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love."


Bonus: Yoga on the Rocks

Speaking of yoga -- below are a few recent pictures from a visit to Joshua Tree National Park in CA. Thank you to The Man -- who has been one of my greatest gifts this past year -- for the vision, talent and creative genius to make these happen :)

Yoga at Joshua Tree

Yoga on the Rocks! Jenny at Joshua Tree (Grasshopper Pose)

Yoga on the Rocks - Reach for it! Jenny Blake @ Joshua Tree

Happy 3-Year Blogiversary to Life After College!

It's been a great year here at Life After College. Better than great. SO GREAT that I was going to skip doing this round-up post because it feels self-indulgent, and I much prefer to give you thought-provoking new content.

However, my blog turned three years old this month and without my blog, my life dream of being an author would not be realized. So it's only fair that I celebrate this little corner of the Internet!

By the way - I think blogs age in dog years - 3 years feels like a a good way. I can't even imagine my life without this outlet and the friends and readers I've made because of it.

For more "best of" content: see the Happy Blogiversary posts for Year 1 and Year 2, or check out my shiny brand new "New Here?" guided tour.

Personal Milestones: I am humbled by everything that made the items below possible. I still have to pinch myself, and I only hope that I can give back to the world in equal if not far greater amounts for the gifts I've received.

My favorites and the most popular posts of 2010:

Blog Stats:

  • Visits - In the last month I received 11,580 visits (20,532 page views) from 110 countries -- up from last year's 7,000+ visits (13,500 page views) from 97 countries. The total visits for 2010 was just over 100,000 uniques (200,000 page views).
  • Top Keywords - In 2010, the keyword "life after college" sent 8,773 visits. "Jenny Blake" was the next highest search query with 1,199 visits.
  • Quirky keywords (a personal favorite stat) - bad cubicle position, can limerence be broken? (don't I wish!), can you rent a real live jaguar?, do you stop having fun after college?, it's not you it's me letters, I'm too sexy for my cube, limerence is a bitch, running with cupcakes, tell myself I love my job, and possibly my favorite - it hurts to throw away an empty box of Sprinkles cupcakes.
  • Best "Jenny Blake" keywords - jenny blake cover model (I'll take it!), jenny blake engagement ring (looks over both shoulders - none here), jenny blake exercise videos (nope, sorry!), jenny blake sexy (okay I like that one), jenny the cat woman secret lives (damnit, I liked the sexy keyword better).
  • My most popular content in 2010 (according to Analytics) - 8 ways to organize your life with Google Docs (6,054 pageviews), How I Stay Organized (5,869 pageviews), A Day in the Life of My Paycheck (3,096 pageviews), and the Life Checklist Template (2,576 pageviews). I think many of these made it to StumbleUpon, which really helped drive traffic.
  • Most Popular Templates - Four-Step Budget (2,285 users), Professional Development Strategy (2,158 users), Life Checklist (2,255 users), Job Interview One-Sheeter (2,333 users)

Last but certainly not least, THANK YOU.

Thank you for:

  • Being here
  • Being awesome - the best readers I could ever ask for
  • Reading, engaging, commenting
  • Making all of this possible

One of my mentors, Chris Guillebeau, often says he gets paid in nice emails. I feel exactly the same way. I am richer every day from amazing reader emails, new friends, community, and gratitude. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.

A Letter from my Future Self (#reverb10)

This month I am participating in the #Reverb10 project with 4,000+ other bloggers (read the archive of my entries on my Tumblr); a daily prompt to help people “reflect on this year and manifest what’s next.” I’m also incredibly honored to contribute as an author - today's post is a response to my own prompt:

Future self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead?

Dear Jenny,

I am so proud of you. You've worked really hard to get where you are, and I want you to relax now. You have so many good things coming, you don't have to work as hard as you think you do. Enjoy your life and watch things unfold, all in perfect time. Time to square your shoulders back, hold your head high, and keep moving through your life with grace and ease. And don't forget to smile!

From my perch five years from now, I can tell you that you will not remember all those little tasks, deadlines and emails you worry about. You've got the small stuff covered. You've accomplished every goal you've ever set and then some. I hope you are as proud of yourself as I am.

Amidst all the external definitions of success, please don't forget to look inward.

A few reminders:

  • Take care of yourself. Eat well. Exercise. Get outside. Get plenty of sleep. Rest and remember to spend plenty of time alone. Put yourself first so that you can share your best gifts with the world.
  • Be nicer to yourself. Weighing ten pounds less does not make you a better or more interesting person. Weighing ten or twenty pounds more does not make you unloveable. For every day or every moment you criticize yourself, you are cheating yourself out of your fullest joy.
  • Face some hard truths. You will hit rough patches. You will have more "lowest moments of your life." Again you will find yourself feeling dark and depressed. Again you will find yourself going to sleep fully clothed because you cannot muster the emotional energy to get undressed. These moments always turn out to be your best teachers. These are the moments that will help you serve others in new, extraordinary ways.
  • Let people in. You will know when the time is right. When it is, let go. Let yourself love with abandon. You don't have to protect yourself so much. You will still be able to take care of yourself if and when these relationships end, and they will have given you new perspectives on life.
  • Forgive yourself. It's time to stop carrying all that guilt. That you could have been nicer, more accommodating, more supportive, more generous, more selfless; that you could have given more time and attention - or even more love. The past is in the past, and you are doing the very best you can. The very best does not mean perfect. It is okay if you aren't perfect -- none of us are.
  • Live your life on your own terms. Stop looking for everyone's approval. Stop living in fear that if you say or do the wrong thing, you will lose people forever. If that happens, it wasn't meant to be. Stop auditioning for other people's lives and embrace yourself, exactly as you are.
  • A note on judging others. It is so easy to do - we all do it. But be careful who you judge, what you turn your nose up to, and the opinions you rally behind without questioning. They almost always come back to teach you a lesson by giving you the very experience that you were so quick to judge. Treat others with respect, compassion and an open-mind at every possible moment.
  • You are capable of so much more than you even realize. We all are. You have infinite power at your fingertips and it's just waiting for you to engage it. Take those risks you are afraid of taking. Trust yourself. You've gotten yourself this far in your life -- keep going. Even more greatness lies ahead if you can just take the leap, even in those moments where you can't see the other side yet. Dream even bigger! Reach for the stars - they are waiting for you.
  • Soak it up, baby! Whew - this is heavy stuff. Remember not to take yourself too seriously! Lighten up, laugh, have fun, be young, sing and dance your heart out. Celebrate! Be thankful for all of your gifts and blessings. Honor them by letting yourself experience bliss at every opportunity. Let the bliss grow and expand. Sprinkle gold dust around everyone and everything you can see.

I know you know this, because you've said it before -- you already have everything you need. Time to stop chasing and start embracing. I have no doubt you will do it with flying colors. You already have.

Oodles of love and cupcakes*, Jenny


*P.S. Yes. That is ACTUALLY a picture of a french-toast bacon cupcake.


P.P.S. Pictures and highlights from the recent trip to New York City:

I had the absolute time of my life in New York City last week, and plan on returning as often as I possibly can in 2011. Highlights: singing at the top of my lungs to "All I Want For Christmas is You" with my friend Julie in Toritilla Flats while watching Monday Night football, doing Yoga at 4am with a new friend in the Standard Gym, Wednesday's cupcake tweet-up (see below), meeting up with Gabrielle Bernstein at The SoHo House for coffee and her wise author wisdom, celebrating Ann's 40th with all of her wonderful friends and family at Cuba, and buying the 12-cupcake sampler pack from Crumbs for immediate consumption in The Standard Lounge one snowy afternoon.

Here are a few pictures that capture some of the fun:

Cupcake tweet-up at Eleni's in Chelsea Market with amazing blogger ladies (so fabulous that a random passer-by asked for my business card because we "were so inspiring!"). From left to right: Top row - Monique Johnson, Chloe Tashjian, Teresa Wu, Me, Sam Karol, ChaChanna Simpson; Bottom row - Lissy Carr, Allie Mahler, Ginny Becker and Diana Antholis.

The fabulous ladies of the cupcake tweet-up

Here's a picture of me and Ann (my NYC Angel) before her birthday party:

Me and Julie at Tortilla Flats:

Jenny Blake and Julie at Tortialla Flats

Can't wait to see what those of you participating in #reverb10 reply to today's prompt! And much love and gratitude to the #reverb10 team: Cali, Kaileen & Gwen.

On Limerence...and - wait for it - a break-up processing template. You heard me.

Yep, I've gone and templateized getting over someone. Don't judge me. More on that in a few minutes. First, a lesson and some thoughts on a crazy emotional love-related roller-coaster called Limerence. What is Limerence? Hint: if Love and Lust had a baby...

If Love and Lust had a baby, they would name her Limerence. Limerence is a little crazy. She is wildly optimistic, hopeful, and obsessive. From Wikipedia:

Limerence is an involuntary cognitive and emotional state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one's feelings but not primarily for a sexual relationship (although it can further intensify the situation). The term was coined by psychologist Dorothy Tennov to describe the ultimate, near-obsessive form of romantic love. Limerence is sometimes also referred to as infatuation, or is colloquially known as a crush, but in reality it is something much different.

Does that sound familiar? Have you ever experienced limerence? Reflecting on that question was like asking myself, "Do you breathe?!"

Earlier this year, my dad could see that I was love-struck over a boy I couldn't really have. Instead of lecturing, judging or advising, he simply wrote the name of a book on an index card. That index card and book, Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love by Dorothy Tenov, changed everything for me.

This is your brain. This is your brain on Limerence.

When we fall in lovelikelust (aka limerence) with someone, it's almost like our limerent brain becomes a form of the lizard brain. If the lizard brain's currency is fear, the limerent brain's currency is fantasy. Sometimes we have fun living in fantasyland...but not when it becomes a torture chamber representing everything we want but can't have.

It is inherent to the definition of limerence that the object of our affection - the romance of our dreams - is unattainable. Which is what makes limerence very different from love. Love is shared and reciprocated and eventually grows and develops into something real. Elisa breaks down the limerence experience beautifully in a post called Limerence and Licorice.

Components of Limerence (from Wikipedia):

  • Limerence involves intrusive thinking about the limerent object.Other characteristics include acute longing for reciprocation, fear of rejection, and unsettling shyness in the limerent object's presence. In cases of unrequited limerence, transient relief may be found by vividly imagining reciprocation from the limerent object.
  • Feelings of limerence can be intensified through adversity, obstacles, or distance. A limerent person may have acute sensitivity to any act, thought, or condition that can be interpreted favorably. This may include a tendency to devise, fabricate, or invent "reasonable" explanations for why neutral actions are a sign of hidden passion in the limerent object.
  • A person experiencing limerence has a general intensity of feeling that leaves other concerns in the background. In their thoughts, a limerent person tends to emphasize what is admirable in the limerent object and to avoid any negative or problematic attributes.

What if you are Limerent and it is making you miserable, but you can't move on?

Tennov doesn't really answer this question in her book. She essentially throws her hands in the air and says, "beats me!"

I think the only way to counter the limerent brain's pining is to ask, "What is REAL?" over and over again:

  • What are the FACTS?
  • How do I actually FEEL, averaged out, over the course of recent days and weeks and months?
  • Finally, how can I act from a place of inner integrity based on TRUTH, not based on what-ifs?

Enter the Break-up Template!

My next book will clearly be a "quit the CRACK that is limerence" how-to manual. You know, just as soon as I learn how to conquer that crazy beast in its strongest moments.

This template is an exercise from my upcoming book (mark your calendar for March 29, baby!). If you are going through a break-up or still trying to get over someone, the questions in this template will help you sort through your thoughts, mourn your losses, and start to see your situation more clearly.

Download the template here (and forward to a friend or give 'er a rating if you like what you see!).

I want to hear from you. If you found this template helpful, would you let me know? Did I miss anything? How do you handle break-ups? Any limerence-busting tips?


All You Need is Love E-Book - Now Available!

Speaking of Love and Limerence, my dear friend Elisa just released her free "All You Need" e-book, a compilation of posts in which 28 bloggers pontificated on love (myself included) back in February. Download your copy by hopping over to Elisa's latest post here.

Happy Turkey Day!

To all of my American readers -- have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! For those living in other countries, I promise to eat a few extra cupcakes for you :)

Book off to press!!! Blogger speechless.

Life After College Book Cover I DID IT!!!


Holy shit. (Yes, I just swore on my blog. No, I don't do it often. Yes, it's because I'm still picking my jaw up off the floor.)

In three years of blogging, I have never posted two days in a row. But yesterday's post is 100% trumped by the fact that Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want went to press yesterday!!! And yes - that is the Amazon link to my book!!!

This is crazy.

It has felt exciting, scary and incredibly vulnerable to have an idea that is 100% my own and defend and build that vision from start to finish, page to page, and from corner to every corner of the cover.

Am I using the right words? Am I sharing enough? Is my vision actually what is best for my readers? Will anyone like it? Am I fighting for the right things to keep or change? With every micro-decision there was a point where I just had to take a shot in the dark, listen to my gut, trust myself and decide. And stand behind it.

Now it just feels surreal.

I cannot believe that the project I have developed...toiled over...loved, danced and fought with...worked and reworked into oblivion over countless nights and weekends - is DONE. The book is done.

My focus for the last two years (at least the content creation and editing part of it) is done. My tiny, shy little seedling of an idea is all grown up, and justlikethat I've closed an open loop in my brain that tells me to get back to work to make this thing the best I possibly can. Above all else it feels like my life dream - my purpose - my desire to inspire as many 20-somethings as I possibly can with practical exercises, tips and quotes - is happening.

cupcake thanks

NONE OF THIS would be happening without you. None of it. I don't even have enough words to thank you properly. If you weren't here reading, supporting Life After College, giving me feedback, showing your support on Ryan's list of Top 10 Gen Y blogs, commenting, sticking around, and celebrating with me on Twitter and Facebook, there would be no book. Period.

I hope you know how important are.

To be honest, it doesn't even feel like my book. It feels like our book. I'm so excited I could cry. In a good way this time.


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