I create the life I love to look at.

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
6/10. I wasn't there much (dropped out in my sophomore year) and had no support at home. But I had great friends at school and loved my councilor. I had a fun social life with good memories.

Grades in high school
C's and below. I cut school a lot.


Best subjects
English, Visual Arts, Homemaking

Struggled with...
Math, PE.

Favorite extracurricular
Arts / Crafts

Life since high school

[My definition of success] used to be more of a fairytale picture. Now it’s real and includes going through the mud puddle to get to the other side, rather than walking around it.

If you didn't attend college, what did you do during your early 20s?
I worked and partied a lot.

Post-graduate education or training
Beauty college (when I was 16, then again in my 40's), floral design school.

Places lived in US

Current occupations / past occupations
In the bay area, worked retail management for several years, then, I was a new accounts clerk at a money market for a couple of years. After that, I was a receptionist. Then a diet counselor, then back to receptionist. From there, I got a job at at a large computer company as an Admin for a director who was promoted (I was promoted with him). About a year in, I started planning very large events and corporate meetings, etc. I moved on to another Exec Admin position at working for a VP who worked closely with the CEO. I wasn't happy with the VP. I then left and went on to be an Exec Admin for two founders and a President at a start up in Saratoga. My (soon to be) husband lived in northern, CA and I ended up moving there and we were married the next year. My husband had a retail business there. First I volunteered at the Chamber of Commerce for a while, then I went to work for the store. I was there several years as co-owner doing our books, payroll, sales, marketing, headed our education department, events, newsletter, hiring... We decided it was better for us not to work together, so I went to floral design school and started my own business out of our home. In 2004, I went to beauty college to become an esthetician and graduated. I had my own treatment room for a while and loved it. In 2006, we sold our home and business and moved to the central coast. We bought a home near the beach (with no jobs) and started all over. I soon learned I wasn't going to be able to make a living as an esthetician, so I pretty much decided I'd do whatever I needed to do to make it work for us. Since then, I worked in retail then I was Exec Assistant to the CEO of a large company for 4 years, then Exec Assistant to another CEO at a solar company (1 1/2 years). I was laid off there and went on to start my own Virtual Assistant business from home (for about a year and a half). I wanted a more steady income, so I applied at about 50 local wineries as tasting room attendant. I ended up getting a full time job at a winery as Operations Assistant and I've been there for a year and a half.

Industries I've worked in
- Retail Trade
- Finance and Insurance
- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
- Winery

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
No. Well...my typing class helped.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Oh, god yes! Just look at my path mentioned above.

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
Having deep, loving relationships (new and old); taking care of my health as best as I can, being financially sustainable and having a strong, mutually respectful, loving and honest marriage.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
It used to be more of a fairytale picture. Now it's real and includes going through the mud puddle to get to the other side, rather than walking around it.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
My marriage. I learned that no matter what, I will be okay. I learned that I have more courage than I ever imagined. I learned that people can change given support and love and most of all, time. 

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
I don't go there. I am where I am because of some of those decisions. 

An unexpected event that changed my life and how it impacted me
Finding out my husband had been unfaithful and dishonest during our entire marriage. It completely turned my life upside down and ripped my heart out. I lost all trust in him and in my own judgement.

Anything else you'd like to share?
Yes. That man I was married to who broke my heart? We've now been married nearly 20 years. He's my best friend and we've learned more than imaginable by going through the mud puddle together and coming out on the other side. And as for my education in high school... it certainly wasn't an ideal situation.

This alumni is open to your questions and follow-ups.
In order to protect anonymity, we will pass along your message and they can choose whether to respond.

My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto

Rickey's Hyatt - the pool, restaurant, bar. Maybe Dinah's (restaurant and poolside cafe). Stanford Campus was/is really special too. How can I choose just one?! ;)
[map pointing to Rickey's Hyatt's location, now closed]