100 Things About Me

AboutWhy I Started Life After College100 Things About MeContact Me

Jenny Blake - Headshot PhotoThe short version: Author (Running Press, March 2011). Blogger. Life Coach. Football Fanatic. Coffee Addict. Yoga Lover/Teacher. Dessert Fiend. Gadget Freak. Personal Growth Obsessed. Read more at your own risk!

Random Tidbits

  1. I am incredibly optimistic and positive about what the future holds.
  2. I smile. A LOT. People say it’s contagious.
  3. I am spiritual, not religious. I believe in karma, that everything happens for a reason, that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, that change creates opportunities for growth, and that joy is found in gratitude and appreciating the small moments of everyday life.
  4. I am excited by change and embrace it wholeheartedly.
  5. I make a mix CD for every season of every year. It keeps me going.
  6. I love singing in my car. I also love driving alone, especially long road trips.
  7. I’m fascinated by human potential and personal growth.
  8. I still wear a retainer to bed at night. It’s zebra print.
  9. I love sunshine and blue skies. They make me smile. I know some people think Seasonal Affective Disorder is a myth, but I really think I have it.
  10. I don’t believe in self-pity. I can’t control what happens in my life, but I can choose how to respond.
  11. I am outgoing and friendly but very much an introvert too. I love spending time alone.
  12. I love learning for learning’s sake, and am a voracious reader.
  13. I subscribe to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (yes – the PAPER versions!) I cringe every time someone says the newspaper industry is failing.
  14. TV news gave me nightmares as a child. I still hate it because it makes me feel afraid of the world.
  15. I believe “I can’t” is a dirty word.
  16. On a related note, I cringe when people say “You’re so lucky!” Yes, luck has played a huge role in my life, but I’ve also worked really hard to create the life I’m living.
  17. Someone once dumped a pile of hot, fresh-out-of-the-dryer clothes on me. It came pretty close to being the best ten minutes of my entire life.
  18. I love to travel. My goal is to visit one new country every year.
  19. I want to go on a Safari. Badly.
  20. I get restless playing bored games. (Update: someone recently pointed out my Freudian mispelling of the word “board.” I decided to keep it because it made me laugh)
  21. I’m completely scared of spiders and walking alone in the dark.
  22. Great White sharks fascinate me. I still don’t understand how people don’t get eaten alive doing cageless shark diving tours but it looks exciting and I’d like to try it some day.
  23. I love the sound of bagpipes. I went to work one day and a guy was playing bagpipes in a nearby field. Early morning. I never wanted it to end.
  24. Letting my dog run around outside makes me incredibly happy. My dad and I take her for walks while we talk about life and read the newspaper almost every Sunday.
  25. I love all kinds of music – particularly anything I can dance or sing to.
  26. I own over 400 Pearl Jam mp3s, mostly because I am obsessed with Eddie Vedder’s voice.
  27. My personal motto is “live big!” (I also happen to love exclamation points)
  28. I love the smell of vanilla, real jasmine flowers, and men’s cologne (especially Aqua di Gio)
  29. I embrace germs. I think Purell is pointless, if I drop food on the ground I still eat it, and I re-use water bottles more times than I should. I’m still alive, right?!
  30. I was born in San Francisco and went to college in LA. I’ve always wanted to live in New York.
  31. I am the kind of girl that people always think they’ve met before. Or I look just like their best friend or their cousin or something.
  32. I love meeting new people and connecting others. One of my favorite recent compliments was, “It’s like you’ve never met a stranger.”
  33. People frequently refer to me by my first and last name – even when everyone knows who they are talking about.
  34. Nicknames: at work people call me JB. My friend Emily calls me J-Bliz, my friend Patrick calls me Jiggity, my brother calls me J-Bone, and my dad calls me Jenny-B. Oh – and when Forrest Gump came out, everyone called me JENNNAY.
  35. I have this problem of apologizing when I cry. It might sound ridiculous, but I feel like it’s my responsibility to be happy and positive for others and I hate the feeling of dumping my problems on other people. But I know feelings are what make me human.

On Food

  1. I love, love, LOVE! coffee; the experience as much as the taste. The only tea I tolerate is peppermint.
  2. I don’t cook. I toast and I microwave.
  3. I am fanatical about chocolate and dessert. If I could, I would eat three desserts after every meal. My favorites are red velvet cupcakes, flourless chocolate cake (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream) and crème brulee.
  4. I can’t stand noisy eaters.
  5. I hate fish. The taste, the smell, the concept. I don’t even like snorkeling or fish as pets. And please don’t ask me if I’ve tried Salmon or Swordfish or whatever other species you think tastes like chicken.
  6. I am allergic to nuts except for peanuts and almonds. Spotting them in a cashew cream sauce or walnut paste is harder than you might think.

On Family, Friends & Relationships

  1. I love my family.
  2. My parents met at Harvard graduate school. They are the smartest people I’ve ever met in their own very different ways.
  3. I have one sibling, a younger brother, who makes me laugh like no one else can.
  4. When I was about eight years old, I made my brother play school when his friends came over. I created worksheets with math problems and made each person fill them out so I could grade them. He hated it.
  5. It’s important to me to have guy friends. I find it refreshing.
  6. For as long as I can remember, my friends and boyfriends have always been older than me. Sometimes by as much as 15 years.  My whole life people have told me I’m an “old soul.”
  7. I am very loyal.
  8. I struggle to shake my belief that all marriages end in divorce. I also don’t believe that fear of divorce is a reason not to get married.
  9. I’m pretty independent and I like my space: it’s hard for me to be around someone (or people in general) 24/7.
  10. I love being with someone who enjoys sports.
  11. I refuse to yell at my significant other or be yelled at.
  12. I am a romantic at heart. I love old-school chivalry.

On Work

  1. I am very driven and self-motivated but still consider myself easy-going and laid-back.
  2. I started working full-time when I was 20 years old at a start-up company in Palo Alto.
  3. I became a manager at Google at age 24.
  4. Leaving Google to pursue life as a solopreneur was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made.
  5. I finish what I start. I pride myself on coming up with simple solutions for complex problems.
  6. I am passionate about helping others become their best selves, expand their potential and reach for their dreams.
  7. My Myers Briggs profile is ENFJ, which is all about seeing and developing potential in others. I believe making an impact and inspiring others is my fundamental purpose in this world.
  8. I am a certified life coach (CPCC) through CTI. Becoming a coach made me a better manager, a better person and a better friend. I can’t believe there is a profession that is so completely connected to what I love.

On Money

  1. I saved all my birthday money as a child because I knew I would want to spend it on something bigger one day.
  2. My brother and I plan to be millionaires.
  3. I bought my first house at 24. With my own money.
  4. I never want to stay in a relationship (or job) that makes me unhappy because I can’t afford to leave.
  5. I find the challenge of personal finance fun and creative.
  6. I hate credit card debt and will do whatever it takes not to carry a balance.

On Technology

  1. I am a gadget freak. I often wish I could own all the latest technology devices at all times.
  2. iPods delight me. I have five.
  3. Call me old school, but I have no desire to own a kindle. I love the smell of books, holding them in my hands, highlighting and dog-earing pages, and proudly adding each book I finish to my bookshelves.
  4. I taught myself HTML and CSS and turned it into a second job/side business building people’s websites and doing Dreamweaver tutoring when I was short on cash.
  5. I love living in Silicon Valley. It’s my personal Mecca.
  6. I usually know how to use or fix something the first time I pick it up.
  7. I love keyboard shortcuts. I really want this keyboard for Christmas.

On Sports & Activities

  1. I’m a football fanatic and have been since college. I consider Superbowl Sunday one of my favorite holidays.
  2. Going to football and baseball games makes me delightfully happy. When I’m at a game, there is usually NOWHERE else I want to be.
  3. Football – I am fascinated by sky-cam technology. I often get the urge to cuddle with the sky cam like a teddy bear.
  4. Baseball – I love the crack of the bats, the smell of freshly cut grass and being outside. I also love eating peanuts, sunflower seeds and bratwurst. Yuuuuum.
  5. I used to believe I’d know if I reached “wealthy” status based on whether I could afford season tickets to every baseball and football team in the area.
  6. After I graduated, my brother played football at UCLA and that was major icing on the cake of my UCLA experience. Go bruins!
  7. Yoga is my religion. I completed Yoga Teacher Training at White Lotus in 2010. It was an incredible experience.
  8. I have no interest in sky diving. Despite my general optimism, I’m convinced I’ll be the 0.1 percent of the population whose parachute doesn’t open.
  9. I love dancing. My guilty-pleasure career is to be an NFL cheerleader (not that I would make the team).
  10. I’ve dabbled in many forms of dance: jazz, hip-hop, ballet, salsa, tango, cha-cha, foxtrot, waltz and pole.
  11. I played varsity softball for four years in high school. I won the coaches award all four years. It was their way of saying, “MVP is not in the cards, but we really love your attitude.”
  12. I love racquetball. The sweat-to-fun ratio is out of this world.
  13. I ran a marathon in 2008, despite a long-held belief that it was absolutely, 100 percent, downright impossible.  It took me six and a half hours, but I ran the entire time.
  14. I LOVE being active: hiking, ice skating, dancing, broomball, trampoline dodge ball, ropes courses, beach volleyball, you name it.

On Reading & Writing

  1. As a child, I accumulated hundreds of books and read almost one a week.
  2. My love for books and entrepreneurial spirit inspired me to start a library operation out of my bedroom when I was ten years old. I had a catalog/binder with dozens of hand-written pages documenting my inventory. When people returned their books past due, I sent a late slip and charged $0.25.
  3. I started writing a novel in elementary school that I never finished.
  4. In the last four years, I’ve read over 150 personal development books about personal finance, time management, productivity, zen living, leadership, goal-setting, business and many more.
  5. 99% of the books I read are non-fiction because I like learning facts, strategies and new ideas. If I can learn one new thing from a book, I consider it worth reading.
  6. When I was eleven, I started a newsletter, The Monthly Dig-Up, that I sent to friends and extended family. I charged $5 to subscribe and sent it faithfully every month until I switched to quarterly high school. The last issue was almost 50 pages.
  7. I was the Editor-in-Chief of my high school newspaper, The Oracle.
  8. I won the California Journalist of the Year award in my senior year of high school and went on to become a top four finalist in the national competition.
  9. I wrote for the Daily Bruin at UCLA for a year and hated how much it consumed my life. Quitting was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t know who I was if not a journalist.
  10. I write in my journal almost every night, and have kept daily diaries since seventh grade. I am terrified that one day someone will read them all.
  11. I now know, deep in my heart and gut, that I was born to be an author. I cried when I held the first galley copy of my book.

I am shocked you made it this far!

100.  I find it fun and a little scary to reveal so much about myself. I have a feeling this list will be an eternal work-in-progress.