Last Friday I celebrated my 38th birthday (!!) and while part of me thinks that number sounds so old, part of me is also so grateful for everything in my past that has gotten me to where I’m at today. I’m taking a moment today to celebrate; and thought it would be fun to share 38 things you may not know about me so you can get to know me a bit better. Be sure to read to the end as I’m also throwing in a bit of a life update!
38 Things You May Not Know About Me
1. Kileen is my Chinese name. My official first name is Katherine which my mom picked as she loves the actress Katherine Hepburn.
2. I don’t have a middle name.
3. I’m an only child.
4. I had 2 dogs growing up (Cocker Spaniel and German shepherd). I adopted my Cocker Spaniel first when I was around 6 years old and my parents named him “Fafa” after the Chinese phrase “Fa Chai” (meaning good fortune, lol). Our German Shepherd we adopted years later (I think I was around 10-ish?) and he was named Sparky as he was just a ball of energy! Now I only have 1 cat that I adopted post-college graduation when I lived alone in an apartment that didn’t allow dogs.
5. I fostered kittens for a couple of years. I would get a new litter of kittens to foster every 6 weeks or so and actually ended up adopting one of the kittens that we just couldn’t give up.
6. I moved to Dallas for a boy. After college, I got a job in Austin, TX and worked there for 4.5 years before moving to Dallas. Adrian and I actually had a long-distance relationship for those 4.5 years before we finally decided to apply for jobs in each other’s cities. I ended up finding my job first in Dallas and have lived here ever since!
7. Adrian and I were friends in college but didn’t date until after I graduated. Funny story. Adrian and I actually first met when we both lived in the same dorm at Rice University. We were friends and even though he was a year younger than me, we both majored in Electrical Engineering. And even had the same advisor for our senior project. We were both dating other people while in college but thankfully had a mutual friend that helped us keep in touch post-graduation. So that’s how we ended up dating!
8. I’ve never dated an Asian guy. There weren’t a whole lot of Asians where I grew up and I guess it just never happened.
9. I live off 5-6 hours of sleep a night. Somehow my body just doesn’t run off a lot of sleep. I’ve changed up my schedule to go to bed early around 9 pm and even then will wake up around 3 am completely rested and unable to fall asleep again. On most nights though, I end up staying up late and going to bed around 1-2am. Waking up naturally around 7 am.
10. I love the mountains and almost moved to Colorado after college. I had interned at Hewlett-Packard in Fort Collins, CO for two summers and absolutely LOVED every minute of living right next to the mountains. Unfortunately, HP merged with Compaq right around the time that I graduated college. So there were multiple rounds of layoffs happening as they sorted through the merger. Needless to say, I ended up taking a different job. But part of me is still dreaming about living in Colorado one day!
11. I did rock climbing seriously for 2 years when I lived in Austin. I continued my love for the outdoors when I lived in Austin post-college and found a group of friends at work who loved rock climbing. We even drove down to Mexico a couple of times to go climbing at El Potrero Chico — so many crazy memories!
12. I waited tables at IHOP for 2 years in high school. I had another friend who also had started a job waiting tables. So if you know me, you’ll know that I love pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. As a pretty legit introvert, this definitely made me come out of my shell and learn to talk with new people on a constant basis. I actually had some really fun co-workers and it was surprisingly a great first job!
13. I worked retail at Limited Too for a summer while in high school. My first and last retail job 😅 was working at The Limited Too way back when. Saw some of the back-end analytics that went into running a retail store which really interested me and took advantage of all the employee and mall discounts! I still remember staying at the mall until 1 am doing inventory…
14. I speak Mandarin Chinese fluently and actually didn’t learn English until I was 5 years old. It’s what happens when you’re an only child and your parents are big sticklers for speaking only Chinese at home. I currently speak Chinese to my kids and while they both understand the language, they don’t really speak it back.
15. I love listening/dancing to Electronic Dance Music (EDM). Some of my favorite artists include The Chainsmokers, Tritonal, and Illenium. I actually have floor tickets to see The Chainsmokers when they’re in Dallas in a few months! #pumped
16. Dave Matthews Band was the first concert I went to as a junior in high school. I’ve since gone to 5 of his concerts. So many good songs and brings back all the high school memories!
17. I can drive a stick shift. My dad taught me when I first learned to drive a car at 16 years old. The first car I owned after college ended up being a manual transmission Infiniti G35. And after driving that car for 14 years, stick shift is like second nature to me!
18. I can do the splits. I did yoga 4-5 times a week for about 2 years before finally being able to do it on both sides. Now it’s almost like a party trick. 😂
19. I did Crossfit for 2 years. My first pregnancy was high-risk as I had a subchorionic hemorrhage and was on modified bed rest for most of it. As someone who loves fitness, it was really hard for me to not be active at all; and I lost a lot of strength. Once I was cleared to work out again after delivering, I wanted to get back into a workout program that would challenge me and help me get my strength back. Crossfit was kinda a craze back then and I ended up doing it for 2 years. I love the Crossfit community. But unfortunately, the workouts were making me bulk up in ways that I didn’t like. I do mostly Orangetheory now and love it.
20. I’m a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. I took Tae Kwon Do classes for a summer in college and ended up at a yellow belt!
21. I played piano for 11 years. I didn’t enjoy playing it growing up. But eventually really missed it after I stopped playing in high school. I took lessons by my own choice in college but eventually stopped playing after I graduated.
22. I played clarinet for 6 years and was a total band nerd. Started playing clarinet in 7th grade and stuck with it through high school. Hated marching band but loved everything else about band. Even did a summer band camp at UT Austin and it was so. much. fun.
23. I did swing dance back in high school. Gap had just released their catchy commercial with swing dancers and it was such a popular trend at the time. I had a good friend who convinced me to go to lessons with her and it was crazy fun.
24. I don’t watch TV. I didn’t have enough money to buy a TV in college. So I just kinda got out of the habit of watching as a result. Before kids, Adrian and I would watch a couple of shows regularly together. Including How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, and New Girl. Since having kids, TV just never fit back in our schedule. And I honestly don’t even really miss it! I just get my fix via YouTube whenever I’m curious about something in particular.
25. I love listening to NPR Morning Edition. It’s a must on my drive into work every morning!
26. I got glasses starting in 2nd grade, switched to wearing contacts in 4th grade, and finally had Lasik surgery at 24 years old. Before Lasik, my eyesight was pretty bad at -7.75 with astigmatism and a case of “dry eyes.” I had some definite issues going on. Lasik has since fixed it all and I cannot recommend it enough!
Things you definitely may not know about me…
28. My favorite dessert is taro anything. Taro is a pretty popular flavor when it comes to Chinese desserts and I love it in just about every form. My favorite ice cream flavor is cookies and cream (only if taro is not an option).
29. I don’t like chocolate but do occasionally crave chocolate chip cookies.
30. I don’t like cheese. I actually can’t even stand the smell of cheese and it makes me nauseous.
31. I had my belly button pierced in college. I actually wore a belly button ring up until I was pregnant with Dylan.
32. I had my tongue pierced after college on a dare. What a bad idea. The piercing didn’t stay in for more than a couple weeks.
33. When I was pregnant with Mei, I craved pomelos and ate 1-2 a day.
35. I’m super self-conscious about my arms. They’ve just always been on the bigger side. My legs respond pretty quickly when it comes to getting leaner but my arms are just stubborn. 😠
36. I have a mild case of Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets). Basically, I bruise easily. It’s not usually a big deal. But I did have to be closely monitored by a hematologist when I was pregnant; and almost couldn’t get an epidural because it was borderline too low.
37. The best part of my 30s has been getting over my Imposter Syndrome. In college and in my 20s, I always doubted my abilities and felt like I had to do twice as much in order to prove myself.
38. I just put in my 2-weeks notice at my job last Monday! It turned into a 3-week notice per request of my boss. But my last day at my current job will be Friday, August 2. I’m super excited to be joining another startup company here in Dallas called Dialexa; where I’ll be doing a combination of software development as well as managing a team. First day at the new job is August 12!
I hope reading this mini “get to know me” was fun and interesting for you! Let me know if you enjoy these as it was so much fun to put together!