Practical tips to learning how to swim as an adult:

I was always surprised (and sorta relieved) when I met someone else who didn’t swim. But I realized that it’s not that uncommon, we just never really talk about it. By no means did I take an optimal route to learning - almost drowning multiple times did get me motivated but is not recommended. But if you’re the same boat as I am and wanting to learn, here are some tips.

Learning takes concerted effort and willpower, and ideally continuous access to a pool. I made very little progress when…

My reflection on overcoming traumatic water experiences and the shame of learning how to swim as an adult. With some tips for those beginning their own journey afterward!

My lifelong nemesis: water. Photo taken at Red Sand Beach, Maui.


The way I recall the story is that at age 9, I was on a water slide school field trip having fun hurtling down a nearly vertical tube, until I wasn’t. The pool couldn’t have been more than ten feet deep, but it might have just as well been the ocean to me. I was submerged for probably less than 20 seconds, but it felt like an eternity in an infinitely deep, dark abyss. After so many years, I honestly can’t say if it was my really friend who dragged me out, if the lifeguard was actually negligent, or if…

A reflection on my experiences in modern dating — optimizing apps, defining relationships, and reconciling emotions.

Netflix Without the Chill

In the summer of 2017, I had a friend that I was completely enamored with. We messaged every day and had crossed the Berkeley-SF divide several times to platonically ‘hang out’. But I wanted to take things to the next level. Confident that she also liked me, I drew on my several months of dating app experience and approached it the only way I knew how. …

In late 2019, I job searched for the first time in years. I transitioned into product management internally at my last company, so it took a lot of research to understand what the end-to-end PM interview process looked like for an external applicant. I’ve listed some of the resources I found helpful here. They’re PM-focused, but sections like the company lists and negotiation links are applicable to any role at tech companies.

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive guide, but feel free to reach out if there are any resources you think should be added! …

Was I transformed from my three month ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ trip in Southeast Asia?

It’s been over two months since I returned from my sabbatical to Asia. The brown stripes of my Keen sandal tan lines are finally fading, and the tropical, sticky summer feels like a lifetime ago in the SF winter rain.

In that time, I’ve regaled many friends with stories from abroad and am often teased with questions like ‘so are you enlightened now after this eat pray love journey?’ I’d joke about how I learned to appreciate having a mattress after 4 days of sleeping on…

Lesson #1: appreciate when you find people willing to take photos for you.

The Allure of Independence

One comment I often hear from friends, typically after I’ve spent some time extolling the virtues of my recent solo Asia trip, goes something like:

Wow that sounds like you had an amazing time! Traveling solo sounds too stressful and lonely for me though — I could never do it.

I won’t sugarcoat it: while I think solo traveling has been invaluable for my personal growth, it’s definitely not for everyone. We’re all in different life phases and traveling with different intentions.

To me, it’s something that simultaneously relinquishes and empowers me with control over my experience. Traveling forces me…

Patrick Lin

Product manager, photographer, optimistic nihilist with musings on life

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