And this is where my story starts. When I was a young researcher, doctoral student,
my first year, I had a research professor who said to us, "Here's the thing, if you cannot measure it, it does not exist."
And I thought he was just sweet-talking me. I was like, "Really?" and he was like, "Absolutely."
And so you have to understand that I have a bachelor's and a master's in social work,
and I was getting my Ph.D. in social work, so my entire academic career was surrounded by people who kind of believed in the "life's messy, love it."
And I'm more of the, "life's messy, clean it up, organize it and put it into a bento box."
And so to think that I had found my way, to found a career that takes me -- really, one of the big sayings in social work is, "Lean into the discomfort of the work."
And I'm like, knock discomfort upside the head and move it over and get all A's. That was my mantra.
So I was very excited about this. And so I thought, you know what, this is the career for me, because I am interested in some messy topics.
But I want to be able to make them not messy. I want to understand them.
I want to hack into these things that I know are important and lay the code out for everyone to see.
So where I started was with connection. Because, by the time you're a social worker for 10 years, what you realize is that connection is why we're here.
It's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. This is what it's all about.
It doesn't matter whether you talk to people who work in social justice, mental health and abuse and neglect,
what we know is that connection, the ability to feel connected, is -- neurobiologically that's how we're wired -- it's why we're here.
So I thought, you know what, I'm going to start with connection.
Well, you know that situation where you get an evaluation from your boss,
and she tells you 37 things that you do really awesome, and one "opportunity for growth?"