If you’ve watched/listened Rachel Patton’s Fight Song video, you should really take a moment before reading my online article.
This post was written over three weeks, prior to having the courage to finally push publish. As you’ll read, this post sets the stage for the rest of my career as a Storyteller & Activist…and so much more.
Before I leap off my own career cliff, let me repeat myself in expressing how much tremendous faith it requires to put my heart on the line and be this vulnerable, and share my passions so authentically. It’s almost too raw to share my story in real time. While my life is intensely beautiful, it’s also beautifully intense.
I go through these cycles of absolute clarity about my purpose and then retreating inward to process the monumental changes happening so rapidly. I am actively speaking my truth and shifting my paradigms on a daily, moment to moment basis. And, yet it can feel like a tree fallen in the forest and wondering whether anyone would know. In this age, being off social media can make you feel invisible…but also invincible. I’m increasingly gathering the strength and courage to tell my story and live my fight.
I’m 39 and still figuring out what I’m going to be when I grow up. I realize that I’ve been experiencing my own utopic version of a mid life crisis. Ever since my father, Wally, died five years ago, I’ve been questioning why I am here and how I am meant to serve.
Yet, instead of feeling hopeless and helpless, or even lost, I feel a deep sense of purpose. My issue isn’t that I don’t know what to do, it’s that I don’t know where to begin. On many days this lifetime feels too short. I want to do it all. I don’t want to compromise my dreams. Yet, I’ve struggled to articulate my vision, even to myself.
I have so many inspiring ideas that I can’t seem to narrow down the most strategic sequence. I’m ready to shine as bright as the star I’m meant to be. But my vision is so transformative that it’s hard to actually truly imagine it, let alone believe in it.
In the process of trying to define what/who I want to be when I grow up I had to give myself a title. I gave myself the title of Mother/Blogger/Coach/Business Adventurer, when I left my city career after Teagan was born. I felt as though I needed give credit to all the unpaid work that I do as a Mother. I also wanted to own being a Blogger, and to continue to be brave enough to share my story online. I felt called to become a Coach, and help fellow mamas create their unique version of bliss. I also wanted to embrace the many hats that I wear as a Business Adventurer. Most of all, I wanted to my title to share how my work is a creative expression of my values, rather than a value of my worth. It was more about sharing my passions than earning a profit, always will be.
Since moving to Astoria, I’ve gone even further out a limb by giving myself the title of Storyteller & Activist.
I recognize the irony of how little this title does to clarify who I am or what I want to be when I grow up.The backstory is that the title on my new Rotary badge needed to be less than 22 characters. I finally committed to bold title of Storyteller & Activist in a moment of inspiration, when I felt a deep calling to help lead our (r)evolution.
As a Storyteller, I want to earn my living by sharing my story to inspire you to create your own unique utopia. I don’t want to define myself purely as Blogger, because I really feel called to be brave enough to share myself via video. Plus, I want to go on old-school public speaking tour to local Rotary clubs, and connect with fellow Rotarians who are working in more mainstream ways to make the world a better place.
As an Activist, I want to be a social change leader who works to transform my community, and, over the next two decades, the world. I want to work in my community to transform Astoria into a place where social capital is more valuable than money, where we celebrate our diversity and our heritage, and where we work together to create a local economy that’s a model for the rest of the world.
When my father died, I realized that his title should have been Storyteller & Friend. Five years later, I recognize how he was also a cultural revolutionary, who was integral (albeit unintentional) in creating a hippie counter-culture movement. By defining his own unconventional success and living life on his own terms, he was able to connect deeply with people and inspire them to live authentically. He was thought provoking and sincere. He had an unbelievable memory and I only wish we would have captured his oral history. He wasn’t rich, but he made a wealth of friends.
Perhaps I should have saved the title of Storyteller & Activist for my own epitaph, for fear of offending others, but life is too short to let others define you in hindsight. Plus, who says you only get to have one title?! Looking forward to creating more and more for myself…