July 5, 2018 (Braving Beginnings)
It took me a long time to write this because I didn’t know how to start. In unraveling my beginning, I found inspiration in the following words from William Wordsworth:
“To begin, begin.”
I'm convinced the start of anything is the most challenging part (I say as I wipe my sweaty palms on my jeans) and that we can all use this painfully simple reminder. I’ve been paid to write for more than half a decade and I still overthink beginnings. I know I probably always will. I also know that once we get going, things tend to fall into place. We build our confidence, our routine and we can usually find some sort of cruise control when we get comfy. It’s the first few steps into uncharted territory that feel the scariest. In my case, this resonates strongly.
Life looks different now than it did three months ago. I peacefully parted ways with Mixte Communications, a visionary company rooted in social good and the most amazing colleagues I could ever ask for. I started freelancing and supporting myself financially. I bought a van after going 1.5 years with only a bicycle.
Today, these things feel natural. At first, they felt like anything but. In three more months, I'm sure I will feel an even greater contrast to where (and who) I used to be.
Early August brings a new adventurous beginning that keeps me up at night with excitement. My new old van and I will be traveling the country until the end of October. We’ll visit friends and family, stop in the National Parks i’ve always dreamed of exploring and, most importantly, seek out women to interview for Lady Days.
The criteria for an interview is intentionally broad. I’m searching for women who live courageous and authentic lives, defying societal constructs and norms that keep us in a variety of boxes. These women are change makers, warriors and poets, and I'd like to speak with them and bring their stories back for you — to share them and cultivate a community of leading ladies that can inspire anyone, man or woman.
I grappled with a few things upon settling into this beginning.
I first had to acknowledge my privilege in having the opportunity to take three months to do this. I keep that close to my heart by reflecting every day on my deep gratitude for the people, places and circumstances that have empowered me to get here. I could list you out but you know who you are and you're too humble to want recognition. So please take accept another thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for every gift you gave and continue to give me. I wish I could insert a thousand photos, but this will have to do for now.
I also considered whether or not I should be the one to do this, and what right i have to go on this adventure. I've since come to the conclusion that we owe it to each other to use our gifts in this life to make the world better in the way that speaks most to us. We each have something to give — am I giving mine?
Of course I worried aimlessly about career path and money in the beginning as well. I considered health insurance and expenses and what my parents and colleagues would think as I kept my dream silently to myself. It took me some time to reconcile with myself that this is the way things are going to be, and the rest will fall into place. I told myself, “This is what happens now,” as if it’s not a choice at all but simply what comes next regardless of me. I often feel this way — like "I’m not steering this ship," as I tell my mother.
I don’t have an abundance of money, but I have enough to go. I don’t have a job lined up, but I know I can get one if I need to. This does not define me or how successful I am (are we still trying to define success anyway?). As anyone who has let go of the need to justify themselves can tell you — it is truly liberating.
I won’t be writing you from lavish or luxurious hotels. I plan to write to you from my heart and from my campsite, drinking instant folgers coffee because #budgeting. I won’t be writing you with sugar-coated travel monologues but instead with authenticity and the soulful stories of others — not just of me. If nothing else, I hope you find some inspiration in what you encounter here and on our Instagram — or at least get a good laugh or have a good cry. I hope you feel.
My best friend’s Dad passed on recently. His journey from this life and the impact he's had on his loved ones has taught me many things and given me one ultra-precious gift: An awareness of what truly matters and an accompanying sense of urgency to freakin' get to it already. Tackle the beginnings. Take the first steps. Don’t shy away from them.
One down. Lots more to go.