Polymath, Star Thrower, Gin in a Teacup, Steel Gardenia, Environmentalist, Advocate, Change-maker, Feminist, Mama, Artist, Traveler and Christian.
A polymath is a person with a wide-range of knowledge. Hence the blog is a hodge podge of many things I am passionate and learned in.
A star thrower is someone who believes even the smallest gesture by one person can make a difference.
Gin. My alcoholic beverage of choice. Ever since I discovered gin and tonics while working in Edinburgh. I think the juxtaposition of gin in a teacup aptly describes aspects of me. Hardworking, gritty with delicate features and class.
Steel gardenia. I am a Southern American. I inherited my green thumb from my Nana and Mama, both from Virginia, whose favorite flower is gardenia, as is mine. And some of those Southern women stereotypes apply here: strong, independent, loving, a good cook (but I’m an even better eater), graceful, sassy. And you’ll always find a pitcher of sweet ice tea in the fridge. And like most southern Americans, I love the outdoors. The environment we will live in is precious and I strive to protect it.
All of the other labels help describe who I am and what influences my posts. At the end of the day, they are just labels, however. My hope is that each reader will take away something, whether its a new voice, travel planning, reducing waste or a way to advocate.
For those who have known me for a long time, you know that I have always had an adventurous spirit, an opinion and a theatrical talent. At 18, at the drop of the hat, I took off to live and work in Scotland. I spent most of my youth in theater. But traveling and acting were never things I thought could be a career. Helping people and making the world a better place was what I felt compelled to do, and traveling and theatre were selfish, in my eyes. Like many people, I’ve had to navigate the world of career choices, colleges or creative projects on my own. I chose to pursue a more “practical” degree in college instead of performing arts. This way I could help people. When traveling, I never imagined people would be interested in knowing how I did it or what I experienced, or how this influenced my desire to connect and help people around the world. In fairness, my adventures started before the digital age. Fast forward 21 years and I find myself still in a love-less job with another degree on my belt. I’m still not using my degrees. I’ve asked myself and God so many times, why isn’t this working out for me? My intentions are right and I am doing everything earthly possible (PMI certificate, FEMA certificates, volunteering, internships, in house certifications, etc.) and I still don’t have work that respects and values me and makes me fulfilled.
Then God gave me some reminders of things that I was creating and doing that did make me feel valued and fulfilled, and helped others. They just didn’t come in that job with benefits package. And I am making a difference, except its local and I don’t get paid for it.
So I decided to stop trying so hard and let myself rest. Rest for me probably isn’t the kind of rest you are thinking of, but for me it has meant doing something for myself that was selfish. I still haven’t had a day in bed where I catch up on all Netflix and Amazon series I missed while in grad school, but at least I didn’t sign up for another class! It does means reading, praying and writing more. I learned that clearly there was a reason I am still here and doing what I am doing. Best to start counting my blessings for what “here” provided. It has meant getting real with myself and addressing those skeletons in the closet. I had a very honest, crying to God prayer, “okay clearly the way I’ve been doing things isn’t working so please show me what you want me to do”. It has made me ask myself, “okay what makes me really happy and tingly when I do it” and “what are my God given gifts”? And this is where I am today.
Whenever I think about my best moments and my biggest accomplishments, they are things I did when I didn’t follow what our culture and society says I have to do-highschool-college (internship/study abroad/debt)-career-marriage- mortgage-kids-ladder climbing. When I have followed that path it has gotten me nowhere. I guess what I am writing today is, you don’t have to wait until you retire to travel. You don’t have to wait until your kids are grown to pursue that art class. You don’t have to have that MBA to be successful. You don’t have to be an “important” person in a position of leader to make a difference.
My biggest skeleton was my pursuit of performing arts. This was the biggest shame or regret in my life. The one thing that stung when I saw others around me pursue it. A couple of years ago I decided to take up guitar while my son was in piano practice. I found myself late at night not practicing because I had dishes to do or a online group session to join. Yet every time I did practice, I felt happy and proud again. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was avoiding practicing and facing my love of performing, even though it was what I truly loved to do. So I’ve decided to be brave and face what I was secretly feeling and not sharing. This is my “when I die I don’t ever wanna say I wish had” moment. It is making me vulnerable and I hope I have some readers or takers who will support me on this path. And if not, its okay. I have FAITH and I relinquish control. Thanks for reading!
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“We serve a God who can do more than we can ask or imagine. So it’s time to stop playing it safe. We weren’t created for a life of comfort. We are passionate and powerful, charged with changing the world in radical ways!” -From Dangerous Prayers author, Craig Groeschel.