On thinking differently and deconstruction

This past year has been significant in so many ways. I started with an interest in “experimenting.” It started last September with this idea that if I really wanted to be an entrepreneur, I needed a way to prove to myself that I could do it. I believed in possibility, but that’s not the mindset I went into the year with. I had some things in the wings, though not enough to replace my salary, but enough to give me some surety that bankruptcy was not imminent.

I started a group coaching program that has been transformational (as I knew it would) and I remember clutching on to so much fear — afraid that I didn’t have the money, afraid to tell my family and afraid that I’d have to get a “real” job.

So, a year later, I’ve made more money than I made at that corporate job. I’ve gotten to do really interesting work that challenges me. And I’ve learned that money is rarely the reason to say yes to a whole lot of things.

A journey back to the start

A large part of this year has been me doing a lot of reflecting and work on creativity and what that means. I started out as a creative human (I’m pretty sure we all do) and then somewhere along the way decided that I didn’t have time for it. Life got really serious. I went to university and dropped out after one month. I thought it was my deepest darkest secret as I ended up working with people who had degrees. And now I teach at a university.

I suddenly remembered how I used to love to do hand lettering as a kid, how I made paper dolls and how I thought I had the trick mastered to drawing a good dog face. I loved music. I played the violin starting in grade 3 and I stayed with it until grade 10 or 11. I played the flute. I had incredible opportunities through music.

This all feels vulnerable and a little strange to be sharing on a public place. I’ve tried creating a journalling habit more times than I can remember, and usually with the intent of regularly publishing a blog about online marketing or customer centricity or usability or something else. The habit didn’t stick and as much as I teach my clients and my students about those things now, I’ve never had the time.

And on being willing to show up differently

So why here and why now? Because I had this whisper on my walk today — that what if I showed the world who I really am, and in that, found something in me? And I always get inspired on my walks, so I’m putting some things out. I’m not going to edit this, I’m just going to publish and see what happens from there.

I’ve realized I’ve lived my life on the belief that “prim and proper” = good human. Worthy of taking up space. Worth of a voice and an opinion. Except I never quite measured up. I figured if I just kept using my manners, staying quiet, wore the right shade of lipstick or finally figured out how to look like “an executive” then someone would see me for my worth, while I ignored my own needs.

This isn’t meant to be a sad story — quite the opposite. I mean the learning comes through learning, curiosity and wanting to keep figuring things out. Sometimes those lessons are hard and sometimes they take a long, long time.

And I’ve realized that there is so much more to my identity — and there is to yours.