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Thinking: you should be PROUD of yourself!

As I sat in the sauna tonight, mulling on today’s success- I realized I had far too much to say to rely on an instagram caption. And so, my Thinkers, I am home- the prodigal goddess, returning to her long-suffering constituents with a sigh and a wave of rain.


Moving on LOL I have some beautiful news. Recently, as you all know, the podcast was picked up by Stove Leg Media- an incredible opportunity for myself, as well as vindication that 2 long, hard years of work was beginning to pay off.


AND THEN- today, Sept 20, I woke up late. Thank goodness for Wynn telling me to take her out to potty, because if she hadn’t I would have slept through my chiropractor appointment.. And that’s like a big deal. The office manager literally just told me you get charged if you do that and basically put on probation or something lol so I knew I couldn’t be late. So I’m flying, my phone is dead, I can’t talk to anyone or check anything. I barely had time to brush my teeth.


About an hour later I get home (from an awesome adjustment) and I grab my ipad to check instagram… and I have an email. All I can see are the first few words in the preview bar: “We were unable to include everyone…” and my heart sank. I opened the email anyway and continued reading. I saw the list of the artists who had been chosen and.. There. My name. It really was there.


Wynn and I did a little celebration dance that a part of me wishes I had recorded but another part of me knows I’ll never really forget- I’ll never forget how elated I was in that moment. How proud. How thrilled to share it with my tiny puppy child and have her jump and growl back at me in celebration.


I tell you that story to set the context for my meditations in the sauna tonight. I started writing an instagram caption to try to elicit some of these feelings, but quickly realized that wasn’t feasible in the amount of space available for a caption- nor would anyone even want to read that as they scrolled.


I started thinking, started typing, about my years of depression. It still comes and goes, of course, but the time I spent so absolutely consumed that I’m genuinely surprised some days that I made it through- that came back to me.


The years I spent on educating myself in a field that ended up closing itself to me.. That all came back.


The people who made fun of me, who gave me shit to my face and behind my back, who act like I’m just a screw up or like my life is awful and out of control and I’m scrambling for air…..


The people who told me that I probably couldn’t ever make it in life as an artist and I should give up on that dream.


It. All. Came. Back.


And I started thinking about all of that struggle, disappointment, pain and shame, and I remembered something. Who I am- but also who I’m not. Allow me to explain.


I am a scholarly author, a professional artist, a content creator, a podcaster, an events coordinator, a gallery manager, a tennis coach.


Every single one of those are accomplishments I should be proud of- and days like today remind me that I AM proud of myself. I have reason to be. I am allowed to be. I should be.


I am more than those things, though, and that’s what I want to remind YOU of. You are more than just the things you do for a living. All of those things are what you might find of me if you looked at my resume or Googled me, but it’s not the sum of me.


I am a foodie. I am a plant mom. I am a dog mom! That puppy is my greatest joy. I am a wino. I am a bohemian. I am in love. I am an art collector. I am a Snoopy addict. I am obsessed with Japanese art, culture and food. I am sad when I eat cows and pigs but sometimes I do it anyway. I am Appalachian and proud.


I am so much more than just the jobs I do- and I think that’s something that we easily forget in our capitalist, consumer-centric society. I have to remind myself regularly that even though we were often taught as children that we were meant to grow up and do something world changing- being happy is world changing. Our job, our profession, the way we put food on the table- that doesn’t have to be “fulfilling” the way we were told- because it just can’t be. We all can’t be the people who save the world, because someone has to keep the world turning. And that’s okay!


Truly, with my whole heart, I believe our purpose on this earth is to be happy. To discover happiness, and some version of peace, and to spread it amongst ourselves. To make others laugh, to make others lives easier. To love and to be loved. And I think that’s the greatest mission- and it can be done while running a non-profit or flipping cheese burgers. Because the profession doesn’t define you, and other people’s opinions don’t define YOU- it might define someone’s perception of you, but not who you are.


So keep that in mind, please, as you go about your week. Remember that your profession does not define you and your happiness is the ultimate goal. Remember that you should go out on that limb to be who you have always dreamt of being, because life is too short and happiness is just within arm’s reach.


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