When tasking others with writing ‘It’s Personal’ blogs, I do not seem to have any troubles. When faced with writing my own… I can’t seem to find anyone to task the project to?
As an outsider looking in on my life, it would appear to be one of great accomplishment. Since I can remember, I have been insanely driven to achieve. For many years, the fight to succeed was relentless; very little could stand in my way. Coupled with a fierce work ethic and an unwavering persistence, I checked many of the conventional boxes of success, while neglecting to check many of the unconventional boxes of success. I was humbled to unveil in a therapy session, in my early 40s, that I was addicted to achieving. I replaced fear, uncertainty, sadness, and failure…with achievement. Mind blown.
As an insider, looking at my life, I can tell you that my accomplishments are not what you may think. I am very proud of what I have accomplished academically and professionally, however those achievements fail to compare to the real accomplishments in my life. There is no category for these type of accomplishments on LinkedIn. They aren’t the ones you post about on Facebook or IG. The real accomplishments are found behind the scenes.
To be candid, there has been a lot more adversity than achievement box ticking and I know I am not alone in this experience. Overcoming the adversities are the actual accomplishments I am most proud of. Trauma, debt, infertility, miscarriages, pain, surgeries, loss, and divorce. These things can take a person down, and they certainly aren’t on the list of things we publish on our front page. However, overcoming them and continuing to overcome them, is my success. They are conquered with the most valuable resources I have: time and love.
I struggle to stay in the present. I’m often caught living in the future, planning, and plotting. I often miss the beauty of what is happening while I am waiting for what I planned to happen. Occasionally, I am caught living in the past wondering what I could have changed. As I have rounded out 45 years here on earth, one of the greatest challenges ahead for me will be to better live in the present. Counting my wealth in time and calculating how I spend it, where I spend it, and who I spend it with.
I am very fortunate to feel the love that surrounds me. My family and my friends have been a very grounding, reliable source of comfort in my life. My children are my compass for love. I am a firm believer that to have this depth of love, you must be willing to give it and to receive it. I have found friendship in every facet of my professional life. I love working and I love being a part of a team. I choose to merge my personal and work life, and it has rewarded me time and time again.
In the ‘game of life,’ there is no game board for your work-life and your personal-life. There is one game board, and it is for ‘your life.’ You zip around that board putting pink and blue sticks into and out of your car, assessing risk, making choices, spinning wheels, pulling cards, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and it can get messy, frustrating, loud, and lonely. However, it is a gift to be playing the game at all.
Let’s have some real talk. I am still addicted to achievement, but I’ve changed my to-do list and I have changed the resources I value. I’m still me – speeding around the game board, relentless and motivated but the motivators have changed. I’m not here to play small on this game board.
So, what’s next?
Starting Fringe happened quietly, it happened slowly. It has been brewing inside me for a very long time. A desire to really challenge what it means to ‘own a business,’ to build a company, to infuse meaning and purpose to a brand, to serve a team, and to create a space that we can all share and grow.
This time, it’s personal.
We can’t help people or be helped unless we are willing to let our guards down and let people know who we really are. We are here to inspire and be inspired. We need each other.
I am going to put many more pink and blue sticks in my car. I may need a bus (or two or three).
It is a gift to be playing this game with you.