|Me @ 16|
So, today is my birthday eve. Yup, tomorrow, December 11 is my birthday and I'll be 37. When I see that number, its slightly surreal to realize that it corresponds with how long I've been on this planet. I've been alive more than thirty years. That sounds like I should be a lot more experienced with this life thing and getting "it"-- whatever that may be-- right a lot better than I feel like I am, but when I start thinking like that, I realize I may be chastising myself a little too much. I mean this country is way older than 30 years and there are so many glaring areas in which it hasn't gotten better, or equitable or truly diverse where it counts, so it brings me back down to earth, realizing that age is really all but a number. But, damn. 37 is a pretty big number.
When I was 16, I was so sure that by 21 I was going to be a successful actress, screenwriter, author, singer and business owner that you couldn't have told me otherwise. At that time, my idealism is what mobilized me to go to college and believe that I had more control over my choices then I did. I mean, even upon graduation at 21 with a degree in a liberal arts field, I was optimistic, even when I didn't have plan the first in place. I guess that's around when I started making plans and lists and learning that goals were met by a lot more structure than just wishing them so.
|Me @ 20 in college|
I started graduate school at 21 at Towson University (when it still had "state" in its name then) and got an assistantship position with the Student Activities office managing a campus venue, a staff of students and 10pm-2am parties on campus. I worked under a woman named Marcie Ermer who will forever be the first work mentor who I ever had who largely created the business oriented woman that I am today. She was so organized and professional but always empathetic. She was great at creating systems and watching her and modeling her work patterns taught me the importance of structure. What I learned in that unassuming position is what I've applied in every job situation I've had in the fifteen years since that I feel has made me successful and made my work replicable which is important.
|Liberate Your Muse Card I made last year|
As a literary and performance artist who is also a producer, knowing how to navigate and create systems has been invaluable in sharing and monetizing my work. It has also been helpful in reaching many of the goals I set for myself at 16. While I haven't done a screenplay yet, I've written many stage plays and produced two of them as executive producer and director. I've authored work and acted and sing regularly, so those goals were met, too. But what I've done also, that I couldn't have fathomed at 16 is that I've created a meaningful space for me in the world of work based on my integrated skills. Meaning, I'm not just a singer or a writer or a business woman, I'm all of that. I have found value in what my gifts are and have been lucky to be a fit for positions that interest me because my skills are well-rounded.
On this birthday eve, all of this reflection will surely impact the lessons that I share with my 7 year-old. While she currently declares that she will be the first successful artist/vetinarian who will run an art school for pets, I will be in the wings ready to support her if and when that dream changes or if she just needs a mentor who can model for her how its possible to transform wishes, dreams and hopes into reality.