As my friend drove away in her little white van aptly named “van-a white,” I felt this sense of joy about her taking some of our items and giving them a good home. Several of my dresses were tucked behind her front seat and as she drove off, I thought about the person I had become while wearing those dresses and realized how good it felt to let them go.
A few years back, I got heavily into the idea of branding. I was transitioning (not so eloquently at times) from producing indie film into being talent in my own right. And, for me, that meant hosting. Hosting has always been a dream of mine, but only in the way Oprah had done on her network TV show. I love the idea of helping people share their stories in order to inspire others. But, that’s Oprah and there can only be one Oprah. I didn’t know where I belonged. So, I thought hosting a how-to show would be the answer. This was a trend and a lot of well-meaning people were giving me advice that it was the only way to create a following that might then translate into being able to do the type of show I actually wanted to do. I was good at and enjoyed crafting and I was good at explaining how to do certain things. I had been hired by a filmmaker to host a series of how-to videos for eHow and though is was fun, it didn’t feed my soul. But, I thought it was the only chance I had to make it as a host and so I dove in. I created a brand, figured out my mission statement, found the right colors to reflect what I was trying to say and did an entire makeover of my wardrobe. I figured if I looked that part and acted the part, maybe I would finally feel the part. It didn’t work and the more I got into doing it, the more I realized how little passion I had for the how-to part of it. I do not like telling people what to do because I believe we all have our own journey and what works for one won’t necessarily work for another. It got to the point where when I put one of the cute dresses I had purchased to wear as I represented this brand I had created on, I felt like a big fat giant failure and fraud. I just wanted to show people that they could create the life they wanted but instead, I fell further and further down the rabbit hole of the expert industry. I don’t feel like I’m an expert at anything except maybe trying new things and the pressure got to me. It really did.
It wasn’t until this year that I had a heart-to-heart with myself and realized just how much it had gotten to me. I literally spoke the words “I hate my life.” Those are words that hadn’t come out of my mouth in years and years, probably since my teen-angst years before I realized how much control I actually had in the creation of my life and happiness. Once I heard those words, out loud, spoken from my own mouth, I froze. “What was I doing?” I thought.
It was in that moment, I knew I had to begin the journey to find my happiness. Having gone on this journey before, I knew that it was, most-likely, going to be a long one with lots of peaks and valleys. I was not wrong. But, as van-a white drove away, I realized that as I was letting go of that outward image I had designed I could finally, honestly, let go of the idea that there is only one way to create the life I want to live.
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