wild and free!
“Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel.”
- Alan Moore
Thinking over the past view months since I last wrote three months ago: WOWZERS. So blasted much has happened. (Proceed at your own risk!)
The BEST part about this hard year / huge changes / new path is the real confidence and contentment - not the fake it til I make it attempts – that has finally taken root and is blooming in me, more than ever before. It feels so so good to say I feel happier now than I have been in a long time (maybe ever, as far as self-satisfaction and self-love go), and am learning to embrace MY OWN way, my unique journey, not to compare or care what others think (easier said than done), and how much I am capable of…I am so thankful.
“In the depth of winter, I found in me an invincible summer.”
- Albert Camus
In April, I founded ExplodingSoul LLC and since leaving Water.org have been pretty heads down with my two awesome clients/jobs: I am Director of Digital for The Way Women Work and Marketing Director at SpiderOak [both about to launch new websites within the next month!].
The Way Women Work: the go-to site for women around the world to seek and share business and career advice. (I work with the founder, Rania Anderson – an AMAZING woman who I feel so privileged to support and learn from on a daily basis. I began doing freelance for her last November, just a few hours a week, and I always hoped that an opportunity to work more/closer with her would develop. You really need to read about her here.)
SpiderOak: like Dropbox, but for the privacy conscious – the only 100% private online backup / share / sync provider in the cloud. (This connection came from a good friend; they have 27 employees around the world, and I work regularly with Alan Fairless, its CTO. He is a co-founder and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. I love getting together with him on a regular basis, learning from him, and am encouraged by his great faith in me!)
As you can probably deduct, there are VERY different jobs, but both are developing a wide-array of new complementary skills in me, sharpening my strengths, are each fascinating in their own right, and I really enjoy and appreciate them each for different reasons. Overall, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the flexibility and freedom of working for myself. It of course took awhile to settle into learning how I work best and balancing each, but I think the past few weeks I’ve found a lovely good stride. The intense stress I was feeling in my previous job left almost immediately, and because I enjoy this work so much and its timing in my life and soul, it is just a completely different and fuzzy feeling all around. I work most often at coffeeshops, from home, and sometimes at friends’ houses.
I’ve also been on the road quite a bit!
Park City, Utah, with Rania in May to begin our work together…
Chicago to visit friends for my birthday, as well as meet up with some SpiderOakians who live there…
Went to Memphis (twice actually, one was a quick weekend trip, one was a week-long visit) to enjoy my grandparents, the pool, and see an old friend there as well….
It’s worth noting that on my way to Memphis (trip #2) I fulfilled one of my life goals, and picked up hitchhikers! I had a “good gut feeling” about them and that I should do it, and even had a debate with myself and God before I went through with it, but it was such a great experience. We shared a three hour car ride from Mammoth Springs, Arkansas (photos right below), to Memphis. The two 24-year-old guys, Matt and Colin, had been living on a commune in Tecumseh, Missouri, gardening and such. They were so nice, and they said their moms worry about them (just as mine did after I told her what I did! Ha!) It was nice to be reminded of other ways of life, and share in a journey together. It was a great start to my trip and I will never forget them or the experience.
“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.”
- Kurt Vonnegut
My brother and I played a song he wrote at my cousin’s wedding (I wish I had more photos!) It was a hot, windy day in Kansas…
And the most recent escapades – after three years of struggling with my eczema and only going the natural route (and seeing a HUGE improvement mind you), per my yoga teacher’s prompting via a meditation she had about me and my skin (crazy! cool! weird!), I went to a dermatologist again and got a steroid shot in me bum, and a topical steroid cream. Well I’LL BE DAMNED. My skin has not looked like this since MAYBE high school, but maybe even never this good. It is completely foreign to me, as someone who has been in so much pain, so self-conscious, and never wearing shorts or short sleeves because of it…I feel like a whole new person! (I know this also contributes a huge amount to how I feel in confidence and my ability to focus completely on my work and enjoy where I am in life!) So there you go…I have no idea if this is it, or if I’ll have to get one again in the future. But I am for the first time ever, comfortable in my own skin!!! And there is nothing better than that feeling. Thank you God!
Another huge update! I have ALSO had plans for the past six weeks to move to Denver with one of my best friends, Maggie. I had told everyone, and we were excited and almost ready to go!
She is in a similar place in life, faith, and love, and we have the current circumstantial freedom (my lease is up at the end of the month!) and thirst for adventure. We love Denver (she used to live there), and so we thought, why not? I could use some cool mountain air, dependable sunshine, and new beauty-full adventures…But just last week, we still had been unable to secure our temporary living arrangement. Then, there was a new development that it looks like Rania and I will be heading to India in September (UMM, YES PLEASE!!!). So Mags and I decided to put it on hold. We/I can always go later, or anytime. We can both honestly say we feel really good about this, relief, and peace :)
New plan: I am going to move in with my wonderful aunt and uncle who live in the country outside of Lawrence. It is so beautiful there, and I know I will enjoy them and their amazing space, to work and rest. I’m happy it’s close to KC so I can make trips in weekly as needed. My two new “roommates” are on the right (below) ;) ….
Farm friends, and views from my new home-to-be. The pic below is out the dining door and onto the back patio (not too shabby!)…
And now being lease-free, I can take advantage of this time in my life to travel and visit friends and family around the country! Upcoming trips already in the next six weeks: Fraser, CO, Park City, UT, Erie, PA, Springfield, MO, McPherson, KC, and Jackson Hole, WY (Yellowstone/Grand Tetons)… Can’t wait!!
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
- Terry Pratchett, from A Hat Full of Sky
Mom and Dad were so kind to come help me move a few of my things into storage last weekend. We had a lot of fun too. Mom, and some city pics (I have too much fun with my iPhone and Instagram)…
And all that is just the HALF of it! ;D
“I have found adventure in flying, in world travel, in business, and even close at hand… Adventure is a state of mind – and spirit.”
- Jacqueline Cochran
A little bonus, should this be of interest (and you have even more time to kill! Ha!)- here are some highlights / articles I’ve written / exciting mentions I’ve had with The Way Women Work and SpiderOak:
- Rania (and I!) on Forbes.com: A Fascinating New Concept: How “Thought Partners” Add Value to Your Business
- Rania in Huffington Post: What I Learned From Madeleine Albright
- SpiderOak was mentioned in Forbes this week: 5 Essential Privacy Tools for the Next Crypto War
- Thus far, here are all of my blogposts for SpiderOak (I’ve had a lot of fun with these)
- I skype-interviewed this absolutely inspiring young woman in the Dominican Republic, Estefany Marte, and wrote a piece for The Way Women Work: From Professional Ballerina to Business Woman. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton singled out Estefany and her business success in a speech in Russia just last month (a few weeks after we wrote the article too! So cool!)
- This week we had Njeri Rionge, “One of Kenya’s most successful serial entrepreneurs” and one of “African’s Most Successful Women” as named by Forbes, write a guest post for our blog: Tap Intro Your Intrinsic Nature, Further Your Business. Also SO COOL!
As always, thanks for joining me on this crazy, fun, sacred, beautiful road. I truly hope to write more (always), and especially in my travels in the good months to come. I hope this finds you well and seizing up all the potential adventure in your daily life…
(you just have to be open to it...)
major love, you marvelous gem,