Over the past year or so, especially during the last few months, I feel like I've truly come into my own, learning more and more about who I really am. Through this unraveling, I'm finding my internal voice–a voice that sounds like the woman I hope to be–and learning how to exercise it with confidence. But, during this time, I also feel like I've lost my online voice. My writing voice. My blogging voice. My brand voice.
I'm not entirely sure where it went. I could speculate on a multitude of contributing factors: working in marketing I'm exposed to too many "supposed tos" that make me question everything, being in transition can often mean feeling off kilter and unsure of myself, and let's face it: I'm out of practice. I've stalled out. Regardless of the reason, I'm certain that the answer is to just show up anyway. Speak. Write. Share. Even when I don't feel like I have anything articulate to say.
The phrase "show up" has been a whisper in the back of my mind for over a month now and, as a result, has become my word(s) of the year for 2017. Showing up means letting go of fear. Showing up means leaving excuses at the door. Showing up means being there for others and for yourself.
And while I'm showing up for myself in other areas such as my health and friendships, it's time to show up here and in my creative work.
Inspired by the 100 Days Project (specifically Elise's 100 Days of Pep Talks on Instagram), I have decided to participate in my own commitment challenge. Admittedly, I was intimidated by the 100 day commitment and, even though I've had this idea for several months now, I put it off, knowing that I already had a lot on my plate.
After some thought, I realized that it wasn't the length that mattered to me most. It was the commitment and the experimentation that I was drawn to, that I felt I needed more of in my life. As a result, I just needed to think a bit differently to come up with a project that made sense for me. And I finally got it.
I'm calling it #theampersandproject and friends, it's so much cooler than I initially anticipated!
I am choosing to design my own experiments and projects for whatever length of time I find both challenging and sufficient and I'm inviting you all to join me along the way. By making it something that can mold and change with me, it becomes an opportunity to explore new processes, mediums, tools, and more. For example, one month I might try out a new productivity tool and report on what I've learned and the next I might try a mindfulness practice. I might spend a week focusing on writing letters to people I care about or even challenge myself to create an information product in three days. The possibilities truly are endless.
But it all starts with the first project. Day 1. Maybe I'll never get to a second project, but as long as I give this first experiment my real solid effort, I will have succeeded.
For my first project, I will be diving into the medium of audio! I've long felt that podcasting was in my future, having both a childhood full of recording myself on my PlaySkool boombox (Marissa's Late Night Talk Show) and a few interviews under my belt, and I think there's no better way to ease back into finding and sharing my voice than to just start talking.
Here's the plan: I will record and share a new audio clip (around 5 minutes–or longer if I'm feeling particularly loquacious) each day for 30 days. These clips will be posted on the blog via Soundcloud and I'll include a preview on Instagram and Twitter here and there. I'll discuss whatever feels right that day, but I imagine I'll talk a lot about creativity, careers, transition, and navigating through life. The goal is to keep it simple and sustainable, so it won't be a full blown podcast (not yet, anyway!) but it will be enough to be worth listening to (at least I hope!).
I hope that you'll consider joining me each day for 5 quick minutes of reflection and discussion and share your thoughts with me! I'd LOVE for this to be a springboard for great conversations and to get your thoughts on what you'd like to hear next.
Follow Along with #TheAmpersandProject Audio Series
There are a few ways you can stay in-the-know about daily updates:
Thanks so much to all of your for your support and to my friends who are probably so over me talking about doing a project and thrilled that I'm actually committing to one! Check back tomorrow for the official kick off!