Living Your Truth: How to Be Brave

Losing your job can be scary, but it can also be the kick in the ass you need to start living your truth. It certainly offered me a newfound perspective.

By the end of a nearly decade-long tenure at AOL, I had amassed almost 20 years of work experience in media and technology. Mind you I wasn’t entirely surprised by the pink slip, it was AOL, after all. But when I think about all the time I spent in those hallowed halls, it’s accompanied by the sad realization that although I can remember the color of the Ploum couch in our marketing huddle, whole chunks of my life are a complete blur.

    • Truth: The last few years leading up to losing my job had been a personal nightmare.
    • Truth: I had no idea what I wanted to do next.
    • Truth: I desperately needed a reset.

Conscientiously taking a break from your career has the potential to reveal the possibilities and unexpected pathways life has to offer. It takes a moment to decide if you can carve out the time without suffering too much financial hardship, and once you do, the only thing you need is enough bravery for a leap of faith.

The faith I had in myself revealed a courageous heart, one strong enough to book a 2-month solo adventure through Southeast Asia. The plan was to discover new and unfamiliar places, specifically Siem Reap, Cambodia; Vietnam; Bali & Java, Indonesia, while reacquainting myself, well, with myself.

It takes a boatload of chutzpah to travel on your own, and, even more, to willingly spend time alone with your thoughts and feelings, absent of everyday distractions and social obligations. My time abroad helped to uncover my childhood dreams and aspirations, to remember who I wanted to be, and to recognize the person I had become.

Every day was a journey and some days were harder than others but it was all possible once I learned these valuable lessons:

    • Look for the beauty in every day. Every Balinese day begins with offerings for the gods in exchange for protection or prosperity. It’s hard to miss the colorful trays on the sidewalks outside storefronts and hotels, temples and waterfalls filled with saffron and jasmine petals, coconut and banana leaves, incense, rice, and sweets.
    • Take things in stride. On every trip, like every project or job, something is bound to go awry. Enchanted by the idea of overnight train travel, I booked a tour in Vietnam on The Reunification Line. Most cars felt like a prison cell block with metal cots, frigid temperatures, and an occasional roach sighting — a far cry from the superliner. Unpleasantries are temporary, an inevitable part of the travel experience that ought not to affect the overall journey.
    • Practice gratitude. Be positive; be thankful. Cambodians are years behind their contemporaries, after suffering unrest and genocide at the hands of the Khmer Rouge regime well into the 20th century. Every person I met exhibited poise and respect, warmly welcoming me to their homeland, sharing their stories and circle of friends. Some of my most precious memories were from consciously receiving their kindness with grace.
    • Take the time to listen. Every morning during my yoga retreat I woke to monks chanting in the distance, the wind rustling through bamboo trees. There is a lesson in every moment if you are brave enough to listen carefully: to yourself, to the people around you, to the sounds of nature, even to the silence.
    • Be present in every moment. I spent countless hours exploring the ancient temples and ruins of Angkor Wat, marveling at its architectural magnificence. That first sunrise, I could feel the souls of every being that had come before me as I walked through its passages. When traveling, or working for yourself, as I would find out later, you can experience life at your own pace.

Everything everyone says about time is true, it waits for no one — something we lose sight of in the busy-ness of our lives. Between school, career, and family we acclimate to the life we’re living and sometimes forget to nurture our dreams. Don’t you think it’s about time you rediscover yours?

Photo Credit: Pixabay


The beginning of a powerful narrative

In 2016, after almost a decade of supporting advertising sales communications at AOL, I set off on a new adventure. It started with a two-month sojourn through Southeast Asia and ended with starting my own company, Modern Vintage Ink LLC. Two years later, and I am excited to share that I have fulfilled a lifetime dream of writing for a living.

I had no idea back then that I would have the gumption to go out on my own. I never considered myself suitable for freelancing or supporting a side hustle. Since striking out on my own I have learned that solopreneurship is about much more than exerting aggressive behavior, it’s also about channeling your enterprising skillset. It is about having a passion for what you do and finding ways to use your talent, creative or otherwise to help others with what they cannot.

In my work as a corporate ghostwriter, I work with individuals and small businesses on crafting their thought leadership narrative. Narrative messaging takes many shapes from blogs and articles to advertising and promotional copy, lead generation campaigns, speeches, and in some cases, wedding vows.

The path I have taken these last 18 months has been deeply enriching. I have learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses, areas where I excel and those that require additional support. I have learned that being a generalist affords me the space to activate my curiosity on a variety of topics from robotics to meditation to economic development.

As my business grows, I am enjoying the freedom to pursue projects and clients who are purposeful in their messaging. The one thing I enjoy most about working on my own is relishing in the finished project. Although not always published under my name, I walk away from each assignment feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment for helping my clients articulate and channel their voice.

You never know where your clients may manifest, so I have found that managing and maintaining solid relationships within your network is critical. I believe that if your values and intention align with those who need your help, anything is possible.

For those in need of a ghostwriter, you can review a portfolio of my work here: