Keep your box. I'll check my own.

Good morning, Friday. TGIF. First of all, thank you for all the tremendous love you've shown me, and thanks to the Ageist for publishing a version of my piece on ageism in advertising. It's incredibly affirming and I feel so focused on what's next for me.

So one thing I was thinking about was this- this whole notion of reinvention/rebooting is not something that came into my life as I realized I was growing out of my lifelong career. It started very, very young for me. I've always had wanderlust when it comes to work. Maybe it's because I had the nagging sense that somehow, what I was doing was not me living my most authentic life when it came to my career. I worked for the best agencies. I worked with the best creative talent. I stayed in incredible hotels and got to see some beautiful places. And all of that was wonderful. But I'd be lying if I said there were many days and nights when I yearned for something else. And that's hard. It was hard my entire life. I have often been accused of "grass is always greener" thinking. But maybe it's because I had the sneaking suspicion that there was something else I wanted. It was just hard for me to see. And the distraction of a very busy and stressful career didn't help. 

I searched so often for what it would take. But the nagging voice was the one that told me to "do my own thing".

That's the voice I heard over and over again. Sometimes I told it to shut the hell up. Other times I tried to listen to it but got too nervous to really hear it. Truth is, I've been a writer my entire life. And the other truth? People in advertising would never, ever think of me as one. And I know that's what kept me from doing this sooner. The fear. 

The fear that people whose creativity I had come to respect and admire would somehow deem me "not good enough". Or "who does she think she is being a writer now"? I know- it's defeatist and ridiculous but if you've worked in advertising you know why I say this. Because there is not a more siloed industry I can think of. Besides maybe factory work. It's completely insane. How on Earth can a house built on creativity put everyone in little boxes? I get that in a place that is at its best set up to make stuff, everybody needs a role. But to not accept and encourage talented people for all they can do seems ridiculous. And insecure.  Also why on Earth was I so afraid of what people would think? That is just so...argh.  If I'm mad at myself for anything, it's that.

And since the big marketing buzzword of the past couple of years has been "agility", I challenge members of the ad community and all workplaces to embrace people who may know a thing or two about more than a thing or two. There are polyglots everywhere. Why aren't we embracing them? Why is it so unfathomable that I can write and produce things? It's not. Or at least it's not to me. And if you want to retain great people, encourage them to share all their gifts. And then maybe people won't feel so stuck when they're left with a career that feels a little flat. Don't let other people put you in a box. Because you need to check your own when it comes to who you are and what you want.

And I started early on to grow weary of the typecasting. After all, I spent time as a trend forecaster and strategist, and of course, a producer. I clocked a ton of hours on this blog, and then I started slowly building a writing clientele which was absolutely amazing. And now here I am. I love to write for others, but I'm loving writing for myself. And that's where that whole "do your own thing" thing comes in. Finally.

I detest labels and titles and being compartmentalized. Unless of course, it's by your own volition. And right now, I am a writer. And that's what I'll be. And for the first time in forever, I don't want to be anything else. If you are or were fortunate enough to feel that way about work, lucky duck. But it doesn't matter when you get there. I just know that this whole reinvention thing weighed heavily on me my entire life. Because I just knew there was more.

Also, if you'r dealing with people who "don't see you" a certain way, it's hard to change them. And that's ok. I realize that most of my contacts in life are in advertising, but I also realized that very few of these people would help me when it comes to my writing. So I went around them and found my own people. And it's better like that. People are sometimes more comfortable thinking of you in one way. Like your parents. To them, you'll always be their little boy or little girl. And to some guy in high school or college you dated, you'll be remembered for the way you were, and not the way you are. And that makes sense. But as we grow and evolve and reinvent, we should surround ourselves with people who love the new and improved and current versions of ourselves. So that's very much my plan. I'm not saying some of those tried and true folks won't love you just the way you are, old or new. I am lucky to count many people like that in my friend and peer groups. Thank goodness. But chances are, it's going to be hard for some people to let go of the old you. So meh. Out with the old. Thank you. Next.

So the point here? I'm grateful. I'm excited. I feel inspired. And I do think that although torturous at times, I've been a lifelong rebooter, even if it was mostly in my own mind. I just knew there was something else. Always.

And I'm super curious about all of your journeys. How you've fared out there in this brave, new world. What are your fears and concerns? What's inspired you to push through? When did your lightbulb go off or are you still sitting in the dark? Talk to me. I'm here. And thank you again for all the love and support. It means the world. Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? Not me.  

Cause that's what's up this keeping up with the changes kind of Friday in the 718, Yours, in roads to nowhere that
lead, well, everywhere. XO