Showing Up

I’ve spent most of my life hung up on words. Writing journals full of the moments of my life from age seven. Endless reading, vocal training as a singer, as an English major in college and as a marketing professional for the last 15 years – using words to evoke, promote, highlight, pitch, engage, persuade. Carefully crafted words. Chosen in the right tone, to reach the right audience. Writing on behalf of others – sharing fascinating stories, feats, eccentricities, and describing the basics and the not-so-basic stuff.  I’ve been behind the scenes, while the organizations take the spotlight, and I help prop them up to get the best position.

There’s so much that goes into public relations. It is an often grueling, nonstop grind to get past the many “NO’s” from journalists, etc, and try a new angle, try a new approach, just keep trying. Folks in this field know all about the highs and lows to working your tail off and not landing what you and your client had hoped for. Man, I just love the sense of accomplishment when you do secure a sought-after outlet for a story, when the plan works and there are measurable results across the board. Yea! I can say. I did something to make their organization prosper, or grow, or be seen. I did something that had a true ripple effect in the world. Especially during my years handling marketing and PR for charities that I deeply cared about, the outcomes *mattered* to me. They still do.

Being a behind-the-scenes person in the PR and marketing sphere has come naturally for me, but it has also gone against my grain a bit because I have always shied away from sharing any personal opinions publicly for fear that it may come back to haunt me or interfere with a future job. I am known for having opinions (ahem), so I’ve had to share them simply amongst friends. Oh, and coupled with my obsession with being liked…it was too risky otherwise. Funny, how I chose a profession that kept me from sharing my personal voice, being seen, or even noticed at all. I chose a field that for the most part, the external world chiefly recognizes the wins, and not the process behind them. The patterns in our lives run deep.

As a matter of fact, I’ve never thrown around words. Not to a friend, a family member or a partner.  Of course we let things slip out in many ways that we don’t intend to. In the heat of a moment, or nervousness, or anxiety – who hasn’t said something that was just off? Me, a zillion times. But I’ve never told someone I loved them if I didn’t mean it. I have never promised someone “forever” if I didn’t envision it. And I’ve never been capable of even getting *there* to be able to express those words if they weren’t deeply felt. I couldn’t say something if there was the smallest glimmer that it wasn’t true when it comes to matters of the heart, my heart.

This blog is my first teensy step to showing up, from behind the scenes to IN the scene. With a voice. If someone or some company is afraid of it, then that’s too bad. I’m a borderline anal retentive over-the-top organizer and perfectionist, so yeah, putting *myself* out there (like forever) is not comfortable. It has never felt comfortable when I hit the publish button. The what if’s spin on in my head for days.

Someone recently gave the advice that was so apropos for me – that even if I may not feel ready to share this, or anything else that I’m working on, putting it out there is still a way to “download the journey,” and that alone has tremendous value.

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