My “ideal” life

About 6 weeks ago, I had an amazing conversation with Berni Xiong (She has an inspiring podcast here – The Shut Up Show). She’s a fellow misfit and totally awesome.

We were talking about my goals and where I’m trying to head with things. For the next couple of days after our conversation I realized something about what I want from life — I’m calling this my “ideal life”.

There are a couple of things that would be true in my “ideal life”:

1. I would be mostly mobile. I might have a “home base” somewhere, but I would be spending most of my travelling. I would be able to spend quality amounts of time in certain places — Utah, California, Oregon, Maine (in the non-winter months), Tennessee and wherever else people I love are living.

2. I would be splitting my time doing three things: helping people connect to their pasts through genealogy / family history; helping nonprofits with their online marketing and online fundraising; spreading a message of how people can overcome physical and other challenges and live a meaningful life.

I have some goals about what I need to do to get here:

a) I need to be debt free. That’s close. If I were to get really focused on it, I could do it in 6 months. It’s probably more like a year away because I choose to do other things than throw all my money at debt.

b) I want to finish my bachelor’s degree.

c) I potentially want to get certifications in both fundraising and genealogy.

d) I want to get healthier physically.

The books I’ve read recently #emptyshelf

While I haven’t been blogging much lately, I have been reading a lot. I’ve been somewhat obsessed with dystopian science fiction and have thrown in some other books as well.

  • Dear Nobody
  • The Purge of Babylon Series (so far, there’s been four books)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • Mayflower: The Voyage from Hell
  • Harry Potter (All 7 books. This was a reread, but super worth it.)
  • The Last Girl
  • Plague Year
  • Open Minds
  • The Atlantis Gene
  • Burial Rites: A Novel
  • Red Rising
  • The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel
  • To the Last Man
  • Oryx and Crake
  • The Year of the Flood

I’ve been reading a book a week and sometimes more. It’s been pretty awesome.

 

Why haven’t I been blogging

Taking the summer off blogging wasn’t intentional … There were a whole bunch of things that attributed to my lack of blogging:

a) Work has been very busy. My main two clients have been keeping me on my toes, but we’ve been doing some awesome work.

b) I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do with this blog, what I need to get out of it, and what I hope the people that read it get out of it (more to come on this in another post soon).

c) I’ve been committed to working out 3-5 time per week and most weeks have been hitting the 4 or 5 benchmark. This has been awesome, but it leaves me physically and mentally exhausted. It also means that I have a set time for when I have to finish work to get to the gym, and I’ve needed to spend what was my evening blogging time to finish that day’s work.

I have a bunch of “pending” posts on my “to do” list …

Thoughts from #MisfitCon — a week later

MisfitCon BillboardLast year, I left #MisfitCon with pages of detailed notes. This year, one of the most striking things about my notes is how scant they are. For many speakers, I just wrote down one or two thoughts. For some speakers, I didn’t write down anything at all.

Towards the end of Saturday, I was pondering why I wasn’t taking more notes and to be honest I think it’s because this year’s #MisfitCon was more about my heart than my brain.

One of the hardest parts about being a bit of an introvert is that I have a hard time creating connections with people I don’t know. I will often go in to social settings and sit in a corner and people watch vs. interact. One of the best parts about being a returnee to this year’s MisfitCon is that there were already so many people that I met last year or (even if I didn’t talk to them at all last year) interacted with on Facebook over the course of this past year and I felt immediately among friends.

I ate at Hotel Donaldson four nights in a row — each night with a¬†different group of people. (A couple of those dinners I invited myself to, and I hope people didn’t mind.)

It’s interesting that I’ve come away from two conferences this year — the nonprofit technology conference a few months ago and now MisfitCon — where the interactions that I had with people had so much more of an impact than what happened “on stage”.

My big takeaways from this year’s MisfitCon are really similar to last year’s … with a few twists.

  • I am important and unique. No one else can tell my story or add what I can creatively to the world. If I don’t do it, no one else will.
  • Be bold. Take risks.
  • Don’t wait for anyone to give you permission.
  • Being uncomfortable is okay. Making other people uncomfortable is okay.

Farewell, Fargo

MisfitCon BillboardIn a few hours, I will be leaving Fargo after an amazing #misfitcon weekend.

If you’re wondering, “why Fargo?”, go read this.

On Friday morning Jonathan Fields spoke about making sure all of our buckets were full. While my vitality bucket is a little low and will need replenishing over the next couple of weeks, my connection bucket is full and overflowing.

I feel as if I have been recharged and that I’m now ready to take on the next 360 or so days until next year’s MisfitCon.

It hasn’t been announced whether next year’s conference will be here in Fargo or some other awesomely quirky location, but I love the time I’ve spent in this town this year and last year.

If only the winters weren’t so cold and snowy …

Gotta do more … gotta be more

I woke up this morning with a couple scenes from Dead Poet’s Society running through my head.

This is how I feel after an amazing two days hanging with the misfits. gotta do more. gotta be more.

This year’s conference was so amazing. (And, we still have the film festival and I’m sure what will be more amazing conversations and chats with folks today!)

I had probably 3 or 4 people last night — mostly new folks to the whole misfitcon experience — asking me if this year’s conference was better or worse than last year’s. Where would I rank it? To be honest, I didn’t have an answer. There were many things *different* about this year’s conference — the number of attendees, some of the locations, some of the speakers, etc. — but it wasn’t better or worse than last years. It was just different.

I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity Melissa and AJ gave me to come share my story and share my journey. The presentation is still a work in progress and a bit rough around the edges. If you came up and talked to me in the past couple of days about my presentation, thank you. It meant a lot to me. If you take anything away from my presentation, my hope is that you will be able to apply some of the things I do in your own life to be more awesome … to be more world-changing than most of you already are.

It was great to hear from some of the same presenters from last year and hear how their journeys have grown and changed just in the past 12 months. It was in true misfit-style that they were willing to share that even though some of them may have had more growth in their ventures than any other year, that they were still struggling with what was next and where things were headed.

I know, especially if last year was any indication, that most of the real insights from #misfitcon will come in the quiet moments in the days and weeks to come. I do already have a couple of things running through my head:

a) Creativity is an essential part of life. Whether that creativity is part of what earns you a paycheck (hopefully it is) or something else, finding those moments to be creative is crucial.

b) Only you are uniquely you. Don’t hide that from the world.