Lessons, Fears, & Random
Oh my word, blog friends. Would it be ok with you if I just wrote a scattered blog post? Just something so jam-packed full of everything that’s been going on? No dots to connect, just a brain dump. Is that ok?
First of all, I’m still fresh off the plane from two days away from my iPhone earlier this week. I spent Monday and Tuesday at an event called Making Things Happen–something I’ve wanted to attend for a long time, partly out of curiosity, and partly because I just like being around people with big ideas, and a conference called Making Things Happen sounds like it would have a lot of big idea people at it.
Two days without an iPhone in hand gives you plenty of time for reflection, and I’ve had a few clarity moments since then, and I wanted to take the opportunity to document them before they escaped me. So the randomness now begins.
I feel called to be a voice for adoption. Caroline Brant, put down the phone. I didn’t say I wanted to adopt. I don’t want to adopt. We are not called to adopt. But I can’t read an adoption story without dissolving in a pile of tears. When our oldest son was weeks old, and the earthquake in Haiti, I would have been on a plane within hours if someone had told me to go get one of those children from Haiti. I’m not kidding. I cleared it with David and our nanny at the time, and I sent emails to organizations offering to provide a home. Of course, that didn’t happen, but it lit a fire in me that honestly hasn’t died since then. I don’t know how my voice could be used to create families, but I’m open.
I love being a part of big things. Love it, ya’ll. In a major way. When I was 26, and running a pretty big company at the time, people would ask me why I did what I did, and I would reply that I loved being a part of something bigger than I was. I loved that feeling of momentum, movement. I loved the sense of teamwork. (Anna and Chelsea, I’m thinking about you.) Yes, I made a few mistakes and learned a few lessons along the way, but that invigorating feeling of working with a team to make crazy stuff happen–ya’ll, it still makes my heart sing.
I let the fear of what other people will think of me hold me back. I didn’t think I did, but I do. I don’t talk about God very much because I’m afraid people will think I’m a Bible-thumper. I don’t talk about cocktails very much because I’m afraid the Christians will say I’m a sinner. I don’t Instagram pictures of the Day Designer very much because I’m afraid people will think I’m a pushy sales person. And good glory ya’ll, being afraid of all that can drive a person nuts. It’s time to get off the shame train, people. (And by people, I mean, myself.) There is a momentum train out there, and I want to be on it. (If you see it, will you let me know?)
I’m terribly excited about the new deal I just signed with Boatman Geller. If you haven’t heard, you can read about it on their blog. I’m designing stationery for them! Here’s a little secret: I LOVE designing foldover note cards. LOVE it. Times a million. And I get to do an entire new release for 2014! I’m ecstatic!
I am called to help creative entrepreneurs. On this one, I’m also terribly open. And surprisingly, there is a little bit of shame surrounding this one as well, after all, my first company failed (says the little voice in my head). I know I have a pile of good ideas–a wealth of good ideas, even–that could help small to massive creative businesses. I’m just terrible at communicating that value. I’m terrible at “selling” myself as a coach, consultant, and mentor. I don’t know how to overcome this (admitting is the first step, right?), but I can’t get around that sense of calling. As a side note, I do not necessarily feel called to be a speaker, just a sharer. Someone else can speak the ideas, I just need to get them out of my head. Does anyone else feel this way?
I need a watch on my wrist and an analog clock in every room of our house. After spending two days without my iPhone, I can now admit that I look at it WAY. TOO. MUCH. I have a watch, and I’m getting it fixed ASAP. And we have clocks that need batteries replaced in them so that they work, and we are getting that fixed THIS weekend. We will also be plugging in a land line phone so that we can be reached without carrying our phones around ALL THE TIME. It’s far more of a problem than I realized.
This Authenticate curriculum is IMPORTANT. I say that in all humility. I had an interesting Twitter conversation with Kate Baird and a few others last week, and one of the things I said was: I believe if we focus on what makes us each unique, there are plenty of expert titles to go around. I love creatives, but I think we rely far too much on inspiration from other creatives. I think we need to be digging into our core a WHOLE LOT MORE. Core, when coupled with LIFE, breeds genuine AUTHENTICITY. More people need to hear this stuff, more of us need to live this stuff. End soapbox.
The fight is not mine. God breaks us down to draw us closer to Him, to make us more dependent on Him, to get into our hearts, to tell us what He wants us to be doing. Again, with all humility friends, I feel like the lessons I’ve learned this past year have opened my heart to hearing what God wants me to do. I don’t want to sound crazy–it’s not like I hear His voice in my head or anything–but I do feel a certain sense of peace about doing some pretty out there stuff. Like starting an Authenticate education program. He’s telling me to step out (in faith) and I’m trusting that He’ll be the one making it happen, not me. Yes, I’ve got some legwork and some homework assignments. He doesn’t call the lazy. But the fight is not mine. He’s got that covered.
That’s as far as I’m going with the brain dump today, friends. Kids are waking up from naps. Thanks again!
I am cracking up!!! I couldn’t agree more, however. If I hadn’t been blessed with my pregnancies, I would have become a mother no matter what and how! I’m glad you had such a great experience at MTH!
You write so beautifully. Loved this post. Sometimes you just have to let it all out. I truly look forward to seeing how each of these stories evolves.
Thank you for that encouragement, Laura!
You inspire me SO much! Thanks for your “brain dump”. I can totally relate, though of course through my own lens. Keep it going Whitney!
I loved everything about this post, specially the part that talks about the fear of what other people will think holds us back! So true!!!!
Every time I read a post, you get more and more fabulous. I am so excited about your new stationary deal. Please keep us posted. Want to hear all about your success!
Do all that God has placed in your heart Whitney. I know it will be fabulous. I luv reading your posts.
I can’t tell you how thankful I am for the phone call today in enough words. My mind is spinning and the paper full of notes is going to turn into actions! Thank you and I love the direction your in!
Ooooo Whitney! So excited for you! I know you love those foldovers and can’t wait to see your new pieces! Congrats to you and your clarity! And I am really interested in the Authentication Program…sounds incredible!
First off, so excited for you for going to Making Things Happen!! I have heard such amazing thigns about the conference, in fact I just pre-ordered the new power sheets so I could feel like a small part of me was involved in it too haha!! Loved your brain dump, I feel like I need to do a similar exercise to clear my mind and focus on what I need to work on and what I do well!
Thanks for Sharing!
I was curious to hear how it went, Whitney! I too have been wanting to attend it for quite some time. Will send over an email soon.
LOVE this post Whitney! Several sections apply to me right now and this was EXACTLY what I needed to read this morning. Thank you xx
Callings can not be denied. You can procrastinate, justify and try all your get-out-of-jail free cards, but eventually you have to face it head on. There’s no workaround for soul work. March on sister and let the ideas flow.
Whitney, congrats on the Boatman Geller announcement! Loved everything about this share! Love seeing you refine your gifts, your brand and your story! I have learned countless lessons from you and your willingness to share, and I’m blessed for it! Thank you!
I just got a little misty-eyed 😉 good stuff, Whitney! xoxo
I love you!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! This is exactly what I needed to read today. Like basically, every word.
Oh, Whitney, sometimes I just want to hug you and hold on for a while and talk with no words being said. You have express what’s in my heart at this time of my life. I’m doing a 31 days series on simplicity and talk mostly about it there. I also love instagram (and social media), but I don’t talk much about God, because I don’t want people to think I’m a fanatic (but I love Him so much), or talk about wine (which I also enjoy), because I don’t want others to think I’m all about alcohol, and the business (oh boy!), my husband tells me, “what you don’t show, wont sell”. I know, I get it, I’m shy (very shy) and I’m not so good about talking about myself. I feel like if I share the handbags a lot, I’m doing just that. But, at the same time. God gave me that ability to make them and there is a purpose, to reach out to others and share the good news (Jesus) and teach them (inspire them) to do what they are meant to do. Find their purpose and make it happen. Love your idea about starting an Authenticate Education program. If you need any help, please contact me. I love being able to be used as a tool to reach out to others and use my voice for a greater purpose than just being home making handbags (which I love to do too). I’ll help if you wish. Love your words, your heart and your designs. We are all creative human beings, all with different styles, but creative. Hugs!
I was nodding along to all of this, Whitney. You inspire me so much and I would trust you with pretty much every aspect of my brand…because I trust YOU. You are authentic and real and kind and incredibly talented. I’m so excited to see what is ahead for you!!
I just love your heart and your honesty. And #3, the point about fear of what others think holding you back? Oh man, that’s me. And, oh man, you putting it out there and saying it’s true about you, too, made me think. So let’s blog about God and cocktails and the creative stuff we are doing and not worry one smidge about the rest! I’m excited about your new ventures, and I love your authenticity!
Love this post! The MTH team is the greatest! 🙂
Great post Whitney! The way you wrote sounds exactly how I have felt many times since going to Stationery Academy. I have so many ideas and thoughts- revelations! Congratulations on all your new successes and plans- sounds exciting!
Whitney! I’m so glad we got to say HI! at Making Things Happen. Although I would have loved to chat more, I’m thankful for the quick hello 🙂
I just wanted share that a few points above hit hard for me. Especially centered around “what will people think of me?!”. This was my biggest focus point for MTH this year and I’m working really hard to open myself (and my life up) no matter what other people will think. I’m adopting a “screw them, I’m gonna do me” attitude and it’s working out pretty well so far!
Anyways, I’ll be following along more often and can’t wait to read more posts!
The fight is not mine. Enough said. Let go and let God.
Hi Whitney! I’ve been following you on Instagram and reading your blog for a while now and I love it. I can really relate to your path as a creative person and entrepreneur. I have a company myself called Estrella de Mar (“starfish” in Spanish). I work with women artisans in Guatemala to create fashion and home accessories. These women are so inspiring (they are survivors of the Guatemalan Civil War) and the handmade goods they produce are beautiful. I hope it will become very successful, but I’m a young entrepreneur and there is a huge learning curve. Anyway, thank you for sharing so much about your journey!
A MILLION times thank you for writing this. It was exactly what I needed right now. I’m SO with you in wanting to fight the fear of what “people” will think. Let’s do this!