Sometimes I sign up for things and wonder what the hell I was thinking
Take for example, this photo to the left, of my rappelling down an icefall. I’m not a climber. I don’t particularly care for heights. One day, I had the opportunity to do a 35k classic cross country ski route in the Lutsen Mountains in Michigan with a 45-foot rappel down an icefall in the middle. I thought it sounded pretty good, so I signed up. Then I got there, and panic set in. What the hell was I thinking?
It’s sort of a pattern in my life. I decide I want to do something, like move to Aspen, Colorado after I graduated college in upstate New York. Or register for that 25k mountain trail run in Revelstoke, only there is no trail. It’s just mountain.
Life brought me to Seattle eventually where I moved, sight unseen, giving myself 6 weeks to find a job and place to live. I did it. Later, I finally put my business degree from Skidmore College to work at the age of 30, when I joined a real estate development company in downtown Seattle managing the marketing for their mixed-use developments in the city. They eventually bought a ski resort in Idaho I had never heard of (did someone say “ski resort?”) and I quickly took advantage of my free ski pass at Schweitzer Mountain. It wasn’t long before I fell in love the place. When the marketing director resigned just before ski season, I was offered the position. I said “yes” of course. I had two weeks to close up my life in Seattle and make the move to Sandpoint, Idaho. What the hell was I thinking, I quickly wondered? Moving to a small town in the mountains, single and alone.
One week prior to my move, I received an email from Patrick whom I had met while working there on occasion. He offered help with my move. I had an admirer. I found an apartment, hung my skis in the ski rack in my office (I HAVE A SKI RACK IN MY OFFICE!) and I asked Patrick to come over and help me hang the drapes. wink wink
After three years in my dream job, I became restless
it was time for some thing new, but what? There are no jobs for me in Sandpoint, and I have a cool boyfriend for once. I took a month-long leave of absence for work and set about making a plan to start my own marketing and consulting business. I returned to work with a proposal. I’d like to leave my job take my favorite part, the PR, and do it as a consultant. Schweitzer agreed and with that, I was out of a job and had my first client. One rainy Saturday afternoon just a few days later, I was sitting in the passenger side of the car, forehead pressed against the glass, in a sheer panic that I was leaving the only decent job in town for …. what? Certain failure. homelessness. What the hell was I thinking? This is such a big leap….
Big Leap Creative, my own digital marketing and communications firm was born. July 1, 2004. I advise CEOs and entrepreneurs how to bring their own ideas and goals to life through more effective communications and storytelling. I work with clients around the world and speak at national conferences on a variety of storytelling topics you can learn about here. When I’m not in my office, I might be out skiing, mountain biking or trail running with my husband Patrick (yeah, I married him) and our dogs Pepper and Murphy.
Here I am at the bottom of that icefall. If you are wondering if I am crying or laughing, you would be correct.
One thing I have learned every time I take a big leap: It’s easy enough to have an idea about something, it’s really hard and often uncomfortable or downright scary to make it happen. Every time, I learn something new, I open the door to something new, I raise the bar on fear. That feeling when you get to the other side? It can only be described by my face at the bottom of that stupdi rappel.
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