“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
― Erin Morgenstern
In what seems like another life, yet only a few years ago there was a great man I knew. An always jolly and generous man who welcomed me to a community where I was bit of an outsider kid with blue hair and nothing little more than yams in my pocket. A man who inspired me to tell my story to the world and was always there when chapters got rough especially during my father’s illness.
This man also fought an illness, an illness of the heart and of the mind. Something I too have fought a never ending battle with. In his recent last days he was a man with too big of a heart for this world and in that horrible day, I can say I felt like a not only lost a friend but I lost a father. I had so many questions and felt so lost, it’s been extremely hard for me to talk about this for years especially in public formats. I felt like nothing I could say could bring him back, however I was wrong, all this time he had never been gone. His story has lived on in others and in my life.
The last time I saw him was back in September of 2010, a year before he left us. I was speaking at a storytelling conference where he was interviewing me about my success and career, back in the town where my life now started for me. He taught me to take risks, have fun with life and most importantly that we are the writers of our own future.
This pathway has since led me 3,000 miles away in Seattle with a life years ago I would have never dreamed about, stories that I would love to share with this man but I will never be able to. He taught me to live, to confront my demons because I realize in my life I have many more pages of memories to create and people to teach.
Technology has created a doorway to a universe that we could never know before, a universe that we can develop our own microcosm of stories, also though not without warnings that what can nurture us can also destroy us. I find it sometimes ironic that I chose to create this a part of this story as “Miss Destructo”, however as the universe has a sick sense of humor I have nearly destroyed myself to get to this point to create what I have. I guess I’ve stuck true to the saying “To create one must first destroy…” I’ve learned a lot of lessons in just a few years and to think now what lies before me has been worth it all.
It’s only been a week but I feel like a phoenix from the ashes since my move to Seattle. People think it’s crazy to pack up their life and move across the country especially for a startup. In my heart I knew there was a reason I joined Meshfire, it was because I saw more than just another startup or “social media platform”. Above an amazing team of people who all share the same frustrations for the holes in current methods of social media communication. I see in helping develop Meshfire as being a way to help other people who are like who I was, who had little to no knowledge of how to use social media to tell their stories. A platform to collaborate with others and create something amazing not only with brand and business stories but with social good projects or to even start revolutions.
To start something amazing in life, you need inspiration and guidance, it sometimes takes a great mentor, support from others and most importantly confidence in yourself. In this confidence is something the short time of life can never take away which are our words, the stories we leave behind and the work that we create that inspires others.
This has never been about me, I thought it was years ago. I admit a part of me wanted to be like the people I admired in this industry to have somewhat superficial accomplishments determined by their Klout scores. In packing for my move I gave most of the free stuff I’ve ever gotten because of who I am back to charity and to friends. I realize in the last few years it’s not what you do for yourself but what you do for others that really matters in the end, if you really want to use your influence use it for good, use it to help others.
Life has meaning when I hear stories from people on how something on my blog or in an article about me that has inspired them to do some incredible things from dealing with unemployment, finding the strength to fight through cancer to recovering their lost pet. That is what makes me continue to be so open, even when the world sometimes wants to shut me up. I used to get the question a lot, “Do you like being famous?” and I’ve always said, “I don’t strive to be famous, I strive to be legendary.” Don’t worry if other people create their own stories about you, the ones that show your true soul are the ones that prosper for many generations.
Go on, get out there and become legendary.
This is for a legend and a dear friend, this is for you Trey. The world will never forget you, thank you for helping me write my story.