I often get asked why I don’t write more often on here. Honestly, there’s no good answer. These days I keep to myself more than not. But, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, debating, and questioning how the heck I got to where I am. Not physically (I chose to be in Atlanta), but more so on the professional side. I’m an Oregon Trail kid, and I realize this is the defining stereotype of my generation. You know those (barely) millennial kids that were raised by Boomers and probably have more Gen X tendencies than Gen Y. We didn’t get the internet until we were teenagers, built website on HTML code we just happened to pick up here and there and joined Facebook when it was still only open to college students.
It dawned on me recently how we helped build this profession. We didn’t create it. Marketing was around long before we were. But, we’ve played a role in defining and creating what digital marketing has become. I guess that makes me a pioneer of sorts. Just the other day, I was participating in SproutSocial’s Focus Day (watch the archived sessions here). Several people talked about how they felt like frauds. Preach. I feel like I’ve been faking it until I make it since 1982. But hearing others talk about it, I realize it’s all because we’re still figuring this out. Every day something new comes along or something changes or, God forbid, gets shut down.
It’s maddening. Really. I’ve had to learn how to take a step back, take a deep breath, and not get caught up in the tactics. Some of you know that in another life I’d be a professional organizer. I think my brain being wired that way has resulted in my preferred method for approaching things– carefully. No, really. Strategically speaking, careful just means thought out and holistic (can we buzzword the heck out of that word, please?). You can make a decision quickly and still be thoughtful and strategic. You can still be strategic and pivot if the environment changes. I feel like I’m processing every possible scenario and the data behind it in a matter of seconds in order to arrive at a decision.
But, even with all of that, I’ve learned to never lose sight of the why. We live in a world where we’re so self-consumed, and it pains me when I see that in the workplace. People want whatever is going to get them the credit. A raise. A promotion. Can we stop for a second and get back to what helping people and organizations do amazing work looks like?
It’s not lost on me that I work at a place that has a significant impact on your daily life (and most of you probably don’t even realize that). What we do matters. It’s my job to convey the importance of that work in a way that changes your life for the better. I’m finally at a point where I know the mission and the why of a place mean more than how cool the name is, how much exposure you get, or what fun places you get to visit. So, to steal a line from my beloved West Wing–
Sometimes I have a hard time finding what to say. It’s just easier for you to see how I feel. I know when I’m like this no one wants to be around me and no one wants to talk to me. That’s ok. I get it. I’m Debbie Downer. I don’t want sympathy. I just want to write it out. Writing is an outlet. I’ve always been a realist, and this is as real as it gets.
People want to know my triggers and it’s pretty simple. It’s the feeling that the world around you is crashing. This time it happened to be work, life, and dealing with the finance around Dirk’s final expenses. So what’s going through my mind right now?
- Here we go, again. I won’t give too many details, but I’ve been here before, and I know how it ends. Part of me wants to believe his time will be different. The other part of me is asking what’s wrong with you?
- I know that I’m fat and not pretty. I don’t heed the alterations lady to point that out. And why on Earth is it $25 to hem a skirt? That’s ridiculous.
- Maybe it’s the weather.
- I broke down again over Dirk. I miss my little buddy. His urn came today. He’s next to me on the bedside table. I wish he was here to cuddle with, but he’s not. I don’t know why I’m still grieving. That seems childish, but maybe it’s not.
- We got the final checks from the pet insurance. I’m thankful we had it, but in the last year, they barely covered Dirk’s illnesses, so while we work to get out of debt, mourn the loss of my best friend, we’re left with more than $5K in medical expenses for him.
- I know I’m fat, and I have zero motivation to do anything about it.
- We want to do things but every dime we have goes to bills. We’re trying to pay credit cards off. don’t know how people do it. We’re lucky we don’t have as much as some but still. l’d like to do some things and see some places.
- I don’t know how to fix me. I don’t like taking meds, but I don’t like feeling like this.
Maybe tomorrow will be better.
Change is inevitable, and it’s time for Will Gage and I to move on to our next adventure. My last day at OETA is January 27. Starting February 6, I’ll be working for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as marketing and social media manager.
And yes, that’s Atlanta as in the ATL, Hotlanta, The A. Georgia. Where peaches (and pecans and peanuts) are as abundant as Yuengling and sweet tea. The South. Home.
The Atlanta area has a special place in my heart. It’s where I worked so many Southeastern Conference events through the years from football to basketball. It’s where Christina Hilliard and I came back out of retirement to work on the best media coordination committee ever for an SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament. Right, Tammy Wilson?!
We’re excited to be closer to our families. I’m even more excited for David Reed to give me the donut tour of the area. And I’m sure Brian Rice will be up for a visit to The Varsity anytime.