Girl Boss Highlight: Angelina Danae
I’m only about five months into my new creative adventures, and I don’t quite consider myself a girl boss, BUT, I am a girl, so I guess that gets me halfway there!
Here’s the honest truth: I started 2017 confused about goals, disappointed with my career, and confronted with thought of “If not now, when?” I had so many different projects that I never started and passions I had never chased, because I kept making excuses for myself.
I don’t know enough yet.
I don’t have a strong enough brand.
Is that really what I want to say?
What if I pigeonhole myself?
After an inspiring meeting with a mentor of mine (mentors are so important!), I decided that I’d rather try something and fail or pursue something wholeheartedly and pigeonhole myself than to do nothing at all. I didn’t want to get to the end of another 25 years of life and have nothing to show for it.
So I started by taking stock of the topics, needs, and issues that got my blood pumping—the kind of things I didn’t mind staying up all night to research and read about. I knew and identified myself largely as a writer, but there were so many other ventures I wanted to try (and then write about, of course), that I just couldn’t keep hanging my hat on that one hook. I came out of the other end of that introspection and brainstorm with these four basic passions:
- Empowering women
- Creating delicious food
- Telling stories
I eventually realized that everything I cared about boiled down to one common theme: equipping. Whether it’s equipping women to reach their goals, equipping people to tell their stories, equipping couples to be honest in their marriages, equipping individuals to make more meaningful food choices. . . equipping was my common thread.
THAT was something my heart and soul could get behind.
A few weeks later, my husband and I started What About Marriage, a podcast where we share our own marriage story to encourage open dialogue about what works and what doesn’t. A few more weeks later, with the help of several wise ladies, I launched Her Tea Talks, a monthly gathering for women to explore their creativity and gain accountability in their creative endeavors. Lastly, I made a commitment to start sharing more honest experiences with life and food through social media and my blog.
Here’s the thing, those three separate creative avenues don’t fit neatly together to the public eye, but then again, neither do I as a human. (It’s truer than you know.) But I’ve learned to embrace that, to honor that, because it’s my discovery journey of taking real steps to figure out what in the whole wide world I really want to do with my life.
We often put so much pressure on ourselves to make sure everything we do fits into a neat, tidy, branded, marketing-approved box. But sometimes the approved boxes just don’t fit the dreams inside of us. So perhaps rather than wasting endless hours trying to figure out how to appropriately brand ourselves in the adventure we’re seeking, we just need to start.
Yes, it’s a bit of mess for me to juggle everything and make sure that platforms stay updated, podcasts get recorded, and gatherings get planned. So every time I get confused or discouraged about the passions I’m pursuing, I ask myself these three questions:
Do I still care about what I am doing? Am I still passionate about it? Am I still doing it the best I know how?
That’s my gut check. If I can answer yes to all three questions in relation to each creative avenue, then I keep plowing ahead. Here’s what I’ve learned: The strongest tool and ally we can bring to the table in pursuing any new venture is pure passion.
No matter how messy or confusing it gets, as long as we’re doing what we love and are passionate about, the rest tends to figure itself out along the way.