On Friday, which happened to be World Diabetes Day, something pretty significant in my life just happened. I got a job. I have long struggled with walking the line between passion and employment and it hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been easy to walk away from LivingVertical in favor of conventional employment and it hasn’t been easy to try and make LivingVertical appealing to sponsors who only want to do short term contracts with me. For several years I have gone back and forth between attempting to translate my passion into a sustainable program and letting it go in favor of gainful employment, not really seeing a better alternative.
Now, I found a fit that doesn’t force me to choose between those two less-than-stellar fates. In my work with Project365 and the Wind River Project I realized that the power of what we have been creating is not just about climbing or specific adventurous pursuits, but making diabetes about us as people and telling the stories of how this condition integrates with and shapes our realities. Beyond that, I have wanted to connect this story telling to a purpose, to an organization and a bigger impact.
I am not downplaying the impact that LivingVertical has had, but I have also witnessed the very real limitations of operating by myself and not having an organization to plug into. Sure I’ve had unlimited time and freedom but the flip side of that is that wearing all the hats and having few if any resources to get wheels turning on projects significantly limits what can be accomplished. Now I have found somewhere to call home that allows me to continue to engage and tell the stories and spark the project ideas that I had to put on the shelf for the last couple of years.
Over the last several months I have taken a lot of time considering this position that I accepted on Friday–and I said repeatedly and maintain–that it would need to be “right”. It needed to flow as part of my progression rather than being a deviation from it. I have gone through a lot of changes lately (parenthood, relocation etc.) and they have all brought with them some trepidation–as all adventure should. Does it sound odd that climbing things and being alone in the wilderness is less scary in many ways than making a change in my life? I have always wanted to climb in Patagonia. Baffin Island. Greenland Fjords. Mostly because I never have and I want to see what it’s like–and someday I will.
In the same vein, I have always wanted to have a job that would give me health insurance and the stability to support a family, allowing me to flex my creative muscle around engaging the greater diabetes community–without having to sell out the message of LivingVertical. Mostly because I never have had that before and I want to see what that’s like and now I will.I don’t know what the future holds for me and LivingVertical–I know that I feel a lot more freedom to let go of the pressure to find funding and sponsorship for climbing projects.
I feel more freedom to just go climbing and live my life. To take back the moments that I’ve stressed out about capturing and sharing–take them back and hold them for myself and my family. LivingVertical isn’t going away–but I am pushing the reset button in a way. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone–and that’s a good thing. If my work with LivingVertical has meant anything to you, I hope that you will continue to support my efforts in this new venture–because the best is yet to come!
Oh. The most important part and the actual reason I am writing this blog in the first place–I am now the Special Projects Manager for T1Dexchange and their online community, Glu. Make sure you like/follow on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you all for all the support and encouragement and love over the last several years. I would never be in this position to take this next step had it not been for you all.