I love hearing stories of others who’ve veered away from the conventional path and have blazed their own trail—whether it’s something in the arts, business, or even the adventure that calls them to buy an ice cream truck on a whim and see where it takes them.
I distinctly remember the idea that the founder of TOMS Shoes, Blake Mycoskie, talks about in his book, “Start Something That Matters.” If you’ve ever seen pictures of Blake, many times he’ll be wearing two different shoes. In his book he explains that he did this because invariably someone would ask him about his shoes, and it’d open the door, so to speak, for him to tell his story. But he also knew his story had to be a one worth telling, and a story that he wouldn’t mind telling over and over—since it was going to be his “elevator pitch” of sorts.
So as I set off on my 6-month road trip around the US, I also knew I’d be telling my story many times along the way, and I knew I better be proud of whatever that story would become (and thankfully I still am, so far).
At each house/apartment/condo/double-wide I stayed in (and I stayed with over 80 friends/family/acquaintances along the way), it inevitably turned into an interview:
“What made you start this trip?” “Why’d you leave your job?” “Why would you leave Santa Barbara?” “Don’t you ever get tired of driving?”
And what I loved about the road trip is that each time I sat down to dinner with a new group, and the questions began, I genuinely didn’t tire of sharing my process and what I was doing out on the road. It was a story I chose, and one I am still happy to be telling when given the chance.
The point is, though, even as I’ve been figuring out my way out of the job, onto the road, and transitioning back into a seemingly-normal life (my friends still joke that Dallas is just my hub, like it is for American Airlines)—I’m still cognizant that I have to enjoy my own story. The story of my journey. And if at any point I’m not proud of it, of who I’m becoming, or where it’s taking me…I’m the only one who can change it.
So what’s the script you’re crafting with your life? How would it make you feel to hear the "elevator pitch" of your story?