Introduction Series: Deciding What I Wanted to Do With My Life

A metaphor for possibilities, I guess.

Welcome reader, to the introductory series of my personal and professional branding journey. I’m Alexandra, but you can call me Gene Al (an anagram of my first and last name). I share this story in hopes that someone in the Mediumsphere (yes, I made that up. I’m Shakespeare’s apprentice, didn’t you know?) would stumble upon my insight and somewhat empathize with my message.

I’m trailblazing a path to freedom for myself, but I’m not the only one.

Maybe it stemmed from enduring several years of family dysfunction and bullying or maybe it came from the realization that I was different from most kids and quickly became severely ostracized by the administration from my old school that gradually developed my eleutheromania (a very heavy story to tell, but I will tell it someday, I promise). All I know for sure, I came to a point where I said enough and demanded change for myself. I broke off toxic relationships with close “friends” and yes, even family. I walked away from some very unhealthy situations with barely a mile of my sanity.

But this post isn’t to give a laundry list of my battles, bare my scars proudly to the world, seek validation of how I didn’t go down a dark, twisted path, or even set up a “Pity Me” platform/forum (which honestly, is very easy to succumb to, I just won’t go down like that).

I want to share my story of the past couple of years of my professional life in what I hope to be a refreshing coming-to-age tale to inspire someone that they can become anything they dreamed of.

And certainly not in the cliched sense, but in the stand-on-a-soapbox-in-a-crowd-with-a-megaphone-screaming-to-the-public kind of sense. I want to be a voice to anyone out there to not just dream, but go after it now. To go after that lackluster promotion or even quit your job altogether. To assure you, it’s okay to jeopardize your crappy job at a warehouse and also your main source of income for a low-paying internship at that small social enterprise that you know you aren’t going to be hired for keeps, but will definitely look great on your resume. To give you permission to take risks and hopefully not the not-so-smart ones I’ve done in the last couple of years, due to lack of knowledge and patience. To remind you that pro bono projects are okay to build experience and possibly an incredibly useful future product, but firmly remind you that it doesn’t pay bills and certainly doesn’t always bear fruit to the respect you deserve for your generosity of sharing your talent or skill (psst, if you haven’t realized, these are ultra real experiences, yo).

Life is way too short to be comfortable with where you are now if it’s not where you wanna be.

So consider this intro series as a token of our friendship (you’re cool with that, right?); hushed non-inflammatory stories over wine and steak about past accomplishments or events; a relaxing cup of chai (or any warm beverage you like to drink while catching up); or even a talk from a mentor or older sibling (if for some reason, you’re younger than twenty and on Medium, I applaud you by the way).

So let’s get into it, shall we?

Signing off.

P.S. Dear reader, it’s totally okay to stalk me on social media, I might get vocal about social issues or geek about music and design, there is no in-between. And hey, it was nice meeting you.