An Unexpected Journey (updated)
In early 2015, I was bogged down with work, worried about transitioning my business, depressed from winter, and generally exhausted from it all. I’d purchased a new camera body for myself over the Holiday and had fallen deeply in love again with Photography. I felt pulled in all directions, like a schizophrenic hearing / seeing / feeling without definition.
All my life the only things I’ve known to be true were these: a care for people, a search for underlying truths, and the want to simply make lives better. It’s no surprise that I chose to study Anthropology at University, ultimately using it as a case worker after Katrina.
Sitting on my couch, stressed to the hilt, I decided to foist clarity upon my life, just as I had in starting other ventures (like a startup and nonprofit). That day in February, I decided that the best thing that I could do with my talents and need for direction was to travel across the country in search of inspiration. I would publish a book of these stories, and be damned if I didn’t find a publisher large enough to send the stories wide to inspire others the way I so needed it, myself.
Life always twists in directions one can’t predict.
Several months later, I became the proud parent of the Untold Stories Project, a nonprofit organization chronicling the lives of those born before 1940, not just to record America’s Oral History, but with the specific mission of understanding technology. How did the project morph so? Well, life always twists in directions one can’t predict, and that’s just what it did to me.
I was in search of inspiration, but found myself referring to the lives of elders for example. I took my own advice and began searching for elders. During those first interviews, I asked for the biggest change they’d seen — always to do with technology. And so, piece by piece, I found myself starting a Kickstarter in order to fund a journey across the United States to interview our elders in-person, the way they are used to.
I thought I’d find inspiration and understanding for all the tech noise … instead I downsized the tech in my life.
The journey complete, I find I’ve changed. I didn’t mean to. I thought I’d find inspiration and understanding for all the tech noise, and help inspire others. Instead, I’ve downsized the tech in my life, begun letter writing after work each day, bought an antique turn-table, started hosting salons again, and strive to move communication with friends off the digital. As I relive the interviews while writing the book, even more sinks in. I can’t wait for you to take the journey for yourself.
The book is due for publishing first quarter 2017. Stay tuned!