As you know, I’m obsessed with the Road to REINVENTION. As a Mom, Storyteller, and member of a Badass Girl Tribe – I use my flaws and lessons to fuel each incredible life chapter!
Here’s my theory… In order to really embrace your reinvention…you need to have a handle on your origin story. If we’re lucky, we’ll all go through many reinventions in our lifetime… but there’s likely one story that started it all. It defined how you moved, who you were and where your biases of thought, interests and religion came from. Before launching my coaching practice and building the curriculum for the reinvention roadmap…I dug in and got to work privately so I could come to terms with how I move and why.
Here a little peek into my origin story…
I grew up in a small town in Ohio – It actually didn’t even classify as a town or city. There were only 200 people in Evansport – so it technically classifies as a village. Evansport (while small) has a really interesting history. It was once an important river port, a booming canal town back in its heyday moving flour and grains around the Midwest; but when the railroads were built they won the transportation wars. Evansport, sadly was on the losing side. It instead reinvented itself into a sleepy, quiet almost forgotten little place that hosted my childhood.
Here’s the deal, I have a complex background like many of us. First, I’m biracial. My mom had me while she was stationed in Germany during her time in the military. She is white and my dad was black. My dad honored my mom’s wishes and removed himself from my life, which is a pretty incredible story that just came full circle. But that’s for another time.
After 8 ½ years of serving in the Army, my mom moved me back to her hometown of Evansport when I was three so she could be close to family and settle in to civilian life. So, here I am in this little town; and the only chocolate drop in the blondie you might say. It really didn’t hit me until I was a little bit older that I was different and living in a whole town that didn’t look like me.
Here’s the thing…back in the late 70’s early 80’s my family makeup was definitely uncommon and would have sparked a lot of gossip and whispers. BUT….my grandparents were successful business owners; in fact we’d call them Serial Entrepreneurs today. Because of their success and influence in the community and throughout NW Ohio, they were very respected – especially my grandpa. The idea that this influential, highly-respected white man, thought his black granddaughter was EVERYTHING…was sort of a signal that everyone around him should think I was everything too. Just by being a member of this family…I had sort of a halo effect; and I was sheltered from the gossip that was certainly happening at dinner tables.
It wasn’t until one day when I was standing in the full length mirror that was screwed into the back of my bedroom door that it really hit me. I was maybe 6 or 7 and I had on those little short shorts with the stripe down the side and a white shirt. I looked in the mirror and for the first time actually looked at my skin as if I wasn’t living in it. I can remember what I had on because I was thinking about how dark my skin was next to my white top. I looked at my little afro, my nearly burnt black ears from the Summer sun and examined the dark brown lines on the palms of my hands. On this day, that I saw what everyone else saw - a little Black girl...