Who do you aspire to be?
What have you been gifted to do?
Where are you headed?
This past weekend I had a face-to-face meeting with my heart; a much needed meeting to wrestle with these questions at the #BeSomebody Weekend conference in Austin.
For a little background info:
#BeSomebody is a startup here in the city that is dedicated to sparking movement and uniting passionaries from all walks of life to do BIG things in this life. Never settle. Never quit. And to Be Somebody.
The startup originally began in 2009 as just a simple social-media movement, a Twitter hashtag by Kash Shaikh who was tired of living his 9-5 corporate America, ho-hum, life-is-mediocre life.
Kash knew he was not living out his passions or to his fullest potential in his day to day life, while working at a job he did not love. He wanted to connect with people, write and experience life to the fullest—rather than watch it go by on someone else’s clock.
He began keeping a blog, aimed at telling stories and contemplating what it meant to “be somebody” and organically spreading the movement and mantra online. Then in 2013, he took a leap of faith—leaving his 9-5 job in order to take the movement “on the road” and set out on a tour across the U.S. to share his story and message with 25 different college campuses.
Now, fast-forwarding to 2014, after founding a brick-and-mortar headquarters here in Austin, #Besomebody is currently building the world’s first platform for passion—connecting people with similar interests, aspirations and ‘don’t-settle’ outlooks on life.
The weekend was the first official in-person gathering, and was action packed with three different “tracks” for participants to take part in (Depending on passions and interests), including: Artist, Athlete & Adventurer.
I was in the “athlete” crew, and after Friday evening’s jammed agenda of four inspirational speakers, sharing their stories, Saturday was all about immersing yourself into your passions. We began the day with a group bootcamp, led by Jess Martin of Stronghorn Fitness; followed by a rock climbing, yoga and Martial Arts (Self-Defense) experience out at the Green Belt; and capped off with a bike ride through downtown Austin and Zilker park.
Initially, I was skeptical about giving up my Saturday for the all-day event, but I decided to step out on a limb: What do I have to lose?
Consensus? So much fun!
It’s amazing the great things that happen when we step outside our ‘usual routine’ or our scripts for the day—and just go with the flow.
(I think they call that spontaneity)
And the best part? Meeting dozens of other like-minded people from all over the U.S., hungry to do ‘big things’ in this life and live out their passions (the ‘champ’ Travis Brewer, from American Ninja Warrior was even in my crew).
Long story short…for quite some time now, I’ve known I’ve wanted to “be somebody.”
From the time I was 5-years-old, in fact, I wanted to “be somebody”—a famous movie star and a writer to be exact.
Those dreams and aspirations, of course, may have evolved some over the years.
I remember watching gymnast Dominique Moceanu on TV the 1996 Summer Olympics and wanting to be an Olympic gymnast.
Listening Taylor Swift ‘make it big’ as a singer-songwriter and wanting to take my singing out of the shower and learn to play guitar.
Tuning into Katie Couric on the Today Show every morning and wanting to be a TV news anchor.
Reading a book by Jenni Schaffer about how she recovered from her eating disorder, and wondering (and wanting) the same for my life.
Perusing blogs by some of my favorite bloggers and wanting to be a full-time blogger.
What about you? Can you relate to any ‘childhood’ dreams or aspirations you’ve had in your life to do ‘great things?’ What about current dreams, ‘What ifs’ or ‘Maybe, just maybe’s’?
You get the picture.
I believe, in the heart of humankind, we’ve all had a glimpse, a hunger and a yearning—at one time or another—to Be Somebody.
Well, what if I told you a little secret?
Something I’ve believed perhaps in my head, but not always my heart, until this past weekend.
You CAN be somebody.
And, instead of trying to be someone else, or live out someone else’s story, you have your own unique story to tell and unique person to be.
Truly, genuinely, completely. Hands down. It is possible—and you (and I) were meant for greatness.
So the question, therein lies:
WHO do you want to be?
WHAT do you want to do?
WHERE do you want to go?
That answer is 100% up to YOU.
No matter what ‘obstacles’ seem like they are standing in the way, half of the battle to ‘getting there’ is believing and seeing yourself ‘there.’
This is exactly the decision I had to make in my personal recovery.
Prior to launching from treatment over three years ago, I had to ask myself: What do I want my life to look like on the other side?
I knew, no matter how awful I initially felt in the moment as I was getting acquainted with a new (healthy) body (after 13 years of living in an emaciated frame, it was uncomfortable), and coming off the tails of 11-months spent in treatment, I had to make up my mind if I was going to let ED back into my life again (as I had in the past).
I knew I wanted something different and wanted to be somebody else than “little sick Lauryn.”
And likewise, I had to begin doing things differently.
The same instance applies to my launch from graduate school.
After spending a total of 7 ½ years to ‘be somebody’ through out my collegiate education, I have now had the choice to either: a.) pursue my passions (what I went to school to do), or b.) settle; take the easier route to maybe make more money in the process, yes, but not truly tap into what I set out to do.
There’s a time and a season for everything under the sun.
You have the power to make this season your season.