It’s a Saturday morning in May and I’m at Urth Café in the Orange Circle, my home away from home.
I went to college down the street at Chapman University and spent my twenties in an apartment a stone’s throw from here. It was in that apartment that I learned so much about who I am, who God is and how important relationships and community are to both.
I’m sitting next to a window that peaks out onto the street with a red brick wall behind me. Outside, a young man wearing sunglasses, a black gown and a lei just walked by with his dad. There are only two occasions that I know of when men will proudly wear flowers around their neck: a trip to Hawaii and graduation.
It was ninety degrees outside when I graduated from Chapman University eleven years ago. I remember wishing I had worn sun screen. I wasn’t looking forward to my graduation at all. I felt like I was finishing a good book that I wasn’t ready to put down.
Really, so soon? I thought. Must this end, so soon?
Like most things, I really started to get the hang of college in the last year. And, just as that was happening, it was time to go. Maybe that’s how life works, though. Once we’ve mastered or gotten comfortable with something, it is time to move forward.
My last couple of months of school were a whirlwind between finals and being part of our film school’s annual award show, the Cecil Awards. I volunteered to be the “head writer” for the show… and when I say “head writer”... I mean only writer.
Throughout the year, the students of Dodge College Film & Media Arts put their noses to the grindstone to produce short films that would act as their senior thesis and calling cards for Hollywood. These short films were than assessed, judged and awarded during the Cecil Awards each year. It was pretty much our take on the Academy Awards.
As part of the team, our weeks were filled with weekend film shoots, late night editing sessions and rehearsals. In addition to writing the sketches for the show, I was also responsible for writing the opening monologue, the host transitions and dialogue for the award presenters.
It was a lot… and I had the time of my life. It was my jam. Writing, working with a team, and watching our wildest imaginings come true. This heavy work load was in addition to finals, finishing a screenplay and packing my college apartment so that I could move out.
On my graduation day, I don’t remember much about the actual ceremony, other than it was hot and my parents were there, and we had Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen for lunch after. I do remember that I sat on the ground of my apartment later that day, crying, as my parents and sister helped move me out.
It was not my proudest moment.
To me, it was the end of an era. I had reached the end of chartered territory and had no idea what would happen next. This was where the sidewalk ended. This was the end of my roadmap.
I had always loved learning and throwing myself into things – college was no different. I spent my days, weekends and nights, digging into film school, learning, doing internships and writing the Cecil Awards. That was my life.
Problem was, I didn’t do much planning for what would happen next. I wasn’t used to life without school and structure. I didn’t know what to do with a life that was a blank page. I had no job prospects and a loosely outlined plan to get a PA position in LA and try to work my way up into a writer’s room for a hit TV series from there.
That was it. And, I wasn’t very excited about it.
To me, graduation felt a lot like I imagined sky diving must feel like, except I couldn’t see the earth and I just wanted to get back into the plane that dropped me.
“The average pace is for chumps,” said Derek Sivers on the Tim Ferris podcast.
It was 9 a.m. on a Thursday morning in a remote area of Chicago when a former Berkeley School of Music professor gave him that advice – and it changed his life.
It was just six weeks before Derek was going off to college, and the professor told him that he would teach him how to skip the first two years of the Berkeley music program during that time. The professor did just that and it was in those 1.5 months that Derek learned a lesson that would impact him for the rest of his life: the average pace is for chumps.
After graduation, it took me almost six years to figure out who I was, what lit my heart on fire and what I was good at. It took me six years to figure out how to craft a live that I loved with people in it that made a single lady feel anything but single at the time.
As I listened to Tim’s interview with Derek on my bike at the gym, I realized that I want to be that professor in the lives of others. I want to point at the truth and speak it out loud so that others can learn faster than I did.
I want to help others build a thriving life in half the time it took me. Heck – I’m sure folks could even do it faster than that. And a big part of that is questioning the lies and pace that our culture tells us is right and normal.
What if our culture is wrong? What if our culture encourages us to move too fast in the things that matter and too slowly through the things that don’t?
What if the average pace is for chumps?
I’ve been thinking and praying lately about the vision for this blog, and what I will be talking about in this next season of my life. Those words from the professor resonated so deeply within me because I want to help young adults avoid the years of listless wandering that I did.
I want to be like the professor in Derek’s life and help others question the paradigms that society and our inner critic would have us believe because those paradigms (whether helpful or not) influence all that we do, from work to relationships to families to faith.
I want this blog to be a place for those of you who don’t have a roadmap or are questioning the one you’ve been given. It is for the young adult who has or is experiencing the post-college identity crisis that I did and mature adults who aren’t sure how to craft a life that sets their hearts on fire.
When I started Rebel2Revolutionary, the idea was to center this blog around the process of transforming a rebel heart to a revolutionary one. What I write here will still have that idea at its core, but with greater focus on three common themes moving forward:
Faith – My relationship with God has been integral to my growth. All the good things in me are because of Him. I am merely the thunder that heralds the light. God has struck in my life and because of it, I have been changed for the better.
Passion – Stephan Covey defines passion as “human need overlapping with unique human talent.” What is it that sets your soul on fire? It’s time to find out.
Community – As a lone wolf, that way of living had to die hard in my late twenties for me to understand what it meant to truly belong. God used my church community to change me from the inside out, and as a result, I have a passion for creating that kind of community for others.
Specifically, if you are a young adult, I want you to know that my heart beats for you. Life is hard and there are no clear road maps. I know what it feels like to feel lost and alone and like society and church has no place for you.
Through sharing my life and my learnings, I hope to give you the tools to discover the path that God has for you, the passion that lights your soul on fire and that community isn’t something that is found - it is created.
The life of the revolutionary is waiting for you. In the words of Taylor Swift…”are you ready for it”?