Creating Your Own Path

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Hi! It’s me, Anne! Remember me? I know it’s been awhile. A lot of things have changed for me in 2017, but as I gear up for 2018, it’s time to get my writing back on track. So, the time to start is now.

I launched my business in 2012 as a way to stay in France, and realizing I enjoyed and thrived on the structure of the life of a grad student. Starting a business came with its own challenges from having the right to work in France, but not as a “salaried” person (that’d mean taking a job from a French person) to learning how to be an entrepreneur (and en Français! no less, which means I still don’t know what certain accounting terms are in English!). But it turns out the constraints I had working in France made me carve out an incredibly rewarding professional life. The way I work and the work I do may forever be difficult for me to articulate (because it’s not always the norm), but I’m proud to say I’ve carved out a way to work that I love, and it has only gotten more rewarding with time.

Over the summer I sat down for a call with Jennifer Synder for her wonderfully inspiring podcast, Creating Your Own Path (CYOP) to talk about that very subject. I first got to know Jennifer through my Skillshare map making class where she was a really engaged student and our friendship grew from there, despite the fact that we still have never crossed paths IRL. We could have talked for hours, but here’s our conversation broken down into three parts:

CYOP #118: How to Create Cohesively Across Multiple Platforms

CYOP #119: Handling the Freelance Ebb

CYOP #120: Using the Internet to Create Offline Connections

If reading is more your cup of tea, here’s the 2013 interview I did with Jennifer! It even shares a rare glimpse into my life as a costumed character. 😂

CYOP-Anne-Ditmeyer-2-WEB

Another reason for my silence online was that in September I lost my mom to ovarian cancer rather suddenly. As anyone who knows me, they know that my mom was my biggest champion (and also silent Twitter awesome link curator 😉). My mom was thankfully able to listen to these episodes, and in what ended up being her last week one of the things she told me was, “Anne, you have so much confidence now.” It meant so much to hear that, as I know myself all too well as “the quiet one” growing up. These words also gave me the confidence to speak at her funeral (my words are in the link above) – something I never would have considered not that long ago. Jennifer and my mom had also “met” in that magical Skillshare classroom, so I’m so thankful that I got to tell her what a gift these three episodes were to my mom.

I’ve realized in recent years, I’ve fallen off the internet radar a bit. Some of it has been focusing on business and making a living, a reaction to the state of the internet, and also rethinking my priorities. My plan in 2018 is to share my voice more, whether it’s talking about my mom, dealing with death and loss, the joys of travel, sharing my latest projects and endeavors, or reflecting on life as an entrepreneur.

I’ve learned that we all have the ability to touch others, whether we know it or not. Despite what society tends to indicate, it’s not all about numbers and metrics. One of the things I’ve set out to do is to slow down, reach out, and let people know they’ve made an impact or inspired me. I never expect a response in return, but I’ve worked to become more intentional in how I say thanks, because I know how valuable those words and conversations have been to me in my own work.

p.s. The artwork in this post is by the talented Melanie Biehle as part of Jennifer’s CYOP Artist in Residency program (she is so amazing at giving back to the creative community!!). I love the quotes they selected, and it’s a good reminder that sometimes we need to listen to our own advice. In addition to using it as artwork to promote the podcast episodes, Jennifer also sells notebooks and prints with quotes from her podcast guests in her online shop!

 

8 comments

    • Awww, that means so much! Thank you, Michelle. It’s always a treat for me to connect and meet people like you on my tours :)

  • Excited to catch up on the CYOP episodes! I’ve always admired your drive to carve out your own space in the world of careers, and whilst becoming a French citizen. Keep on keeping on, lady. Rooting for you from afar.

    • Thank you, Danielle! It’s a long, slow road, but starting to really see the fruits of my labor – but need these reminders from others :)

  • I can’t tell you how sorry I am that you lost your mom this year. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been, and still is. My thoughts are still with you.

    Very excited to listen to the CYOP episodes. I’ve always been in awe of your talent, your creativity and how you always are expanding your knowledge and sharing it with others. You are truly an inspiration, Anne.
    I’m looking forward to seeing more of what you do in 2018!