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Megan, meet Megan.

August 5, 2009

Tonight I once again made the commute into the city from Naperville like I’ve done many times before. Depending on the time of day the BNSF is either a quick 40 minute ride or the dreaded hour and 15 minutes. Most people, including myself, despise a 75 minute train ride, however, from time to time there are nights where maybe that extra time provides you with a much needed break. That extra time gives you the opportunity to disconnect from the world, enjoy the silence, and for once, hear your own voice. For me, tonight, that extra time was exactly what I needed.

A couple of weeks ago a good friend of mine, @SarahKettler, suggested I read Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver. I love a new book and I needed something to take my mind off of the adventure that is my current job hunt. So I said, “Why not?” and swiped my library card one more time. I didn’t know what exactly to expect from the book. It was small, both in size and length. Sarah had raved about it, but I wondered how life-changing a book could be in 91 pages. I sit here eating my words. Just Who Will You Be? is a beautiful, heartfelt story of Maria’s personal journey in finding out just who she is. An invitation to speak at a high school graduation ignited Maria’s own quest to find out who she was, who she had been, and who she wanted to be. The book details her difficulties in deciding on a topic to speak about. After all, even a Kennedy needs to be persuaded that their story is worth telling. In the end, Maria gives a moving and genuine speech concluding with her own poem entitled, “Just Who Will You Be?”

Tonight I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the launch of Sevans Strategy founded by the incredible @PRSarahEvans. As I stepped out from behind the laptop and phone for awhile I made sure to look and listen as people of all types came together. I mingled, caught up with folks I’d previously met and introduced myself to some new faces. However, regardless of when I’d met them, one common question kept being asked; “what do you do?” What do I do? Well, right now I sit at home applying for jobs, writing blog posts and networking like I should get paid for it. But that’s not really what they wanted to know. So maybe, “What do you want to do?” But even that question leaves for so many possible answers. As the night wore on, I felt so limited by the questions being asked. Okay, well, I’m Megan, I graduated in 2008 from EIU, I interned with the Chicago Blackhawks and Weber Shandwick. Those are basically the answers to every question I was asked. But what does that say? What does that tell you about me? At times I longed to delve deeper into conversations, to really learn about the person, but it always went back to their career or social media or something of the sorts. Don’t get me wrong, the night was a great success and I met some incredible people, but the experience had me questioning a lot. A lot about myself. A lot about “what I do.” And a lot about what I want to do.

Before leaving the house this evening, as I threw my business cards and lip gloss into my purse, Maria Shrivers little book of answers caught my eye. “It’s going to be a long train ride,” I thought, “Might as well have something to read.” And while many people despise that 75 minute train ride, sometimes life means for you to miss an earlier train so you’re forced to take time to just…breathe. As I sat alone on the train, tired and hungry, I began to read and began to see things much clearer. My whole life I’ve been asked, “What do you want to be?” Well, a ballerina, obviously 😉 What do I want to be? Throughout high school and college that answer changed constantly. And since then I’ve been many things, I’ve worn many hats, and I’ve had many dreams. But the truth is, what I am now or what I was then is only a small part of what I will be in the future. Of who I will be in the future. Because tonight after reading Maria’s book in its entirety, I realized that the important thing isn’t what I do, or what I want to be..It’s who will I be. What kind of human being will I be? Will I help others or serve only myself? Will I cherish money and belongings or family, friends, and relationships? As I met new friends tonight I wish they had asked these questions. Because what I do in no way defines who I am.

I am grateful that I had that extra time on the train to read all of Just Who Will You Be?, because I’ve realized a few things. I’ve realized that the expectations others have of me, aren’t nearly as important as the expectations I have of myself. I’ve realized that in order to truly be happy, I need to follow my heart and my passions. And I’ve realized that above all things, the most important question to ask myself is “Who will I be?” So as I continue this journey in finding my rightful place in this world, I look forward to meeting the who I will become.

Megan, meet Megan.

There will definitely be more to come regarding this post! However, since it’s 1:20am I should probably be getting to sleep 🙂

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4 comments

  1. All I can say Megan is never stop searching for what you will be. At 23, there’s no way we can define our role in this world. The pursuit of happiness and fulfillment is an ongoing journey. I am a firm believer in viewing perfection not as a destination, not as a noun, but as something you do, the way you move through life.

    You and I are in very similar positions. Yes, I did find a job that’s going to pay me to do web marketing, but two days ago, I was doing what you do, working like a maniac, networking, blogging, starting new projects like I should have been getting paid for it. All I can say is you’ll get there, keep doing it, keep establishing your online legacy and it will pay dividends in the end.

    Best of luck – and keep in touch. Us suburb-dwellers gotta’ stick together!


  2. GO GIRL! I love that “I’ve realized that the expectations others have of me, aren’t nearly as important as the expectations I have of myself. I’ve realized that in order to truly be happy, I need to follow my heart and my passions. And I’ve realized that above all things, the most important question to ask myself is “Who will I be?”

    No one can be you BUT YOU!

    @duongsheahan


  3. Megan – this is so great. I didn’t get to meet you at this event, but I do struggle with the same sort of questions when I attend these events. Does telling people I’m a marketing coordinator at a software company really tell them who I am? I hope not… I hope there is a lot more! I think it’s also really interesting how some people in social media aren’t really, well, social! Good luck with your job search and keep networking!
    Brandi – @brandiheinz


  4. I had read this post last week after being one of the folks to have had the pleasure of meeting you at the launch of Sarah Evan’s new gig. I needed to return to your post to tell you this…I come across a number of different “professionals” during the course of my work day & week. I’m sure you get tired of the question, “what do you do?” and to be frank, I get tired of asking the question:). I did however remember YOU among the MANY that I had the opportunity to chat with over the course of the evening. The reason I did is that you were so intense and dedicated to your professional goals…even at such a young age. You didn’t break and say, “I don’t care what I do as long as I have a job” like most. Instead you insisted that a career in sports was where you needed to be. For that I applaud you! Keep following that dream and please let me know if I can help you with anything along the way!

    My Very Best,

    Matt Batt (@storyassistant)



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