Viva La Vida: Overcoming the Fear of Telling My Story on Video
If you are anything like me, you are a podcast junkie. My latest kick has been listening to podcasts about girl-bossing it, solo-prenuership and basically how to be an overall badass. Not only do I find that these podcasts validate my entrepreneurial feelings and spirit, but they inspire me to put myself out into the world in a way that says, “I have arrived!”
OK – SO, I was motivated after listening to a podcast (can’t remember for the life of me which one – it might have been Jenna Kutcher’s “Goal Digger” Podcast) to make a video for my brand. The podcast was hardcore pushing the fact that videos are the new photos and so so so incredibly important when it comes to branding. I decided that my video was to show a multitude of things: vulnerability, a glimpse into my personal life, some behind the scenes of me working, and most importantly, to tell a story.
My story began with my divorce. The divorce chat is for another day, don’t you worry. I found therapy in calligraphy practice and expanded on my skills during my divorce (which was to hell and back, needless to say). I was able to focus on a single thing, my strokes with pen to paper, and develop my own personal style of lettering with time, all the while, block out a pretty horrible time in my life.
Shortly after my divorce was final, I took a three-week backpacking trip through Spain and Italy with my younger sister. I had one of those life changing moments while on this trip – one that I might have had an outer body type experience, and one in which I have never experienced before. The two of us were sitting in at a little outdoor restaurant while in Florence, Italy, drinking wine. She was checking the itinerary for our next step; and I was likely looking for Wi-Fi. If you know the dynamics between my sister and I, this is totally stereotypical. At this moment, a string quartet started playing Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”, right in the alley next to us.
This song has always had a special place in my heart. It is one of those songs that you’d never really admit you love – but when looking for something on your Spotify to listen to, it is a go-to song that you keep on regular rotation. At the moment I heard the string quartet playing the song, I believe I sat silently and mediated. And believe me when I say this, I’m not a person that mediates. I felt at peace. I felt whole. And the feelings of feeling being broken was slowly breaking down.
Flash forward several months, listening to my podcasts on my morning walk with my dog. I decided to have a short video of me working on a calligraphy piece for my home, which would be the song lyrics to Viva La Vida, and speak about the importance of the moment that I heard the song while in Italy. I was so passionate about this project and refused to let it be one of those that sat on the back burner. I had a specific vision and message that I wanted to portray. I met with Alyssa with Loomis Films, a videographer, pitched my idea and we ran with it. Alyssa, then randomly suggested that we film the video at a popular Nashville event venue, that it was right up my alley in terms of my personal style. Ironically, it was the venue I was married at. It felt like the last steps of a full circle and I was ecstatic to push through. We filmed the video in a few hours on a Saturday morning and had cocktails after. The whole experience was a dream come true.
The first time I watched the film I cried. I cried because I had put my story out there. My vulnerability was in everyone’s face. I cried because I was so proud of the finished product. I cried because I was proud of myself. I had set a goal and carried it through, despite how nervous I was about the outcome. And in my mind, the outcome was the most beautiful portrayal of my story. The love and support I received after putting the video on my social media outlets was just the cherry on top.
The words “viva la vida” means “long live life” – I take the lyrics as a whole to mean “she shall overcome” – you can fall down, but you can most certainly soar after that.