Viva La Vida: Overcoming the Fear of Telling My Story on Video

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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.    

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Claire White is a thirty-something year old Nashville native. She’s an attorney and calligrapher. That’s right, using both parts of the brain.  She currently practices law in the public sector and Claire owns White Ink Calligraphy, providing calligraphy services nationwide.