It was the tennis great Arthur Ashe who said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
I followed that advice when my heart told me to start the Another Door Opens blog back in 2013.
I started where I was. (New Mexico).
I used what I could. (An idea, a recording device and a camera).
And I did what I could. (Knocked on doors and asked questions of strangers then wrote their stories.)
Passing through those doors into worlds unknown was my search for meaning as much as it was a creative project to give my life some structure. I had left an all-consuming career as a network news producer in late 2012, and after spending time with family, traveling, wandering and rejuvenating, I craved purpose.
Throughout my journalism career, I noticed the lights that flickered on in the eyes of a person who felt seen and heard. I thrilled at learning about them, listening to them, and then reflecting and learning something about myself in the process.
That’s the gift I wanted to provide in creating the Another Door Opens stories and blog. The stories are written to be hopeful, yes, but more importantly, insightful. Listening to the stories of others, we can learn a little about the life of a stranger. We listen so that we may care more and judge less. We listen so that we may find common ground that connects us. We listen so that we can celebrate the differences that distinguish us. We listen not to then say, “You’re wrong, and I’m right.” We listen to learn something and find new perspective. We listen to practice some self-reflection and self-analysis. We listen more to love more.
In this day, when our country feels so divided, we are also hopeful because thousands, maybe millions, of people are taking a good hard unrelenting whack at systemic racism and working hard to break up the sick and oppressive nature of long-standing institutions. Together, purposeful leaders, compassionate thinkers and action-takers are shining a light on how archaic ways of thinking and acting marginalize people and corrupt growth. A light is being shined on how an unspoken caste system creates massive sustained pain, destruction and division. Ignorance of these truths creates yet more division and an inability to listen and communicate perpetuates it. When we open our doors and hearts to dialogue, it’s just possible we may also open some minds.
My small blog is growing up into a podcast. Service through story is still at its core. Subject matter may be light or heavy. But it is all about someone’s personal experience.
The bonus you get when moving from blog to podcast is you get to really hear from the guests — their voices, their inflections, their cadence and energy. Often times their laughter.
As I write this to you, the podcast is nearing its launch date. I plan to have 10 episodes ready for you at the time of launch, and I cannot wait for you to hear from my fabulous guests. They educate me, inspire me and motivate me to keep knocking on doors and to keep connecting people.
Please check out my Patreon link below to find out more about the podcast and how you can subscribe to become part of the creative process.
Mission: Open doors, open hearts, open minds. Thank you for being here, and I hope you’ll come along for the metamorphosis. (Below is a glimpse of the podcast cover art so that you will know what to look for once I launch).