When I first started this blog I decided to create a page for it on Facebook. Apparently, in order to have a page on Facebook you have to have an account connected to a name. I immediately started trying to think of names beginning with the letters R and L to match Reporting Life.
"Friends" is one of my favorite shows, so I picked Rachel with the middle initial L.
I've been outed a few times since then, the most recent being in this post on Penelope Trunk's blog. She drives her son from Wisconsin to Chicago every week for cello lessons, and she dictates to me while she's driving in her car.
What started this unusual pairing is that I called her for coaching. She thinks court reporting is a great business and that I should sell court reporting. It's also a great field for focused, detail-oriented people. I should be promoting the profession to people best suited for the job, because the world needs court reporters.
So she convinced me to continue court reporting as my career path, and I've been trying to think of ways to use both sides of my personality to find fulfillment.
How do I combine Rachel L.D., the creative, and Carmen Santiago, the court reporter, into one person?
Which reminds me, she's offering a seminar. It's about how to make your 20's count. She wants to help 20-year-olds make better choices so they can create a fulfilling life for themselves. If you're a college student struggling financially, then you should have a Penelope party. Gather all your friends together and split the $195. Make an event out of it.
After she posted about the webinar, the question people kept asking in the comments is what do you do once you hit 40? 40-year-olds have money to spend on webinars, so she should do one for them too.
If your 20's are all about self-discovery, realizing your gifts, and making decisions to shape your future, then your 40's are about learning how to use your gifts to expose yourself so that you can live an authentic life.
Teaching others what you've learned and maybe helping someone, that's what your 40's are about. You just need to find your audience and method of connecting and communicating. Perhaps passing information down to your kids is what you were meant to do in your 40's.
So my next step is telling you that Rachel L.D. and Carmen Santiago is the same person. Maybe someone will learn from this or maybe this was a bad decision. There's only one way to find out if your decisions are good, and that's just by trying.
So while you're living your life in your 20's figuring yourself out, your values, your principles and what's important to you, start thinking about how you're going to share your lessons with the world once you hit your 40's.
Your 30's are a great time to learn and grow alongside your kids. If you don't have kids, like me, you'll find yourself learning and growing alongside coworkers, family, friends, and lovers.
Ultimately, life is about connecting. There are no guarantees, so don't waste energy being afraid. Use your energy to live your life, put yourself out there, and make lots of mistakes. In your 40's you'll discover that your gifts are what you've been cultivating all along, and now it's time to use them.