How to Live a Vitality-Centered Life
I’m a runaway.
Not in the colloquial “I hate my parents, I hate my life,” angsty teenager kind of way.
Rather, in the “I don’t want to deal with my adult emotions, so let me transfer colleges six weeks into my first semester, move apartments (nine times in nine years) and cities (three times in six years), change jobs (five times in seven years) and careers (twice in seven years), live in a converted camper van” kind of way.
Every life-changing decision I’ve made (minus getting married) has been driven by this need to run away rather than toward. It’s exhausting. It’s mentally debilitating. It’s isolating. And it works, if you’re lucky.
During one runaway attempt where I abandoned my data analytics career 11 months into it, I found myself at a cocktail hour hosted by my new employer — ready to mingle with educators from across the country who were up to really inventive and radical things.
The very first conversation I had that evening was with the three co-founders of a school in Floyd, VA.
I felt like I was talking to people from a different time, a different place, perhaps a different dimension altogether. And I loved it.
They spoke in a way that was completely foreign to my head but familiar to my bones. At the time, they were only in their third year of work. And over the next few years, thanks to my professional responsibilities, I got to connect with their community on multiple occasions as interviewer and editor of their guest articles.
That “bone familiarity” never ceased.
Then something magical happened.
In May 2020, I was invited to join their Board of Trustees and truly steep myself in their work. I don’t recall what the exact reasons for the invitation were, but I know today that they value most in me what I value most in myself.
The “what” is unimportant. The recognition is everything.
It is in this recognition — a community seeing your gifts and lifting them up — that you get a fresh taste of life’s purest energy. There are many…