on creating my legacy

// photo credit: mutablend on Flickr via swissmiss // type by me //

I met an amazing woman yesterday. Her name is Mary Lyn, and she’s the owner of Big Fish Power Yoga in Jacksonville, Beach. Now I don’t know Mary Lyn that well, this being our first meeting, but she just had one of those energies about her. It’s an exuberance and an openness that’s contagious. Amidst our conversation, she brought up the idea of one’s “legacy,” as in what is the legacy you want to leave with the world, and it really got me thinking about what I want my own legacy to be.

I mean, let’s be honest here, LEGACY is a big, scary word. It implies finality and grandeur, things I’m not so comfortable with as a 24-year-old. But the way she posed the question to me was so approachable. It was less about what do you want to be remembered by (hi, a little morbid, right?) and it was more about what do you want to contribute to other people. That, I thought, is something I’d like to explore.  

For Jason, his legacy (at least right now) is IWearYourShirt. Encompassed in that are the ideas of creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit and hard work. Have I helped him over the past few years build that legacy? Sure I’ve helped, and he would tell you the same, but it’s not MY legacy, ya know? Don’t get me wrong, my heart still completely beats for his business because it’s both of our livelihoods and we’ll always be a team. I will work for IWYS as long as I possibly can because I want to help Jason succeed and I believe in what he’s built. But it also makes me think, if I could create my own IWearYourShirt in a sense, what would that look like?…

You guys know I love to be happy. You could call it my one true mission in life. Every day I at least try to bring color and laughter and contentment to the world through whatever I’m doing. But that’s not what really gets me excited. What brings me the MOST joy is trying to help other people do that. When those of you out there comment, text, tweet, email or whatever me and let me know that something I have written here has affected you positively, it’s the greatest feeling in the entire world. It makes me feel like there’s a bigger purpose to what I’m doing (beyond silly parenthetical expressions and craft projects.)

As much as I love talking (and if you’ve met me, you know I LOVVVE talking), I think I love listening  even more. I love hearing stories from other people’s lives and finding out what motivates them or what gets them excited. I love that people have different experiences and different opinions than me, and I enjoy the challenge of putting myself in their shoes. But though we’re all different, I believe (or hope, rather) that the one thing that connects us is our desire to be happy.

So that’s what I want my legacy to be. Helping other people live their happiest, most joyful, most free lives.

How am I going to do that? I have no freaking idea. Don’t worry, I’m not going to run off and become a yoga instructor or a life coach or what have you, but I hope it will be something. Whether it’s just through the evolution of this blog, or it’s a future business, or it’s some weird underground coffee shop where everyone congregates to sip lattes and craft until the wee hours of the morning, who knows! All I know is that it’s something to think about as I move forward into the next year.

So what did we learn here? Well, pretty much nothing, I suppose. I don’t know what this ambiguous goal is or how I’m going to get there. All I know is that the seed is now firmly planted in my mind. I simply wanted to get my thoughts down and share them with you all so that, one day, probably years from now, when I have created what I hope will be my legacy, I can look back to this blog and know it started today.

Do you feel like you know what you want your legacy to be?