I’m no longer letting shame hinder my dreams, and I’m doing it for her

I’ve got to start out by saying that I’m highly influenced by music. I love supporting female artists and think that songwriting is one of the most intimate forms of storytelling. If I could do it, I would.

When I first listened to The Chick’s new album, Gaslighter, I was floored. The lyrics, woven narrative between songs, and the songs themselves are phenomenal. I’ve listened to at least one song from the album nearly every day since I first listened to it.

Today, I was driving home, listening to this album, and thinking about the last couple of years. In the past two years, I’ve been focused on intentional growth of my blog and platform on instagram. Today, I reflected on how it’s been on an amazing upward trajectory lately.

I’m in graduate school getting my M.A. in Communication & Media studies. Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing and why I decided to get a master’s in the first place… but today I said to my mom, “I think it was meant to be that I’d get my master’s and focus my studies on personal branding. It relates to all the things I love — my blog, content creation, social media, advertising…” and my mom finished with “and it really allowed you to be an asset at your workplace!”

Earlier this summer, I sat down with the CEO of the agency that I interned for and we discussed his personal brand. He wanted MY insight and knowledge on the subject because I’d already presented him with some materials and recommendations. He paused and asked me how I got so passionate and educated about personal branding. My boss didn’t even know that I’m a content creator. I proceeded to tell him about my blog and instagram platform for my personal brand, alex farbie.

A few years ago, I never thought I’d tell the CEO of the company that I hope to work for post-grad that I do this thing called instagram and I post a looooot of stuff about my life. I even have ‘professional’ social media accounts that I made a few years back. I told myself that it was a separation of church and state — my personal blog and my professional/’real’ life should be separate. (Ha!)

I opened up; I shared with him that I am a content creator, I study personal branding, and I learn more about combining the two every single day. I learn and then put the steps into action on my own blog. I dream of having greater influence someday and getting paid to create content for more brands. He kindly said, “I don’t really understand the whole influencer thing, but that’s really cool.”

Thinking back now, I was ashamed for a long time that I wanted to take photos and create content and share my authentic thoughts on the internet. I thought that I would be judged by people who didn’t understand and underestimated by those who saw the gap between where I was and where I hope to be. I was afraid.

I hid behind the idea of professionalism without realizing that in creating my personal brand I have greater credibility in my professional field. Without the experiences I’ve had in creating content and writing blogs, I never would have focused on personal branding in my Master’s degree. I never would have been able to offer insights to the CEO of my company and provide value and service in that way. I never would have gotten a fun job where I get to model and create content for a women’s clothing company. I never would have connected with other brands and entrepreneurs. And truly, I never would have become the woman I am today.

So today, I’m declaring that I am both — I am a communications professional AND a creator.

And each one makes me better at the other.

So if you’re like: okay Alex, that’s awesome! I’m glad that you no longer feel shame in admitting that you love to create content even if it’s for a small audience… but what the heck does that have to do with The Chicks?

Well, my friends, that’s an excellent question.

There’s one song in particular that really struck a chord with me today. It’s called For Her.

When I think about what keeps me from feeling the shame and fear, I think about the purpose of my content — the messages, the photos, the feelings I feel when I connect with other women online.

Why I’m no longer letting shame hinder my dreams:

For her— my younger self, who loved cheesing out in front of the camera.

For her— my heartbroken self, free from a boyfriend who discouraged me from sharing my life on social media.

For her— my current self, connecting with other women and brands and having so much fun.

For her— my future self, for whatever opportunities present themselves.

But mostly…. For her— the women out there who find value in my words, my authenticity, my good deals, my honest perspective, my humorous dance parties, or just being along for the ride.

I’m doing it for her.

And there’s no shame in that.

Listen to the song here: “For Her”

So dig a little bit deeper
And be a little bit kinder
And a lot less guarded
‘Cause it takes, it takes
It takes a lot of hard work
To get a whole lot stronger
‘Cause it’s real tough, girl
Why can’t we be together?
Why can’t we love for her?
Wish I could go back and tell my younger self
“You’re a fighter, you just don’t know it yet”
So dig a little bit deeper
And be a whole lot louder
And a lot less guarded
‘Cause it takes, it takes
It takes a lot of hard work
To get a whole lot stronger
‘Cause it’s real tough, girl
Stand up, show love
Stand up, show up
Stand up, show love for her

For Her.