If you would’ve told me digital marketing was the solution to all my pain points six months ago, I would’ve asked for a refill.
Pour my glass to the brim as I take flight for the sake of not crashing please. Exploring the horizon of digital marketing would give me a map and compass to navigate my inner world-so that’s exactly what I did.
Obsessed with finding a remote solution
I doubled down on years of creating content with no return in exchange for a flock who was flying in a similar direction. One that would hold me accountable while providing the necessary tools for improvement. Thanks to Youtube University and the algorithm, a video that would change the course of my life forever was recommended: “How To Become A Digital Marketing Consultant by Rich Ux of the Rich + Niche Academy.
The digital ethers was a space I frequented but never took the time to actually know.
Finding our digital tribe, The Collective, before the lockdown was pure alignment. Being forced into mandatory isolation, however, was another story. The brutal truth of my complacency was showing so it was time to take the leap.
A jump that was so big, my only option was to soar or fall flat.
I invite you to Dream Airlines Quarantine Flight 2020.
For those of you staying till the end be prepared to travel through the Rocky Mountains. Expect some turbulence. Let's first explore the waters of Lake Michigan.
Learning To Fly
The wind and I are close friends being that I was born and raised in the midwest. Chicago, Illinois. Wherever the breeze blew, there I was. Rather by nature or force, no job could keep me grounded. On the flip side because of my wispy nature, no job wanted to ground me. But it's okay, I didn’t want to be grounded by one anyway.
This is how I became the real last air-bender of digital marketing.
During my childhood whenever there was a storm, I’d become silent. My father taught me how to never let anyone, including my dearly beloved mother, rush me up or down a hill. So I internalized most things and didn’t haste to understand why.
Papa and I communicated through western movies, silence, and Sunday night football. Mama and I, on the other hand, had a different plane. She enforced rules, made dinner, and laughed, loudly.
There was no question who the head of the household was. Sometimes she would yell and oftentimes he would listen. They would rise at holy hours to either get on a bus in the dark or drive to a religious location that took the sun part of the day away.
It was painful.
I would ask if they were happy but their answers were always less than favorable. As if they didn’t know or want to answer. I observed how to be downright mute or straight up comical with my expression.
An artist I became. Always picking up and putting down a hobby. Naturally gifted at everything but never held responsible for finishing.
I think it was my mom's way of giving me a break for living while Blk. She did her best. They did their best. Even though my father wasn’t my biological match, he treated me more like a daughter than any of his other flesh and blood.
We weren’t rich in money but we were surely rich in spirit. To my detriment though the stability of a paycheck refused to visit my section of the ride. Money wasn’t my friend. Like estranged cousins, we saw one another every major holiday.
Every job felt like a slow death. But thanks to perception, I was immune to baseless routines centered around bills.
Creating Content Without Safety
Hazards by the name, work became my repellant. I turned into an analog nomad against my parent's best claims. An individual that is never bound to one place, person or thing because learning proper ways of society after the formative years is a joke. Who needs to be connected when you can be alone?
I would eventually push every friend, family member, and good samaritan away if they let me. A revolving door of never lived up to expectations and broken promises.
As a child, I was so naive and precious. Naturally, I took to the internet which provided the perfect nesting grounds.
Through AOL dial-up CDs, Myspace and Tumblr, I began to overshare and discover my voice without a hinge. In high school, I dabbled in Facebook along with peers who were also glad the college email admission had finally changed. I quickly learned the power of having a network. I promoted parties and even had a nude leak. It was a good time. Until my family got accounts. It was time for a new city. Or platform in this matter.
Then came to Instagram. A place where I could perfectly curate the life of my dreams through pictures only. Necessary restrictions for someone without boundaries. Since none of the humans who actually knew me were on the scene yet I filled up the algorithms tank.
Recording my journey
From the little things like flowers blooming to the big things like the transition of my Papa. The process of documentation became a key outlet.
Learning to capture moments lifted the veil of oppression.
With Papa’s transition in tow, I sat out on a quest for self. After many zigzags, I moved to New York City and became a flight attendant. They relocated me to the sunny town of Los Angeles, California where I was introduced to the technical side of marketing. No longer sticking to the rivers and lakes I was used too, here came the Pacific Ocean.
Influencer With No Skills
I was close with influencers who were brokering major deals. Individuals who’d come to the City of Angels hoping to take flight.
Learning about hashtags, talking points, sponsorships, and event invites. It all seemed… fake. How were these twenty-somethings thriving in a city built for celebrities?
Digital Marketing, that’s how.
I understand this now but back then, no one was giving the game away for free. Even my so-called close circle was hush hush about logistics. Being a flight attendant is a full-time job so I didn’t look much further under the veil.
A year into soaring the skies Mama was diagnosed with the big C.
Fasten your seatbelts. And prepare for the crash.
When you are forced into emotional accountability what do you do?
- Step 1: Take a mental inventory of your toxic habits
- Step 2: Abandon all responsibilities
There’s an African proverb that states, “When a child no longer has both of its parents on earth, they’re officially an adult”. I would highly not recommend this path but here we are.
I stopped my work as an attendant and did everything but grieve the pending wreck. I needed to get back to Chicago. But how?
With anxiety and depression sleeping in my bed every night, what are my options?
So I drifted.
Mama transitioned in July of 2019.
I fell back into old habits and did what I do best. Move. To New York City.
As wild as it may sound, I needed to be alone and away from family to process my own emotions. Some days I’m burdened with strength. Other days, waking up and getting out of bed is my biggest triumph. Nine months later I can finally see some sun. This level of trauma happened for me, not to me. With this understanding into the ghost of network marketing's past, I voyaged.
A Digital Marketing Landing
One glorious dive through Youtube’s abyss and who crash lands on my screen?
The full-stack digital marketing man himself, Rich Ux of richandniche.com. A soon to be father, who cracks dad jokes and promotes remote living.
I am astounded. Do you mean to tell me there are others who dared to soar the royal airwaves of life? Who are actively pursuing a future proof career? Who also love to be alone, together? Yes. I will gladly join this V shape migration into the best life this quarantine has never seen.
All my oversharing would finally come to be useful. I may not have been a successful influencer but the process of expression has set me up perfectly.
The Rich + Niche Academy Full Stack Digital Marketing Course was sent by the stars. I can now, without shame, sustain a passionate remote business from the comforts of whatever location I choose.
My first digital marketing client
They are completely aligned with my core values. They built a website and magazine around personal development and sought a marketer of my exact breakdown.
This is not to say it's all still waters. But through this course, I am sure I can take on any obstacle the digital world offers me. After all, the course of life prepared me tenfold.
I remember every experience…
The physical, mental and emotional abuse.
The days without food.
The moments without direction.
The panic attacks.
The dark thoughts.
The costly transitions.
And like the crash of Flight 1549 back in 2009, this plane, my life, has landed on the water of independence.
Through digital marketing, I’m able to build my dream life piece by peace. Utilizing skills that I’ve always had in service for others.
- The countless hours I spent making content with no validation.
- The endless hours of intuitive consulting with friends on challenges they weren’t ready to change.
- The blog posts I would exchange for cash in my one year of University to never have my name mentioned.
- The apologies I'll never get from past lovers and friends.
- The family that actively guides me from the ancestral plane. It was all worth it.
Exit Stage Front
Would still not recommend this sort of turbulence but we all have our destinations. I am here as a testament to how following your intuition can lead to a major landing pad.
Digital Marketing is the reason this story was written.
It’s given me a framework to share my love of service and teach others they can do it too. No matter how long it took to get off the runway, past the clouds, through the microclimates, around the holding pattern, down system failure, and onto the ground, and by ground I mean water…
I made it.
We made it.
Give thanks for flying with us!
Follow me on Instagram: @freeandformed when you’re ready to take another trip. Safe travels!