I Am Me.
This strange sentence has become a guiding beacon for me over time. I am me. What does that even mean?
I first came across this odd little sentence in a voice class in my acting program a few years ago. We were taught to hum 3 notes on the syllables “huh-huh-maaah” as we connected to our vocal chords and our bodies. Then our instructor said to think of the words “I am me” as we hummed the 3 notes. The more we sang out, the more the little mantra stuck in my head. At first it was nonsensical but then it started to take on a deeper meaning.
How powerful is it to be able to sit with that statement? I am me. It holds so much meaning in so few words. The layers underneath say I am here. This is who I am, and I love myself as I am. I am here to make a difference. I matter. This is me. I am me. You are you. We are all beating hearts and aching bodies and souls with dreams and heartache humming with every beautiful thing that life has to offer.
I am Me.
And within these 3 words I found comfort. Knowing that being me is enough and that I do have something to share with the world. 2 years after I graduated from my acting conservator I am here. Writing this blog post. Following my dreams. Scared out of my mind, but doing it anyway because of the brave commitment to myself, to being me, to being bravely original.
So, welcome to the Bravely Original blog. A place where I lovingly and genuinely share my creativity, knowledge and experiences with you. It has been such a journey so far for me to get here and I am excited to continue on this journey with you moving forward.
But first, let’s meet each other. Here’s a little bit about me:
I was born in Washington, DC but then raised primarily in Istanbul, Turkey. Looking back, I am so grateful for my time growing up in Turkey because I was exposed to such a broad mix of languages and cultures at a young age. I developed an interest and appreciation in studying these cultures and languages and quickly discovered I had a knack for accents and impressions. Looking back now, this should’ve been the first inclination I was destined to be an actress. Music and performance also became a key component in my life. At the ripe age of 4 years old, I was singing the Phantom of the Opera in my living room. All signs pointed to me living a life full of performance and creativity.
Unfortunately, life isn’t always so cut and dry. I followed the path outlined for me by many privileges and opportunities. I forged through the path of the people before me. I found myself pursuing my MBA at Columbia University. Meanwhile, I was also building a successful career running a prominent retail brand. From the outside looking in, I had it all. I was setting myself up to be a very successful businesswoman, earning an MBA from one of the most prestigious universities in the country. But on the inside, I was undeniably lost. I knew I was living a life some people dream of but it wasn’t the one I dreamed of. I realized I had been living my life to please others. I was not focused on myself or what I really wanted. And I certainly wasn’t living out my true purpose. Instead, I was dominated by FEAR. I lived in fear of letting people down and letting their opinions dictate the way I felt about myself and my success. Of course, I didn’t have any of that insight at the time, I just felt dread about every piece of completing my MBA and continuing down my path. I couldn’t understand why I felt weights on my limbs when something needed to be done. I knew something had to change.
As graduation from Columbia approached and my peers were frantically applying for jobs, I simply couldn’t bring myself to go down that path. I knew that wasn’t what I wanted and I was finally ready to admit that to myself. On a whim, I decided to research acting schools in NYC, came across the New York Meisner Acting Conservatory, Maggie Flanigan Studio, and proceeded to graduate two years later. I finally felt like I was approaching my true path, but there proved to be plenty more obstacles to overcome.
I was afraid to admit to others that I was an actress. I found myself absolutely dominated by FEAR that my path wasn’t “good enough”. But I knew I had to somehow uncover my confidence. This process was extremely difficult for me in more ways than one. I was consumed by the feeling that being true to myself meant failing everyone else around me. On top of that, I felt incredibly alone and ostracized during this journey. There’s no way to sugarcoat it– this was one of the most difficult times of my life. But during every challenging journey, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Once I found mine, I made it my mission to help guide others through their own creative journeys. I built Bravely Original to serve my past self, the girl who desperately needed guidance and inspiration along the way and now wants to do the same for you. I want to give others what I wished for when I emerged to be Bravely Original. I call it “Bravely Original” because there is a ton of bravery involved in becoming your true self. We must learn to combat our FEAR and be BRAVE.
Now in addition to being an all around creative, I am a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach. This coaching method is based on the principles of honoring the non-linear process of creativity and elevating its joy and capitalizing on the strengths, successes, and resources of the individual rather than dwell on perceived limitations. You can read more about the Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching principles and experience here. But beyond my training as a coach, I am a real-life creative who knows what it takes to build a life you LOVE. My mission is to help people like you do just that.