I think I’ve mentioned this more than a few times, but I love Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios and Creative Living with Jamie, the best podcast on the planet. Imagine how thrilled I was as I was out running a couple of weeks ago and heard Jamie’s announcement that she is hosting the “Be My Guest” contest on her podcast. One of Jamie’s taglines is “Who knows? One day, I might be talking to you,” and I have to admit, it’s one of my little fantasies that I will one day be interviewed by Jamie.
When I was a kid, I spent many hours practicing for my interview with Oprah, but that was before I had been introduced to Jamie. I feel really prepared and am now eagerly awaiting my turn as a guest on her program. I may even hold a hairbrush in front of the mirror while we talk just to get that old feeling again. *Jamie also hosts something called Wishcasting Wednedsay, so consider this my big old wish that I’m sending out into the universe this afternoon.
To participate, Jamie asked that we share why we want to be a guest on her program. Here’s my letter to Jamie.
Put it out there. Shout it from the rooftops. Fly your flag. Say what you mean to say. Be yourself.
These are the things I’ve taken away from your podcasts, Jamie. I
won’t say I learned them exactly because there have been other teachers
before you—my grandmother; Mrs. Lorenz, my seventh grade English
teacher; my best friend in fifth grade—who also taught me these lessons
along the way. Somehow, though, your podcast brought all
of them together in a perfect storm at my most perfect age of 40 and hit
me over the head like a ton of bricks.
For the first time in my life, I am comfortable with calling myself an
artist, with telling people I’m a writer when they ask me what I do,
with approaching agents and publishers, with standing in front of my
small town arts council and reading my poetry aloud, with owning who I
Was it a homework assignment or a particular strategy? No. I don’t think any single podcast resulted in thunderbolt and lightning moment. It was more like the slow drip of water over rock—it sort of worked on me a little bit at a time. I’ve been listening for a while now, mostly as I run trails or fold laundry or chop vegetables for dinner or while I paint, and over that time, I’ve swung back and forth between inspiration and despair, between feeling a part of everything you guys talk about and feeling jealous that I was not quite there. But somewhere along the way, through the experimentation and levels of creative self-discovery (there should be levels like fear, jealousy, doubt, hesitation, taking the leap, owning it, revelation), I have finally reached the place where being myself, writing my own words, painting my own pictures and being honest with everyone, including myself, is a priority in my life. And it feels really good.
I want to be a guest on your show, Jamie, because I feel so blessed to have been given this gift, and I love the way you spread a message of creativity, love, kindness, and best of all, hope for people who just need a reminder. I say reminder because I think it is our highest calling in life to remember who God made us to be. When we’re little, we often know exactly who we were made to be. We have no problem being ourselves. Look any little kid you know, and you’ll see what I mean. Ask them if they can dance, and they rock back and forth and bounce up and down and know that they are GOOD! Ask them to sing, and they’ll belt out a tune. Ask them to paint a picture, and they will smear the paper with globs of paint and never once worry if the bird or house or girl looks real enough. They are completely in touch with who they are. Somewhere along the way, most of us lose that connection. What your show does is reminds us how to get back to that place, how to make that reconnection to the divine purpose set out for us.
I’ve spent a lot of time (and miles and journal pages) thinking about how to make myself “sparkle” because I know how much you love that, but then I decided to just sit down and type out exactly what I meant to say, as honestly as possible, because this is who I am and who God meant me to be from the very beginning. Thank you, Jamie, for being who God meant you to be.
May we all be so.