The CEO Column: April 2021

(Sioux Falls, SD, April 23, 2021) – Empowering you to be…. Not surprisingly, these words keep running through my mind like a cadence, a mantra and a challenge since joining EmBe. That, in conjunction with a recent Slack post asking, “when what would your occupation be if you followed your childhood dreams,” has me reflecting. When I was a child, I didn’t have the same aspirations as most kids did… well, beyond wanting to be a Solid Gold Dancer, I wanted to grow up to be my dad. He was the Adult and Community Education Director in my hometown. Yep – that’s a mouthful for any kid and even now, as an adult, it’s hard to wrap your head around that title. In simpler terms, his role in our community was to see an unmet need and create a program or service to fill that need. Those programs and services ranged from youth recreational sports, to classes for personal development, helping individuals get their GED, providing services to women and families, and started the after prom party as a safe option for high schoolers on an otherwise crazy night. As I ‘grew up,’ that dream fell to the side until about 5 years ago, when I envisioned my future, and considered not what or who I wanted to be, but what organization in Sioux Falls would I want to be part of if I ever left consulting. That organization was EmBe, an organization that has a 100-year history of seeing an unmet need in our community and creating programs or services to fill that need. Little did I know then, that these ideas and dreams would come together.

My path in life has not been perfect or smooth. In fact, it’s filled with more bumps and bruises than smooth and easy paths. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and followed journeys that I thought I would never take. However, I am at peace with my perfectly imperfect path and perhaps even proud of each bump and bruise. It’s that perfectly imperfect journey that has made me stronger, keeps showing me how much I have to learn, and allows me to be more compassionate to others who are doing their best to participate in this game called life.

My family and I enjoy the movie and book, A Wrinkle in Time. There is a part in the movie where the main character, Meg, confesses that she is not happy with who she believes she is. Mrs. Which, played by Oprah, responded by saying, “Do you have any idea how many events, choices, that had to occur since the birth of the universe leading up to the making of you? Just exactly the way you are.” Ahhh, the perfectly imperfect journey that has created us exactly the way we are and has led us here today. I am so grateful to be on this journey with each and every one of you and in this spring season, I encourage you to take a moment to appreciate and be proud of your perfectly imperfect journey.

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