I have been away from this blog for a while when life and career took a few turns.
From December 2012 to November 2014 I directed Energize Everett, a community health outreach program in Everett MA. I took a floundering program and did an amazing job of turning it around, brought together constituents from all sectors (government, community and non-profit) to improve access to healthy food and physical activity. I also wrote large grants that received funding, including a Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health grant.
I discovered work in the world that was compelling, that engaged almost all my skills in service of a mission I believed in. I discovered I could successfully direct a multi-faceted program. It was empowering. Energize Everett was a wonderful experience and when it ended (not by my choice) I had some serious thinking to do. Would I continue on this public health career track? I thought about an MPH (master’s in public health) but decided on an MFA, and in 2015, I was accepted into a low residency Visual Arts MFA at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.
I have a passion for justice and equity esp in public health but I never had a traditional career trajectory. I’ve basically followed my heart. My definition of creativity is broad and not confined to the arts. I deeply believe there is a place for the arts just about everywhere and I’ve made visual art, and written fiction and poetry since I was a child. So the MFA in 2015 may have seemed like a 180 turn-around but it wasn’t. However…
After a year in the program I realized my old dream of getting an MFA wasn’t necessary. I’d been practicing art for many years and no longer wanted a degree. But I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t tried.
After leaving Lesley, I managed a state-wide healthy aging program, Now I’m at another crossroads. Not sure if we all have lots of these pivot points in life or if my life has been especially blessed 🙂 but here I am.
I’m definitely re-booting notadiabetic. I love writing (I also have several eBooks in the idea stage). And I’m shifting some of the focus from a personal POV to some bigger issues informed by my public health work, like equity in diabetes treatment and prevention, and political issues, like the rising cost of insulin. I want to grow a coaching practice focused on lifestyle coaching with folks with diabetes (PWDs), and life and leadership coaching for female managers and older women in transition.
Thank you for reading. Please share if it makes sense. More to come!