Most months I send out stories and insights on social impact design.
Well, today is a bit different.
I want to pull back the curtain a little bit and share something more personal.
Here we go.
Ten months ago I woke up to a new sensation—the baby I had been carrying in me for 41 weeks was ready to enter the world. I just knew it. My waters had broke. I was buckled over every ten minutes from contractions.
My husband called the birth centre and had our hospital bag ready to go. My dad ran outside and found a taxi driver willing to take a woman in labour (and her husband, parents, bags, and pillow.) We swerved through the streets of London, dodging rush hour traffic, to arrive at the birth centre—only to have to be redirected to the hospital near our home.
I sucked down gas and air while strapped to a gurney in the back of an ambulance, joined by my husband and two very chatty EMTs. After waiting 30 minutes for a room (apparently a lot of women were having babies on the 25th of September!), we settled in for the big event.
With a midwife and my husband by my side, I endured the most intense physical, emotional and mental experience of my life. Standing, kneeling, and squatting through contractions with only nitrous oxide felt insane. At points I questioned, ‘Is this baby really going to come out? Can I really do this?’ A doctor came in and told me I was going to deliver at 1am. “No way. She’s coming before then,” I slurred to my husband after the doctor left.
At 9:34pm, I felt her emerge and a minute later I was holding my daughter in my arms with my husband, teary-eyed, standing next to me.
Since that day, I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for life.
One of the most remarkable perspectives is witnessing a new human evolve and develop. My daughter has gone from being an itty bitty thing that needed so much of our help to now feeding herself, sitting on her own, grabbing any object in reach (and beyond), playing in the bath, kicking in the pool, smiling and laughing at herself in the mirror, and delightfully observing other children and adults in the world. Witnessing someone transform before you—and become happily independent—is a true gift.
Pause – you’re probably wondering how giving birth and parenting relates to my career now? Here’s the connection.
Through observing and participating in her transformation, I’ve seen how much connecting with and participating in others’ transformation means to me, and how much it was missing in my previous work.
So the next phase of Design Affects and my career is about strengthening my connection and providing more transformative information to my audience—that is, you!
For the past four months, I’ve been revamping my business and focusing on what YOU have told me over the years that you would like to see me offer or address.
I’ve reread, analyzed, and evaluated your responses to the reader survey; connected with colleagues and peers from Vancouver to Amsterdam to Sydney; hosted workshops; and spent countless hours getting to know new people in the social impact design world from across the globe.
But… (the infamous “But”)…
There is one REALLY BIG request you have made that I’ve been holding back on—for a couple years now—despite many of your pleadings and outcries.
I’m contemplating changing my mind and giving you what you’ve been asking for—the one that has been on your mind since the day you first heard of social impact design.
But I’m nervous because it means sharing with you more of myself and my expertise than I have in the past.
And I’m also going to need your help.
Anyway, that REALLY BIG request is… (stay tuned until next time!)
P.S. I’ll be back with more details in a couple days. Until then, tell me in the comments where you’re headed this autumn. Any big goals or huge breakthroughs in your life?