Sitting down to write this feels, well, really strange. After all, I'm the secret one. The silent one. The one who spends her days working in alignment with companies to share their stories in a visceral, authentic way — allowing each company to embody intention, heart and unwavering commitment to serve with each keystroke.
Words have the ability to create new thoughts. The way we think imbues who we are.
I do not take the work I do each day lightly.
I spent more than a minute telling Devon why I didn't need to be recognized as part of SheNative's team.
"It's your work that matters. Your impact. Your commitment to bettering the lives of women who've been through shit, survived, and are ready to thrive."
"This never happens. Like ever. I'm not your employee. I'm your contractor. My role is to be silent to allow you to make noise."
"No one needs to see me. I don't matter in all of this."
Clearly, Devon refused to listen to me. In fact, it's the last argument — that I didn't matter — that got her really going. She flat-out disagreed, talked to Tori-Lynn (SheNative's Director of Business Development), and BAM. The two of them set out to get me to write on here.
You see, I think Devon knew my secret: I'd consciously chosen to be unseen online or anywhere else due to years of holding a never spoken about role in my family life — the role of caregiver to my ever-beautiful Mom who's chronically ill. MS. Lupus. Clinical Depression. Yeah, there's a bit happening there. And by "a bit" I mean...a lot.
Here's the part that Devon doesn't know: There was a good chunk of time in my life where caregiving was all-encompassing. And I forgot that I matter. I forgot myself.
Hey, it's okay! I remember now.
Anyone who knows Devon knows there are waaaaay more than three reasons to be grateful for her. Here are three of mine:
- Devon refuses to stay silent about world issues and experiences that matter. She's set the bar high and without question.
- Devon honours many perspectives. She point-blank tells me that contributing my perspective on the courage and resilience that exists in caregiving is something that SheNative's readers need to read. Plus, over the coming days I get to share the perspectives of many resilient, strong women here in Canada and beyond.
- Devon knows that she is a role model to many, and takes on this role with equal parts grit and elegance. When you first meet her, she's thoughtful and understanding. When you get to know her, you come to see that her inner strength is powerful beyond words.
I'm Rosie Paulyk. And as a SheNative collaborator — and now can't-miss-it-contributor — to SheNative's blog, I have one thing left to say today.
Thank you. Thank you, Devon, for trusting me to contribute to SheNative's blog and for reminding me that yes — I do matter. And thank you for spending this time with me today. I can't wait for what's to come.
Photo Credit: Axis Imagery