It does seem strange at first to break legacy up into multiple facets. But I think it helps give us a richer understanding of our multi-faceted lives and helps us be fully accounted for the entirety of our legacy. So I baited you in with leadership legacy and now I trickle in the hard shit. Because a personal legacy isn’t that straightforward.
Mostly because, and I am making a broad assertion here, we don’t really know who we are. We know who we are from a career perspective best because it’s what we have been groomed for. Ask any artist the first thing their parents said to them when they told them that they wanted to spend their life creating art?
Who we are (yes, all of you) is often pushed aside for the greater good (food, shelter, you know the important stuff) and because it is required to be successful. We are good at it too, we generally leave behind the stuff we didn’t want to look at anyway.
Our creativity, our losses, our emotions, and in some real ways, our traumas were often the first to go into the archives. We set aside the drum kit or paintbrush and picked up a Folio (attaché, briefcase, backpack), and went to work building marketable skills and allocating the gritty stuff to dusty corners.
So really understanding what our personal legacy often requires us to find and visit those dusty corners to take a long look at what we dismissed into the archives.
We need to know what we left behind in order to understand who we are.
This is often, the hardest legacy to hold space with. It requires us to look at things we have spent our life forgetting. It requires us to take a gnarled and decomposing bit and love it for what it has done for us by staying in the archives. It requires us to build a trusting relationship with it so that we can begin to integrate that bits needs back into who we are.
Not many make this journey. Often, assholes remain assholes and trauma remains traumatizing because being anything other than an asshole or traumatized is scarier than not being those things. This work cannot be done alone, but your personal legacy would be so much richer for this journey along the overgrown path.
So why now? Good Question! Consider this meandering as the gentle nudge to the next type of legacy that will tie this all together for you.
That this work needs to happen not just for yourself but for those that follow in your wake. That they need you to own who you are so that they can be proud of who they are.