“Community is even more so important when people do feel disconnected physically. So it’s still important to be able to figure out — we are now virtual and even any of the in-person components are now kind of shifted — So how can we make sure that nobody feels as though they’re not included?“~Erica Courdae, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Consultant
Everything I knew about structure I’ve had to reframe, reexamine, re…structure over the last 5,000 weeks of shelter-in-place. Multiple times. There have been days in which my professional systems and personal habits have operated at next-level peakness*. Glorious stretches of productivity. Seemingly boundless hours high-vibiness*. And then…
The inevitable at-capacity crash. Chances are, you’ve wandered around in that fog yourself. Multiple times throughout the pandemic’s never-endingness*. There’s even a good chance we’ve plodded alongside each other in those murky depths. But how to know for sure, what with the vagueness of our fully virtual existences? I’ll tell you how: we share our stories and our processes.
Erica Courdae is a Baltimore-based, multitalented mother and entrepreneur who’s navigating the deep end of uncertainty with realistic optimism and structures-in-progress (rather than hyper-aspirational, GOOPiness). As a salon owner, creator of the podcast Pause on the Play, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant she’s feeling her way through the process of managing professional and personal expectations
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“I think everybody is having to see what does Plan B look like? What does pivot mean for me? What does it look like to not be able to do this the way that I’ve always done it? What are there other options that maybe I haven’t considered? Is there a different business model that wasn’t the one that I had? I think people are having to shift the way that they facilitate things, to be able to have contingency plans in case the contingency plan doesn’t work.”~Erica Courdae
What does “safety” look like IRL for a salon owner? How does a DEI consultant convey her message in an exclusively virtual environment? What the heck does homeschooling a kindergartner and a second-grader look like? How does self-care exist now that outlets for simple pleasures are off-limits?
More often than not, the recurring themes of these last few months have been best-laid systems gone awry and rebuilding efforts accomplished one task at a time. There’s something comforting and inspiring in examples like Erica’s, the reminder that structure – even in the best of times – takes a village.
*terms created to mildly amuse in week 5,000 of lockdown – it’s come to this.
Connect with Erica
Mentioned in this episode
The Creative Impostor with Cher Hale (who introduced me to Erica!)
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Holly is also a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant with a podcast called Talking About Clothes. On this episode of Podcast Envy, we talk about… what else… podcasting and clothes!
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