This is what my uncle told me during that conversation a few weeks ago:
“You need a way to describe yourself, an angle.
You need something that will demonstrate your unique take while helping you stand out.
What about the phrase poet advocate?”
It didn’t make sense to me at first. And I think it didn’t make sense because it was a phrase that I haven’t heard very often–if at all.
Poet advocate. It had a nice ring to it.
I’ve considered myself a mental health advocate for years. Mental health is what I love. It’s my passion. Spreading awareness is something that brings me great joy. But it’s a generic term that can mean a lot of different things.
It’s not just the mere fact of spreading awareness that I like so much; I also love the way in which I can do it. I’ve always loved to read and write. But I like reading and writing words that sound beautiful, that ring out when you read them, whether you’re hearing them in your head as you scan the page or saying them out loud to yourself or others. There’s magic in the movement of words. I’ve always thought that.
“You’re a poet advocate,” my uncle said.
I’d never considered that phrase before. But those two words have stayed with me, and that’s a sign that the mean something to me and that it’s worth trying them on for size. So I’m in the process of adopting that identity, of showing the way that words can create meaning and make mental health more accessible to all.
This story gets me to my big point, a lesson for you, the individual, managing your own life and carving your own path as you navigate this often-difficult world.