Name: Misty Mae Wagner
Location: Pennsylvania, US
Education/Training/Certifications: Psychology, Creative Non-Fiction
You are an experienced blogger! When and why did you start? Why do you continue?
I started in 2005. It was just the thing that a lot of moms were doing, and it gave me an outlet for connection. I’ve had a few breaks, over the years, but the reason I blog now (though not very regularly) is because of connection still… To share stories and pieces of my journey in the hopes of reaching and connecting with other women.
How did you get over any initial trepidation you might have had putting your life out there, online, via your writing?
Honestly, I am not sure. I remember it being a fear, and then it simply wasn’t. Maybe time, personal growth, maturity?
You talk about purpose quite a bit on your blog. Do you think our purpose can change over time?
Not really, no. Allow me a metaphor, if you will: I am me. I have been me since I was a tiny, wailing 5 lb infant. Today I am 43, and still that same person. I have grown, failed, changed, bloomed… I think our purpose is a lot like that. It’s tethered to who we are, and can morph in ways, based on our own evolution, but the core of its essence remains that one thing that is tailored specifically to us.
How can young women identify and develop their purpose if they feel like they have not connected with it?
Authentically… When we are true to ourselves, face our darkest moments honestly and begin to embrace all of the elements of our journey, taking personal responsibility for what is ours and letting go of that which is beyond our control- then I believe our purpose simply reveals itself. We MUST be willing to brave vulnerability, but it all really will fall into place once our self-constructed walls begin to crumble…
Tell me about how you came up with the idea for the RD Collective podcast?
I was at the rock bottoms of all rock bottoms! I was sitting on my friend’s couch talking about how women kept approaching me, (strangers! total strangers!) and opening up about their stories. I had been teetering with the idea of turning it into some sort of collection of essays when the idea came up about a podcast. I already had a little experience and it made sense, though it wasn’t for another 18 months before I really went for it.
Did you face any “hurdles,” getting it up and running, and if so, how did you navigate them and what did you learn?
Yes. I had asked a dear friend if she wanted to help. We had thought up a project, though very different, some summers before. That project was still very community driven so it made sense to tackle this together. Unfortunately, the timing and focus just weren’t right for both of us and negatively critical patterns began to develop which I really feared could jeopardize the heart of the reason I’d began the journey to begin with. She chose to end our friendship, which I absolutely respect. The negativity had been really overwhelming and there were many women who, throughout that time, had come alongside me as support while that was occurring. I cared much more about my friend than the show, but since she felt the need to end our relationship I chose to move forward with the show, though VERY differently.
Any advice for aspiring podcasters?
I think the most important thing about this journey is to remain in check about your WHY. If your WHY, for example, is to make lots of money, you might want to rethink podcasting, or at least really research the best ways to do that. Our show has always been about community, connection and creating a safe space for any woman, outside of the confines of isolation and shame. Every single day I have to put myself in check and remind myself that the numbers don’t matter, reviews and opinions don’t matter. Know your WHY and then act on that, and it will work out. There will be hiccups, but as long as you keep your eyes on your WHY, you’ll get there.
Do you have a mentor? Who do you look to for inspiration and support?
I do! She will forever hold that space of honor, in my life, even though it is not nearly as often that we connect these days. Beyond her, I’d say the circle of women I consider my “lady gang” are an amazing source of inspiration and support. I can count on them to be honest with me, and that is everything.
Final words of wisdom to all the young women out there who are strategizing to reach their education, career, and wellness goals?
Oh, probably all of the things they’ve already heard a thousand times. We are so good, as women, of hearing the valuable truths we need to hear and yet, we often fail to apply them to ourselves. I learned a long time ago that it won’t mean anything until we allow it to be felt personally. It goes back to your WHY… Why do you have these goals/dreams? Once you really understand WHY, don’t let that go…
If you are open to connecting with our readers, how can they reach you?
Absolutely! My email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Social Media DM’s are always open! (instagram/rainydayinmay) (twitter/rainydayinmay)