Wow… this is a big moment.
I can assure you that in this moment, the moment this website RE-launches.. I WILL have a glass of my favorite wine in hand to celebrate because it has been an amazing ride… creating and re-creating Ancora.
I don’t think I could go into what this GRAND RE-OPENING means for me without sharing the history and story around how she came to be. So that is the purpose of this first post in this new chapter..
What brought her here and where she is going.
*And yes… Ancora Imparo is a woman.
I had been writing online since 2001.
Since my college roommate Lisa, suggested we write an email to each other saying what the high and low of our day was, after going to see the movie “The Story of Us” in the theater.
5 days a week, I wrote my high and low email of my day. First just to my roomie, then as I shared what I was doing… I got up to sending them out to 70+ people every day and writing each day was what made me most happy. I looked forward to it.
I never thought of myself as a writer but it was really cathartic. Stream of consciousness writing. I enjoyed it. I shared what I was thinking and experiencing and it was like a release.
Then in 2004, I heard for the first time, the word BLOG – a WEB LOG – sounded interesting. An online diary of sorts. Hmmm…
Then I heard of Blogspot and immediately had to get on that. A way to write every day in the SAME place and document it. I was all over that.
Wrote my post on Blogspot then sent out my regular email with the link to the post to my growing.. email list. An early Email list experience.
An early funnel… who knew. If only I was selling something back then. 🙂
Enter side stage right was my girlfriend Kyra. As I look back, she was probably the one who told me about blogspot. She was taking classes, learning how to build websites and offered to build one for me. I had no idea what that entailed but it sounded cool. I remember sitting at her kitchen table as she basically built the front page in front of me. The picture of my smile, my dimple in different colors. The half moon circles and how they would change color as you hovered over them.
I was amazed but had no idea how important what she was doing for me, was.
I didn’t have a business so this was a fun place to put ME. I had already started making greeting cards (She probably told me about Etsy too) and she made a page that I could feature them. My blog link would automatically go over to the blogspot website.. and I thought that was the coolest thing.
A place on the internet for ME. Of me.
It was so cool. We launched (okay she launched, I watched) in March 2006. SEE HERE.
Kyra taught me how to make very small changes on the website back end but for the most part I just stayed out of Ancora. I didn’t change much with the whole website… it just stood as a beacon of ME. I focused on writing on blogspot and sharing my high/low. I added a few other formats (3 things 2 things and 5,4,3,2,1 (5 things I am grateful for/4 things I can’t stop thinking about/3 things I want to accomplish this week/2 things I am working on being more positive about/1 random thing)
I loved writing. Clearly I still do.
From the start, I got a few people who told me their opinion that no one wants to read what I write, that I shouldn’t put my feelings so openly out there, and I let their opinion affect me from time to time (okay, I still do) I would stop writing.. I doubted myself. Especially when I was going through something hard. But I still felt this innate pull to share.
It’s who I am.
So in 2009, I had asked Kyra if she could find a way so I could blog off of my website. No more blogspot. I can’t remember how long it took but I was literally overjoyed when I was a one woman show. I was able to blog straight on Ancora. My last post on Blogspot here. My first post on Ancora here.
Knowing I had a home base to share everything ME has been more valuable than I could even possibly know. It is where I put my happiness/my sadness and EVERYTHING in between. I did not know what I had. Looking back.. I was one of the early creators with their own website.
Like the famous entrepreneur and media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk says…
DOCUMENT, NOT CREATE.
I was documenting my life, almost every day. I loved it.
Even when life wasn’t fun… I loved sharing what I was learning.
2009 is also when, without any warning over the 4th of July weekend, the company I worked for, the job that I loved and thought I would retire from.. SUDDENLY went bankrupt.
This experience changed my life and threw me into orbit. Violently.
I didn’t know what I was going to do.
It was traumatic to me.
If you read my high low.. you would quickly discover my disenchantment with my career.
The multiple lay offs, the confusion, the sadness…
Well I thought I found the place I was going to be a LONG TIME.
So this was a shock to the system.
AND it was 2 months before my wedding.
It changed everything.
My desire to share ended.
I just was in survival mode.
Accessing the damage.
Earlier that year, I had had an idea to support men and women who marry into the restaurant industry, marriedtoachef.com based off of a conversation I had with my then fiance about Valentines Day. I bought the url and was planning on having Kyra build Married to a Chef as a way of finding support at some point.
Well, when I lost my job.. I could not see what I was going to do. A question to my fiancee “What should I do with the rest of my life” opened a door to something I LONG thought was abandoned.
Helping other people.
Within months, I got a job with renewed focus to shift my trajectory and thought building Married to a Chef was going to be my first dive into business for myself. I went to school to become a certified life coach and was going to build Married to a Chef as my home base of how I will eventually support myself.
Married to a Chef became my priority.
Ancora slept in hibernation.
I would write on Ancora from time to time but she wasn’t my priority.
I was serious about making a shift away from my career track in design and towards one that I always felt called to.
After three years and investing a lot of time/energy and money… I wasn’t in alignment with who I want to serve. I still very much believe in my message.. but I wasn’t stepping into action with those who were coming to the site.
Simply… it didn’t feel right. It wasn’t happening.
Fast forward seven years since and well.. Married to a Chef is now in hibernation (I guess if I were honest, I saw Married to a Chef as a business out of damage control from the spinning out of orbit from the bankruptcy in 2009. I needed to hold onto something and I really thought this was going to be what stopped the spinning.)
I had my son in Oct 2013 and when that happened… I faced the fact that I was running in place and no amount of energy was going to get me moving forward. I concluded working with the few clients I had and, put Married to a Chef on pause.
Since then, we moved from Virginia to Savannah and have been here almost three years.
In that time.. who I am has changed. I’m now a mama which has been the biggest gift of my life.
It’s almost, by having my son.. I was given permission to be MORE of who I was.
And that same sentiment poured out of me.
In line with be becoming a mom is also my increased desire to find out the answers to the big existential questions. What stops us from living the life of joy and happiness.
Peace and Love.
Why we constantly live in FEAR.
And… as a Searcher *If you don’t know what that is.. STOP NOW and go to this page here. (insert hyperlink) I had already been studying A Course in Miracles… a philosophy and mind training that has helped answer all the questions of
Why do we struggle to receive joy?
Why is there War?
Why did God do this to us? *Answer: He/She didn’t.
I’ve been obsessed with these deep questions, in line with my own journey in my own life.
So about a year ago… I had been hearing the whispers to revive Ancora as my personal brand around teaching what I’m learning.
Ancora Imparo means “I am still learning” but about a year ago, It hit me that what I was learning meant I now needed to teach it.
As A Course in Miracles teaches…. “To Teach is to Demonstrate”
that I shift from student and always learning… to teacher.
Hence why this moment is upon us.
I’m ready to teach what I have been learning.
What I have been sharing SO MANY YEARS.
*Yes, even a bit of what it’s like being Married to a Chef.
I now have a flashlight and whatever topic I shine it on.. It comes through this light… this filter.