Richardson: Begin it nowWritten by Rachel Richardson | | email@example.com
I think I was away at Kent State when my dad sent me a copy of a quote by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe that has made it onto every refrigerator in every place I’ve lived since. That is a lot of refrigerators.
But the now creased and tattered piece of paper is a prized possession. It is the “Begin It Now” quote that I give all the credit for everything I’ve ever tried.
To paraphrase, it suggests that once you commit and begin to make moves toward creating something, avenues open and people materialize with just the right connection or advice to lead you perfectly to the next step.
I absolutely swear by this. I’ve seen it work too many times to not be completely convinced that what the Universe wants from us is to make something that is uniquely ours while we’re here, and for it to contribute to the betterment of the world around us. It wants it so badly that it will do whatever it can to aid in the process of creation. On a related note, it insists on hearing our music, but that’s for another day.
So indoctrinated am I that I can barely stop myself from practically forcing this concept on my friends and fellow creatives.
Luckily, they mostly know that pushiness is my way of showing love and they still let me hang around. I have two friends right now who I’ve set my sights on pretty squarely. Much to my delight, neither one of them is fighting me on it as much as I had anticipated. In true Toledo form, my initial admiration of each of their talents only led me to find out that they had several others. Talents that lend themselves to art and activism, no less.
You know her as Betty Floored, The Glass City Rollers’ most glamorous, lovable and brutal blocker and pivot. I know her as my friend Jessica Crossfield, who cracks me up and is an extremely talented and now accomplished seamstress/crafter/fashion creator. “Dresses by Betty” is a brand that Toledo will boast about in time. It is already supplying brides and their bridesmaids in Nova Scotia and beyond with custom designs due to online sales.
As soon as I get my way, its headquarters and retail boutique will be on Adams Street in Uptown Toledo. She’s beginning to bend. Keep an eye out for her storefront no later than mid-2012. (She will be mad at me for saying that.)
Hopefully much sooner than that, another very exciting development will take place in the way of adding to the action on Adams Street.
Recently, my friend (and now band mate in Ben Langlois and the Might of Band, another of his multi-talents) Alan Leizerman was forced to excuse himself from the stifling world of the corporate food business. Just like an activist, Alan was fighting for relationships with local business and quality organic ingredients as a chef who truly cared about his product.
This led to creative differences and Alan made a move in favor of integrity. When I heard this, I couldn’t help but think of the day I departed corporate victim advocacy land in honor of my professional conscience and went to the courthouse the very next day as an “Independent Advocate.”
So, naturally, I was geeked to find out that Alan didn’t let this snag stop him from gazing ahead in the direction of a Do-it-Himself catering/late night food vendor business on Adams Street. During a conversation at the Robinwood Concert House where Alan played music last week, we talked about food vendors’ licenses and Alan wondered aloud why no one had ever tried to be a night-time street food vendor before.
I could only respond with, “The scene hasn’t been there to support such an effort until just this very moment.” So, welcome to your new role in improving our corner of the world, Alan. I can tell you from experience that your contribution will enrich your existence and reward you in ways you never imagined. And let me thank you in advance for heeding Goethe’s advice that “Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” And to, “Begin it now.”
Rachel Richardson is an activist, musician, co-founder and co-director of Independent Advocates, and a product of Toledo, Ohio. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.