The call came late Friday afternoon, while I was still on a high from teaching a man named Patrick Kasele to ride a bike for the first time in his life. I had met him in a garden about a month ago, and we have become friends.
Patrick can now use a bike to go to and from work, rather than wait for the bus. You can see him in joyful action at the bottom of this post*, and hear his advice to others who are thinking of learning to ride a bike as an adult. I asked for permission from Patrick to share those videos. His comment on Instagram under the one with him riding is so sweet. He said “Can’t believe it’s me on this video! So proud of me!” FYI, I used my proven 4-step method yet again. You can access it for free here.
Patrick, who came to the U.S. as a refugee of war, has gotten another new start in this country now as a bike rider. I wanted a new start, too, after my scheduled departure to Uganda with the Peace Corps has been continually derailed due to the ongoing global pandemic — and the need, finally, to get on with my professional life had taken priority.
I had already walked away from numerous opportunities in the past few weeks and was sure of two things: (1) I did not want to have a car-dependent commute here in Metro Atlanta, and (2) I wanted a job that centered wellness and did “good” in the world.
I had become aware of all the opportunities at the CDC and its foundation through my friend Janet on a day I was “test-driving” a commute to a different job option that I was seriously considering accepting. That drive was such a bad experience I was ready to stick forks in my eyes re: the insanity of it. I called Janet from the side of a bridge; I got connected through her and others to a few people who shared their lived expertise; a job appeared from the heavens; and the rest just seemed to fall in place, as if it were meant to be. Life’s funny.
It didn’t take me long to accept this offer.
I will be on-staff full-time as a Communications Specialist with the CDC Foundation, working exclusively with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on wellness (and other) initiatives. I am super excited as I believe the multiple intersectional situations Alaska is facing and the actions taken as a result can serve to inform other U.S. states, and the world, in unique and important ways. Since it’s a fully-remote position, I also get to bike commute there 🙂 (or, at least around the block). It is grant-funded through July 2022.
I will still be working on select pro bono projects (bike education, sharing gardens, and public play) during my free time and continuing to build my sustainability influencer impact. See here for ways you can support these initiatives through the purchase of fun and helpful merchandise, including my books (all proceeds used to help people ride bikes, grow food, and center joy). Plus, there’s free stuff there for you as well:
And so some things finish. And some things start. For Patrick, and for me.
Note: I have never seen so many job opportunities in my life. If you are considering finishing up where you’re at and starting elsewhere, I strongly encourage you to explore the possibilities.
Trust the journey.