Updated: Jan 10, 2022
I likely should have done it 10 years ago. Anyone that's worked with me would be shocked it took me this long. I've settled into entrepreneurship and although it was a bumpy start, I wouldn't change it for the world.
I hear many successful entrepreneurs interviewed say, they work for themselves because they're a terrible employee. Is it just because they want to be in charge? I think it's more complex than that, at least it is for me.
I got tired of always trying to convince people my thoughts and ideas were valid. I don't have a university degree, my parents couldn't afford to put me through and frankly, after my parents split, my life took on more responsibility than I was ready for.
Later in life, in some circles, that degree, or the lack of it, meant something.
Since I spent a decade working as a radio reporter and journalist, there was a time when I could also put a microphone in anyone's face and hold them accountable by asking questions. For some reason, after that career ended, I still thought I could ask anyone, anything, at any time. I was wrong about that. A lot.
But it started my journey feeling like an outsider and that somehow I couldn't fit in to the systems that surrounded me.
The COVID-19 pandemic ignited my passion to use audio as a medium to tell stories again, it gave me an opportunity to examine some of the childhood 'stuff' that was holding me back and it also peeled back the layers of my own white privilege.
I haven't had an easy life, but when I realized how much easier I DID have it, just because of the colour of skin I was born with, I wanted to do more. And I wanted to tell the stories of people who weren't being heard, especially in rural spaces.
I grew up in a small town and I couldn't wait to leave. Years later, I would fall in love with a man who lives in the country, and he loves the rural life. I joined him and now I love our quiet life and thrive as a rural female entrepreneur.
As a woman in her 50s, my allyship journey has been a messy and awkward one. I'm still learning, and I'm no stranger to failure, so I keep trying. I speak up when I have the knowledge and language to question and I try to be quiet and listen when I can give the opportunity to others to speak.
I have been doing a lot of listening. Listening to others, and listening to my own heart, my compass. I lost that for a long while. I numbed it, pushed it down and just flat out ignored it. But I'm listening again.
I've lived my story, held it close.
I want to hear the stories of others. It's their turn. It's your turn.
~ A privileged white woman in rural Canada and her awkward allyship journey - With a little humour, gut-punching honesty and a lot of heart, Shauna Rae tells tales from a rural southwestern Ontario podcast studio