Describing myself I was describing how others define me.

 introduce myself When Stinson told me this month I would get to introduce myself on our website, I thought it would be my easiest project yet. Finally, a topic that I knew all about and didn’t need any research to complete! As it would turn out, knowing too much is sometimes a harder place to start from than knowing nothing at all. I thought that I need to filter the contents of this article, and perhaps, it should be entitled ͞what I want you to know about me”. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, lawyer and accountant. Each of those titles evokes the string of nouns including mom, wife, Aunt Nine, Turrey, T (and a few I can’t share) and a string of adjectives ranging from smart, funny, short, fluffy, stylish, giving, caring to a little neurotic. However, I realized in describing myself I was describing how others define me and how I define myself based on their views. I want to show you the side of me that you don’t know, whether you’ve known me decades or only days.

I’ve concluded that each of us, including myself, defines ourselves by how others view us, which makes self-reflection more taxing (no pun intended!) and difficult than we may initially expect. It’s natural to define yourself based on the world’s view of you. What is hard is trying to describe where in the world you fit and what aspects of your surroundings you have absorbed. I am going to tell you who I am by evaluating what I’ve done, what makes me excited, and what makes me different from the person next to me.

I am adventuresome, but not in the way you may expect. You won’t find me climbing any mountains; however, I love to do the things that scare me but are ultimately what keep me young at heart (at least in my mind!). In 2010, my husband and I sold our five-bedroom house in the suburbs of Richmond, where we had lived for almost 15 years and raised our children, and replaced it by buying a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Manhattan.  Instead of driving to downtown Richmond each day, my husband learned public transportation to midtown Manhattan. Instead of driving my daughter across the Willey Bridge to her high school in Southside, I drove her across the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn Heights. And instead of going in each morning to my office as a certified public accountant, I began telecommuting to Richmond.

Though this was a huge change for all of us, it was also an exciting opportunity. Having spent most of our lives living in a suburban bubble, the move to New York allowed for a whole new type of experiences, from big things like seeing Broadway shows and experiencing Fifth Avenue’s Christmas displays to the little things like getting to see the Statue of Liberty from the parking lot of our grocery store. Our four years in New York City were exciting, though often simultaneously exhausting. For me, the move to New York served as a wake-up call. Though my training as an accountant and a lawyer had labeled me risk-adverse living in the Big Apple taught me you can be a careful planner and cognizant of the risks associated with a particular activity while still embracing the challenges, exhilaration, and creativity that come from an adventure and the unknown.

After our “four-year vacation” in New York City, we returned to Richmond not quite sure how our new cosmopolitan personas would play out in this sleepy southern capital. However, once we were settled, I realized that my hometown was not the quiet sleepy southern town that I remembered. Coming back, I could now see what was always here: a strong, exciting and creative city. In the three years since, I have let myself see the creativity and sophistication of Richmond’s communities, foods, arts and businesses.

My husband and I have immersed ourselves in the developing neighborhood of Scott’s Addition, both to live and work. We now live in a converted bakery where our dining room was formerly a freight elevator complete with elevator switches and the wooden elevator door hanging on our dining room back wall.

Writing this “all about me” or “all about the me I want you to see” has given me the opportunity to reflect on who I am, where I’ve come from, and what I’d like to see out of my future. I am the risk adverse accountant and lawyer who will advise you to proceed with caution, warning you to be cognizant of the pitfalls in the business endeavor on which you are embarking. However, simultaneously I am a lawyer who is excited to take the journey with you through the untraveled tunnel to help you achieve your goals. I want to guide you, not to keep you from success, but to be able to shine a light on your path to your desired destiny.  I am so excited to do this alongside Stinson. She embraces the innovative path of her clients, and I hope you will let us help you on the way to achieving your goals.

My last enlightened thought for this blog is next time Stinson tells me that I am writing the blog post, I am going to make sure it is on a topic that I know nothing about and that will require hours of research… a much easier task than self-reflection!

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.  Always consult appropriate legal counsel for specific questions related to your business. Some states may consider this attorney advertising.

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Terri Amernick is an attorney with Linden Legal Strategies PLLC, a Richmond, Virginia-based law firm focusing on small business law and development. To learn more about how Linden Legal Strategies can help you start, grow and protect your business, or to schedule an initial consultation, contact Terri.