A couple of weeks ago I was in a  meeting with a local artist here in Dunedin. I was helping her set up files and putting together a shot list for an art retreat she was teaching at the Dunedin Arts Center when she asked me, “Bryan, do you think the world wants to hear from an older white woman?” The situation of an almost 40-year-old black man being asked if I think anyone has any interest in what she has to say, as an aging white lady, you can understand why I had an internal chuckle before I answered with a big, YES!

Everyone has a story. No matter what age you are. You have experiences that others like you may be going through right now and can identify with. There are still lessons you are learning and things you can teach others. Always tell your story, because you don’t know the effect it will have on likely and unlikely listeners as you build your community.

I encouraged her to keep pushing to discover herself in this part of her life. Find her why in the work she is producing. Then we discussed some steps she should take to document her process. I believe we all have something to learn from each other, no matter where we are in our lives. Knowing that there are people out there going through the same things that we are is helpful. As long as the stories you are putting out there are authentic, easy to follow, and show how you’ve grown. There will always be people out there that want to hear what you have to say.