Who Is Kathy in 2019?

I’ve had a personal Web site since around the late 1990s, converting it to this WordPress format in 2013. The incarnations of my site have reflected my evolving and emerging personal and professional BlondeKat.DPI_300interests through the years. I have long thought of the site as a place where I am socially constructing my identity – or perhaps chronicling my socially constructed identity.

Since the late 90s, my interests have been:

  • Career development and job search, the topic of many books and articles since the early 90s. I was already pulling away from this area when I revamped this site in 2013, and did so even more when my ex-partner and I sold our career site in 2015. I still consider myself to have expertise in this area but got rather burned out on using the expertise and have done little to update my knowledge in the last 3 years.
  • Applied storytelling and related aspects of my PhD program (best reflection of this interest is my blog, A Storied Career, not updated since 2014. I will nevertheless link it here after solving a technical issue).
  • Online teaching
  • Serving as a short-term rental host
  • My leadership journey in Toastmasters

When I revamped the site on WordPress, my main focus was to use the site as a way to help me garner teaching gigs. I was already into Toastmasters at that time, but I didn’t want to clutter up the site with my dilettantish interests.

2019 is the year I turn 65. While I suspect I will never TRULY retire, 65 feels more like a time to celebrate my diverse experiences and interests than a time to be promoting myself for gigs, projects, jobs, opportunities. Don’t get me wrong; I am still very much open to gigs, projects, jobs, opportunities. But I hope to use this site for more than gig-seeking and self-promotion.

I had a good run of online teaching for 5 years. I am currently not teaching at all, partly because of natural partings of the ways with schools at which I taught, and partly because I am on Social Security and for one more year, have a tight limit on how much additional money I can make. I love teaching and am quite open to future opportunities, whether online or in the classroom.

Five years ago when I revamped this site, the idea of being a short-term rental host was only a tiny glimmer in my eye, and I had no idea it would unfold as a result of my husband dumping me.

Today, hosting is my main source of income and a huge source of joy. Read more about it.

Toastmasters has been a significant part of my life since 2010. I can’t really think of my socially constructed identity without including Toastmasters. Many phases of my Toastmasters journey have felt like a full-time job, and I have enhanced my skills just as much as I would have in a full-time job (you can read about my experiences). I’m in a different phase of Toastmasters now than I was for the preceding six years. Although serving as an Area Director currently, I am not in the thick of district leadership. I am also temporarily estranged from my home club. Opportunities at the International level beckon. I could run for the Toastmasters International Board of Directors, but am very unlikely to do so. I could apply as a Region Adviser, which I am somewhat inclined to do at some point. My hunch is that I will build on the campaign work I’ve done the past few years – not running for the Board myself, but assisting others in doing so. We shall see what evolves next in Toastmasters.

A new interest developed this year, the Master Gardeners volunteer program. It remains to be seen how much of my identity will be taken up with this work. So far, not enough to be featured on this site!

“Writer” and “educator” have long been titles that capture my identity and likely always will. “Short-term rental host” and “Toastmaster” also seem to be keepers. I’m not so deeply into the applied-storytelling world these days, but still appreciate it (I would be more dedicated if I had ever figured out how to derive any revenue from this interest).

I’m looking forward to the adventure of 2019, turning 65 (Medicare!), and observing how my identity continues to evolve.

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