Ask Me: What’s My Story?

I’ve had a lot of new followers over the last few months/ years, and I’ve been asked many times, and in numerous ways:

What’s your story?

What IS my story….?

I never really know quite how to answer this question, because I’m not always sure exactly what the person is asking.

Do they want to know why I am the way that I am?

Do they want to know what my background is?

Do they want to know where I’m headed, career-wise?

There are SO many questions behind that one deceptively simple one: “what’s your story?”

I think for the purposes of this post, I’m going to share a little about myself, and try to answer all of those questions contained in that one statement: my story.

First, why am I the way that I am?

  • I am extremely empathic. My emotions can be triggered by even the slightest of things: a song, a commercial, the news, even someone sharing a touching story of their own. It is a very precious gift to have empathy, but it also EXTREMELY draining, giving so much energy and emotion to things, even if the average person might not even have a slight reaction to. I have noticed that as I’ve grown older, I’ve become even more sensitive and empathic to the world around me.
  • I am quite introverted. My job largely requires me to be extroverted in IT (and heavily customer service-based), and over the years, I’ve gotten rather good at the day-to-day interactions with people. I’ll strike up conversations in passing, say hello, ask how things are going with any issues they have, and so on. Outside of work, I tend to hole up and isolate. Having as little interaction with people as possible (family notwithstanding) is how I recharge my batteries. Being that I’m a blogger (especially a style blogger), this one seems to confuse people quite a bit, especially since I’m continually putting myself out there into the world on an almost daily basis. My “behind the scenes” might help things make more sense: I take my own pictures (no photographer) with just my iPhone, a tripod, and a remote. There is NO ONE else around when I take them, and I make absolutely sure before I even start.

What’s my background?

From a standpoint of interests and passions, my background lies with 2 really big areas (which if you follow this blog, I’m sure it’s quite obvious,, LOL):

  • Fashion/style – In the grand scheme of things, this was a rather recent discovery of myself (within the last 10-15 years). I was literally channel surfing one day, and came across the fashion reality show Project Runway on TV. In that instant, I became hooked, and mesmerized by all of the design and fashion I saw. My eyes were instantly opened up to this whole new world that I didn’t even know about. I started watching Project Runway religiously (and still do to this day), and expanded to other fashion related show, America’s Next Top Model. I started reading fashion magazines, and watching live streams of the various fashion weeks in the spring and autumn. I even took to Twitter to start commenting on the live streams, and on Project Runway. Before I knew it, I was connecting with so many like-minded people who shared my passion. I even started receiving requests to help pick outfits and help people shop. I also started doing Project Runway recap blog posts, and even had a former designer on a spinoff show work with me on my recaps. It even sparked the desire to be a personal style consultant for women. To this day, I am still HEAVILY influenced by fashion. I follow a ton of women fashion and style bloggers, and find a lot of inspiration from them.
  • Tech/information security – This one has been an interest and passion of mine since I was a young one. My dad used to work in an electronics repair shop, and would sometimes come across customers bringing in computers to repair. When told how much it would cost to repair them, they often didn’t bother, and told him to just keep it. So, he would fix them, and gave my younger brother and my our own Commodore 64 computers. He even brought home a giant box of computer magazines, most of them contained programs to type in and run to play games. I’d spend hours typing in those programs to have games to play. I pretty much knew from then on I wanted to work with computers. I’ve been pretty much doing desktop support in some form or another for over 20 years after leaving the military.

Where am I headed?

Up until about 3 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to tell anyone where I was headed, as far as my career was concerned. Once again, just as it happened with Project Runway, my boss at the time introduced me to the world of access management. Our IT group manages access to a server for a subset of the school where I work. He no longer had the time to devote to doing it, so he showed me how to do it. He showed me how access is set up for users, how to set up access on the shared folders, and once he felt confident I knew what I was doing, he let me run with it. Sadly, it’s still a bit of a mess, due to previous admins giving people free reign to do what they wanted (I still cringe from it), but I have been working on a plan to clean everything up, and it will likely take quite some time to accomplish. Since then, I’ve been like a sponge. I’ve started to try and learn as much as I can about security. I started reading websites, and following podcasts, and started following a TON of people on places like Twitter and LinkedIn to learn as much as humanly possible. I split my blog to focus on both of my passions, which up until then, was just about style and fashion (most of my following still comes from that background). I started taking classes, and obtaining certifications in security. I’ve joined various groups here where I work, and try to attend conventions when I can. Even with all of this newfound passion, I still didn’t know exactly WHERE I wanted to go. Security is a rather HUGE field, if you didn’t know. It wasn’t until a conversation with a former co-worker that the light bulb just clicked. Through my years of customer service doing desktop support, I’ve developed quite a knack for being able to translate technical things so that the everyday person could understand. I’ve felt a calling to this. I feel compelled to let the everyday, non-technical person know how important security is, and why it’s everyone’s job to help keep the world safer. Because my blog following is largely non-technical people, this would be a great platform to help people understand security. Yes, this introvert is being called to get into the world of awareness and education. The instructor of one of my certification classes coined the term “managing human risk”, and I feel that more accurately describes the field I want to get into. Awareness and education are merely tools that we would use to manage that human risk. Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to be security conscious, and aware of the dangers out there.

SOOOOOOOOOOO, there you have it. I guess I apparently had a lot to say about “my story”. I’d love to know what you thought, and I would love to know more about your stories as well.

One response to “Ask Me: What’s My Story?”

  1. From one introvert to another, you nailed your “about me.” I think one of the hardest things for us is writing about ourselves and for you to approach two of the many sides of you the way you did was spot on. I’ve been trying to write my own “about me” for my photography blog for almost a year and I have one sentence that I hate. Do you win.

    There’s a lot of heat flashing around Twitter for infosec’ers because their “basic” followers don’t seem to appreciate the human side of them. They want infosec and nothing but – that’s not how a person humans properly. A person humans properly by being honest and open not with only themselves but others. Now, we’re entitled to our own privacy and to share as much or as little about ourselves as we want, BUT if we want to share the business/personal sides of ourselves we have every right to do so. We’re all mullets.

    🥰 Good post!