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creativity

Write every day: I’m worried and hopeful for America

“What do you do for a living?” an elderly neighbor asked me.

“I’m a writer.”

“And how does a young writer feel about the end of America?”

It was an abrupt question, but I chose to not show my anger (even though I was angry) and also to not walk away.

“I’m worried about America, and hopeful.”

“Not possible,” he said. “You can’t be worried and hopeful at the same time.”

“I can be, and I am. My worry actually makes me work harder to do better. I’ll always be hopeful about America because I’m confident in my abilities to make a difference here.”

He argued with me a few minutes more but I was unrelenting in my light and optimism, refusing to let him tell me how I should feel about a country that is my home and always will be.

I’ve seen this man numerous times over the 3 years I’ve lived in this building. I’ve never done more than say hello. I’m not sure why he stopped me today or why he chose such an inflammatory topic. But I immediately saw this as an opportunity to practice optimism in the face of pessimism.

As I now embark on this new branch of my career in sustainable urban development, there will be hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of people who will think I’m wasting my time, that our situation is hopeless, particularly in this country and in my city of New York. They will say what I want to do, what I know to be the right and just thing to do, cannot be done and certainly cannot be done by me. There will be as many roadblocks as there are naysayers. I’ve already had to face that, sometimes from good friends.

It’s possible to understand why someone else feels hopeless and to not take that on myself, to continue to move forward without allowing others to drag me down and still understand the feelings of those who don’t share my optimism. It’s a delicate balance; it takes practice and patience but it’s the only way to continue to put my best self out into the world. And that is something I must do, for my own sake, the sake of my community, and for the planet.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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