What else can I do with Alice Armitage

Alice is defying conventional wisdom in every way, most importantly with her new printed (yep, with paper and ink) newspaper, Pandaemonium.
What else can I do with Alice Armitage

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I despise putting myself in boxes. I hate when I fit a stereotype, become a cliche, or feel like I can be summed up by any small thing. 

(I recently learned that this might actually be a personality-type thing, but that doesn’t make it any easier to get over.)

Not too long ago, however, one of my closest friends shared that she loves being able to fit herself in boxes. Rather than seeing it as an oversimplification of a complex thing (*ahem*), labels help her understand herself. They give her context, a place to start, so she can make sense of the complexities involved and grow from there.

I was reminded of this conversation while listening to the podcast this week. Darryl got to speak with Alice Armitage, founder of new Australian newspaper Pandaemonium. Like Alice, the paper is dedicated to pushing boundaries. It focuses on unconventional stories, bringing attention to people who are doing something outside the norm, either in what they’re accomplishing or how they’re doing it.

I loved hearing about the stories Alice is telling and the way she is pursuing the project. As someone who still prefers paper books over Kindle, I was fascinated by the paper and ink medium she chose and the reasons she chose it.

But it also got me thinking. What qualifies as an unconventional story?

During the episode, for example, Alice talked about one of the stories featured in the first issue. It focuses on a man who is returning home to take over his family’s farm. Though the choice itself isn’t unconventional, when you dig deeper, you discover that the way he’s doing it is.

Which makes me think, aren’t all stories unconventional in some ways?

The reason I instinctively push back against labels is because I don’t want to be so easily understood. “But I'm so much more than that,” I protest. “Don’t dismiss everything else so I fit better into your narrative. See the nuance, because that’s where you’ll find me.

And that’s where I think the difference lies. It’s also what makes Pandaemonium so unique. By choosing the unconventional, Alice isn’t rejecting the stories that follow the typical.

Instead, she’s taking the time to dig deeper and find that thing that transforms the story. 

Significantly, she’s doing it through another one of Pandaemonium’s key features: long-form storytelling. This medium, she says, allows you to explore and show the different dynamics at play. As you show the depth of the story, the person, you create a piece that has more meaning and echoes longer in the minds of readers.

In a similar way, that’s what I love most about the Hectic Podcast. Even though every one of the guests has been the kind of person you want to call a friend, you wouldn’t know the depth of what they offer unless you asked. And Darryl asks. He creates a space where you can share the parts of your story that show you’re so much more than your job title.

This episode was a reminder that I am so much more than the boundaries I put on myself. I am an unconventional story, not because I am dedicating my life to something revolutionary, but because I have nuance. I have depth. 

<tweet-link>I have a story that can help others feel seen and understood.<tweet-link>

I have the potential for more than I can ever recognize and the capacity to do it all.

And so do you.

It’s easy to fall into the categories that take up so much of your life, but you aren’t just a freelancer, a mom, a husband, a designer, or the go-to person. Explore your nuances and follow the impulses you may have been dismissing as “not really me.”

Embrace your unconventional story so others can too. Push your boundaries and ask yourself, “What else can I do?”

Because that’s where you’ll find yourself and it’s where you’ll truly bloom.

Get the full story here to discover Alice’s journey from a big-city career to creating Pandaemonium, why she is so passionate about pushing boundaries, and her hopes for the impact she hopes the newspaper will have.

Connect with Alice on Instagram (where she lives), through her website, or by email at (my favorite email address ever) gday@pandaemonium.org.

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Emily Finlay
Emily Finlay
Emily Finlay is a freelance copywriter who thrives working with a great team and moonlights as an amateur home baker. Throughout her career, she’s had the pleasure of working with clients of all sizes, from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Aunt to eight nieces and nephews, she loves freelancing for the time it allows her to spend with her family and friends. When she’s not puzzling over the perfect word, she enjoys taking long walks, geeking out over her many interests, and trying new decorating techniques for cakes and cookies.
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