Hi, my name is Sydney. I am many things: woman, diabetic outdoor enthusiast, happy wife, writer, improv student, recovering marketer, occasional yogi, and aspiring photographer.
This blog dates back to 2008, and I’ve been writing online since 2003 (earlier if you count A/S/L in an AOL chatroom as “writing” – but I digress). While some of the older posts (tagged Early Days) are borderline embarrassing to read now, they remain a part of my body of work.
So, what are we doing here? And what is all this Unfiltered stuff?
The Unfiltered Manifesto
Sydney: Unfiltered is a bullshit-free zone, and it is more than the highlight reel. It’s about living your best life and YOUR version of the dream. Unfiltered is all about being aware of the fact that the dream can (and probably will) change, and if/when it does, THAT IS
OKAY AWESOME. I’m a firm believer that we’re all in this together, you’re not alone, and repeat after me: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY. Unfiltered is about finding your voice, getting comfortable in your skin, and then using that newfound sense of self to shout from the rooftops about shit that matters to you. This little corner of the internet is a safe place to have uncomfortable conversations, and if you’re joining us here from Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you know that I don’t mess around when it comes to intersectionality. The conversations here are inclusive, period, full stop. This article is a fantastic primer that I didn’t write but is applicable. Comment on what resonates with you. If it pisses you off, speak up. More than anything, show your face. I can take it. And I’ll probably high five you for doing so.
Who I Am
I will warn you right now; the following sentence will cause one of two reactions: HELL YAAASSSS, SHINE ON! -or- GET OVER YOURSELF. The truth is, it’s taken me approximately 31 years to own up to this fact fully:
I am an always-evolving, fire-starting Unicorn.
Seriously – I know it sounds like it’s 2008 and I’m calling myself a Ninja/Guru, but legit, I’m a unicorn. And if you’re feeling icky about that, I get it. Like I said, it took me a long time to own my shine and appreciate it in others.
When I’m not writing or working, I’m probably sitting on rocks at a beach, quietly sipping tea and journaling, or making a bomb-ass meal. I’ve only ever mastered two out of the three at once, as it’s difficult to whip up a meal while you’re sitting on rocks on a beach.
Not pictured: tea for the drinking. Also not pictured: a badass meal. Well, you get the idea.
Elizabeth Gilbert best described my life as The Flight of the Hummingbird. Let’s get this out of the way – she described A LOT of people’s lives that way, not just me – but I felt like she was up on that stage speaking directly to my SOUL.
You’d think that name-dropping Ms. Gilbert and opening up with the fact that I’m a writer would mean that I’m obsessed with Eat, Pray, Love, but sadly, I’ve never read it. And as much as I love Julia Roberts, I haven’t seen the movie either.
So hummingbirds. They flit from flower to flower, doin’ the damn thing. And my life is exactly like that. Like the small but mighty hummingbird, I go to one flower, give it all I got (errr, get all the nectar I can?), and then move on to the next flower. I used to think this was a bad thing. And then I woke up and realized I only get so many trips around the sun, so I might as well jam my face into as many flowers as I can. Get your mind out of the gutter.
I am living my life out loud with Type 2 Diabetes. This part is new, as of September 2017. If you really want to know my story, I was recently the subject of a documentary about my life since being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. You can check it out here – it’s a doozy and I’m very, very proud of how it turned out. And bonus, if you know Ellen, could you send this her way? Literally, my dream life right now includes everything that’s already happening + the opportunity to sit on Ellen Degeneres’ couch and reframe the narrative around this disease. So Ellen, if you’re listening – HIT ME UP!!
I am a professional space-holder, which is woo-woo speak for I’m a great friend. I listen to hear you and understand you, not to cut you off and shove my opinion in your face. Though there is always time for opinion shoving, and when it comes to opinions, I have PLENTY.
I am a happy wife and mama to two Puggles. I won’t go so far as to say “my dogs are my kids” because they’re not snotty brats, but since I’m in the childfree-and-loving-it camp, they are spoiled rotten. Luckily, this little guy doesn’t judge me:
I am obsessed with traveling, and my preferred method of transportation is a cruise ship. Between my sophomore year of high school and present day, I’ve been on 18 cruises. To this day, being on a boat (of any size) in the middle of the ocean is my happy place.
Here I am, on Azamara Quest, rocking significantly sucky jet-lag while docked in Stockholm:
What I Do
Back in the Day
I was the voice of the Wienermobile online (true story), and taught David Arquette how to tweet from the top of Madison Square Garden. I’ve identified influencers for big-ass brands like Yoplait (#yogurt), Pfizer, and Warner Bros., and I have quit two excellent jobs so I would have more time to jump out of planes.
After leaving the agency life the first time, I set out on my own, jumping (literally) into the skydiving industry where I generated year-over-year increases in event attendance, tandem skydives, and overall jump tickets sold through my wizardry in the social media space. It turns out, skydiving is pretty easy to market, but not many people knew how to do it well.
I’ve spoken at SXSW twice, which used to be a bragging point for me. I also speak every day, in the privacy of my home, where I currently work sometimes. Usually on the phone. Sometimes through GoToMeeting or Google hangouts. I’m flexible. I’m working on the literal flexibility through my borderline-non-existant yoga practice. It’s coming along nicely. I guess.
Before I made the leap to join From Molly With Love, I was an Account Director at W2O Group, working with global brands in our tech practice. Over the course of my career, I have worked with entertainment companies, service providers, wine industry brands, CPG, biosciences, luxury travel brands, female entrepreneurs, social justice activists, and anyone who needs a trusty sidekick. I specialize in building communities (online and offline), launching products, and developing marketing strategies that aren’t full of the same old eye-roll-inducing BS.
And lastly, I recently stepped down from my post as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at From Molly With Love, an all-natural beauty brand that’s positioned to really shake shit up in the industry. It was a whirlwind experience and ultimately, I had the chance to work with a woman who is fearlessly pursuing her dreams, and in doing so, I realized I could no longer ignore mine.
I left my job when I realized I couldn’t keep pushing my dreams to the back burner. They tried to make themselves known through various outlets over the years, and I kept stuffing them down, following a path that I thought I should travel, versus the one that was calling to me.
I don’t have a backup plan, I don’t have another job lined up. And for the first time in my life, I’m not planning this next chapter. This is the next chapter. Writing. All the things.
It’s nice to be home.