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Patty Saves the World

Happy Earth Day!

Last week I had the privilege of speaking at my first ever conference to talk about work that I’ve been leading the last three years. The support was overwhelming and it gave me a new perspective on my work that my cynical burnt out mind had forgotten. Change in government is a top down approach so when you are persistent enough to create a grassroots movement you have proven you are transformational leader.

My main goal has always been to make a positive impact on the world & to protect the environment. I have had the privilege of doing this from different angles. From canoe rides on the Willamette River to being in the field on my hands and knees (restoring wetlands & planting trees) to zoom meetings with governor appointed commissioners.

Creating change is really hard especially when systems in place try to lock you in a box because they want you to conform to the way things are.

I’ve had people go from praising me saying I should be proud because people work for the agency for 20 years and never speak to the director or the commission and then turn around months later and say those meetings were a waste of time. I’ve had agency heads praise my work in public and throw the book at me to try to force me to resign in private.

The last year I questioned why I even chose this career path. I was filled with so much anger. How could a place I had poured heart into turn around and stab me in the back with a smile on their face. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so low. I can’t even tell you how I picked my self up from that. [death of an optimist]

I still don’t have an answer to why I’m doing this or why I didn’t just quit but I know there’s nothing else I would rather be doing. Who would I be if I wasn’t using my voice to call out injustices, to educate, to preserve our beautiful spaces, or to create a world I would want my children to grow up in one day.

If college grad me could see what 5 years post degree looked like she would know her persistence paid off. Honestly I really only had a 5 year plan and I’ve already completed it so I don’t know where to go from here but I know this is just the beginning.

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