Who Am I?

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
~ Oscar Wilde

I am Carolyn S. Boyce.

I use my middle initial not to be pretentious but because when I google “Carolyn Boyce,” the results show many other Carolyn Boyce’s doing many other impressive things out in the world. I’d be honored to be confused as one of them, but alas, I am only one Carolyn Boyce–the one with the S. The S. stands for Sue rather than  Sam, as I like to remind customer service folks.

When I first toyed with the idea of using my middle initial, I did my best confirmation biased Google search and found an article that gave me the go ahead, so I went for it. I don’t remember if it was this Vox article, but it seem as well argued as any other I might have read. So, with that, I became who I am and always was, Carolyn S. Boyce.

Ask Google how to stand out in a world of ~7.8 billion humans, give or take, or at least how to have your resume chosen to be moved into the to-be-interviewed stack, and you’ll find that everyone from marketing to HR advises to brand yourself, or worse, BE a Brand. Even as the influencers are becoming a parody of themselves, this technique remains pervasive and effective in a society where we are forced to continually skill up, reinvent, and pivot in order to survive.

As a typical independent and rebellious Gen Xer, I resist! I will not be assimilated! The idea of reducing the complexity of anyone’s individual humanity to something so banal as a “brand” is repulsive and redundantly abhorrent. 

As a result, my socials and blogs run the spectrum of who I am… including who I think I am, who I was once, who I want to be, who I believe others perceive me to be, who I reveal myself as, who I want others to think I am, who I wanted to be once but am not, who I want to emulate, who I hide away but (hopefully) subtly offer for anyone daring to look close enough…

But I digress. After all, you probably clicked on this page wanting to know more about my credentials and professional background. What makes me think I know anything about memoir writing, philosophy, or even myself for that matter? I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t know much compared with how much there is to know, even about myself. That’s partially the reason I write–to ground whatever knowledge is in my brain, to discover what my perspectives are, and to find out more about who I am.

I’ve always fancied myself to be a writer. As a teenager, I wrote endless letters to friends who lived too far for regular long-distance phone calls and to boyfriends professing my undying love. I wrote bad poetry and did a lot of stream of consciousness journaling. I jotted down random thoughts, my dreams, list items. More importantly, I read. A lot. When I gave any amount of actual effort in school, I excelled in the language arts. And I saw that my Dad wrote as an escape from the misery of his job. He always carried a notebook and pen to write stories, poems, and songs.

My professional writing skills were developed as a paralegal. Using my education for proper grammar and arrangement, I could turn the rambled recordings of attorneys into documents that were easy to read and light on the legalese.

At Cuyahoga Community College, I took courses in Media Writing and had 17 articles on current events in social justice and sustainability published in the student paper. My liberal arts education in sociology and philosophy gave me plenty more writing opportunities and I relished them all. I was also taking on various writing projects in my professional and volunteer pursuits.

Professionally, I’ve had three policy studies published:
* Worker Cooperative Laws: 9 Issues in 11 States
* Protecting the Integrity of the Great Lakes: Past, Present, and Future
* Local Food Policy Inventory – Summit County, Ohio – City of Akron, Ohio

My adoration for memoir writing was seeded when I was applying to Cornell University and had to write two application essays. Throughout those last two years of my undergrad, I was constantly reading and writing all types of papers. Three of those specifically stand out to me as pivotal inspirations for this website and all its subsequent pursuits:
* My family labor history for Labor History,
* Final reflection paper for Intergroup Dialogue Project,
* Philosophical memoir for Existentialism or Marxism.

I’m ever evolving into a better writer thanks to practice, feedback, and the multiple inputs that I began incorporating into my life while at Cornell including gratefulness, awe, meditation, stoicism, and deep learning.

Feel free to review my CV (UPLOAD AND ATTACH LINK) for a more in-depth look at my background and credentials.