It’s fitting I write this post tonight just hours before this amazing community, Women Offshore launches. It warms my heart because it reminds me of a journey I took not too long ago myself.
Three years ago I was just beating cancer a second time, jobless (a choice I made) and exploring what I wanted to do next.
I took a sabbatical. It didn’t last long after years in the global corporate life, two battles with cervical cancer, a wedding, a surprise birth, and some great marathon running in between – at nearly 40, I was wondering how I wanted to be remembered. I longed for purpose.
I know. Morbid huh? No. Soulful.
When you get connected to your purpose, everything begins to click: your work, the people in your life, and somehow everything become clear. And so the story goes, I began dreaming of dying. Apparently when you dream of death, it’s a sign that change is to come. Little did I know that life for me, just shy of 40 was about to take off in a new direction.
When you’re faced with your own mortality, it’s sobering.
We all think we’re going to grow old and never die. We don’t think about the end. But all of this had me reflecting. I woke up one morning and poured my soul into a piece … my eulogy. It was cathartic. I wrote it three years ago. I sat on it for a few weeks, terrified. I swore from that day forward I would live my life and do the work I’m supposed to do in service of my legacy despite what people might think or say.
Three years later, I’m living my legacy.
Several weeks ago I was contacted by Ally Cedeno, the fabulous ship captain of this amazing creation, known as Women Offshore. Ally reached out to tell me about this community. She explained over What’s App, and via the Pink Petro app, her vision for a better future, one where women in our industry have the opportunity to make a big difference. She told me about the countless nights and lunch breaks (with vitamin water to fuel her) that she’s spent creating this community to connect women and men across industry to provide resources and stories that encourage, motivate and inspire.
Ally and I haven’t met face to face but I would have never met her had it not been for the power of community.
Ally’s legacy is in the making.
The waves she’ll create will change the tide. And I’m honored to be a part of it.
So, while Ally and I share a love for creating communities… we also share something else special. My other legacy is my six-year old daughter, Ally. She calls herself the Ninja-Neer. She’s that girl that refuses to play with dolls, loves superheroes but is everyone’s best friend (girls and boys).
Both Ally (Cedeno) and I, and our communities want to see a more inclusive workforce in our industry so that Ally’s generation doesn’t see barriers….they bust through. After all that’s what Ninja-Neers, do right?
What’s your legacy?
Are you doing the work that means the most to you? Are you surrounding yourself with the right community to support you? We’re here to help. Just connect.
Katie Mehnert is the CEO and founder of Pink Petro, the first global community for women (and men) in energy with members in 120 countries. Her passion is to bring diverse talent, mindsets, and culture to the new energy frontier and to the future of work. Named by Glassdoor as the “woman tackling the energy industry’s PR and talent problem”, Katie has held safety and operational risk leadership roles in Shell and BP. Katie speaks, writes, and runs.