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Shannon Paris lives her best porch life in Marietta, PA, a small village nestled between the Susquehanna River bend and Amish farming country in Central Pennsylvania. She lives in a nearly 200-year-old house with her two furry feline sidekicks, who keep her company while she works and plays from home.
She loves to entertain and celebrate life with family and a dear circle of friends. When she’s not working, she’s out and about in nature, photographing the flora and fauna or jamming around a campfire — singing and playing the ukulele with her tight-knit community of local musicians.
Connect with Shannon Paris on LinkedIn.
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IN WHICH GENERATION DO YOU BELONG?
Gen X: 1965 – 1980
DO YOU WORK? IF SO, WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a Community Strategist for an online community software platform called Mighty Networks. I coach our community “Hosts” to help them reach their goals and to help their members achieve results and transformations through community conversations, magical experiences, online courses, and more.
HOW ARE YOU MOST DIFFERENT FROM THE 25-YEAR-OLD VERSION OF YOURSELF?
I believe the younger me would be surprised at how much I love quiet, simple evenings at home as much as I love exciting adventures and gatherings. And I think 25-year-old me would love how I’ve found my way by following my heart and not being afraid to walk a flowery path that wasn’t always a straight line.
WHAT HAS NOT CHANGED ABOUT YOU?
Although some of the faces have shifted, I’ve always been fortunate in cultivating a loving, trusted circle of friends to lean on for support and with whom I can make mischief!
GOOD OR BAD, WHAT ABOUT MIDLIFE HAS SURPRISED YOU SO FAR?
How young I feel! There are so many adventures still ahead, and no matter what you plan, you never know where life might lead you. I always shake my head in wonder when I have a moment where I say, “If you had told me 6 months, or a year, or two years ago that today I would be (fill in the blank),” when it’s something you couldn’t even dream up. Sometimes, it’s not always a realization of a positive milestone. Sometimes, it’s even tragic, but still, there is wonder in the lessons that we learn from the tougher times.
WHAT ONE HABIT ARE YOU ACTIVELY WORKING ON THESE DAYS?
I’m working on a dietary health habit right now. Without going into full particulars, I’ve been fortunate to manage a health condition for 2+ years through diet and exercise. So I’m fine-tuning my practices for longevity in coordination with my Nurse Practitioner. Both my dad and brother suffer from severe symptoms of this same condition, and my hope is to hold that fate at bay with some different routines.
WHAT BRINGS YOU THE MOST JOY THESE DAYS AND WHY?
Music, animals, nature. Making music with friends is where I find spiritual communion, where I connect with the sublime, where my aches and pains are miraculously relieved without effort, and my neurological pathways are refreshed and cleansed. Animals and nature reset my nervous system, and in their presence, I can sink fully into the moment. I am in awe of nature’s beauty, cleverness, and endless variety.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT THESE DAYS?
I’m feeling pretty even-keeled these days in a fairly liminal space — just adjusting to the world opening back up, assessing the impact of the events of the past few years (global and personal), and figuring out what to dream about next.
IF YOU COULD GIVE A 20-YEAR-OLD PERSON SOME WORDS OF WISDOM OR PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT MIGHT IT BE?
Boundaries are your friend.
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE SINGER/BAND GROWING UP?
I will go with a toss-up between the Talking Heads or The Police. Or Prince! (TOTAL Gen-Xer here, fer shure)
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