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Daily Inspiration: Meet Katie Dalebout

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Dalebout.

Hi Katie, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in Michigan and watching the news as a kid, I wanted to be a TV news reporter. I studied broadcast journalism, where our prerequisites to TV news courses were radio courses. I loved listening to long-form interviews and how mobile the medium is. This was 2012, so podcasts were not well known. I would listen to Terry Gross interviews deep in the Fresh Air archive obsessively from my computer.

After college, I moved to Detroit for a full-time marketing job, I taught yoga and wrote a wellness blog on the side. I started interviewing friends, then strangers, and soon it was a podcast. That was 2013 and I’m still recording conversations with friends and strangers, who often become friends.

Eventually, I moved to New York and the podcast led to a book also called, Let It Out, which came out in 2016. A few years later, I left my full-time job and the podcast expanded into digital workshops and a creative community.

Right before the pandemic, I packed up my apartment in Brooklyn to travel for a few months. I planned to miss a New York winter and return by spring, but I landed in LA from Australia a few days before the first lockdown. I didn’t plan to move here, but I ended up shipping my belongings and I’ve been here ever since. I love my neighborhood and my friends. It’s been about two years and I still feel new because I’ve mostly stayed in Highland Park. I have most of LA and California to still see.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Nothing is linear but I’m grateful for how things shook out. It’s not lost on me how lucky I am to live here. There are days when I wake up in my apartment and see the sunrise, and I still can’t believe I get to live in a place that is warm in January, sunny most days, and that it all turned out okay. The circumstances of my move were wild but because of my kind friends, it worked out.

Appreciate you sharing that. We’d love to learn more about your work–what you specialize in, what you’re known for, what you’re proud of, and what sets you apart from others?
I always get sheepish and weird when people ask me what I do. Because I feel like I’m still figuring it out. But daily I write, listen to podcasts, and record interviews.

As far as what I specialize in… at best a generalist, at worst a ‘master of none’. The things I’ve done most consistently are host podcasts, interview people, and write. I’ve published essays, constantly working on a piece of writing. I write a newsletter and I hope to publish more essays and pitch more this year. And I hope to write another book in the next few years.

I’m not sure I’m known for anything, but depending on who you talk to I’m known for different things to different people.

To people in my neighborhood, I’m known as a pedestrian, walking everywhere, and a frequent dog sitter, and infrequent shopkeeper.

To my friends, I’m known for my mushy kale salad, long-winded voice-texts, and a person they can tell anything to.

And to people who read my newsletters and listen to my podcasts, I’m known as hopefully someone who is earnest, curious and interested and telling the stories of others.

I’m not sure if this sets me apart, but I’m curious about how people spend their days and I’m open and will share what I learn as I go. I hope it can help make people feel less alone, which I think is important right now. Maybe we all want to feel more connected?

I’m most proud of the community Let It Out ended up creating. And I’m proud I’ve continually done something weekly for nine years.

What’s next?
That’s a great question, I’m still figuring it out but honestly I hope to figure out how to keep doing what I’m doing. I have an abundance of ideas for projects, essays, and books. Basically I just want to make things with friends with more ease and less anxiety.

And outside of work, I want to explore more of California, take a road trip in my car alone, read in the park on a blanket with a friend by me also reading like the scene in a “A Single Man”, wander museums, host parties or picnics more, and surf with my friend Heidi.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Image one: Christine Mai Nguyen
image two: Dustin Aksland
image 5-9: Christine Mai Nguyen 6: Alida Zimmerman
image 8: Christine Mai Nguyen

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