Personal Writing

Wait, you love me, Mel Robbins?

I’m away for another 3+ day writing retreat with my friend Lonna. Theoretically, I’m working on my memoir about…who really knows? Certainly not me.

It’s not that I haven’t written anything for it, but I got distracted by working on a talk I am giving about 10 days from now.

In going back over a talk I gave 2+ years ago to see if it had any redeeming qualities (eh [shoulder shrug], yes and no), we started talking about what’s wrong with me, with my brand (insert barf sound here. My brand. Puh-lease! Who am I? Brene? Oprah? Glennon?).

After I returned from rinsing my mouth out, Lonna said something, which only confirms other things I’ve been hearing lately, the general gist of which is, “I don’t know what to do with ‘Radio Dayna.'”

Who’s “Radio Dayna,” you ask?

“Radio Dayna” (think public radio not morning shock jock here) is the culmination of 13 years of working in the nonprofit sector where my real thoughts had to be masked about nearly everything (the 45th “inhabitant” of the White House, anyone?); working with too many coaches, great as they all have been, and falling into their styles; working toward my own coaching certification where the gold standard is to sit in silence for as long as it takes the client to have their own breakthrough (gaaaaaaaaaaah!).

Oh, and then there’s that lifetime of people (so many damn people!) being “uncomfortable” with my highly opinionated self and my ability to express my thoughts cogently and often with supporting information within a nanosecond about just about anything.

My step dad used to ask for “Telephone Dayna” when I would be screaming at my brothers. What he meant by that was that I could be shouting about this, that or the other, and if the phone rang, I instantaneously modulated my voice and energy to say, “Hello?” in the voice that has made me a good amount of money over the years as the spokesperson of banks, hospitals and more (Thanks, Telephone Dayna!).

“Radio Dayna” and “Telephone Dayna” are great characters if I’m narrating a documentary about, oh I don’t know, maybe the plight of the plover migratory “route that takes them from breeding grounds on the Arctic tundra of northern Canada and Alaska to the grasslands of southern South America and back again” (By the way, I’m totally available to narrate that doc, American Bird Conservancy. Have your people call my people. You know, the ones who are part of my brand support staff).

But it’s long since time I went back to being “Real Dayna” when I show up in front of a camera, a mic or an audience and when I sit down to write (I present to the court exhibit A).

Rather than being so practiced, modulated and contained, I’m going back to audacious, opinionated and clever. Sometimes funny as hell, sometimes with a tsunami of energy that knocks you back in your seat and sometimes so raw to the bone that it’ll remind you that “everybody hurts sometimes” (great reminder, REM!).

For far too long, I’ve been operating from the so, so ordinary end of the extraordinary spectrum. I’m leaving this retreat ready to embrace my remarkable side of the equation again.

Lonna asked me if I ever listen to Mel Robbins. I said occasionally. She said, “You remind me of her. She says what she wants, she’s funny, she’s loud.”

I went to her page, and honestly, she’s not saying a single new thing (to be fair, who the hell is?). But I was reading along, hanging with her even while rolling my eyes from time to time.

I signed up for her newsletter (must read the “competition” and all). The first email arrived; it was ok until I got to this:

“I love you…”


You love me, Mel? I’m now one of more than 2 million people who receives your emails, and YOU love ME?

I don’t think so.

If you see me on the street, will you say, “Dayna! Great to see you! LOVE YOU!”?

We all know that won’t happen. And I wouldn’t expect it to. It would be super weird if that did happen; I hope it never does (I’m pretty sure it never will. Phew!).

Mel Robbins doesn’t love me, and it’s disingenuous of her to say she does.

So in the spirit of my new persona (actually, not new at all, just re-emerging after a damn loooooooooong winter’s nap!), whom I am jokingly calling Dayna Mel Val (dark frames and all!), let me first say to you, “I don’t love you (unless I actually do. But if I do, you totally already know that!).

I appreciate that you read my writing, follow my stuff, engage with me in various ways. I wish you tremendous good fortune going forward. I would be happy to support you in your journey to (re)Discover Your Spark.

But love you?

No, I don’t love you.

And Mel doesn’t either.

Real Dayna mic drop because Radio Dayna has permanently left the building.

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.

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