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Keegan's Story

I chose Keegan for the V.O.W Project when she added me on instagram after hearing about my work through a friend. I was excited when she agreed to join me on this journey as I feel it is important to listen to people that have come through struggle and reached big things, showing what can be possible for us all when we don’t give up and keep dreaming.

My message from this story would be keep dreaming and don’t give up, ever, if you really want it. Find out how to make those “No’s” into “Know” - Knowing how to make a No a Yes.

My first instinct was to say ‘resilient’ but then I figure that one is well taken. Then I realized ‘fire’ could be good on many levels. Keegan means ‘little fiery one’ and I always thought it so apt a name for me - it’s why I chose it for myself. I never liked the name I was born with and so it was incredibly empowering to chose my own moniker. I have always felt like a fiery little one. I have never walked the middle path - I’ve always challenged ideas and norms and pushed boundaries - though sometimes I have also ended up burning myself or others;  the downside of fire is that it can be hard to control. I have always had a fire in me to succeed, I think borne largely out of growing up broke with a single mother. I knew that I did not want a life of double jobs, working shift work, worrying about whether I could keep the lights on. I strove to get the best marks and get into a good university - something I paid for entirely on my own. I had always wanted to travel and I made it happen, finally, when I was 21 and had $600 and a one-way ticket to Europe. I had never even been in an airport before the day that I left - I’ve always been proud of myself for dreaming big. I had always said I wanted to be an actress and I stuck to it and strove to make it true even though all I ever heard was ‘you can’t do that, you’ll never make it’. Well, I’ve been making a solid living as an actor for over 25 years now, and I’ve won awards and traveled the world and am part of a vibrant artistic community. Being an actress, living so many different lives even inspired me to write my children’s book ‘This is a Job for Mommy!’ which celebrates all the many jobs that women, especially mothers, do - and also fulfill a life-long goal to be a published author. I am now about ⅓ of the way through the novel I have always felt was in me and I am writing and creating my future, trying to take hold of my story as best I can. I believe there is an ember inside each of us, a delicate one that life will always try to blow out. I have tried to constantly breathe mine to life, to carry that fire within me and be bold in reaching for the things I want. I also have tried to pass along that fire to my daughters, to raise them to set their value high and to be bold and true to themselves. I also try to nurture the flame in others when I can. Mentorship is so important in this world, particularly for women as we strive to be realized as true equals in this world - I have needed mentorship and so I try to offer it where I can - because everyone’s ember deserves to grow into a fire.

~ Keegan ~
~I am Fire ~
More information can be found about Keegan’s charity at https://www.oxfam.org.uk
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