The thing I am most proud of in my life, bar none, is my last name – and all of the nicknames that being a Fella gave me – Ishe, Sherella, Sherilynn, Aunt Bam, Fella . . .
I was born into a big family of both size and laughter. Being on team Fella from birth taught me that every one of us has the potential for impact and that it is not determined by gender or age or title. As a kid, I watched this play out over and over again with every Fella family gathering, project, or life event . . . every single person, from toddler to grandparent, made an impact that was valued and celebrated.
I saw my grandparents model how to build a family of complex, changing relationships. Being in their family showed me all of the healthy, intentional behaviors required for all of us to flourish as a team. My grandpas and grandmas all cooked, cleaned, cared for kids and worked various jobs. They took themselves lightly and their responsibilities seriously. Their constant sense of humor, big hearts, and open minds made me feel heard, seen and loved.
By modeling those same behaviors, my mom and dad created a wide and deep foundation of possibility for me that allowed me to build my own life of impact. They ensured I had a strong sense of who I was as a human being, and they inspired me to take risks that most people around me were not taking . . . like being a 6th-grade football player, a first-generation college grad, and a global adventurer. What is most inspiring to me now is watching my siblings give this same possibility to their 8 kids, and it is why I am at my best self when I am in full aunt mode watching my nephews and nieces create their own lives of impact.
As a Fella, I learned that even when blood creates a family, it is behavior that sustains it. That showing up with kindness and constancy takes intention, strength and love. That for relationships to grow, you have to grow with them. That focusing on what you have, not what you don’t, creates a life of abundance. That relatives and friends who choose to be a part of your life and who let you be a part of theirs, are your true family as an adult – this family is why I cherish being such a fierce sister to my diverse clan of siblings.
I am passionate about meaningful experiences that inspire me to stretch my understanding of what is possible and that is why Bellfound Farms is so important to me. What I crave these days is even more time with all of the people I love the most. If that time includes my Dad’s chicken dumplings, a smooth bourbon or gin, a Hoosier win in any sport or an evening of live music together, all the better . . . Onward to a life of possibility and impact!