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The Refined Collective Podcast

Sep 28, 2020

“She kept going until she looked good on paper, but it never made her feel more real.”

-Mary Marantz


How human is it to want something, try and fit the bill, and then finally fit the bill and feel like you’re suffocating? Mary Marantz and I talk all about this on the podcast this week. She grew up in a single-wide trailer, then went on to go to Yale Law School. She recently shared her story in her book Dirt that just came out this month. It’s a story that reminds you that you never really know a person.


Dirty Beginnings

  • She shares how looking back on such small beginnings, it’s easy to romanticize it in hindsight or from the outside looking in. But when you’re in it, it’s anything but.
  • God said to her, “This is muddy and it’s hard and it’s not what you wished for and you wished you had someone else’s story, but I’m not done writing.”
  • When she was little, the thing she wanted the most was a real house with a real roof. She imagined a blueprint of a home trying to redraw itself to be perfect. 
  • “She kept going until she looked good on paper, but it never made her feel more real.”


Chasing the Shiny Fairytale

  • A large part of her always wanted to go to law school, but sometimes we chase things so grand like law school just to feel like we’ve redeemed our small beginnings.
  • At the start, she was hoping to go to a more local law school, but in a movie-like scenario, her friend submitted her application to Yale and she got in.
  • Later on, she decided to start a photography business with her husband (she met him online, y’all!!!) They took big risks in business— she never wants to live a life that is safe.


Carrying Your Past + Honoring Your Dirt

  • “Is it something heavy you’re carrying? Is it a burden? Or is it some precious thing you’re carrying carefully?... For me, it’s the second one.”
  • “I would no more try to run away from the dust in my life that represents the creation of God than I would try to run away from the mud in my story that represents the genesis of my story.”
  • Look at your dirt and see the power of where you come from instead of the shame.
  • “There’s no amount of running where you can outrun you.”




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