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Daily Inspiration: Meet Kalla Paige

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kalla Paige.

Hi Kalla, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I started on a path many parents would be proud of—college. First, I got two undergraduate degrees, one in Psychology and another in Family and Human Development, from Arizona State University. But I didn’t stop there. I knew I wanted to help people, and I thought counseling or activism might be my path, so I decided to pursue a Masters in Social Work. While getting my MSW, I learned that ASU was starting a dual program where you could earn your Master’s in Social work and a Juris Doctorate in a four-year program. I thought, “Well, I want to change the world, so why not change the laws?”

I told myself that if I went to law school, people would listen to me. I didn’t understand then what that meant, but it has become abundantly clear. I applied to law school at ASU, and I got in. I was the first and only person to complete the dual program, earning an MSW and JD at the time of my graduation.

After law school, I became a public defender for Maricopa County. At first, things were great. I loved meeting with my clients, hearing their stories, and trying to help them. But as time passed, I felt increasingly discouraged by the system—and the workload. It felt like no matter what I did or how much work I put in, there was ALWAYS more work that I could do. And for the most part, it felt like the judges and prosecutors didn’t care about my clients or achieving justice—they cared about a conviction. I realized that with every prison plea my clients signed under my advice, I was facilitating a system I didn’t believe in anymore. I was on 40mg of Adderall daily, depressed, and seemingly trapped by my crippling student loan debt. I told myself I couldn’t leave this job—what would I do?

Truthfully, I wanted to die. So, my soul started searching for answers when I wasn’t napping to take away the pain. I read a book called “Ask Your Guides” by Sonia Choquette. In it, she explains that we all have a team of angels, guides, or whatever you want to call it on “the other side” who want to help us, but for them to do so, we have to ask them to intervene. She explained that we could do this by writing a letter. So, that’s what I did. That night, lying on the floor sobbing, I pulled out my journal and began to write.

“Dear Angels, I am miserable. I know I’m not on the path of my soul’s journey. I am begging you; please intervene as necessary to put me on my path.” The following day, I woke up late at 10 am on a Tuesday. I had slept through my alarms and missed court. This wasn’t the first time I had been late to work, and I had gotten in trouble for it before, so I knew I was about to get fired. And I did. It was gut-wrenching. The girl who excelled in school and work was just fired from her first lawyer job. I felt like a failure, and yet I felt FREE. As much as it hurt, I knew it was what needed to happen, for I would have never left that job on my own accord out of fear. It rescued me, but my ego had taken a major hit. I was no longer Kalla, the prestigious lawyer. Who was I?

I decided I wanted to get a job that would allow me to figure out who I am & what I want—one where I could leave work and not think about work. My first job after getting fired was at a barbeque stand at the Angels Spring Training stadium. Then, I became a server—with no prior experience. And boy, was that humbling. I am a better person for having waited tables for two years. Since then, I have been forging my path and following my inspiration. I always knew I wanted to use my voice, but after such an intense ego death, I had to build up my confidence.

I started sharing bits and pieces of my life and thoughts online and eventually came up with my brand—REKALLABRATE. To me, Rekallabrate means changing how you do or think about something. I believe that by sharing my truth, I invite others to find and share their own. After that came the t-shirts and stickers. My first t-shirt said, “THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU.” I didn’t even think I started a brand when I made my first tee. I just made one for myself, wore it to a party, and someone asked me to make them one. After I realized it would be more expensive to make it than to have it screen printed, I reached out to a friend with a screen-printing business to see if she could help me make a couple of tees. I started just doing pre-orders and taking payments through Venmo and have since switched to a local drop-shipping company and created a website where you can order a tee, tank, or sticker any time.

I have more designs now, but THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU remains my best seller. People always tell me how brave I am for leaving my lawyer job behind. But to me, it didn’t feel brave. It just happened. And I adapted, or Rekallabrated, if you will. Now I know my voice is better used outside the system—where I am free to be myself, like the real me. The more I embrace myself, my gifts, & my path, the more clear and joyful my life becomes. Gandhi said, “My life is my message,” and I strive for mine to be the same.

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road has not been smooth—sometimes, I wondered if I was even on the road. There were many times I felt lost, alone, scared, hopeless, and confused. After I got fired, I spent the first three years just figuring out who I was and what I wanted out of life. I worked jobs waitressing, bartending, substitute teaching, pet sitting, and doing whatever other gigs I could to earn money while I tried to figure out what my “purpose” was.

I had to learn the hard way that “who we are” is far deeper than what we do to earn money. I used to think I came here for a reason—to save the world or solve world hunger or something. Now I feel that I came to earth to experience love, joy, happiness, and truth—and to share those experiences with others.

So many people told me I should get another lawyer job, hold onto my license, and be over-educated and underpaid. I had to learn to march to the beat of my drum & drown out the doubters as I followed my heart. But I’ve never looked back. Now I can confidently say that I’m happy, and more importantly (to me), FREE.

I had to learn to love myself and trust my path. It isn’t easy forging your path. Some days I believe in myself fully, and other days I question what I do with my life. Sometimes I worry that I won’t make enough money on my own and I’ll have to work for the man again. But each time that thought comes up, I surrender more fully to my path and truth. I know the journey may be long and won’t always be easy, but I believe I will always find my way by following my heart and inspiration.

Finally, I’m learning to enjoy the journey. There is no destination to get to. There is no “I’ll be happy when” life is made up of the perpetual present moment. The more I can bring myself back to the “now,” I experience more peace.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m doing a business out of being myself and doing what I love. I would say that I am most known for sharing my often-controversial thoughts and showing up authentically. I specialize in talking sh*t about the government. I take pride in my willingness to show up in the truth of who I am. Whether at a party or on the internet. I am just me—wherever I am at. In my commitment to authenticity, I have gone completely unfiltered on my Instagram page and in my videos and podcast. This means not using Instagram filters on my photos or videos and leaving my videos and interviews unedited. I do this to show up authentically and embrace my humanity, whether it be a pimple, a mixed-up world, or the fact that I’m getting older. I hope this will inspire more truth and authenticity online and encourage people to embrace what their face looks like and what they sound like. The more I love myself, the more I have been presented with ideas and opportunities, allowing me to share my truth. Sometimes that looks like putting my thoughts on a t-shirt or sticker and selling it on rekallabrate.com. Sometimes that looks like putting two stickers on my titties, snapping a photo for Instagram, and asking other women to do the same. I recently started “Titty Tuesday” to empower women to embrace their sexuality, get creative, and spread the truth via their titties. I’ve released episodes with people ranging from local music artists like The Kaleidoscope Kid, to a midwife, to a former vegan and herbalist. Other times, it’s interviewing someone who inspires me for my podcast, Lightin’ Up. Each conversation enlightens people to things I believe are important, helpful, or inspiring. Sometimes it looks like me just going live on a Friday for “feelings Friday.”

I started sharing my feelings authentically online to normalize being a human being who experiences a range of emotions. We spend so much time looking at people’s highlight reels on Instagram I wanted to disrupt the algorithm with some raw humanity. Since I’ve started showing up authentically online, I’ve been presented with more opportunities to network and share with others. I’ve been a guest speaker at a Higher Grounds Gathering event called Stimulate and featured on several other podcasts, including the Save Our Children Podcast and The Multidimensional Journey Podcast. These are some of my favorite memories, and I look forward to more speaking gigs in the future! Since I’ve made a “brand” out of being myself, the most exciting thing is that I don’t know how it will change or progress in the future. I look forward to sharing more about aging, step-parenting, relationships, and my feelings throughout all these changes and experiences. I also look forward to hosting Feelings Circles and other events for us all to connect in our humanity. I believe that when we share our truth authentically, we help others discover greater depths of their truth. There is power in simply being who you are and being willing to be seen in all of your humanity. If I can help just one person feel not alone through what I share, I have made a difference in the world. And that feels good.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
This is going to sound morbid to some readers, but I want to share that I think the biggest shift in my life happened when I came to terms with the fact that we are all going to die—myself included. And the scariest thing is that most of us have no idea when death will come. It hit me when Kobe Bryant died. If you had told me days before that I would cry like a baby when Kobe Bryant died, I would have laughed in your face, but the timing of his death hit me in a way that struck a deep chord in my heart and completely shifted the trajectory of my life. The night before his death, I participated in a plant medicine journey and prayed for a vision for my life. Like, what is my life purpose? Why am I here?

When I sat with the medicine with this intention in mind, I was told by the plants, “Kalla, you are the vision. Just be yourself. It’s that simple.” But I didn’t know how that was until Kobe died. When I heard of his death, I was hit with this profound sorrow, knowing that everything he had ever hoped and dreamed of had just died with him. Everything he wished he would have done, said, or experienced was no longer possible. He was dead. And one day, I would be dead, too. After I heard the news, I set up my phone on the floor and recorded my first video. I no longer cared what people would think. I was more afraid of what would happen if I lived my life without ever trying or letting myself be seen. I had known for years that I wanted to share videos and thoughts online, but I was scared. I thought people would think I was stupid, especially those who had known me for years or seen me as a lawyer. But with Kobe’s death and posting that video, that fear is pretty much gone. Now I post videos all the time. Ever since that day, I haven’t stopped thinking about death. Any time I’m scared to do something, like the first time I posted my titties on the internet, I remind myself that I will die. If I knew I would die tomorrow, would I care what my former lawyer colleague has to say about what I do on the internet? F*ck no, I wouldn’t. If I knew I would die tomorrow, I would experience as much life as possible today. I would laugh more, tell people I love them, and take a chance on love; whatever I was scared of, I would do it. It’s also helpful to remember that everyone else will die, too. If I’m annoyed or angry at my partner or tired of hearing my 75-year-old father repeat the same old stories, I bring my awareness back to death. With death in mind, I can more easily let go of the small stuff and return to love. After all, there will come a day my pops won’t be around to repeat those stories, and I’m sure I’ll miss them then. When I live with the awareness of death in mind, I find myself living and loving more fully. I am more patient, more courageous, more adventurous, more fun, more giggly, more present, and more ALIVE. We can’t escape death or grief, but we can live and love fully while we have the chance.

Pricing:

  • The Government Does Not Give A Fuck About You T-Shirt – $30 (plus shipping)
  • The Government Does Not Give A Fuck About You Tank – $30 (plus shipping)
  • The Government Does Not Give A Fuck About You Sticker – $3.33 (plus shipping)

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Image Credits
Rozotadi Tanner Yeager Noah Ray Mike Angel Valenz

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