When I die and people are sitting around telling funny stories about me (hopefully), I am betting that if there were a top ten list involved, this story I am about to tell would be on it. It started with a fun trip to Savannah. It was the last trip the girls in my family ever took together so there is a bittersweetness to telling this, but I digress.
So we are walking along the river where there are row after row of wonderful little shops to mull through, and we have hit them all. We arrive up on top (for those of you who have been to Savannah you know that you enter some stores on the bottom and others on top) at this wonderful antique store. I do mean wonderful; I am in heaven. We close the place down (as I recall), and I have my hands full with bulging packages full of all sorts of new treasures. The four of us step outside and are headed to yet another store, but we stop outside by a bench. For the life of me, I have no idea why we stopped, but we did and I leaned down perusing through my various sacks. When the others are ready to go, I (the consummate multi-tasker) pick up my bags and start walking all in one singular movement.
Clearly I was not fully aware of my surroundings because as I pulled up and moved forward all at the same time, my head crashed with a street sign which scalped me a couple of inches before I stopped myself. Now the witnesses say that some foul language exited my mouth, but I honestly have no recollection (which only adds to the humor of the story for some). They say a couple of elderly men jumped up and were aghast at my (shall we say) reaction to which my next reaction (after gathering my bearings) was did they not see me get scalped?
Scene of the Crime ~ The Actual Sign that Scalped Me...Priceless. :)
Let me just say, I was very, very lucky. A little bit more and I would have been sightseeing in the nearest Savannah emergency room. I had a pretty nasty gash and a very nasty headache, and three family members rolling around on the ground in laughter. Yes, I was crying, and frankly wondering what the heck happened. I never EVER saw that sign. I was completely oblivious yet obviously standing right next to and leaning under it. Needless to say...clearly it takes a lot sometimes to get my attention.
My Baby Sister and Me later that night ~ Fresh Band-aids and All Smiles! :)
That story came to mind as I was in bed pondering today. I was forced to ponder in bed on a beautiful day because I am sick. :( Suddenly it is time to assess your life. Where am I going? What I am doing? What do I want to be when I grow up?
So here I sit taking antibiotics (borrowed...because that is what you do when you live in two places and you get sick in the one where you don't yet have a doctor you can go to) for my inner ear infection and catching up on my reading (and writing). Lets just get this out there. I am not only a reading fanatic of the book variety. I am a magazineoholic. Now I thought I was making up that word, but thanks to Google (my trusty electronic sidekick), I know that others have used this word; there is even a website and a blog with the name. Good grief. I am always fifteen minutes late to the party. :(
So, I am sitting here with a pile of magazines I bought at the airport Thursday while waiting for my father's flight from Panama. I would tell you how many I bought and the total cost, but number one that would simply be embarrassing for me. Two, it would not really be fair because I bought two for Wesley. :) What matters is I am sitting here catching up on my reading completely bored to tears because my mini vacation weekend plans with my best buddy got hijacked by searing pain from my left ear Friday morning. The only thing better than an M.D. is a devoted buddy who quickly assesses and addresses your needs. :)
The real problem with me though is that I am an "active reader". I heard that term over a business meeting Thursday, and I was slightly amused because I thought how funny it sounded. What does being an "active reader" mean exactly? Well to hear this attorney tell it, it is when you read along with a highlighter marking passages as you go. That used to be me, but I have advanced along with technology. These days, I have to have my laptop (or at minimum my IPhone) while I read. Why, you ask, as you slightly grin no doubt? Because while I am reading, I am also looking up all of the links, blogs, websites, meanings, etc. that are mentioned and footnoted in the book or article I am reading. This isn't simply active reading...it is a mental workout. In an hour, I might make it a quarter of the way through a magazine, and that is really being generous.
I always thought I was some sort of freak with this nutty behavior. Clearly, I am not. I mean, there is a "Magazineoholic" website and blog. All kidding aside, I have a lot of friends, colleagues and clients who dive into their reading with a fork and spoon (so to speak). It is not simply that you get more out of it that way, there is just simply SO much more TO get out of it. Every article has links to other articles, information about the author, the author's blog, the author's website. It is all slightly overwhelming. I am laughing to myself because I just had a conversation with my PR Guru this morning where we discussed ways that I could get my writing read on a larger scale. That in itself is a full-time job, and this got me to thinking...
What do I really want?
I have this friend...lets call him Chad...why, because his name really is Chad. :) Well, depending on who you talk to it is possibly "Old Chad" but that is a whole other story. The point is that Chad and I ended up having several discussions this week on what we wanted, and by the end of this week he indicated that he felt like God was just yelling at him to stop and listen. Bemused, I asked why, and he said that everything he read, etc. that week was just speaking to him. I understood because he had forwarded me a Daily Devotional (I have added a link because if you are looking for a daily devotional this is a good one to sign up for) earlier in the week and even signed me up for it. Let me just say that Chad is the least pushy person I know (outside of maybe Wesley), and I knew something was itching at him if he was "pushing" all of this at me. So Friday afternoon I am listening to him (actively nodding) on the phone. I get it. Last fall, I was right where he is now. In some ways, I am still there. This type of soul searching is not a sprint, its a marathon.
So where am I going? What I am doing? What do I want to be when I grow up? Well, I guess I will let you know after I stop writing this post and finish Ms. Beck's 20 questions. I am kidding. That would be oh too simple. The truth is that I am in the middle of the process, and I know this because I have already completed the first step which is that I recognize that I am clearly not in the right seat anymore. It doesn't mean you necessarily hate your job or hate your life. You simply need a different color, type, or in some cases...a completely new seat. First steps first.
As I found myself saying often this week. First, you have to figure out what you want to do...is the problem the job, the company or the industry? How often do we see those people who bounce around from job to job never finding their true passion? In my industry, they call them "bank hoppers" and they tend to move every two years (for whatever reason). That is a lot of energy to expend in search of an unknown. I guess I am too conservative because I tend to sit and stew awhile (sometimes a long while) slowly working to figure out what I want my next step to be. I don't think there is a right or wrong approach as long as you are faithful to the process...now if you only knew which process to use??
It is a scary proposition. Think to yourself. What is the difference between a dreamer and a doer ~ one of them dreams and the other takes action. My heart's desire is to be the dream maker ~ so I can do both. :)
I am so glad that I have such great friends who are constantly guiding me with their wisdom and insights. Who constantly push me, sometimes believing in me more than I believe in myself. They don't have all of the answers, but they are willing to open themselves up and communicate what they do know. They trust me with their knowledge, and I in turn trust them with my fears. As crazy as that sounds....it works.
As I told someone this week, everyone needs their own personal cheerleader. That one person who TRULY believes that you can do anything, and they never get tired of telling you that...even when it should have sank in long ago. If you have a cheerleader in your life ~ thank them today. If you don't, look around because they are probably right in front of you and you never even saw them.
Today I hope that you will open yourself up and see what God and the universe are trying to get across to you. If something keeps "popping up" in your life, stop ignoring it and instead turn around and confront it. I am just thinking out loud here, but I bet you will be glad you did.