Sometimes it feels like the universe conspires to send you a message.
In the last month, my career has suddenly swerved in a different direction. And I’m getting dragged along for the ride – whether I like it or not.
Change can be scary, especially a career change that will impact how well you provide for your family and how you spend 40 percent of your waking hours.
Ty and I have been racking our brains, wondering how in the heck we’ll make it work. Talking through the options. Making lists and more lists. Staring at each other, willing the perfect solution to fall into our laps.
And then the universe decided to join in on the fun.
1. A Lesson
I stumbled across the title of Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.
After downloading a sample to my Kindle, I was hooked:
“David and Goliath is a book about what happens when ordinary people confront giants. By ‘giants,’ I mean powerful opponents of all kinds – from armies and mighty warriors to disability, misfortune, and oppression…
I want to explore two ideas. The first is that much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out of these kinds of lopsided conflicts, because the act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty. And second, that we consistently get these kinds of conflicts wrong. We misread them. We misinterpret them. Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness. And the fact of being an underdog can change people in ways that we often fail to appreciate: it can open doors and create opportunities and educate and enlighten and make possible what might otherwise have seemed unthinkable.”
In other words, out of disadvantage can come great advantage.
2. An Honest Message
On Friday night, another mama found my post A Quick Fix for a Pouting Kid. She read it, then commented on social media:
“I love the article. I’m trying to become a more positive parent. I’m trying to be different than my mother but I see myself behaving just like her. I want to stop yelling hitting. I want to be more patient on my phone less and more engaged with my kids…my kids are behaving the same way I behave and I want to stop this. This article helped me understand that I don’t have to yell or hit.”
This heartfelt, honest message got to me. It was the last thing I read before bedtime on Friday night, and I lay in bed thinking of that mom. Her courage to speak up and set her intention to change inspired me, on more than one level.
I selfishly needed the reminder that we don’t have to keep doing what we’ve always done. There are other options. Other choices.
But beyond my current struggle, this mama also reminded me that trying to parent in a more positive way is a powerful thing. That when you share your own struggles and attempts to improve, it inspires others to do the same.
Social media might just save the world after all, y’all.
3. A Quote
And then I came across an article on Lifehacker about Ira Glass, the host of the radio show This American Life. (If you have Amazon Prime, you can listen to one of the show’s most popular episodes for free here.)
The article is part of their “How I Work” series, where they ask accomplished folks about their favorite gadgets, apps, tips, and tricks that keep them productive.
At the end, they ask Ira if he has any last thoughts to share with readers. His reply:
What am I waiting for?
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
In fifth grade, I was supposed to write a story that was two pages long. I wrote 20. (It was a total ripoff of The Goonies, but whatever.)
In college, I decided to be an English major mainly because it meant I’d get to write a lot. Even after the adviser said that would give me very few high-paying job opportunities, I didn’t care.
But when divorce was on my horizon a few years ago, I stopped writing. I didn’t scribble down crazy dreams or ideas for novel plots or even funny quotes from Abby.
Then a year and a half ago, I started writing again – on this blog.
Writing feeds my soul. I’ve missed it. And I still want to be a writer when I grow up.
The great advantage that will grow out of my current disadvantage? It may turn out to be the gift of no more waiting.
For more awesome quotes, follow my Pinterest board Quotes & Smartness.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Share your story in a comment below.