Something is stirring. I’ve been around long enough to recognize the signals, the whispered prompts, to know how to notice the coincidences and connect the seemingly unrelated dots.
I chose the word ENGAGE this year, as my standard, because... well, truth be told, I don’t know why actually. I certainly had a vague notion but I think it’s more accurate to say the word chose me. Therefore I now suspect a threshold has been met, a learning curve straightened out to a path to some place specific. But what? Where? How to begin?
Let me back up a bit.
I lunched with a friend yesterday. She is on the brink of experiencing the dreaded empty nest syndrome as her only child prepares to graduate and launch into her own future. My friend has been a stay at home mom for fifteen years. She has been trying to find work in anticipation of her looming life change but it seems her credentials aren’t official enough. She has no aged paper with a seal, no pay stubs to prove her worth. She has been rejected so many times of late, she admits to feeling as though she is not just a failure but a complete waste.
Those who know me also know that them there was fightin’ words that awakened the Meemanator. Hear me roar!
Since this is not the first, nor apparently will be the last time, I have been presented with this specific opportunity to speak a battalion of words that have been assembling together in me for the last seven decades, I gave my friend a well-practiced two hour lecture on her worth, both perceived and real.
I also gave our server an extra $5 tip because we took up his table for so long.
Since I chose to be a stay-at-home mom long before the term was coined, I know the drill. I also know how this slippery slope began in the early seventies and I have written thousands of words about it. Cutting to the chase, it has been my experience that there is only one solution - that ever worked for me - for not fitting within a fixed criteria - is to identify your passion, what you can do and just do it anyway. Do it your way.
But first, take all the negative criticisms swarming like angry wasps in your head and the long list of all the things you are not, put them in a box, seal the lid and kick it to the corner.
In retrospect I might have overwhelmed the poor thing giving her both barrels at one sitting but I am, at the same time, charged up and weary of this rampant attitude that the only value someone has must be based on the current consensus of what success is.
Here’s my conclusion - if something inspires you, gives you a reason to get up in the morning, charges your brain and energizes you, makes you think forward, creates and adds to you, is that not success in the doing? Where is it written that you are not qualified to apply yourself to that kind of success, use all those bits and pieces that make you uniquely you, those skills you have acquired by simply facing each life challenge as it came?
We brain-stormed, discussed her real skill sets, her dreams. I gave her some options that I hope she will follow up on. When the mountain won’t come to you - go to the mountain. Then, when you can’t go over the mountain, go around or blast a tunnel through it. Frankly, in this digital age, the opportunities for entrepreneurial endeavors is staggering. Who needs credentials anymore?
As we concluded, or should I say, as I wrapped up my rant, she seemed encouraged but she still felt her goal was about proving herself and she was fearful that if she failed she would be even worse off.
I shook my head and interrupted her, no. No. NO. NO! The point is about stepping off focused only on calling upon all those undeclared, uncredentialed skills, for the sake of doing it - for no other reason than because you can! You can. You can. Just begin. Just do. At the point where you have nothing else to lose, there is no gamble. Sometimes you just have to free fall. If you are already at rock bottom - how can you crash?
This morning, I’m playing the reruns in my head. I’m thinking about the others I’ve given this same pep talk to lately. I’m frustrated that so many are so bogged down with myopic, pre-channeled thinking, that seems to be a rampant disabling societal condition.
So... something is stirring. I recognize the signals, the whispered prompts, the coincidences and now I just need to connect those dots...
(Colossians 3:23) whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men;