As we all know from a previous post, I’m reaching a milestone later this year. (No gifts, please, but money accepted. JUST KIDDING!) I seem to be doing a lot of reflecting on my life, which I guess is a thing as we get older. While it’s easy to focus on what went wrong, choices that maybe weren’t the best, all those negatives we accumulate as we go through life, I want to focus on what’s gone right, the good choices I’ve made, and the abundance of blessings I’ve received.
All my life I’ve loved to write. And all my life I’ve thought I was never good enough. In all honesty, I wasn’t and maybe never would have been…without Oprah. No matter what you think of this television icon, she certainly gives us plenty to think about (whether it’s how much we disagree with her, something we’ve never considered before, or that she’s worth a whole lot of money).
Most of the people I knew didn’t know I was a closet writer. I wasn’t ashamed of being a writer, but I never thought it would be more than a hobby. And there was no way I would have let someone read my dabbling! That changed one afternoon about a decade ago.
At the time I worked downtown at Thrivent Financial. I rarely watched Oprah because I was usually on the bus heading home when her show was on. That particular day, however, I’d had to leave early to pick up my dad after his cataract surgery. While he recuperated at our house that afternoon, he watched Oprah (his choice!) while I worked on a story at my desktop at the far end of the room.
The show happened to be about women at mid-life; what Oprah and her guest were calling mid-life opportunities instead of crises. Since I was approaching a younger milestone at the time, I listened as I typed. Interesting stories about women who’d always wanted to do something but hadn’t invested the time/money/effort/courage to make it happen–yet there they were, now making those dreams come true.
A never-married, newly fired stockbroker who’d picked up an antique chocolate mold at a flea market. Now she owned a successful chocolate shop in New York AND was getting married to a guy she met in the elevator of her shop’s building.
A songwriter who’d been afraid to pursue her dream had now written over a thousand songs.
A gal who’d longed to be a florist. Another who’d always wanted to be a DJ.
By the end of the show I was perched on the couch, tears flowing, telling my astonished and extremely uncomfortable father that God was calling me to be a writer. It wasn’t just a “I should try that” or “I wonder if I could…” I KNEW it was what I was supposed to do.
On next week’s Fearless Friday blog, I’ll let you know what happened next.