“Roll with the Changes”
By: Lori Walker
(4 min read)
“So, if you tired of the same old story, turn some pages…”
I hadn’t heard this REO Speedwagon song in years. When it was the opening and ending track for an episode in the Starz TV wrestling series Heels, I fell in love all over again! Or maybe I fell in love with Stephen Amell, the Canadian actor who played the lead character Jack Spade. He also played Oliver Queen on The CW superhero series Arrow. Oh well, the details in this particular case don’t matter!
After ten and a half years, I abruptly quit my second job a few weeks ago. It was completely unplanned, but it was something I just knew in my heart that had to be done. I have been in similar situations before. The ebb and flow of money is something I am very familiar with.
Many people are credited with the quote, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans!” As I was researching for this blog, an amazing coincidence occurred. The first credit that came up was for the author Iyanla Vanzant. I absolutely adore her, and two of her many books, “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up” and “In The Meantime.”
The second inspiration was from a song called “Help Somebody” by Donnie and Johnny Van Zant. They are the brothers of the late Ronnie Van Zant, the original lead vocalist, primary lyricist and founding member of the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Hmmm…I had to wonder; why was the surname Vanzant / Van Zant appearing within minutes for me? I had to know more!
When I googled Van Zant, the definition stated that it was of Dutch origin and it referred to “someone who lived beside a rocky cliff.” I had to laugh – rocky cliff – the story of my life!
I was destined for college. My grades reflected an overachiever and a perfectionist. I could have excelled in any field, but my interest was primarily in psychology. What makes people tick? How can people turn on you on a dime?
But the little girl in me wanted to be loved more than she wanted a career of her own. I followed my high school boyfriend when he joined the Army. My first marriage didn’t work out, and neither did the second.
I blamed myself for everything. I wasn’t good enough, thin enough, anything enough. As a Pleaser, I gave everything to everyone else, then resented them for it.
When my second marriage ended, I asked myself, “What you are doing is obviously not working – What can you do differently?” Ahhh…those magic words. I read every book I could get my hands on. I took a class at my local church called “Cleansing Streams.” I talked to teachers, trusted friends and family. There was unlimited knowledge, waiting for me to discover, if only I would search for it all!
As I look back on my path to self-discovery, I’ve realized each step has been a building block to the place I am today. I may not have those coveted professional letters after my name (yet), but I’m damn sure schooled in life experience!
I’ve always loved The Chicken Soup for the Soul type of books. Yet, I was intimidated by the credentials of the authors. I always thought, “There is no way that will ever be me!”
I’m average. I’m from a small town. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming, “If I ever had a chance to tell a story, I want to reach The Underdog! The beautiful, talented people who got swept in life, and wonder if they could ever reach their full potential.”
I’ve faced life’s challenges as a single mother. I can say, with grace, I chose to be there for my son. Yes, I put him first, but I don’t consider that an injustice to myself. My time is now. And I can finally choose my next move with confidence and clarity.
I guarantee, I will have those letters after my name, hopefully very soon! But, In The Meantime, I need to adjust and appreciate the gifts of time and the hard work I’ve invested so far.
I’ve been blessed with this platform to share my thoughts and feelings. As much as I hope to inspire someone else, it is also very cathartic for my own personal growth. I’ve been accused of being too transparent, oversharing and putting myself out there way too much.
But what is life if we take no risks? What if someone says something to you at the exact right moment that you need to hear it?
About a year ago, I shared The Starfish Story with a young coworker at my second job. She was so moved, it became our special bond!
If you’re not familiar, here goes!
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a woman picking up something and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the woman, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The woman replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” The man said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
After listening politely, the woman reached down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, she said, “I made a difference to that one.”
Sometimes we apply for a job for the sole purpose of making ends meet. But what if we are destined for just the right person to come into our life at just the right time? I’m so grateful to say that I have maintained work friendships from as far as 30 years ago until this very day!
Life will always challenge you. You get to choose how you roll with it. Will you be a tumbleweed, aimlessly guided only by the power of the wind? Or will you imagine yourself in the driver’s seat of a black Mercedes-Benz?
We are not meant to settle for the same old story. Roll with The Changes and TURN SOME PAGES! You might be pleasantly surprised by who will cross your path at just the right moment…