I have a life. I am reasonably free. I haven’t yet exercised my self-evident right to pursue happiness. ‘Cuz this is not the happy I thought I would get. This is happy, but it’s not mine. My happy fits like a glove. That’s how I could reach this age and not be completely fulfilled in every-single-solitary aspect of my life. Wrong happy.
Welcome to my self-talk, as I prepare for the second act of my life.
So, I made a breakfast meeting with an extremely accomplished woman who works in my town and does it in a way I admire. Yeah, that’s not like me, talking to strangers, but I decided to make an exception, and did.
She came into the coffee shop where we’d agreed to meet, sort of parting the sea while I was at the counter getting a chai latte. She went with the hostess, telling me, “I’ll be over there.” I was only sure it was her because she asked me my name while the sea was parting. I whispered, “okay,” and hoped that the tea wouldn’t take too long.
After too many minutes waiting for tea while she looked at the menu, I met her at the table. After the tiniest bit of mandatory chit chat, we got right to it. I knew I’d like her! I told her, “I’m looking to go back to work full time. My baby is big, the book and two plays are completed. I want a normal job that uses what I’ve got. I don’t know how to…”
“Let me stop you right there,” she jumped in. “You know. You do, you know exactly what to do.” And then she proceeded to give me all of her secret sauce of professional success. She just told me, because I asked her. I took notes and listened. Like, listened really deeply. She told me about companies that were hiring for what I want to do. She mentioned ways to get a position outside of “Job listings”. How to get funding if I want to focus on entrepreneurship. She cracked open her phone and took me to websites I’d never heard of, gave me social media pointers and killer networking opportunities. But she cautioned me, before doing any of these things it is essential to know exactly who I am and what that’s worth.
And then, the bombshell: “Your daughter doesn’t need you. She can do all kinds of things on her own now, and she should. The critical thing you do for her now is show her how to persevere. Show her how you can be the person you want to be, and not rest on the person you have been.”
What did you just say to me, lady I’ve never seen before this moment? How do you know what my soul needs?
She also told me to sit down with a pen and a pad and don’t get up until I have decided who I am now, after all the experiences, and the effort and the mistakes. And then, she said, my job is to go out in the world being that, and I will meet my new position there. Then, she paid for breakfast, passed me a business card, shook my hand really warmly, and walked back to her office after greeting some people at the table behind us.
Who knew? Angels are real.