What Shall I Do With My Life?

Posted: June 8, 2011 in Vocation

I have always been fascinated by the stories of other people, why people do what they do…more than just a mild curiosity. It goes all the way back to when I was a sophomore in college and thinking about declaring my major.  I had just finished speech class, and my final speech was on (don’t hate me or judge please, it was the 70’s) interracial marriage…was it wrong or was it right. (Now THAT’S a story all in itself, but that’s for another time) My speech professor was from an ultra conservative background and I knew she was opposed (quite vehemently in fact) to it. But, I knew that I wasn’t and decided for my final, persuasive speech I would convince her, bring her over to the other side.

Well, I misjudged both my ability to persuade on such an emotional topic because, to put it simply, I was so scared I couldn’t get into the flow of my speech. I also underestimated the strength of her conviction. I guess I just didn’t get it. And that got me to thinking, what would make a person think and feel so strongly about something like this?  What was it that led her to that belief, how did she justify it and why the intense emotion around it?

That semester I also sat through Introduction to Psychology, and even though the instructor was as dry as an Arizona dust storm, I was nonetheless fascinated with the topic. That’s saying something for me back then….you see, there wasn’t much in books that fascinated me. I was a runner, a tennis player, a basketball player, an athlete. I loved to play. Studies were just not my thing. Isn’t it interesting how we change?

So, as I was saying, the time came for me to declare my major. I decided that what I’d love to study most was speech and psychology. I had visions of adrenalin flowing as I persuaded people on highly emotional beliefs (maybe it was the challenge of doing that without being so scared I’d pee my pants), and when they argued with me about it, I would learn why they thought the way they did.

Yes, I know, a rather simplistic way of looking at a career, but it was all I had. The only problem with this double major choice of mine is that the school I was presently attending at the request (read demand) of my father (who was paying the bills) didn’t have such a major, It was a bible school and I had been given the opportunity to go there and find myself a husband. Funny now when I think about it.

So, why did you choose your college major and did make a career out of it? What’s your story?

It all started when . . .

Posted: June 7, 2011 in Appearance

It was a hot summer day, and I was standing in the kitchen making myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I was 16 years old, an avid cyclist and an athlete. I was wearing a pair of denim shorts that I had cut off from last year’s jeans, and they were frayed at the edges and SHORT. I mean really short.

I weighed about 120 pounds at the time, long blonde hair and had a beautiful golden tan.  My father walked into the room from behind me and made a comment about my shorts which I don’t clearly remember, but at the end of his rant and the consistent rolling of my eyes that he couldn’t see, he said, “they don’t even look good on you.”

I was crushed. But, little did I know at the time that I would carry that stabbing comment as a story in my head for the rest of my life….the story that said I was not attractive in shorts.

My father was wrong, not just because I was smokin’ in those shorts, but also because he evidently didn’t have a clue how to constructively and effectively get a 16 year old girls attention and help her understand how to protect herself. I’m certain now that was his intention. To protect me.

Nonetheless, I have carried that story with me my whole life. And even tho at the time I was a hottie, I subconsciously believed I wasn’t and over time began to gain weight, essentially making his statement come true. What a cycle.

The moral of this story isn’t about the power of words, although much could be said about that. It’s also not about establishing blame for any of my weaknesses or flaws as an adult.  No. It’s about taking responsibility. Until I hit the delete button and hold it down to erase the negative stories stored there, my behavior and choices will continue to reflect his words. That’s not his fault, it’s mine! But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

What are the stories in your head?  What do you say to yourself when you get up in the morning? What tapes are running all the time in the background of your mind, influencing your behavior and choices without your conscious permission?

This blog is all about building positive stories …. taking out the old, bringing in the new and celebrating it all together! I’ll share the things I’ve learned along the way on my own journey, some tips on undoing (or many times embracing!) your own stories and offer tools to help others know their own value and worth.

I’m so glad you’re here. Welcome!