I’m going to share a truth with you all – the last couple of years, I got lost. I gave up. I got scared. I ate junk food.
For more than ten years, I successfully ran my own business. The money came in at record speed, and I had to turn down work. For a while I was grateful, but then I began to believe that I was Rumplestiltskin, turning straw into gold. I bought a place at the beach and drove a BMW. I was the bomb.
Then my ego blew up. . .
The real estate market crashed at the same time as my passion for making money. That was not a good combination.
As my kids went out on their own, I got tired of the 80-hour work week. I realized that I had loved the work because it gave me money to make my kids dreams come true. I thought about my degree in English, my Master’s work in writing, and my unhealthy love for bookstores.
I decided to become a famous blogger, but learned that making money from a blog could take years. I also learned that sitting in front of Friends for several hours a day doesn’t make you profitable.
Instead of getting quiet, I went into full panic mode and gave God a time limit. I needed a definite answer about life’s direction in the next, like, few days.
I looked for signs in everything. Did that butterfly offer me a message that I missed? Did I trip over that ottoman because I’m supposed to write comedy like “The Dick Van Dyke Show”? Did that feather on the ground mean something? During this time of frantic searching, I gathered enough feathers to build a very weird looking bird.
The wings were a pretty interesting sign . . .
Not that I was without true signs. I went out one day at noon and found this image on the back windshield of my BMW (see the picture above the title).
I know it looks like a bird ran into the windshield, but we never found the bird, and the detail of the feathering is pretty amazing. It looks more like the bird flew through my windshield:
The image was so perfect, I asked my then 24 year-old son if he had stenciled them during the night. He replied, “Yes, mother, that’s what I do with my time. I go out, buy stencils and chalk, and stencil birds on my mother’s windshield while she sleeps.”
The shape of the bird stayed on my windshield for two weeks, even through torrential rains. It comforted me.
But comfort wasn’t enough . . .
I needed a career map, so I jumped on a big metal bird and flew to the west to find my direction. I prayed for an answer in the desert, but ended up wandering through it in tears. I should have learned from the Israelites.
While there, I did get one message in a dream. My deceased dad was sitting on one side of me, my deceased grandmother on the other side of me, and they said:
Dad: Give them the light, Donna. They need the light.
Grandmom: And have fun doing it!
Grandmom patted my hand as she had done so many times, and I sat up, thrilled by their message but still hoping they’d be a little more specific. I guess I wanted them to say, “Donna, you will be offered a job next week by a consulting firm making six figures where you can show them the light and have fun doing it!”
I went home and gave up. Again. Churchill would have smacked me.
And now . . .
I am all in. Giving up makes me tired and fat. Plus, my grandmother, father, and some very beautiful wings told me to get off that fat ass and enjoy myself.
My work is to energize people, help them through change, and make them laugh while doing it. I am coaching, writing two blogs, and presenting seminars. I’m looking for an agent and a publisher. And, this time, I’m not giving up.
My message to you is . . .
All of the posters and quotes and Churchills are right – never, never, never give up.
Our purpose isn’t a clear message delivered in a burning bush. Oh, wait, yeah, sometimes it is. But, for most of us, our purpose is discovered one daily step at a time.
So take your step, and have fun doing it. When things get darkest, trust that wings of comfort are there when you most need them.
And I wouldn’t recommend picking up feathers, mostly because my mom told me they carry disease.