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Don’t Wait to Change!

I recently read “Crossing the Finish Line after 41 years, Relaxed and Calm!” by AliceM. She said, “But one does not need to wait 41 years before you decide that you want and seek a 2nd Act’;” referring to changing your life at any point in time.

She’s right, any time is a good time to consider how we change our lives, because we don’t know how much time we might have. We might have decades, but we might not. Mattie Stepanek did not have a lot of time.

According to Wikipedia, Mattie Stepanek described himself as “a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played.” He published seven best-selling books of poetry and essays before his death at the age of 13. He discovered his gifts as a child.

We can discover our gifts at any time. Don’t be afraid of pursuing them. Recognize that the path to success may be crooked.

I’m 62. I’ve wanted to be a fiction writer for years, yet I hesitated. There were stories in my head but transferring them to paper was difficult. I started and stopped repeatedly.

I eventually gave up on writing and became a Toastmaster. Toastmasters is not only a speakers’ organization, but also an organization that helps people become leaders. Over 10 years I became a more confident person both as a leader and a speaker. This gave me encouragement to join a writers’ meetup group.

The writers’ organization, which includes both published authors and novices like me, is creative in how it presents itself with various types of sessions. Sessions allow participants, guided by prompts at the time of the meetup, to write ten-minute stories, hour-long stories or poems. It also has a Work in Progress segment that allows would-be authors to have their books, novels, non-fiction, or poetry, reviewed by all Work in Progress participants.

I still had failures in the Work in Progress meeting, which led me to take a big step away. I entirely dropped the novel that I had started working on after being told that there was nothing engaging about the story.

I continued with the shorter segments, strengthening my writing skills and when I had a new novel in mind and had written a dozen pages, I returned to the Work in Progress activity. This time the story was identified as interesting. The participants had meaningful recommendations to improve the story, some of which I incorporated and some of which I didn’t. The book isn’t done yet, but it’s writing itself in my head. My hands are barely keeping up.

Our current circumstances are limiting many people, but if you look on the internet you can find numerous organizations that continue to meet online (both my Toastmasters club and my writers’ group do).

Learn to start an online business, join a choir, take classes, learn to play an instrument, follow exercise or cooking programs. We have opportunities to change our lives.

Stepanek said, “Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.”

Roxy Merizalde works for Texas Workforce Commission as a Training Specialist. Pre-COVID-19, she traveled throughout Texas teaching staff The Workforce Information System of Texas (TWIST). Development activities include TWIST, WIT and SharePoint courses and online versions for TWIST.

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