As soon as I made the decision to sell my little ranch in Texas, I started running around like a crazy woman looking for a place to build my dream (The Center for Grief Recovery) and a place to call home. So, if there was an empty building on the side of the road, a "For Sale" sign on a piece of land it was a given, I was trudging through the pasture in my high heels or flip flops to see what was on the other side of the fence! At the time, it never crossed my mind that my TX ranch had not sold, that I was finishing up my last semester of college, or that I was "officing" out of a shed, unemployed, and living in a tiny RV with my mother.
Seriously, who does this?
Anyone in their right mind could have seen that I was in no position to be moving forward in the direction of my dreams. I knew this. But I couldn't help it. It's who I am. It's what I do.
So when my sister asked me to lunch during that time, I jumped at the chance to reconnect with her. The truth was, I knew in my heart it was time to mend some fences and build some bridges with my family. During that lunch, we shed a few tears over our cheese enchiladas and at the end of our meal I looked at her and asked, "Will you do me a favor? I want to show you something."
We drove to a vacant home. And like we were two little girls again, we walked around the acreage talking and laughing. We slowly made our way over to the pond, stepped onto the wooden deck and gazed across the water. I took in a deep breath. A sense of peace finally came over me and my sister began to pray. Then she looked up at me and shouted, "You're a Rhino!" My first instinct was to look down at my thighs and take offense! But I started laughing out loud and shouted back, "I know, Right?!"
I knew exactly what my sister was referring too. Afterall, she purchased a gymnasium full of equipment BEFORE she bought the building! If anyone knew my heart, she did. Understanding the intimate details of my life and the struggles I had encountered, my sister knew exactly what I was doing. Regardless of whether that particular spot was to be my future home, I was making a statement. I was determined to overcome my fears, leap out in faith, and take charge of my own life.
You see, Rhinos despite their large size, are fast and agile. They can run 30 mph for short distances and they can turn on a dime. Rhinos also have poor vision, like me, as they can only see three feet in front of them. And we are all aware of the fact that Rhinos have thick skin. (I'm still working on that one) But, most of all, Rhinos don't wait. Rhinos take charge!
What I have learned:
- It takes the same amount of energy to charge at a small dream as it takes to charge at a big dream. So dream big! Start running the race of life with passion and conviction. I promise that if you take charge of your challenges and circumstances that one day your life will turn around on a dime too!
- Stop waiting for the perfect day, the stars to align or all the stop lights to turn green before you get ready to get up, to get going! Life is an incredible journey...and yes, some days are better than others. So what if you have to run three feet, stop and look both ways and then start running again? Just do it!
- Develop a thick skin but maintain a kind heart. I truly believe that most people are well intentioned. They are just ill-informed. You have to learn to protect your dreams and your heart by not taking everything personally. Be kind. What good is it to climb the ladder of success but not have anyone to share it with?
- This is your life. Men and women have sacrificed, died, and taken risks for you to live in a country where you have the freedom to live out loud, follow your hearts, and pursue your dreams. Don't sit on the sidelines of life. Someone else paid the price for you to get in the game. So have and play!
- Take charge! Be proactive. You want a promotion? Then dress and perform like the president of the company, take out the office garbage, and help your co-workers succeed. And work like you mean it! You want a dozen roses? Then plant a rose garden, pick your own weeds, and give some flowers away. And when you have earned it and when you least expect it, your promotion and your flowers will arrive. It's the law of the Universe. It's the way God works.