Several months ago I wrote the following in a post entitled Leave No Path Untaken:
“I have an innate need to be part of things. And not only PART of the world, but CREATING it and IMPROVING it. Somehow my ego thinks this is possible and actually necessary or the world just simply won’t go round…It’s really difficult for me to feel just mediocre. I tell myself I am destined for greatness and need to be the best at everything I do. There’s a lot of pressure that I put on myself to be this person every. single. day. Even when I try to GIVE MYSELF A BREAK by taking a walk (or starting a blog) I still feel like it needs to be the BEST walk of my life, or the absolute most inspiring blog post ever written!”
I think a lot about the need I have to somehow make every moment a memorable one. Blog-worthy. Epic even. Last week I had one such experience which I would consider to be particularly remarkable.
For the last few years I’ve attended a conference called Time Out For Women with my Mother-in-law and sister-in-law. It is, exactly as it sounds, an opportunity for women to give themselves a break from daily tasks, whatever they may be, and focus on what makes them (us) special and important. Each conference has a line up of inspirational speakers and musical guests (both men and women). This year the line up included an incredible singer/songwriter/guitarist and also husband/father named Justin Cash.
Well, since I don’t really ever “give myself break”, I used his performance time to imagine a scenario in which I got him a job working for my dad and devised a plan for how I would make this a reality. If/when this worked out, Justin would have a great job, Dad gets a fabulous artist, I have something to say to this singer after the show besides “I really enjoyed your music!” Everybody wins! Of course I couldn’t just sit and enjoy the show.
Ironically, Justin also had a few things to say between songs and what came out was a paraphrase of the following quote by Elder Dieter Uchtdorf (Member of the LDS church general presidency):
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before…Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty… As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.”
Hey, that’s what I’m doing! Thank you for the validation, Elder Uchtdorf.
So after the show, I approached Justin and, in the most composed voice I could muster, pitched to him my idea for his future. Not wanting to offend him by implying that he needed a better gig, I think I apologized and smiled a lot. But I was thanked with a hug and a napkin to write on. I gave him my dad’s email address, with “Tell him Whitney referred you” scribed underneath. Again I apologized and explained why I had written my own name on the napkin, he laughed and thanked me, I wished him luck and we parted ways.
I just realized how many times I referred to him as “Justin” so apparently from my end the meeting went well and we are now on a first name basis.
I was very inspired by this conference and did actually listen and not try to respond to or intervene with the majority of the show. It was a good feeling to be recognized for the things I’m already doing, and encouraging to see that change is possible for me. Probably the next few posts will have to do with things I learned from this experience. But for now I’m going to make one last helpful (and hopefully profitable) plug!
If you’re reading this and you live in the Charleston, South Carolina area, please make this a priority! It’s an incredible show created by a couple of people who I love very much, who also happen to have been very talented Broadway performers. Maybe if you mention me they’ll give you a discount!
I believe in karma. Maybe…just maybe…now a spot will open up for me in their cast 😉