Has there been a time in my life where I’ve truly felt powerful? Yeah, sure. The most recent example has to be when I made the decision to move away and attend school for the second time. It’s funny to be blogging about this so close to the one-year anniversary of the date I officially moved to the “A” to pursue this adventure.
So, it’s not like I had just graduated from undergrad and was still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with no obligations (or obligations I didn’t care about). No, I was 27 and a Wake Forest University alum of five years. I had a full-time, dead-end job, credit card bills, a car note, rent; student loans were being paid back. I pretty much had the whole enchilada of young adult life. I had become one of those people who always talks about doing something else, but never could get up the nerve to do it. I was stuck and going nowhere fast.
I attribute the strength to get off my ass and make a change to my grandmother. She saw how miserable I was and would always encourage me to do something different everytime I would complain about my job. I’d always reply, “Yeah, yeah Grandma, I’ll do it some day.” And, she’d always say the same thing, “You better do it while you can, because some day may never come.” I never took those words seriously until she passed away in the summer of 2006 at the young age of 62. At the time, I felt that it was unfair and that she was taken too early, but then I looked at her life and was blown away. She’d pulled herself up from living in a one room shack in the back woods of Georgia to owning multiple properties. She’d raised not only her five kids, but her grandchildren and her great, grandchildren. She’d traveled to Europe and across the United States. She was an elder at her church and currently serving on as Head Usher on the Usher board. On top of all that, she was still working part-time. I realized that while 62 years was not a lot of time, there were numerous things a person could accomplish. This, in turn, made me realize that I had just wasted five years of my life bitching and complaining about my situation and not doing a thing about it.
The day after her funeral, I started making plans, saving money, applying to schools, and low and behold, a year and half later I was packing my stuff, telling my job to kiss my ass, and heading off to a city I had never lived in. I had no job and had barely solved the problem of a place to live, but guess what? I felt like I was finally in control. I was free and not confined by a my surroundings and my situation and it felt great. Has it worked out? Well, I love Atlanta. I’m not a collector. I am more in love with writing than I ever have been in the past. The creative side of adverting and design rocks. I’ve made new friends. Yeah, I’d say have to say so far so good.
So, that’s my empowerment story. What’s yours?