What is your forte?
The Time is Now
This past August my friend Bridget gifted me a book called The Time is Now: 170 Ways to Seize the Moment . On mornings when I am feeling uninspired or unmotivated I pick it up and flip to the next page, always just the next page, never skipping ahead, and see what inspiration may come from the passage for that day.
Every once in a while these minimalist little pages can take me on a serious intellectual and emotional journey, they spark some serious reflection and introspection. Some days I find the message on the page useful or powerful but otherwise unremarkable
Today, when I awoke for the first time after giving up my temporary spinal cord stimulator implant, with the pain back in my left leg and foot for the first time in a week, I was feeling a little drab. (I’ll write more about that implant later, I promise.) It was also raining outside and has been since I woke up at 5:00am, so that isn’t helping.
I decided once I sat down with my coffee that today would be a good day for The Time is Now. This morning, I opened the book to this page and it took me on a journey:
The time is now… to discover your forte.
So, this was going to be one of those pages.
I asked for a typewriter when I was 8, for my birthday.
I wanted to write all the things.
I would sit with my friends in my bedroom and we would write stories aloud together and I’d type them as we went. My friend Gordon was usually the best sport about it.
I would type just for the sake of feeling the keys and mechanics move inside of it. I loved the sound each keystroke made and the heaviness that shifted the machine slightly whenever I hit the backspace or return keys.
Creative writing has always been in my heart.
It’s always been my forte.
I put it away for so long, though, thinking that first I have to do this and then I have to do that and then I need to make money with a real job and then I have to do that other thing...
I was regularly scolded by The Jerk supervisor at my last job for writing so much detail in foster parent home studies yet praised by another because “...It feels like reading a book.” She said, “It feels like I’m in their home with them, sitting and having a conversation.”
A counselor at the same job once told me he felt like he could curl up with a glass of wine and a hot bath and read my home studies, they were so much like reading a story.
Still... I had the list of all of the things I thought I was supposed to do. Reconnecting with my forte wasn’t one of them.
I wanted a Plan B
Then, one day, I said yes to something totally out of the box — my skincare business. I had been watching my friend Toby for over a year and a half and I wanted that. The confidence and the stressing less about money and the Plan B. Gimme that!
That one yes was the catalyst to everything else you’ve seen me do.
Skincare isn’t my forte.
It’s a vehicle I use to develop and indulge in my forte.
I started my blog in my darkest hour, when I realized that there were other people in their darkest hour too, who maybe couldn’t see the light quite as well as I could.
Maybe they didn’t have the support I did or the problem-solving skills that come with a lifetime of trauma and poverty…
(it is what it is folks, I see it as a strength.)
I met Amber Jensen (Author of This is Dirt) in that same group and we became friends.
She was an author.
I called her in October 2017, filled to the gills on Gabapentin and muscle relaxers and said, “I have this idea for a book... what do you think?”
And suddenly, in addition to being my friend, she became my mentor.
I have a new network of a couple of hundred folks who are all there for one another as we all fight to survive and maintain quality of life in the world of being Spoonies.
I met the ladies of Lore de Force in a freaking Podcast fan group, asked them if they’d like to be interviewed on our podcast, and voila! Six months later, they’ve designed and built the website for A Non Mom Happy Hour and most recently, I worked with them to design and build this very website.
I launched a freaking website.
For a book I wrote.
I wrote a book!!
I’ve learned so many things during this past year and a half but the two key things are this:
Writing is my forte, and I was silly to ever have abandoned it or pushed it off.
Encouraging and inspiring others is also my forte, as well as my vehicle for making the positive impact on the world I thought I had to work in the nonprofit sector to make.
Skincare isn’t my forte but I do believe in and love the products (and not having acne) and I am able to use that business as a vehicle, a tool I utilize to indulge in my forte.
What is your forte?
Do you know yet?
Do you recognize out-of-the-box resources you might utilize to hone in on and develop it?
Because I’ll tell you what else is not my forte — killing myself filling the roles of two and three people and working for the salary of half a person and running my body and my spirit into the ground.
Can I get an Amen?