Imagine that climactic scene in a cheesy movie when the well-intentioned heroine gets caught walking in a unexpected rainstorm. She reacts in the only way she can—sprinting toward safety (that is of course 20+ minutes away) while hiding her smart phone under her shirt to protect it from water damage.
Rain droplets fall into her eyes, which are barely open and already stinging from the washable mascara she accidentally bought last week. It, too, has hopped on the “let’s run” train and is streaming down her cheeks. The rain pours harder but she pushes on, annoyed that weather predictions are (predictably) unreliable...
10 minutes to go.
She’s now struggling to breathe because:
Meanwhile, a motivational voice in her earbuds just happens to be saying, “Don’t celebrate participation. Celebrate results!”
She glances up at the sky. “Is THIS your way of making me participate fully?” She keeps running.
Eventually she can hardly breathe and stops briefly under a tree lining the sidewalk. Through the snot, the sticky clothing, the stinging eyelids, she bursts into laughter, not caring what she looks like or what drivers in cars passing by are thinking.
This is real. This is messy. This is life. Not a Hallmark movie.
She has one mission: get home with her phone still working. No prince in shining armor is coming to her rescue. She’s gonna get there soaking wet and on her own two legs.
A few minutes later she turns the familiar corner and makes a mad dash for the finish line. Crashing through her back gate, she is elated and exhausted and home.
She made it.
She pulls out her phone to check if it’s still operational. The motivational voice stopped speaking a while ago, but everything still works.
She thanks her limbs for carrying her.
She thanks her now drenched shirt for protecting her phone.
And she vows to never again buy washable mascara.
Came across this little bug as I was walking into the office today and realized in that moment just how much we could relate to one another.
Are you an expert at “fitting in?”
What happens when you finally decide to step out into the light (or in my case, a NEW light as a musician and coach)?
For my part, I can say it feels both exciting AND uncomfortable! And I’ve been experiencing all the feelings lately.
How about you?
Several years ago, my sister and I were both home in Louisiana, and we decided to carve pumpkins together.
Since that’s a fun-but-messy project and the glorious fall weather was calling to us, we set up outside on the driveway.
Mom, being her perpetually nurturing self, told us to “just throw the seeds in the flowerbeds.”
So we did…
Guess what Mom called to tell me a few months later about those little, forgotten seeds?
That’s right. Two beautiful, orange pumpkins had sprouted from the gooey pumpkin guts we had unceremoniously discarded.
Thinking of this story reminds me of that saying, “Bloom where you are planted.”
In recent years I’ve realized that this is a gift of mine.
No matter where in the world I happen to be, I manage to see blessings in challenges, find opportunities in unexpected places, and connect not to get ahead but to grow with others.
It’s not usually easy at first. In fact, a few tears and limiting thoughts usually run rampant in the beginning.
But like those little pumpkin seeds that got watered by the rain and nurtured by the sun, tiny consistent actions over time can grow into incredible gifts.
Opportunities are all around us if we are open to seeing them.
Do you find opportunities in unusual circumstances?
Would you like to level up your ability to grow and thrive even in challenging situations?
I’m participating in an exciting challenge: to have 100 powerful pro-bono coaching conversations (no strings attached).
If you’d like to dive deep into your own mindset and explore your own big goals/what’s holding you back in one of those conversations, send me a DM and let’s talk. Or send this to a friend who may find it helpful.
Let’s grow together, right now, where we’re planted, and see what we can create!
Ashley Orlando is a jazz vocalist/ukulele artist and coach who helps growth-focused leaders find their voice, grow their presence & amplify their impact.