Category Archives: career

The Power of ‘What If?’

This is a speech I wrote when I was in Toastmasters.



Take a moment to look around, and become aware of your surroundings.

Glance at the person sitting beside you.

Now that you’re acquainted with what’s on the outside, I’d like to spend the rest of our time together looking at what’s inside.

Ask yourself this question, “Am I satisfied with my life?”

What’s the answer? Do you  Immediately say “Yes, things are fine.”

Is that really true?

If we had no dreams or ambitions, the status quo would be good enough.

But we do dream of greater things.

The problem is we tell ourselves those dreams are just flights of fancy, and that we belong on earth with our feet on the ground.

Dreams are for people who are afraid to face reality.

What we sometimes forget is that yesterday’s dreams are today’s reality.

We’ve got light bulbs, airplanes, a polio vaccine, female members of congress.

We take those things for granted, but they each began with the dream of a single person.

We tell ourselves:

“I am who I am, and that is that.”

“Greatness is for other people.”

What if Martin Luther King, Jr. had said that?

So what-if I dream?

What if? What if? – two simple words that can change everything.

‘What if’ opens the door to possibilities

‘What if’ shines light on paths that were once shrouded in darkness

Close your eyes and think “What if? What if?”

Do you see pictures in your mind that haven’t appeared since childhood?

Do you see yourself strong and brave and beautiful? Are you fighting fires, building bridges, writing novels, changing lives?

You see something like that, don’t you? When your eyes are closed, there is only you.

There are no well-meaning friends advising you not to take risks, there are no TV commercials telling you that your skin is too wrinkled, or that your car is too small.

When you close your eyes, there is only you.

You  with the potential to do absolutely anything.

What if?

What if you decide to institute a new rule in your life?

The rule is, “no more saying the words “I can’t.”

It’s a hard rule to follow because we face difficult challenges every day.

If you’re tired of your job and it occurs to you that there are other jobs out there, it’s very likely that the thought of searching for a new job makes you nervous.

So you come up with hundreds of reasons why you should just stay where you are.

“I can’t quit my current job. I can’t afford to be unemployed for any length of time.”

“I can’t look for a new job while I’m still at this job, I don’t have the time.”

“I can’t imagine starting over at a new place.”

Now none of these excuses is unreasonable, but you could look at them as challenges rather than barriers.

What if you said, “I can start saving money and soon have enough of a cushion to be able to quit and look for a new position.”?


“I can search for jobs after work instead of watching TV.”

“I can imagine starting again because I’ll be coming to a new place with skills, experience, and enthusiasm.”

I’ll meet lots of great new people.”

What if you made a decision to see yourself with eyes open, the way you see yourself with eyes closed?

What if you decide to open your life to the question “What if?”

Mini meltdown before going down that path

I’ve mentioned here before that I need a degree that is not a dance degree so I can get a full-time job as something other than a clerical worker.  I have begun filling out the application for the Masters program in Instructional Systems Technology at IU.  I am registered to take the GRE in December.  It would seem that my ducks are lining up nicely.

Today I decided to start thinking about preparing for the GRE. I’ve never had to take it. I’ve made a point of avoiding programs that required it. Today I did a Google search for GRE preparation resources, and I came across a site that had some sample questions for the quantitative part of the exam.  I had been telling myself that I can do the math part of the GRE.  It might be a struggle, but I can do it. After today I’m not so sure. After attempting to understand those sample questions I had a mini meltdown. I think I was nearing an actual panic attack.

So then I decided to leap to the conclusion that I cannot do well enough on the test to get into the program. I then decided that I will never be able to get a full-time job that I enjoy. I thought that I might as well just give up on any and all of my dreams.

Then I thought, I could just get a certificate in Instructional Systems  Technology.  I would learn a lot, it would take less time, it would cost less money, and I wouldn’t need the GRE. Would that look as good on my resume? It would not. Sounds like a bit of a cop-out to me. Besides, I really want to delve deeply into the discipline. I want to find a way to make a mark. I want to be a serious scholar. I need to get over my fear of math. I need to believe in myself.

After my little freak out episode, I took Dad to campus so he could take some pictures. I managed to take a few pictures while worrying about my future. Here’s one I took that seems to symbolize the path I’m travelling to get to my distant future.

Wooded path on IUB campus.

The long path to I’m not sure what.

Sick Day

I’m sitting on the couch watching the X-Files. Sadie is on the couch with me drifting in and out of sleep.

Sadie the Chocolate Lab/Pit Bull mix is curled up on the couch fast asleepm.

Sadie sleeps on the couch.

I didn’t feel well last night and only felt like sleeping in the morning. I decided not to go to work today, so after getting up at noon I have brewed a pot of coffee and here I sit with my laptop and my pup watching the X-Files on Netflix.

A Starbucks mug

My coffee

I’m getting closer to knowing what I want to try and focus on in grad school. I’ve come across some articles on digital literacy and I think that topic interests me. I wonder if there is a way to combine communications and instructional design. I’m just feeling like I want to be a scholar of some sort. I want to be an expert. I want to be  taken  seriously be potential employers.

I need to make some Twitter lists to help me better consume the information that comes in about topics I might want to get all scholarly with.  That was not the best sentence in the world, but I’m going to let it stand. I understood what I was trying to say.

I am totally not paying attention to this X-Files episode. Maybe I should start over. Perhaps a nap is in order.

My Way

I have to find my own way. I really do.

I had a job interview today and it made me realize that I know what I really like to do. I like dealing with information. I like sharing content, mine and that of others. I like using the word “content,” even though it’s probably one of those overused buzzwords. I like writing blog posts. I like creating videos, and taking photos, and making visual art. I like being immersed in all of the neat stuff the world has to offer. When I say world, I mean the real world as well as the digital one.

I must find my own way, and I must do it now! How am I going to do it? I think I have a plan.
I’m gonna make a list of the things I want to write about in each of my blogs. I’ll attach a schedule to that list. Then, I will get to work.

Time is running out!


My Thing

I confess; I’m not good at commitment.

I shouldn’t say that.  I am committed to my husband. In the past, I questioned the concept of monogamy, but now I believe that it’s the way to go. Who has time for 3 boyfriends? I barely have time for myself.

This post is not about my marriage. It’s about my career (or lack of one). For the last several months, I toyed with the idea of becoming an Instructional Designer. I would get a masters degree, become a thought leader, get a job in the field-the whole nine yards. I started collecting information about eLearning, education, learning styles, etc.  But as I consumed all of this information I began to realize that while I’m interested in Instructional Design and its related topics, I don’t think I can make it “my thing.”   I don’t think it’s meant to be.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like making instructional videos. In fact, I’m currently working on converting the materials from a 3-hour instructor-led Photoshop workshop to a multi-part video course. I’m breaking the workshop into several small parts that people will be able to consume on their own, at their own pace. This is a proof-of-concept project, so I’m hoping the bosses will like it and want more of the same. I’m good at this stuff, but that’s not all I want to do.

I’m fairly certain that I like to write. It’s so hard, but I’m compelled to do it. I think I’d like to write fiction, but it seems like the hardest type of writing there is. I’m sporadically working on a short story. I’ll open up the file, add a couple hundred words, and then not get back to it for a month or two. I’ll think about, but I won’t write. Am I scared of failure?  Could it be that I’m lazy? It’s probably a little bit of both.

What I’m getting to here is this: Blogging about my various interests is the thing I’m supposed to do. I am a dabbler, and I’m going to write about my dabbles. I can inform, educate, entertain, and inspire my readers.

Maybe it’s a hobby. Maybe it’s something I can do for a living. I don’t know. What I do know is that it feels right. It feels like “my thing!”

Clouds in blue sky

Could it be that the sky is the limit?

Mini Breakdown and the Higgs Boson

Before you get too excited, I’ll let you know that I won’t be talking to much about the recent Higgs Boson news. This post is more about my job search.

I’m sitting in the living room. Sadie is with me on the couch. OJ is on the floor where he usually is when we’re in the living room. If he decides he wants to come over and be closer to me, Sadie will chases him back to his spot. She’s a little jealous.

I had a mini breakdown the other night. I was in bed thinking about the  three jobs I’ve applied for. I felt confident when I spruced up my resume and wrote my cover letters. When you take stock of yourself like that, you realize you’ve got a lot more going for you than  what you’ve given yourself credit for. That night I had lost my confidence. I had myself a good little cry. Everybody needs a good cry from time to time.

Today I applied for a job that involves coordinating projects.  I remembered my experience producing performances for the dance company I used to belong to. That was project management,  so I mentioned it in my cover letter. I’ve got some experience under my belt that I forget about in those moments when I’m feeling sorry for myself. I have to keep remembering that the universe has always taken care of me and it always will. It’s never failed me.

In Physics news

They think they’ve found the “God Particle.”  I can’t intelligently discuss it so I’ll point to an article about it. This existence of ours  (if we do in fact exist), is amazing isn’t it?


The birds were singing today, loudly and gleefully. Spring is  next week. It’s going to snow tomorrow, but spring is next week! I just might make it out of this cold dark winter.

A drowsy OJ

A drowsy OJ

Sleepy Sadie

Sleepy Sadie


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