Personal Writing

Better Late than Never

I’m late to the Brené Brown game. I have known about her for a number of years (hello, I don’t live under a rock!), and I haven’t actively ignored her writings and TED talks, but I haven’t sought them out, either. I suppose I chafed at her seemingly universal popularity; I’m not a joiner of really…anything; getting on her bandwagon felt too obvious. Too basic.

So I passively ignored her work.

But Brené was in good company; I pretty much have always ignored all self help, personal exploration books. While my mom and my college best friend were eating them up like happy meals, I was busy touting their irrelevance. Probably loudly and proudly.

One thing I’ll say for me, I’m consistent. 🙄

But now, in my middle years of my middle of the country life from my middle class home funded by my middle income, I am not only thinking about self help and personal exploration, I’m dipping my toes into the pool. I’m doing personal writing and sharing it with an audience. I’m looking for more opportunities to do public speaking because what I have to say seems to resonate with people, and it’s feeding something powerful inside of me.

And, of course, I am in the sweet spot of Brené Brown’s key demographic: female, white, educated, middle aged, disposable income, personally restless, empty nester, seeker of more…blah, blah, blah.

So I watched her Netflix special recently while I was out of town. And I loved it.

And when I came home, I “invited” my husband to watch it, too. And he liked it, and I loved it again.

And then I told my son that he and his girlfriend should watch it. (Believe me, the irony of now being the parent encouraging the uber confident young adult to pursue self help and personal exploration, in spite of his pretty obvious disinterest for it [I wonder where he gets that from?] is not lost on me.)

And then we drove to a bookstore, and I bought not one but two of her books. And they are living on a shelf that is slowly filling up with self help/personal exploration books.

You are a Badass. The Gifts of Imperfection. Pause. On Being 40(ish). Be Fearless. How to Get Sh*t Done. Daring Greatly. The Emotionally Intelligent Office. You are a Badass at Making Money. And that’s just what I’ve read in the past three months!

And I find myself reading these books and finding great meaning and discovery in them. They both confirm who I already am and enlighten me to who I’m “meant to be.”

Who even am I anymore?

Maybe I’m making up for all the years I held such disdain for this type of writing. Maybe I’m just getting older and looking for new direction. Maybe I’m (finally?) realizing there are other ways to move through life than the one that projects me straight into the brick wall, over and over again.

What’s Einstein’s definition of insanity?

Oh right: doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

Whatever this new journey is, wherever it is taking me, it’s not lost on me that, once again, the Universe is no doubt holding its sides while tears run down its face in amusement. “Another ‘never’ to cross off the list, Dayna? Never getting married. Never teaching. Never having a full time job. Never, never, never…”

I guess it’s never too late to change.

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.

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