Introduction to When’s It My Turn?
Just a few years ago in an adorable local cafe, we three friends met for brunch and, in a very unusual turn of events, felt compelled to just SPILL IT.
“I have these dreams and this desire to be somebody, but my life is dominated by these little people I brought into the world and I, personally, am going nowhere!” It was sort of like a party. The one where every one wears yoga pants and the guests are cranky and sad.
“Do you ever feel like life will never be about you again?” we asked one another. “If you had the chance to do something right now, what would it be? Do you even know?”
“By the time we do get our lives back, will there be anything left or will we be all dried up and shrunken and gross and fresh out of ideas, just corralling whatever brain cells we have left into keeping us from drooling?”
I know . . . we’re not dramatic at all.
We drank too much coffee and got more and more amped up on anguish, panic, and caffeine. In the middle of a table full of half-eaten toast and cold grits, we carried on like desperate gamblers. Each time one of us would throw out a concern, another one of us would see it and raise it. In the end, all of our hopes, dreams, fears, and marbles were rolling around before us among the toast and grits.
But then something magical and unexpected happened. We were ringing with happiness.
We were happy to know we were not the only grapes withering away to old raisins on the vine. If you’ve got to be a raisin, you might as well have raisin friends! Like the Golden Girls! Right? And then, better yet, we decided, in that moment, that we weren’t going to keep on withering. We were going to defy all laws of nature and come back to LIFE. It was miraculous. Magic swirled around us just like all those dusty, sparkly clouds you see in cartoons. We could feel it in the air.
“I’m going to be writer!” One of us squealed.
“I’m going to get my life coaching off the ground!” another one piped in.
“I’m going to finish up that curriculum I’ve been writing and get started on my consulting firm,” the last of us followed up.
We walked out of that cafe with lassos in hand, ready to wrangle all the dreams we’d been conjuring in the lonely pastures of our living rooms, and we were going for it. Carve out our space in the day. In our lives. In the world and even beyond.
The rest of that day, signs were everywhere. THIS IS YOUR PATH, they seemed to say. THIS IS YOUR DESTINY! It was so real we couldn’t have ignored it if we’d wanted to. We wanted to bottle it. Use it! Drink it all up! This elixir of passion! This sweet nectar of promise!
With all the spirit of 10,000 Tony Robins, we were going places. It was time. It was ours. We just had to take it, that’s all.
But then on our way to take it, heading 60 miles an hour toward the goal, we’d realize we ran out of olive oil and have to go the grocery store. Or our mother would call to complain about her knee acting up again. Or a kid would have a fever and be home from school three days in a row, and that elixir of passion began to taste a little bit like Milk of Magnesia. The sweet nectar of promise went rancid, and that blasted sparkly magic cloud turned into a flimsy, pathetic wisp of smoke hovering in the corner.
We were back to being sad.
It was just life, as we knew it at the moment. If you had to ask either of us what was blowing our hair back? What was driving us? Keeping us up at night with excitement? We’d have just looked at you like that little emoji with its closed mouth turned up to one side. It’s the look that says, “Well …” and then that’s it. That’s all it says.
Our job descriptions, at this moment in time, consist of a 839,000 things which all can really boil down to one: be available. Period. It sounds so free, doesn’t it? Just be available! Be open. Be un-booked. We can assure you it isn’t free at all. And we probably don’t even need to. Because if anything about this book appealed to you enough to read it, you’re feeling it too.
To be available means to be everything.
It means you’re on call, on the clock, on the line, on the horn, and on the road all but about three waking minutes of your day. If you’ve ever found yourself crying out to a very much not living pile of laundry, “When’s it gonna be about me?” . . . If you’ve ever chiseled away at your pot roast with maybe a little too much aggression and a white knuckle grip on your carving knife while you holler, “Where is my space in the world?” . . . If you’ve ever sort of punched that totally too big king-sized feather pillow, while stuffing it impossibly into that ridiculously too narrow pillow case while screaming, “When’s it MY turn?” . . . Well, this book is for you.
Because the answer to those questions came loud and clear and abrupt as an earthquake the day we returned to that little cafe. It was like God Himself delivered the answers on stone tablets into our open Moses arms. That back corner table was our Mount Sinai, and we came down from there with direction clear as church bells.
Oh, now that would have been so helpful. But, in fact, we’re kidding. There was no answer. There was no manual. There were no tablets, burning bushes, bells, ghosts, or creepy messages written in our burnt toast.
We just did one simple thing. We vowed never to stop dreaming and stop sharing those dreams with each other. We vowed that even if we were 89 and could barely see, bumping into each other at brunch, we would keep the hope alive. Because feeling bled out and picked clean and tattered and torn is just easier to tolerate with hearty helping of hope. And also a really hot and frequent bitch session.
So if you’re in need of a little hope or maybe just to need to have a mother-sized fit, you’ve come to the right place.
There’s a seat at this table just for you.
—Melissa, Christi, and Teri
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