At the end of 2013 I was gearing up to read this little book called “Break Out” by a guy you may have heard of before named Joel Osteen. Anyone who knows me knows I am not the most religious person. I don’t have anything against religion, I have just witnessed too many Warren Jeffs of the world and preachers who put more energy into their suits and shoes than their sermon. Religion has left a bad taste in my mouth. The business of giving people something to believe in can get very messy and somewhere after spending 10 years in Catholic school and hearing about all the great ways living your life could get you a VIP spot in hell, I found myself avoiding anything that ended with an, “Amen.”
I had reached a point of stagnation. Although I had a lot to be thankful for both personally and professionally, I felt like I had lost some momentum when it came to my writing career and to some extent even my personal relationships. I was e-mailing editors, pitching pieces like I had an MLB contract on the line and nothing seemed to stick. At the end of the day I was just another freelancer with very little following and no site to call home.
So one day I’m surfing the internet and didn’t notice whatever show I had playing in the background had ended and I had involuntary tuned into one of Joel’s sermons. What stood out to me the most what that Joel didn’t focus on a top ten list of what would earn you a first row seat in front of Satan. There was a lot of positivity in what he was saying. He made God seem like someone I could talk to that would understand how challenging living today can be and that if I changed my way of looking at the world ever so slightly, I could be a better person. After receiving “Break Out!” as a Christmas gift, I wasn’t reading for long before I knew what I had to do: I had to lose control.
Up until that point I believed that if I worked hard enough, wanted it bad enough and organized my life to death in a daily planner, eventually I would get the opportunities I wanted. I was literally doing the most and driving myself insane with frustration until Joel suggested that I had to lose the humility in my prayer and lose control of my life…or at least the illusion of control I thought I had. So I made my vision board filled with all of the opportunities I wanted to attract as a writer. I prayed and I accepted that whatever was meant to happen would happen. Before I knew it in February I was offered a writing position with a website called Besider that focused on my first love of sex-ed and a weekend editor position with Madamenoire, the website that gave me my first real chance at professional writing. As cliché as it may sound, I let go and I let God and my life went from stagnant to overdrive.