By Angela N. Parker
I was watching Oprah’s two-part interview with former protégée and self-help guru Iyanla Vanzant and was riveted to the screen as Iyanla explained why she walked away from Oprah eleven years ago to do her own show with Barbara Walters.
Since then Iyanla has fallen on hard times, while Oprah’s other protégées — Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Suze Orman and Rachel Ray— have found fame and fortune.
Iyanla’s story struck a very strong cord with me, not for what she said, but for what she couldn’t bring herself to say — that after a few appearances on Oprah she began to believe her own hype, thought she could be the next Oprah, and learned all too quickly that the grass is rarely greener on the other side.
This doesn’t make Iyanla “stupid,” ungrateful” or any of the other negative things people have accused her of being since the shows aired. Let’s face it, we’ve all looked at our boss and/coworker and thought that we could do their job better in our sleep.
If Iyanla’s gamble had paid off we’d be patting her on the back for her bravery, but the whole thing did get me thinking, does every big life decision really happen at an anointed time?
I turned thirty-five a few days ago and it threw me into yet another reevaluation of my life. I’ve always had big dreams of being a bestselling authoress and publishing my own newsmagazine, but we all know that hopes and dreams without implementation are worthless.
We have to work to make our dreams come true, and yes, sometimes we are going to fall face first into a pile of failure and humiliation to get there. But I do wonder how many times we hold back on doing something because we are waiting “for the right time?”
Iyanla spoke of God telling her that it was the “anointed time” to do her own show, but most of us don’t have such strong convictions when we are trying to decide whether to stay in a situation or move on; we are full of trepidation, constantly wondering if we should really fold the cards we are holding.
Staying put or moving on is a question that we are always going to be faced with. Personally, I believe that when we aren’t sure what to do that it’s ok to do nothing. Sometimes we are not as ready to move up as we think.
We need more training, more mentorship, and more life experiences. We need to learn to appreciate where we are and use it as a learning experience. We have to be careful not to blow chances that can get us where we need to be because we are in too much of a hurry to get where we think we should be.
I truly believe that moving forward is part of being successful, but if we are lucky enough to be in a space where we can learn, then we should learn and grow. We’ll be better people for it and better prepared when the time does come to walk into our future.
till next month…
Angela N. Parker is a writer of stuff. You can visit her Under the Hill blog at http://angelanparker.blogspot.com/ and her Writer’s Blog at http://theparkerverse.blogspot.com. Please send any questions/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.