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A few weeks ago, my friend Lauren invited me to participate in her Coffee Chat series on Instagram Live. She asked me to talk leaving my career as a television journalist and how it led me to where I am today.

Lauren asked, “Was there a specific moment when you knew that you had to change and do something different?”

I recalled a conversation I had with my doctor when I’d reached a breaking point. I can still see my doctor’s face as she became reflective and said, “I have my career and I have my family. And it’s hard.” Then she paused. “I used to think I could have it all. Now I realize that I have to make choices.”

I didn’t have children at the time, and I didn’t get the sense that she was telling me that one day, I’d have to choose between career and family. What I heard was: I had choices.

A few days later, I met a friend for coffee and told him I was considering a career change. Before we parted, as we stood in the parking lot of Barnes and Noble, he recommended a book. I was so desperate for answers at that point, I ran back inside and bought it immediately.

It changed my life.

Looking back, I can see that it wasn’t one moment that changed my life, but a series of moments. It wasn’t one book; it was a series of books. It wasn’t a career change; it was a series of decisions and circumstances that led to a leap of faith.

I wrote a whole book about that. But today I wanted to tell you about the book that my friend recommended, along with others that had an impact on me.

The books that changed my life:

  1. The book that made me quit my job. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. The question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” jumped off the page. That question still guides me today.
  2. The book that made me realize that the path is not linear, and it’s okay to change. What Should I Do with My Life? by Po Bronson. It’s filled with dozens and dozens of stories about people who changed course, whether by choice or circumstance. I read every single one. I felt like I’d found my people.
  3. The book that taught me to be present. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. The quote that stays with me is, “If you knew you were going to die, you wouldn’t be as ambitious as you are.”
  4. The books that made me realize that I wanted to write a book, specifically a memoir. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan, and Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor. I have read and loved many memoirs, but these books were the first to inspire the kind of writer I wanted to be. I want my words to feel like I’m talking to a friend. 
  5. The book that changed how I feel about home. The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith taught me to embrace the space I have right now and make it mine.
  6. The book that changed how I feel about work. Never Check Email In the Morning by Julie Morgenstern. This book taught me to think like an entrepreneur, even if I’m working for someone else. The book helps the reader identify whether the problem is them or if the problem is you, and what to do in either scenario.
  7. The book that taught me what it means to live an authentic life. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. This book taught me that becoming who you really are is a daily practice, and learning to trust my intuition is recognizing when I don’t know what to do. It’s okay to not know. When I know, I’ll know.

Has a book changed your life? Tell me about it.

Thank you for reading Hello Friday. My memoir “Girl in the Spotlight” will be published by Publish Her in October 2023. If you’d like to help me celebrate, I invite you to share this newsletter with your friends. You can also find me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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