“You kids quiet down!” If you’re feeling wild, you’ve no doubt heard that, or PIPE DOWN, or KNOCK IT OFF, or something similar, for sure. You’re a kid, kids make noise, and in the new book “Who are Venus and Serena Williams?” by James Buckley Jr., you’ll read about two girls who were encouraged to make a lot of “racquet!”
Difficult. We all know someone like that, who could charitably be called a challenge. Someone who swims against the current, who rubs people the wrong way, who makes you growly. In the new book “Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green” by Jimmy McDonough, ruffled feathers can come from surprising places.
Everyone you meet has an effect on your life. Somehow, in some way, others change you: a stranger’s smile lifts your mood. Kindness makes you happy. An injustice spurs you to action, making you someone else’s change. Clearly, as in the new memoir “Truth Doesn’t Have a Side” by Dr. Bennet Omalu (with Mark Tabb), a chance meeting could alter your path.
From here to there. That’s where you need to move your stuff: from Point A to Point B. Take it out of one place and put it in another, possibly many miles away. And it’s not like you can wiggle your nose or wave a magic wand to do it, either; you need someone who knows what he’s doing. In “The Long Haul” by Finn Murphy, there’s somebody like that out there.
None of the other kids like you. They don’t include you in anything; in fact, they often just plain ignore you, and some even pick on you. You don’t understand why this is, but there isn’t much you can do: quitting your job is not an option. In “Popular” by Mitch Prinstein, you’ll see why being Top Dog matters, after all these years.
Your life is entirely wrapped up in your job. You never aimed for that to happen, but it’s okay: what you do for a living has become your passion and therefore, you do it well. Life and work balance for you, but in the new book “Called to Rise” by David O. Brown (with Michelle Burford), you’ll see the balance tip.
Nothing’s set in stone. Few things are. Lucky for you, there’s usually a chance to change your mind or have a do-over. You can often get another go at something because few things are that firmly decided. As in the new book “Sin of a Woman” by Kimberla Lawson Roby, you can sometimes have a second chance.
When you were twenty, you wanted only to impress. If people looked at you, wasn’t that good? You wanted to be seen, watched, adored by those you saw as desirable. But what, exactly, did you want people to notice? Was it your hair, your body or, as in “Surpassing Certainty” by Janet Mock, was the whole you on display?
Leading by committee may seem equal, right? Everybody should have a voice, but there has to be a head honcho in the mix somewhere. Somebody has to make decisions and stand up, to lead with a big heart, a cool head, an open mind and, in “The Boss” by Aya de León, a solid backbone.
You can do it. Yes, you can. You just need to take a deep breath and then blow it out. Find the courage inside yourself. Think of something else and do it. Don’t be scared. As you’ll see in “Jabari Jumps” by Gaia Cornwall, good things come to those who get brave and take the leap.