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Do you know a lane changer? Lane changers inspire us to see new possibilities through their words and actions. They forge new paths for us to follow. Perhaps, you’re a lane changer because of a bold decision you made.

As part of my Celebrating women and their stories blog series, I posed this question to a few fearless and fab women. Here’s what they had to say…

A lane changer for service

Shirley Frye, a lane changer and leader of service in Greensboro, stands in front of a wood wall in blue with her hands crossed and smilingPhoto Credit: Shirley Frye, Greensboro News & Record. Site Link.  

“My lane changer is Mrs. Shirley Frye. Most people know her as the wife of the Honorable Henry Frye, the first African American Chief Justice. However, after meeting her recently, I see Mrs. Frye in many new ways. She’s a devoted mother, grandmother, friend and mentor. What I admire most is her passion for serving. We recently sat together and she openly shared her wisdom and lessons learned. Thank you Mrs. Frye for inspiring me and other young women in the midst of our careers and life!” Candace, a marketer in her 30’s.

A lane changer with the wind in her hair

A woman with long brown hair gazes down as her hair blows forward in her face as an example of a carefree lane changer.

“For children, their lane is sometimes chosen for them. Many of the students I work with don’t choose their lane – it’s  given to them. Some navigate the best they can, while others drive erratically, as well as in and out of their lane. One of my students (given a different name for confidentiality), is driving in her lane with her sunglasses on and the wind in her hair.

Dana was born in Mexico. When she was an infant, her mom left for the U.S. to make a better life. Over eleven years, Dana wrote to her mother and they spoke on the phone. Dana’s mother cried with her and let her know each time they spoke, she’d send for them soon. Her mother didn’t realize living the American dream was just that – a dream. And a dream often takes time and patience.

Dana is lucky to be alive. Her birthplace and home town are dangerous. Her father was killed. She’s lucky she wasn’t raped; she’s lucky she wasn’t kidnapped. Dana had opportunities for violence and drugs, yet she stayed in her lane.

Her mom paid a coyote to bring Dana and her brother over safely but it was far from a safe ride. Once here, they demanded more money or they’d kill Dana and her brother. Scrambling, her mom came up with enough money to appease them.

Dana’s experiences and life views are things a person her age should never see. Yet, she perseveres knowing she is blessed in life. Her dream is living the best life she can given the opportunity she has to grow up in America. Dana is resilient and magnificent; Dana is my lane changer.” Theresa, a teacher in her 40’s.

cooldeb note: I received this response a month ago. The irony of timing is perfect. However you fall on the topic of immigration, you’re hearing a first account of lived life. I hope it provides a lens. Thank you Dana and Theresa.

A lane changer for introverts 

A woman, seen fron the shoulders down, sits on a wood table with her hands closed as an example of an introvert lane changer.

    “My lane changer is learning to be okay with who I am. As someone who’s worked in sales for many years, I’m constantly surrounded with extremely outgoing people – unlike my usual self – a social but quiet introvert. I love being around people but I’d rather observe and have intimate and deep conversations rather than small talk.

    Being an introvert helps me in my professional field of sales because I love listening to people’s stories and figuring out how I can help. Because of this, I’m often seen as ‘quiet’ when in reality, I’m digesting what I’m hearing and thinking about a response. This used to make me self-conscious. I thought I had to be a chatterbox. However, I’ve learned being an introvert often works to my advantage. It allows me to connect with customers on a deeper level.” Gaby, a marketer in her 30’s.

     


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    2 Comments

    Theresa Hunter · July 1, 2018 at 1:54 am

    I love all of these perspectives but especially Gaby. Why not make YOU the lane changer?! We all need to learn to love and listen to ourselves more. Love it!!

      cooldeb · July 2, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Great reflection Theresa! I love the three different perspectives honoring wisdom, courage and self! Thank you for sharing your voice on the blog.

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