Margaret Thatcher, Verve, and Why You’re Going to Be Fine


What do the song “Bittersweet symphony,” Margaret Thatcher, and happy people have in common?  Its “the verve.”

Verve is the cool factor.  That something special.

If Audrey Hepburn’s style had a baby with Mohamed Ali’s ferocity, verve would be the kid.  Verve makes for the best kind of trio: its one part spunk, one part spirit, and one part stamina.  This man, Nick Vujicic, he has verve: .   This lady, Tillett Wright, she’s got the verve:  


Charles Dickens displayed verve when sent his manuscripts to publishers even though they continued to tell him he wasn’t good enough.  Eleanor Roosevelt lived and breathed verve.  Nelson Mandella might as well have invented verve.  Verve is showing enthusiasm for your life and how you live it.  What all of these people have in common is that they chose to make the most of themselves in the time they were given.

Verve is 5 a.m. wake ups, trailed by 6 p.m. coffees.  Verve is doing things people say you cannot do.  Its not letting the enemy see you sweat.  Its waging a war at depths while waters remain calm on the surface.

Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s first female head of state, a mother, and a wife for 50 years.  She died on Monday.  When I think of Thatcher, I will always think of strength.  A highly concentrated form of badass.  She challenged the limitations of her capabilities and found she could do more.  This post is for her and for what she taught me this week.

Now.  Which of the following seems most likely to happen:

a) Natalie is going to invent a cure for cancer;

b) Natalie is going to fly to the moon; and

c) Natalie is going to change careers.  At some point.

Space camp commercials are the extent of my experience with NASA, and I don’t want to sell myself short, but I don’t think I’m going to find “the cure.”  I think most reasonable people would opt for c), as it has the highest likelihood of coming to pass.  Notice I said most people.

I imagine my parents would refuse to choose one of the options above.  I think rather, they would write in their own option:

d) Natalie is going to make herself happy, but for the love of God, she’s not going to change careers.

Stranger things have come to pass than a woman deciding she wants to do something different with her life.  But, whenever I say what I’m thinking out loud, people act like I’m bringing news of the Apocalypse.   Instantly, I’m the grim reaper, telling someone they’re about to die.  None of my other issues seemed urgent, pressing, or overwhelming, but the thought of me making a career change ranks a 10 on the Richter scale.

The reality is, some people are incapable of believing in the integrity of my dreams.  Admittedly, for good reason: “You have a skill that people need;” “you’re never going to find a job as a writer;” “if you want to go back to being coffee shop girl, go ahead.”

And I’m a dutiful daughter.  Up until now, I’ve pretty much done exactly what my parents have told me to do.  And it wouldn’t be fair to discount what they’re saying.  They have a point.

As carpenters, shoemakers, and even Kim Kardashian have trades, I too, have developed a skill over time.  Kim Kardashian’s skill is doing nothing and having people pay her billions of dollars for it.  My skill is administrative legal work.

With the exception of the Kim Kardashians of the world, we all spend time and money building our skills.  I am warned that it would be unwise to “throw the baby (career) out with the bath water (job).”  But maybe I should throw that baby out with that bath water.

What if I never wanted that hypothetical baby in the first place?  And what if the water I’m getting in has already been used by someone else.  Maybe that water is brown and unsanitary, and maybe I want to throw both the baby and the bath water out.  Maybe I just want my own bath with fresh bathwater.

As far as I’m concerned, my Dad is right 99.9% of the time.  But maybe this is that .1% of the time.  And maybe one of the most important questions is not one he can answer.  Maybe not “maybe.”  Maybe definitely.

Do you want to know what it feels like to do things you thought impossible?  Do you want to know what Thatcher knew?

I do.  Regardless if people don’t think I’m smart enough, talented enough, or brave enough to do it.  Maybe I drank the positivity Kool-Aid.  But, let me say this: I’ve been tasting all the different kinds of Kool-Aid and I would rather drink this particular kind of Kool-Aid over the others.  Any day of the week.

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