Personal Writing


After a two-day snowpocalypse earlier this week, Dr Marry and I were back at spin Wednesday morning despite the negative double digit actual temperature. “Hearty” is hardly strong enough to describe the quality we Northerners need to endure these kinds of winters.

But I digress.

I brought my “What’s Weighing You Down?” script along because, as you may know from past posts I often use the 45 minutes in the semi-dark on a bike to go through my talks. I just know that if I can stay focused on my own words despite the blaring music and heavy beat, they are embedded inside me and ready to go. It’s now T-7 days and 3 hours until I give this talk again, so the pressure is mounting.

I was on a section in the middle where I talk about going back 25 years to my junior-year of college, when my path seemed perfectly laid out before me, smooth of any rocks or disruptions. The talk goes on to show all the hidden rocks that appeared and how buried I felt by them along the way.

I was on a paragraph where I share that what I discovered in putting together this talk initially was that all those rocks I thought had buried me had actually created an incredible new path, stone by stone.

In essence, I was dissecting my adult life period by period and rewriting the narrative from a place of looking back versus being in the moment. It’s actually a powerful lesson for anyone who takes the time to be reflective about what was versus what wasn’t.

So I’m in this headspace and thinking about this shift in perspective when Five For Fighting’s 100 Years comes on for the mental break.

It’s such a powerful song in and of itself, but the beautiful collision of this song that’s all about the quick passing of time while I was working through this section was another one of those little gifts from the Universe that quietly said, “Keep going. You’re on the right path.”

I actually can’t wait to give this talk because for the first time since February 2020, I’ll be in front of a live audience, interacting with them; giving and taking in ways that I discounted until COVID. As a stage actor, I rarely considered or appreciated the incredible role the audience plays in the overall experience of performing. I’ll never again take that for granted.

In fact, I was recently invited to be on the podcast, Leave Your Mark, with Scott Livingston. He asked me a series of questions about things no one had ever asked me about, including why I’m an actor, and that helped me articulate some of this in a new way for me. I’ve been thinking about many of the questions ever since. Start at minute 8 to hear me talk about why I’ve always known I am a performer and what drew me to it even further. And note what age I set for the G.O.T.E. sheet analogy to life as well as the fact that I was 22 when I discovered I was pregnant, speaking of intersections with this podcast I recorded in early January, my talk and the song 100 Years. For the record, It’s around minute 19 that I really get to the value of the audience.

Take some time today to stop and be reflective. Where were you at 15? At 22? 33? 45? 67? 99? What did you want? What did you get? What did you achieve by 44 that your 15-year old self could never have imagined? Did you ever get to where your 22-year old self wanted to go? Where will you be at 67? Will you even still be here at 99? If not, what will you do with the remaining years to make them count? To leave your mark? To make a difference? To live a full life?

“Half time goes by, suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye, 67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We’re moving on”

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.

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