Remember Oprah’s talk show when she would tell you to listen to that inner voice that told you to do stuff? Not the one that says ‘Eat all of the hot fudge directly out of the container while everyone else is sleeping’, but the one that says ‘Ask a security guard to walk you to your car when you are at Target after dark because you have a creepy feeling’.
I was an avid Oprah watcher back in the day and always thought that was such good advice, but my problem is that my voice only gives me dessert-related guidance (see hot fudge instruction above) and shopping demands, and doesn’t give a crap about my personal safety. That said, I still try to listen for the voice just in case I get a strong message one of these days that doesn’t involve a fountain drink or using my Kohl’s cash before it expires.
Seriously, I envy people whose little voices have their back, and I am listening hard to hear mine. My problem is that when I am boarding a plane I start thinking about Oprah and her advice so much that I start to hear the voice. My voice has a wise Hermione Granger accent, and implores me to run home immediately, to escape certain death, and to act quickly. It tells me I will be interviewed on the evening news as the only passenger that didn’t board the plane because of my Oprah-tastic 6th sense, and that the world will weep at my ability to listen to my little voice. This is when I start to get excited about my upcoming fame (at the expense of the other passengers crashing to their demise of course). At this point I hear another voice. One that sounds more like a raspy Hannah Montana and says ‘Girl, go ahead and do it. You will miss your flight and look like a lunatic. Oh, and go get yourself a king sized Hershey bar with almonds and an Us Weekly for the ride. You know you like breaking up the little rectangles of chocolate at various intervals to last the whole plane ride — oh, and its the right thing to do’.
And those are my voices.
While I continue to keep an ear open, I try to remember a story my dad has told many times where his little voice talked and he listened. FYI, his little voice typically stays focused on weekly visits to the ice cream stand and DVR-ing 1 hour crime shows, but back in the day, ice cream flavor lists were short and boring, and DVRs were but a glimmer in the eye of Mr. Betamax, so his voice was on its game in this story.
My father is not a big talker, but is a great story teller if he has a good story to tell. One of my favorite stories he tells took place when he was in the army. I’m going to attempt to retell it, however, my subpar version will pale in comparison to his, so just imagine it way more climactic, detailed, and of yeah, entertaining. Lets begin.
It must have been the late 1960’s and my father was stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia. His group went out for several days on field maneuvers. I can’t tell you that I understand exactly what field maneuvers are, but I can tell you that it involved being taken out in helicopters and parachuting into non-civilization. They were there for several days and had to dig trenches and probably simulate some facet of battle. I’m sure there was much more to it, but for the purposes of this story, that is all you need to know.
On the last day of maneuvers, the soldiers were instructed to fill in all of the trenches. As they were finishing up, the helicopters were returning to take them back to the base. My father put down his shovel and was making his way to the helicopter when he felt for his wallet and realized…it was not there. I’m sure the reaction was something akin to me heading to Chick Fil-A only to realize its a Sunday — disaster and panic.
Realizing pretty quickly that his wallet was likely somewhere under the tons of dirt that had just been filled into the trenches, he quickly started digging with little hope of recovering it. His military ID was in there, as well as whatever else men had in their wallets in the 1960’s – cash? driver’s license? Cool Hand Luke Ticket Stub? (clearly I know very little about the 1960s).
He dug furiously but it was time to get back on the choppers or he’d miss his ride out of this no man’s land (okay so maybe it was a few miles from base, but I’m trying to make this story exciting – didn’t you hear my use of the word ‘chopper’ instead of helicopters??).
Just as he was about to hop onboard and with everyone urging him to hurry up, something told him to go back and try one more time. It was the little voice! I am guessing his little voice sounds like a Dan Rather or maybe a Barbara Bush, but in any event it said ‘Dig my son. You must dig one. more. time.’ (again, its called embellishment people and it is how I story tell). Knowing that he had time for one more scoop he hopped off the helicopter, ran to the dirt, grabbed a shovel and dug on last big hunk of earth as his little voice urged him on.
Psych! What kind of story would that be?
As he dug his last shovel full of dirt, the universe smiled and revealed his lost wallet.
Make friends with your little voice and hear what it has to say. Maybe it will save you from a fatal plane crash, maybe it will help you find your lost wallet, or maybe it will just redirect you away from the hot mess that is the OWN Network during channel surfing before you get sucked into a Lindsay marathon (sorry Oprah), but it is there to help you.
Listen to your little voice.
When have you listened to your little voice and had it pay off ? or blow up in your face?