Even though I hadn’t thought about that ad for a Mediocre Secretary for many years, that’s where the embers that had been so close to burning out, suddenly flickered back to life and burst into flame.  CLICK TO READ MY BLOG OR SAVE THIS PIN FOR LATER.

Tell me, how do you feel when you read this Notes From The Universe (by Mike Dooley)?

You can rest assured, kathy, that those who have hurt you had absolutely no idea of what they were doing nor what might come from it.
It never occurred to them that you'd become even more magnificent. That they'd be invoking your sympathy, adding to your compassion, and increasing your "sparkles." And it will still be eons before they can grasp that you actually welcomed them into your life for some of these very reasons.
Love you with all of my heart,
The Universe

Does this make you feel more powerful, that there is hope? Or does it make you feel angry or powerless that you were born into the life you lead? Maybe it sparks determination to move on despite where you are now? It’s your choice of course. If I had read it when I was a teen, I would have picked anger and powerlessness.


When I was younger I felt I had no control over the bigger things my life. I felt as though I had no choices, and so I closed into myself — and let fear take control.  I wouldn’t take any risks because I couldn’t control the outcome. I was so afraid of making a mistake, I did nothing.

I became a victim. I allowed  taunts about my weight to ruin my day. Even though I had learned to pretend I didn’t hear, those cruel people made me bleed inside with their words. In junior high school, I was taunted and bullied by a girl a year ahead of me who turned her gang of merry miscreants against me too. When she graduated and moved on to senior high, I had the best year of my school life. I excelled.

When the time came for senior high school, I actually chose a different high school where my bully wasn’t, but it meant giving up the friends I’d been with since grade school (but thankfully I found my forever friend there). Then, I wouldn’t try out for choir because I was afraid to audition and not be chosen. I chased popular boys that didn’t want me, as though proving to myself I wasn’t worthy of love at all. After school, I tried college, but it wasn’t for me and my fears, so I drifted from job to job, not even knowing what I wanted to do with my life, not willing to search because I was afraid of being told I wasn’t good enough to do what I wanted to do. 

I didn’t think I had any power, so I never took any responsibility. I blamed my circumstances and people with power for not seeing my specialness.



The only kind of work I had ever done besides working in my Dad’s bakery as a sales clerk or pressing buttons so people could get their gas in my brother-in-law’s self-serve gas station, was office work. In the early 80s, I was laid off from a payroll job in a construction firm just before summer and spent the three glorious months learning tennis from my semi-pro Romanian boyfriend (another example of a bad choice in men) before searching for work.

Back then, jobs were advertised in the newspaper and I saw a classified ad for a company in search of a “Mediocre Secretary”. The title drew me in. I don’t much remember the ad, except it begged me to answer it in such a way that I forgot my fears and just followed the pen as it spoke with great gusto and creativity. A week or so later I got a call from the placement agency that created the ad to come in for an interview.

Their offices were on Granville Island, one of Vancouver’s then up and coming tourist locations. I was nervous and awkward because suddenly I wanted that job. It wasn’t that I wanted to be a secretary, but because they had sold the position so well. When I met the gentleman who was doing the interviews, he ran through his list of questions, but then he set the HR professional in him aside and said to me that this wasn’t the right job for me (thankfully he didn’t say that I wasn’t right for the job), but he was so impressed with my letter, he had to meet me.

He told me, “You should be a writer, that is your calling.”



I have to thank that nameless, faceless man for not giving me another boring job that did not feed my creativity. I was a little disappointed, but his high esteem for my writing awoke something in me. Desire.

Within a few weeks, another job ad appeared for a position as a receptionist in a direct marketing agency. Buoyed by the success from my creative letter, I decided to go all out in my application. This agency had a really big client, Canadian Pacific Airlines and even though I would be a receptionist, it sounded exciting and interesting in a way that posting accounts receivable invoices for a freight forwarding company, did not. So, using my very rudimentary layout skills, I created an application where I was piloting one of CPA’s planes.

That effort got me in the door — and the job. The owner of the DM agency was certifiable, but in addition to typing and answering phones, I also got to work with typographers, printers, designers, photographers, and writers. That’s where I met my first ever copywriter. I was hooked.

It was that series of signs and opportunities where fear and desire collided (and desire finally won), that got me started as a writer. There are many more years of working in agencies — eventually moving into copywriting, then promotional writing and freelancing, and now working with others to write their way to healing — to add to the story, but even though I hadn’t thought about that ad for a Mediocre Secretary for many years, that’s where the embers that had been so close to burning out, suddenly flickered back to life and burst into flame.

If I were to have seen the Notes From the Universe in my 20s, I would have been mystified, but my natural determination and positivity were back. Without even knowing it, I was already pretty skilled at attracting things into my life and I felt power humming in me. I didn’t know the first thing about using it wisely, but I felt it.



Personally, I believe that before we are born into this life, our souls decide what they want to happen to us as humans, in great detail. Our souls decide what cards we are dealt in the great poker game of life — whether we  experience joy, great wealth, popularity, or sorrow, fear... even abuse. In our human state of being, it’s hard to imagine why our souls would ask us to experience often horrific events in our lives because it hurts so much. But many people who are attuned to the “great why”  believe our souls do this precisely for the experience. So, not a poker game at all, but rather, pre-determined and mapped out before we are born.

If I were to have seen the Notes From the Universe in my 30s and 40s I would have been galvanized by it, and push myself further towards my goals. Fear still had a good deal of control in my life, but she would sometimes let me drive — with caution.


In one of the lessons in my journaling course, 20 Questions: Soul-searching Questions to Make You Think, Feel and Write, we look at our belief and understanding of fate and destiny. Fate is the life we are born to rise up from to find our purpose. Destiny is how we choose to get there and it’s the part of our life path we have the ability to change. For example, I believe that I was fated to be a healer in this life, but I chose my destiny of helping others to heal through journal writing because I healed my life and was able to move through pain and fear by journaling. I guess you could say, it’s the ‘how’. Watch this  short video from 20 Questions to help explain  the difference between fate and destiny. I had completely forgotten that I used the very example of my own life examples, but awesome tie-in!

If I were to have seen the Notes From the Universe in my 50s I would see that I had indeed risen up from my beginnings. I held the power all along but chose to let it languish in dicey relationships, coasting, and wandering. But I am where I’m meant to be because even on the days when it’s hard, I'm still driven to keep going. Now I use my power to move with purpose towards what I want. I wield it much more wisely than I used to. My queen persona has far more moments of benevolence than righteous anger because I get it — the people in my path who try to hurt me are only there because I asked them to be. I can see how much they are hurting too. So I allow their negative thoughts to change my positivity far less than ever before. I'm proud of that.



I challenge you to hear the first thing that comes to mind — that flickering ember of excitement that is ready to burst into flame as soon as you poke at it and feed it with your desire. Spend some time writing about it, how much you want it and what fear is saying to you about it.

Go ahead, do it.


The dance between desire and fear

kathy mercure profile

kathy mercure is a storyhealer, storylistener, and storyteller. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students and help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women and men in realizing their true identity as a valued human being, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)