Richards librarian draws from her painful past to help others save $$
Richards High School librarian Ann Marie Bryant has gone from shelving books to authoring them.
Well…she still shelves them once in a while. But she has released two books, including one that hit the market recently.
In her new book, “Look What I Got on Sale: A Guide to Shopping and Online Saving,” Bryant references an uncomfortable past to facilitate others in a purposeful future.
Bryant says the inspiration to write came two years ago.
“The economy was bad. Many people were losing their homes,” she said. “Marriages were struggling. There was negativity all around me. I’d dealt with a lot of the same obstacles in my past but I had overcome them. I thought it would be helpful to show people how I came out of the places they were in, so I wrote about it.’’
Living life passionately became her main objective because it could have been cut short. During a visit to the obstetrician in 1994, the doctor noticed a large lump on her neck. That recognition led to the discovery of thyroid cancer.
“I had two small kids at the time,” she said. “This cancer caused me to undergo radioactive iodine treatment.”
Radioactive iodine, given in a liquid form, is absorbed and concentrated by the thyroid gland. The treatment destroys thyroid tissue but does not harm other tissue in the body.
“It was a very difficult time for me as a mother,” she said. “It forced me to be away from my kids. My doctor said until I was no more radioactive than a UPS package, I couldn’t be near them.’’
Radioactive iodine is released from the body through urine. The length of the process depends on the dose received and the age of the recipient. To avoid exposing family and other people to her radioactivity, Bryant had to follow her doctor’s instructions carefully, staying away from the kids and avoiding all close contact such as kissing, sharing cups, dishes, or utensils with adults. Health problems weren’t the only thing that burdened her life.
Hard times had taken Bryant from wearing $200 designer shoes to public aid. She utilized the welfare system and other community agencies for the underprivileged saying:
“My rock bottom was the day I purchased a sofa at an auction for a dollar.”
Poverty wasn’t something Bryant was accustomed to.
“I grew up in a comfortable, upper-middle class home,” she said.
Bryant, who lives in Valparaiso, Ind., felt furthering her education would provide an exit to the maze her life was in. She went back to school and obtained two master’s degrees which has kept her employed over the last 13 years at Richards.
Today, Bryant can still be found in the Learning Resource Center at Richards. It was her expertise as a veteran librarian that led to the ease of writing and publishing her books. Yet, the library isn’t the only place Bryant can be checked out.
Visit her website http://www.passionisthekey.com/ for information on her book and her speaking schedule. Bryant offers workshops from both of her books.
“The ‘Releasing Your Story’ workshop will take you through a journey of self-exploration in which you examine your past and identify acquired beliefs that have been toxic,’’ she said. “Once revealed, I walk you through steps that help you take action to fulfill your dream. ‘The Look What I Got on Sale’ workshop is autobiographical. What happens when someone with expensive tastes goes on welfare? They still have expensive taste, but can no longer afford what they want. Through my school-of-hard-knocks education, I have developed a workshop around my ultimate shopping guide proven to save you money online and in stores.”
Bryant realizes that everyone may not have the opportunity to read her books or attend her workshops, but she urges those who are discontent to discover their passion and take action.
“No one should sell themselves short!” she said.