YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO JUST ONE THING
What I want to share with you today is actually from last year. From another blog. From what feels like another life. March, 10, 2016, that seems so long ago. It seems like more should have changed. In some says it has. A year brings a lot of changes, even if you don't realize them. But this post is about what hasn't changed.
I get it in my head sometimes that I should be able to figure my life out and then be set. I'm sure you know as well as I do, that isn't how it works. Sure, you can figure something out, maybe even what you want to do in life, but that doesn't mean it will never change. Sometimes it changes. I'm not one of those people who feels a specific calling over my life other than to just do something that uses creativity. That used to really frustrate me. I felt like I was left out of some club.
I had this friend who was in the club. He knew exactly what he wanted to do. Play music. It was that simple and that complicated. From his teenage years he had known that music was more important than anything else. I thought that he would be happy about that. I thought he would feel like he had life figured out. He was in the club, after all, what more could he want? Through many conversations I began to realize that he felt just as left out as I did. Music was all he knew and all he wanted to know but it wasn't always a point of pride. Sometimes that dedication and passion brought uncertainty. He told me he didn't have any other skills. He didn't know how to do anything else. He had never had to get any other kind of job. What would he do if for some reason he couldn't play anymore?
I'm sharing a little about my friend with you because I want you to know and understand that even the people who we feel are in the "club," the ones who have everything figured out... they can be just as uncertain as the rest of us. No one has it easier. The grass is just as green where you're standing as it is where they're standing. Just because someone else feels called toward one thing, that doesn't mean that you should too. There are an endless amount of things to do out there. Go out and find what you love. Better yet, go find 10 things that you love.
I'm going to post my words from last year below. I hope when you read it you feel encouraged. I hope my words let you know that you're not alone. I hope you find some reassurance.
What is it that you want in life, my dear?
What is it that burns deep in your being?
What is it that pushes you to your limit?
What is it that inspires greatness within you?
Can you see it?
Can you feel it?
Can you taste it?
What is it?
Does it keep you up at night?
Does it breathe deeper with every breath you take?
Does it gain momentum with every step you take?
Does it change as you change?
Is it everything you ever dreamed it would be?
Is it more than you could have ever imagined?
Is it more beautiful than anything you've ever known?
Can you see it?
Can you feel it?
Can you taste it?
What is it?
I lived most of my life believing that because I never felt "called" to do something or born with a burning passion for something, that I would have to settle for ordinary. I thought that I had somehow missed out on some session in which life hands out callings. I had no calling. No burning passion. No desire toward something that lit me up. I was just me.
I didn't know at the age of five that I would be a doctor someday. I didn't start singing when I was three. I didn't pick up an instrument at seven. I was just me.
I started taking pictures when I was around twelve years old, but even then, I didn't feel like photography was calling me, or drawing me in. I just liked taking pictures. Sometimes. I was just me.
I knew at fifteen that I liked to write but I never considered myself a writer. I wasn't a poet. I was just me.
I felt like I was just me while everyone else was, well, special. They all knew what they wanted to do. They felt called to it. They didn't choose it, it chose them. They had it made...or so I thought.
I was just me, a quiet girl who was pretty good at a lot of things but not great at anything. A jack of all trades and master of none, as the saying goes. I was just me. I didn't have many friends, I was never the social butterfly. I wasn't the smartest, prettiest, nicest, funniest, kindest, strongest...whatever it was, I wasn't it. I was just me.
I realized somewhere in the last three years that there aren't many people who know what they want to do in life. I thought that it was just me. Until it wasn't. It was them. It was you. It was everyone.
It is a truly beautiful thing to meet someone who has a deep sense of calling toward one thing or another. Muscians completely devoted to their music. Lawyers who give everything to the law. Dancers who live and breathe and die by their movements. Writers who become their characters.
Lives centered around a purpose that beckons the soul are remarkable...and they are rare.
They don't know how to be any other way. They are just them. They live and die for it. They live and die in it. They live and die by it.
They live and they die and they are just them, like I am just me.
There is not one single thing that beckons my soul.
There are a dozen things.
A hundred things.
A thousand things.
A million things.
I am beckoned by the water; it calms me. It gives me a sense of space and of belonging and of scarcity.
I am beckoned by art; it shows me what is good in the world, it reminds me to choose to see what is beautiful, it keeps me in a place of gratitude.
I am beckoned by people; they teach me how to be a better human, they show me how to love, they make me stronger.
I am beckoned by photography; it lets me reach people in ways I wouldn't otherwise be able to, it gives me an avenue to explore the world, it teaches me to learn about what's around me.
I am beckoned by the call of a writer; it helps me to express myself more clearly than I could any other way, it provides a medium for honesty, it shows me how to say what's on my mind.
I am beckoned by something new, all of the time. These things come and go. Some call me louder than others. Some are only a whisper, often gone before I even have the chance to try them. Some live and die in a single thought. The ones that stay, that continue, the ones that are persistent - those are the things I hold most dear. Those are the things that make me, just me.
They are things like the desire to create, to sing, to dance, to run, to laugh, to love deeper, to be stronger, to be healthy, to be stable, to be honest. These things are my hopes and dreams for the future. To travel often, to eat well, to live a life that I am proud of and at peace in. These things are the standard to which I hold myself and the measure by which I push myself to be better and better. They are just me.