She believed so deeply in herself sometimes she wondered if she would
drown in purpose. Fear not great depths nor full lungs, dear one, you
were born to do it.
It was a little note I wrote myself. In the past few days, three
people hVe questioned my decision to be a writer post graduation. One
said, “…but you have to pay the bills?” As if words would not.
Another, “…but with your PhD, there’s so many [other more lucrative]
things you could do!” As if money is the motivation. The last said,
“…your lifestyle is anything but simple how will you live the life
you want?” But, I wanted to explain to him, if I did not write what
would life BE? It is so much a part of me and I it, I am not sure how
to separate the two.
All it all it made me think. Not about considering another occupation,
no it took me too long to stand fully IN my truth to turn around and
shrink back into safety. It made me think about how nervous I make
people. Provision provision provision. That is all people can think
about. And somehow my wanting to be a writer suggests to others that I
do not prioritize provision, and it brings about a sort of panic.
It’s never crossed my mind that I would fail. That I would not make a
successful living as a writer (slash) all the things: teacher,
researcher, consultant, coach… Maybe it’s foolish. Maybe it’s naïve.
Maybe it’s delusional but I really have never been so sure of anything
in my life as I am that This is my vocation. I work in service of
awakening potential. My medium is written word.
I remember this moment distinctly at the Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert
when Jay said to Dream ridiculous and Be unrealistic. It stuck with me
because I believe in that sentiment. So many people play small. So
many people play to the middle not wanting to stand out for fear that
something is wrong with them. So many people shrink and hide feeling
ashamed for who they are and the unique beings they’re designed to be.
I have no desire intention or wish to be those people. I have no
intention of being ordinary. I have no intention of playing small,
remaining silent, going along to get along, preferencing political
over authentic, or fitting in. I do not believe I’m meant for normal.
Regular. Standard. Realistic. I am meant for messy. Complex.
Adventure. One-of-a-kind. Possibilities.”…but if anyone can do it,” they always conclude, “then you’re the
one to do it.”
I fell asleep writing this post and I let myself. When I woke I saw a post from Oprah about her interview with Paulo Coelho. I told myself I would listen to it at work and just now I was. Paulo said that when he was younger his parents put him in a mental institution three times. Oprah said, “They put you in a mental institution because you wanted to be a writer?” He clarified, “Because I wanted to be an artist. Artists they starve to death, they drink they do everything that our family can’t stand, what a shame!” I listened to it over and over again, listening for what he would say in response, listening for what he did next. As if I did not know: HE WROTE!
And that is what I will do. I will write.
Santiago followed the signs. He listened to the clues, he paid attention. God speaks to us, constantly, I am listening I hear it and I am following my own personal legend. That is the voice that is guiding me now because support doesn’t even look like it used to. The people who question me are not “haters” they care for me, and about me and yet they cannot see what I see. They don’t have to though, that’s what I’m learning.
Courage I guess I could call it. Paulo just said to Oprah, “Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the language of the world because otherwise you try to reduce the world to things you can explain.” He goes on to say, “we become fluent in the language of the world by DARING. If you do not fear the unknown, the unknown will be kind to you.” I believe that. It used to scare me, the unknown, but its a choice. The fear is a choice and it is not one I choose any longer.