In the past few days I have been getting gentle reminders from the universe that I am on the right track. I was watching an interview Oprah did with the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) on her lessons from her life in career leadership and personal development. I had two major takeaways the first was her admission that she got to where is today by listening to what she felt was true for her. I felt absolute chills when I heard her say this because it was just last week when I sent the following sentences in a note to my mentor about deciding to pursue the nontraditional path of writing as a career after pursuing my PhD:
“But how”It is a lingering question that namely attaches itself to provision. But how will you eat? But how will you live? But how will you afford to travel? But how will you repay your student loans? [Many] of these questions are what drive me to continuously pursuing careers in academia. Positions that I could do and sometimes feel I should do for the sake of all the logical answers. However whenever I seriously consider it, I feel a sort of deep seeded unhappiness that I can only imagine feels like Azkeban. I know it is not for me and yet I am so scared that I may choose this option for fear of a lack of courage to sustain me through the anxiety of answering all the “But how” questions.
Inside me resides the crux of a gift blessed upon me to open people up, not to me but to themselves. How did you know? People have asked. I didn’t. God did. I am a vessel of movement of communication. The spirit of the entire universe uses my words to speak to others. That is the purpose of my words…Of my being. I do not have to compose to be a writer. I am a writer walking down the hallway. I speak with smiles and the sway of my arms, the shift of my hips and the click of my heels. I make music in my motion and the entire composition is a song. A poem set to rhythm and the pulse is a life given to be lived courageously.
If I’m honest with myself I just want to write. I want to go places, photograph strangers, and write the stories they elicit for me. It’s what I do anyway. I’m inspired by people, places, words, things, and sometimes nothing I can put a finger on. And I want to talk about it, only verbally I’m no good. I want to create the art space of the thing I’m studying. How the things out there show me pieces of me, in here. And vice versa. How I’m both painter and subject in this world. It sounds romantic and Parisian, complete with a diet of baguettes dipped in Merlot…It’s an opportunity. To design the life that’s calling me, and to have enough stability for my ego but enough freedom for my soul. That’s the thing about listening, you can never unhear. The voice is clear, distinct, and unmistakeable; it rings and resounds like the bells of Notre Dame. And maybe one day when I hear them, I’ll laugh at the grossly exaggerated comparison. But maybe not.