i love to eat
i love to read
i love to cook
i love to write
i love to dream
i love to sing
i love to learn
I was the girl who wanted to do everything. At one point, I had flute lessons, piano lessons, and marimba lessons going while I did softball, band, hospital candy stripe volunteering, and AP Calculus not to mention being youth group leader, mission frontier teenager, songwriter, and world traveler. And at the end of the day, I hoped one day to learn cello and sing as a professional with the Los Angeles Chorale and go on tour with my favorite band and get a record deal until I became a doctor and saved lives and could do everything with an M.D. at the end of my name.
In college, everyone else seemed to be able to pick something they really wanted and do that thing really well. I was befuddled. It became increasingly clear that I couldn't keep doing everything I wanted yet how could I pick one thing to focus on?
In my times with M., my spiritual director, she often affirms me by saying, "It sounds like you feel like that's who you truly are." or "You're becoming who you're truly meant to be." or "It sounds like that's really important to you. Claim that. Honor that."
Sometimes she'll ask, "So how does that feel?"
And I'll say, "It just feels right. I feel a rightness in my body. I don't know how to explain except it just feels right."
And she'll say, "Trust that feeling, H. That rightness is important. Trust your body to tell you."
Bless her soul. I love her.
I've been learning to trust my body more, instead of my emotional programming. All of the "ifs, buts, howevers" in my brain are quieter. The analyzing and strategizing for a better me have slowed. My mom's hopes for me to be a lawyer or some kind of respectable money-making professional don't sting so much.
Instead, I've been marveling at how utterly obvious and simple life can be. I've been learning to do things and notice how happy it makes me feel--like screenprinting. I can do it for hours and hours and hope to wake up and keep doing it. I never would have thought that I would pursue screenprinting as a profession but now, I can almost see it. I can almost see it because I'm not analyzing and tearing apart the impractical nature of being an artist--the sure poverty--the lack of professional cache--the certain disappointment of my parents. I'm able to see it because I respect the practical nature of it and not just the meaningful (which most of the time has been created for me by others). I see that I can do it for hours and feel good, connected, like I am truly being myself. And I'm able to accept who "myself" might be--even if it doesn't look anything like what I was taught that it should like.
Ah, that is the 20 something year old's task--to find the strength to redefine success for yourself and the courage to pursue it. To all my friends out there, I wish you the joy of discovering who you truly are and the conviction to honor it.