I'd like to share something with you friend and reader--a revelation of sorts or as my friend Jan puts it, "That was not big at all, it's so obvious!"
Well, the obvious finally became obvious to me this last week.
As many of you know, I have been on a major vocational search my entire life. I guess it's been more like 8 years but still, that's a huge chunk. What to do, what to do, what to do--my brain hums. My head hurt after awhile.
That's probably why I got so spiritual in all honesty. I was searching for the mysterious to become clear. I was looking for an answer. I wanted to know that God hadn't abandoned me in all this.
And I felt abandoned during some stretches of the road to be sure.
I have despaired, hoped, dreamt and prayed that I would know exactly what it was that I should be doing with my life. I have interviewed countless people and looked into countless jobs.
This last week, I got a good leg up on that wish and am on my way with a clearer sense of direction and who I am meant to be.
It happened during my daily Ignatian meditation. Meditation times always help me let go and think in different ways. It's a way of thinking without thinking. Simply put, I believe that my brain paths function differently during meditation and create new pathways--allowing me to be more creative and free. But I digress.
During my daily meditation, I decided to depart from the assigned text because I was once again, wondering what I was going to do. I had been job searching and feeling quite unmotivated because of a lack of specific orientation.
My friends have told me time and time again that I am intuitive and able to see things in other people quickly and precisely. I know that I have strong powers of observation and can immediately detect the passions and talents of other people well. I'm one of those people who are telling others, "You are so good at this--you should really go for it!"
So I decided to try that on myself. Like Princess Leia projected into the air by r2d2, I imagined myself projected in front of me and to the best of my ability, I tried to be honest about my observations of H.
And lo and behold, it turned out to be a transformative time. I saw myself in front of me and was able to admit things that I have not been able to admit or take seriously and give importance to.
H. was artistic, intelligent, very visually oriented, and loved to work with her hands. H. loved to create and design and she also loved words and writing. H. had intellectual interests and chops, loved education, culture, and ideas. But most of all, the thing that was immediately clear, was that H. was an artist.
And that ladies and gents, blew me away.
I know, it's so simple, so obvious. It's been in front of me this entire time. It's what I have already been doing and has made me feel alive. I screenprint, I design, I write...I always preferred to work on design, writing, and layouts when I had the chance at work. But I just couldn't see it because I had never even thought of saying "yes" to the artist within. I've been told my entire life to reach for success and none of that ever included artist as vocation. I kept trying to find jobs that wouldn't kill my soul so I could do art and writing on the side.
I'm able to say yes now. And it is so liberating. It fills me with energy, motivation, hope, rightness. And I can say with full conviction, Yes, this is who I am! When I think of a lifetime committed to creating, I am filled with peace and joy.
And making money? I have this very sane burst of confidence that I will be able make a living doing this because I can spend hours on this and never complain once. I love it. I will be able to work my butt off for this and make it work.
I am grateful and realistic. I know it will take time to build a business and get the education I need to provide the kinds of services and products I want to make. I know I'll need to take other jobs so we can pay the bills. But I know where I'm going now! I know what I need to keep growing and learning. Every job is now an opportunity to learn along the way.
Because I like lists, here is a list of things that aided me in the process:
- a creative partner. My friend Jan was an instrumental part of helping me realize the obvious. She kept affirming me and flashing big signs in front of me saying, "Hey, you're a natural at this! do it! Take yourself seriously!"
- a blog. this blog was my experimental playground. a place where i could write about what i was doing, try new things, and reflect on how i like to spend my time.
- new friends and old friends. last june, i went skinnydipping at midnight in lanikai beach in oahu with reshma and katie. we sat in the waves under the moonlight and talked about our deepest desires and hopes for the future. it was reshma that said, "Hanna, why not design?" and pushed me to consider it seriously for the first time. I had just met her 2 days before. Of course, i completely brushed her off but that question kept ringing within me throughout the year.
- a supportive partner. i hesitate a little to write this because of course you can find yourself without a life partner. but j. has been an amazing supportive partner, with me each turn of the way. he is a testament to the fact that when you have supportive people around you, it will help you gather the courage to step out of the box and make mistakes.
-action in a life of love. this past year, i gave myself more permission to create and pursue what i love. i ended up trying new art mediums and discovering new loves. saying yes to yourself and taking action is huge. i'm looking forward to growing more in freedom and saying yes to my heart, even when it seems insane and illogical and impractical.
Somehow, the impractical becomes the practical, the mystery turns out to be the obvious.