I can’t help but admit that I often want it all. At least that’s how I seem to self-propel through the day. I’m applying to jobs that I think I’m qualified for and know I can do well at, but I wonder if the person on the receiving end is on the same page. I’ll never know how other people truly perceive me. And maybe that doesn’t matter so much as how I perceive myself. Perhaps the way I think about myself will emulate through my actions and interactions with others. Ghandi’s “be the change you wish to see in the world” comes to mind.
I want to make music, but I’ve never recorded anything or composed a song. I played piano for years but after not practicing for a decade I get down on myself every time I try to revisit the old repertoire and barely scratch the surface of a full song. I’ve always wanted to DJ but I don’t know where to start. Curating fabulous Spotify and Soundcloud (this song is amazing) playlists is as far as I’ve gotten. I want to take dance class every day and learn about dance traditions from across the world. I want to run a half marathon and spend almost everyday running a training program with my eyes on the prize. It feels so good to work towards something and to feel growth along the way, whether tangible, physical growth, emotional or spiritual. I want to grow my career as an amazingly talented consultant, strategist and maybe even event producer. I don’t want to just create the concert festival series no one has ever imagined before, I want to produce it and bring it all over the world and change the way people think about expression, art, dance and community.
I often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. But when I sit quietly with myself (sometimes I really need to when I feel the world spinning), I wonder if maybe I’ve already done everything I’ve wanted to do. There may be some destinations on my travel to-do list, but other than that, when I consider my accomplishments, none of them are truly material. My accomplishments are growth in fantastic relationships, an inner-peace I can sometimes really tap into and true passion for helping others and experiencing genuine connections. Then a revolutionary concept occurred to me: maybe, just maybe, I already have it all.
I recently came across an article in Fast Company about how to “Find Your Passion With These 8 Thought-Provoking Questions.” I’ve since thought about all the questions the article raises and want to expand on some of the ones I found most meaningful. My favorites to explore include:
- What am I doing when I feel most beautiful?
- What are my super powers?
- What did you enjoy doing at age 10?
- What are you willing to try now?
- Looking back on your career, 20 or 30 years from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished?
The guiding questions help reaffirm my recent decision to pursue something I’ve always felt a calling towards, but didn’t necessarily have the courage to fully pursue. The more freedom I get from the routine I was in for many years, the more I get in touch with how deeply ingrained so many old ideas are in my psyche. For most of my life I had a calling and passion for social justice, helping others and working towards ideals that were deeply important to me. I believed in equality and equal opportunity for all, especially in terms of education and economic sustainability. After graduating college and following my lifelong dream of living in New York City, I quickly found that working in a non-profit like I had always planned wasn’t going to provide enough support needed to sustain a livelihood in NYC. It made me wonder, what about all the other people I grew up with who wanted to help people and work in the social sector? How did other people do it? Did they succeed?
Back to the questions that got me thinking about this in the first place. I feel most beautiful when I am helping others and truly fulfilling what I believe is my real purpose: to listen, facilitate organized communication and help translate ideas into tangible action. These are my superpowers. I can connect with almost anyone and really hear what they have to say. It seems like I have a unique ability to communicate and build bridges with a broad array of people, across different industries and backgrounds. When I was younger I used to nerd out making birthday cards and other art projects for hours on end after school. I loved art so much but not just for the sake of creating art for my own enjoyment–I always wanted to make art for others’ to enjoy. Deep down I always had a powerful drive to create. So now I am willing to revisit this part of me that feels like it was neglected for quite some time. I got caught up on a path towards stability, adulthood and what I thought was going to lead me to the freedom I thought might come in the form of finances.
You’ll never know until you try. That’s what I keep telling myself and the funny thing is that I really believe it. You might think I’d feel fearful about trying out this new path, but I don’t at all. As soon as I became available to pursue new opportunities as an independent freelancer, new possibilities seemed to magically find me without too much effort from my end. It feels like an uncanny alignment is happening in which the universe wants me to follow this path and is providing in return for my efforts, however small at first. Twenty or thirty years from now, regardless of where I am, I want to look back at say “I tried my best” and I will hopefully feel peace in knowing I gave it my all and didn’t leave an open possibility for what could have been. Regardless of what I will have accomplished by then, I want to know that I accomplished enough in just trying to make something of myself and follow my true calling as opposed to falling into the typical path I can easily go back to marked with security and financial stability–the things I thought might set me free. I can always return to that, but now is my one shot towards following another path where I can honestly admit, I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. There is something beautiful about not knowing and just simply trusting instead.