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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Find What You Love & Live It.

I've been reading this book about writing, and it is full of advice on how to unleash your creativity and grow your confidence as a writer.  One of her suggestions is to tell everyone that you happen to talk to about how you want to be a writer, because the more you say it, the less intimidating it becomes and the more you start to believe it yourself.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday, and the nurse came in to ask me a billion questions about myself.  When she asked what my occupation was, I decided to try this new technique out.  "I'm an office assistant, but also an aspiring writer."  She looked up from writing my information down and said, "Aww, that's so cute... Do you have any books out?" Um, hello.  Do you know what aspiring means?  

"Not at the moment, but hopefully in the next few years."

"Aww.  Well, maybe I'll write a book too."  Cue pity laugh. 

Geeeez.  It's no wonder I'm having to read a book about growing your confidence. 

This woman didn't know anything about me, so her opinion didn't really hurt my feelings or cut at my confidence.  In reality, I'll probably never see her again.  But the exchange did make me think. 

Why are we so afraid to say what we want to do, or own up to who we are?  There are a thousand answers to that, and not one of them are even worth mentioning.  Life is short, and you only get one of them.  So why not use it all up living out your passion?  

I'm so blessed. I have a mom who, when I would write a poem or story growing up, would ask me to read it again and again, making me feel was the most talented eight-year-old in the whole world.  A dad who, when I called him to tell him I wanted to change my major to English--something most people told me was an idiotic decision because I would never get a job, and also something that was going to cost him a lot of money--responded with, "Gah, Chels.  I've been praying you'd do that.  You're just so good at writing."  Who's parents say things like that?!  

Maybe you're not so lucky, and you don't even have friends who you can feel confident telling your dreams to.  But do you know who you do have? You. 

And do you know who will be there in five years, even if your friends are gone?  You. 

And do you know who will be there in ten years?  You. 

And do you know the one single person who will be damaged and discouraged because it's ten years later, and you didn't go after your dream because you were worried about what those people, long gone now, would think?  You. 

You are the only one who can make decisions for you.  Be who you want to be.  If you don't like who you are, change it.  If you don't like what you do, change that too.  Life is too short to be kept miserable by your own hand.  Don't be ashamed of your dreams, or where you want to end up.  If you want to spend your life researching ancient Egyptian history, DO IT!  Sure, you might also have to work at McDonald's to make ends meet, but does that really matter if you're getting to live out your dreams and desires?  Don't be stifled by negative opinions.  When it comes to your life, the most important opinion is your own.  You alone know the desires placed in your heart when you were created.  You alone know what makes you come alive.  And you alone can choose to do it.  So why don't you? 

Next time you meet someone for the first time, and they're asking you about your job and what you do, tell them your dream.  You don't have to go into details, or give any explanation whatsoever.  "I'm a receptionist, and I really have a heart for reaching out to teenage girls."  It doesn't matter that these two things aren't related.  Just say it out loud.  Write it down.  

When it comes to starting to live out your dream, tomorrow is good, but today is better. 

"If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it." 
-John Irving



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