Do you also find it highly irritating when things don’t turn out the way you thought they would? I admit, it pisses me off, and I have been revisiting my former person. Over coffee, of course, my older, uninhibited artistic self is letting me know just how much I have missed by setting her aside. I am slowly getting reacquainted with who I was, so I can figure out where I am going. Maybe you are doing the same, or you need to – it’s fabulous for figuring out what your “thing” is in life.
I have always wanted to paint, sketch and write. Yes, all three. The artsy stuff was tamped down by a very sobering interview at FIT in Manhattan when it was revealed that I could not draw a person to save my life. Body parts, yes; trees, yes; still life, yes; people –NO. So I decided at that very moment that my passion for words would have to be my destiny. Ideally, it would make me a supremely comfortable living, and I would live in peace and harmony with nature and my dreams of Greenpeace and saving the whales. I have always been creative and loved anything that sparked my artistic side, and I decided I would be that “starving artiste,” in the public eye. In my dreams, I would paint, write and sell my work to live comfortably on the proceeds. Great dream, lousy reality.
So, there were a few glitches and issues with my life plan. One, my family, who insisted that art and writing is an unrealistic way to make a living. (Yes, they could have steered me closer to my marketing/communications major) And so, my career history reads like a bad laundry list of eclectic junk. I took jobs I hated, ending with complete disillusionment and disappointment.
So after the theater (which I adored), retail and OMG teaching, I kept thinking, “what is my thing?” and I kept coming back to the writing. I am endlessly enthusiastic about it, and I love creating images in your mind with words. To begin being credible, I have to move out of my comfort zone, stop being a people pleaser, and start becoming focused on doing what I love.
Small disclaimer – for those of you who always knew your path, I salute you, and I am jealous. I was most likely born knowing I wanted to be a writer, but practicality and my family pushed that aside. To the ones who knew they wanted to be a vet, surgeon or an Indian chief – kudos and I hope you are successful.
Your personal “thing that is not a thing” is inside you, but if you don’t take action with both passion and curiosity, you won’t give your unique filters a chance to make themselves known. I will always be insatiably curious, and I think that is a remarkable trait. Today, right now, I can tell you that I love to draw, write, research, share information, read books, spend time traveling, and learning about whatever catches my open eyes. All of these things feed me and become my “thing.”
So you ask, just what is my “thing?”
It’s being who and what I can’t help being: curious, creative, exploratory, and playful. It is about sharing what I learn through my filter of creativity. It’s about supporting, helping and encouraging people to find unique ways to express themselves. It’s doing what I am innately drawn to do and letting it evolve into something bigger. And soon, very soon (I hope) it will bring in an income.
This realization has changed everything, and my life is infinitely more productive and vibrant for it. Without it, I would not have tried so many things, and I wouldn’t have experiences and ideas to share or the understanding that comes with having walked that messy path myself.
Three little tips to turn your dreams into realities:
- Listen to your gut. Have you suddenly developed a new interest in history or technology? Head to the library (yes, I still go to the library) and get some reliable information. Not only might you find your “thing,” but you may find clarity or a new opportunity.
- Give it some time. This is a tough one as I am impatient. Patience and perseverance pay off. (ooh- alliteration!)
- Think of a chore you that you find annoying. Figure out a way to make it enjoyable. I have started using the folding of my laundry as a way to decompress. I let my mind wander and find new ideas or mindset changes. It’s like a few mini-meditation moments.
By infusing your daily life with thought and intention, you will find that your “thing” emerges. You can’t help being who you are, and the more of your unique inner self you reveal, the more apparent who you are and what you are will be. So get ready to start living your beautiful, unique life. I’m ready and stepping forward now.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!