“If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you. I came to live out loud.”
My friend Elizabeth posted this quote this morning on Facebook. It is her birthday, and I think it’s a lovely affirmation for a birthday. I used to be so jealous of people that “lived out loud.” I hungered for a passion. My life was so full of distractions that I couldn’t seem to drag myself around to make a living much less have a passion. I so admired my friends who had creative outlets and passions for causes that were bigger than them. I just couldn’t find one that gave to me.
I’ve always loved reading. And, I really love reading about people: how they think, what makes them tick and their struggles. I remember reading Mickey Mantle’s biography when I was about 12. I got so interested in him and his life that I checked out every book I could find on him. I got fascinated with that movie All the Right Stuff about the space program.I went to the library and read every LIFE magazine that I cold find that was written back in that day. I read all the books about the Apollo astronauts. I devoured all the information on it I could find. I would get so engrossed that time would just fly by. I did the same thing when I was going through my divorces and recovery. Anything I could find, I would read and research. I just love assimilating information about people and their life journeys.
I hungered for a passion that had some meaning to others. Sure, I enjoyed my research and learning, but I wasn’t really sharing anything. It wasn’t helping anybody else. I love recovery because it allows me to share and to be an inspiration to others who are just starting their journey. Then, Facebook came along, and I started using it. Now, I know a lot of people don’t like Facebook. I’ve heard it’s narcissistic. But, for me, it helped my find my voice. The little status updates gave me a platform to think about who I am and what I wanted to be for the day. And, the little “likes” and “comments” helped me understand how I connect with others in the same way.
Jessica, a friend of mine who blogs kept encouraging me to blog. “You have something to say, and people seem to respond to it,” she said. That voice in my head said no, that would be way too self-serving. Besides, the kind of stuff I have to share is personal and really not all that flattering. That would be so embarrassing to put that out there. How could I say those things on the internet? One day I opened up a blog account. I couldn’t write anything. But, it was there….waiting…. again, my friend says…”you need to blog”. This time, I just said, “okay.”
I wrote my first blog. I put myself out there. What happened was really incredible. My brain just responded to the act of writing. I had read Keith Richards’ biography last year, and I was so fascinated by the way music was in his head, and he was just so obsessed by getting it OUT. That’s what happened to me. Stories upon stories just started dying to get out on the page. It was like a tornado in my mind. That first night I couldn’t even sleep there was so much swirling around in my brain. I’ve been blogging for about 2 months now. I write 5 days a week, sometimes more. And, still, I feel like I haven’t even tapped the surface of what I want to write about. When I do write, the blog is already written when it comes out. I usually have several topics percolating. I land on the one that feels right. I’m just typing as fast as I can to get it down. I imagine this is what it’s like to be an artist with painting. It’s as if another force is writing it, and I’m just the recorder.
I have finally found my passion. When I’m writing, my energy increases even if I’m tired when I start. I don’t have to think about it, I can’t wait to do it. I am so glad that people have responded and encouraged me, but I don’t think I could stop even if you hated it. I have to admit it’s a little unnerving at times. I post online, and I think “that’s narcissistic”, “who do you think you are,” “nobody cares about this personal drama.” At those times, I pray about it and ask God to show me loudly and clearly if I shouldn’t be doing this. The silence is deafening.
I don’t know where this will lead. Perhaps I will be a blog writer all my life. Perhaps I’ll write for a year and be done. Perhaps I’ll write a book. I’m just trying to be led exactly like I was led into doing this the first time. I don’t believe in forcing things. Opportunities show up when I’m ready and at the perfect moment. If you haven’t found your passion yet, be open to being led. Let your heart and the people in your life point the way. Your passion will find you. There’s no need to struggle.