“If you care about something, you have to protect it. If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”
~ Ritu Ghatourey
I have a secret to tell you all.
I had an idea for a New Year’s resolution way back in September and October. I mulled it over and over in my stubborn mind and finally thought to myself, “Why am I letting myself be constrained by one arbitrary day of the year?”
So, I decided to wait until November 1st, because I guess my brain is still somehow limited by the idea of a new month and a new beginning—even though I just contradicted myself by saying that was a bogus idea!
All of my life, I have been a closet writer. And my November first resolution was to dare myself to come out of the closet and find out if I could submit my work to the public and have it published. I didn’t feel hopeful about the idea, but I was willing to take a risk and at least try.
I have always written. I wrote my first story at age three and my first poem at age six. Yet, when it came time for college, I was sternly warned by my well-intentioned father, “Laura, philosophy and writing won’t put food on your table.” I took his proclamation to heart and didn’t follow my passion. I’m not even sure how strong my passion was back then in the olden days—26 long years ago.
I was a child of divorce, so naturally his declaration scared the crap out of me. I thought that if I had children someday, I would want to be able to support them on my own if necessary. Hence, I became a chemical engineer. Yep. My father, a chemist, might as well have chosen my major for me the day he uttered those few words to me so many years ago.
Now, please don’t laugh too loudly. I made some good money and, more importantly, I honestly loved my job for those seven years as an engineer. I even planned on making it my ultimate, life-long career, until the first of my three children was born.
I then became a mother doing the attachment parenting thing. With my baby constantly in a sling 24/7, and my breast in his mouth, I felt that I couldn’t give 100 percent to both being a mother and being an engineer. And I don’t like to fail or fall short at anything. Therefore, I quit my job a few weeks after my son’s birth.
My former boss, whom I greatly respect and admire, reacted terribly when I gave him my news. I could feel hot blood rising quickly into my face and my heart fluttering nervously as we spoke over the phone. All the while, I was nursing my firstborn in the ever-present sling that glued our bodies together.
My boss suggested that I think about it some more or that I work part-time from home. But I knew deep in my heart that this just was not in the cards for me.
I had two more babies in the next four years and life just happened, as it tends to do. I had ups and downs of parenting, the death of my grandparents and the suicide of my father to deal with, along with everything else that life dished out.
All the while I kept writing.
I felt as if I tortured my friends and family each time that we talked throughout the years. I would read my latest poem or short story to them, never actually realizing that this was my true passion. Writing was just something I did. Every day. No matter what.
It sounds so dim-witted now, but somehow it never dawned on me to share my writing beyond my family and friends.
Writing has been my passion and my release, my therapy and my constant that has kept me grounded. At least as much as was possible, throughout the years. I have no idea what would have become of me if I had not had writing as my outlet.
Fast forward to mid-December. I now have nearly 20 articles and poems that have been published.
Yes my head is spinning. Yes I am a bit sleep deprived. But wait!—I was already like this before November first! And the benefits of living my passion have been plentiful.
I have met so many interesting people, I feel as if I am making a difference in this world with my inspirational poems and stories and I have been reveling in being appreciated in a way that I just don’t get from being a mother alone.
I believe what I have learned can be applied to any deep enthusiasm that anybody has and who wants to start living with the passion they were meant to live with in earnest.
So, to sum up the lessons that I’ve learned about living my passion:
- Listen to your heart and not other people when it comes to your dream.
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
~ Abraham Lincoln
- Trust that it will work out. If it is truly your passion, I believe that it will.
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.
~ Howard Thurman
- Do it now—don’t wait! The world needs you living your fervor today. It’s never too late!
I am 44 and was feeling that it might be too late to make a new start—-how wrong I was! I am having more fun now than I have in years.
- Living your passion may be easier than you think. Yes it might take some effort, but you may already be doing the work that you fear (even if only in your heart and mind).
If it is already taking up mental space, you might as well put it into action!
- Open your heart to your innermost desires. No matter what they are. Don’t judge yourself.
Your ideas, hopes and dreams are worthy!
- If there are bumps in the road, get a thrill from going over them. Bumps in the road can be fun if looked at in the right light.
It’s okay to laugh at ourselves. I have made so many mistakes and asked so many silly questions since I started my new dream that if I didn’t laugh, I would cry.
- If your passion changes, that is okay. We all change during our lives and it is a beautiful thing. Be in tune with what turns you on and makes keeps you excited.
Renew your passions daily.
~ Terri Guillemets
- Ignore what other people think once you start living your dream. It is none of their business! And you may just be surprised how many people will be happy for you!
Take ownership of your own life and don’t let others dictate to you what you should or should not be doing! Don’t let them live rent-free in your heart or mind.
- Keep on keepin’ on! As long as you have enthusiasm for what you are doing, don’t quit! It may take a while to realize your dream.
Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.
~ Cavett Robert
- Get ready for the most excellent and exhilarating ride of your life!
Work hard in silence. Let your success be the noise.
~ Ritu Ghatourey
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