Passion, Purpose, and Icing on the Cake
Last October, I wrote a 31 Day series on becoming an author. Writing those posts unlocked something inside me – something that I’d rolled up and tucked away in the corner of my heart a long time ago.
I remembered that I wanted to be a writer.
I was a freshman in college in 1996. Yes, I’m publicly admitting my age right now. I’m feeling brave.
I got my first email address that year, and it took me the entire first semester of college to figure out how to use the blasted thing. I would walk to The Sub in the middle of Baylor Campus and click on that little ‘e’ button, and then wonder what the heck I was supposed to do next on this odd little contraption called the internet.
By 1998, my junior year, I’d learned relatively little about using the internet. Nice, huh? Outside of finally figuring out my Baylor issued email address, I could not for my life manage to search the web without going in circles and ending up frustrated. As I headed to Kiev, Ukraine for a fall study abroad, I finally had someone help me set up my very first email address that wasn’t linked to the school.
I got my little hotmail address up and running, then jetted off to the other side of the world with big promises of staying in touch with everyone. I quickly found an internet cafe located not too far from my school in the heart of Kiev, and once a week I paid for an hour of time on the computer. 45 minutes of that time was spent trying to find Hotmail, just so I could sign into my account.
I had no idea that I could just type in the web address on the top of the page. Instead, I would go to Google (or Yahoo – I can’t remember which one was popular then) and I would type in the word “hotmail.” Then I would follow link after link until I somehow, mercifully, found my way to the hotmail home page.
For two months, I used this roundabout method to check my email before I finally figured out the easy way to search the web and my life was revolutionized completely.
I tell you this to help you understand that I never, ever dreamed that I would one day write on the internet. This was not on my radar. I left college with dreams of writing books.
I spent the first five years after college ghostwriting, editing, and co-authoring books, and in my heart I longed to write my own book – a novel.
Then I had a baby, and another one, and another one, and I came to the realization that writing books is hard to do when you only have ten minutes of alone time each day (and those ten minutes were usually spent locked in my closet with my eyes closed tight, praying that God would make me a bird so I could fly far. Far, far away…).
So I took to writing on the internet, and I found that I loved it. I got to enjoy utilizing my craft, release a little pent up frustration (in the form of humorous stories), and make so many friends along the way.
But deep down inside I knew that I was meant to do more with this thing called writing.
It can be wildly discouraging and frustrating to be online these days when it seems every third person is releasing their book while I wait and wonder if mine will ever be picked up. It’s a timing thing, a finding the right person thing, a patience thing – I know all these “things,” and yet I find myself so impatient for that next step.
Passion is a funny beast. Passionate living points you in a direction and requires much more than a simple obsession. It takes more than hard work, more than bravery, more than talent. Passion requires belief.
Passion requires you to direct your energy with purpose toward the thing you want to pursue.
Living a life of purpose means living a life in pursuit of those things that make you feel alive, and we are all jolted alive by different things. Have you found your passion? Have you found the one thing (or several things!) that gets your heart pumping, your pulse racing, and pushes you purposefully forward each day?
Don’t be afraid to chase after your passions, and for those of you who, like me, are pursuing them but feel like you’re slogging through the mire of discouragement, keep pressing forward. Pursue because you love what you do, not because you love the rewards. Yes, the rewards are icing on the cake, but here’s the thing:
Some cakes are just as good without the icing.
Happy Wednesday, all!