It was May 22, 2015, when I finally stopped fighting myself. My mind, the guardian of and spokesperson for logic, anticlimactically bowed out of the race. My heart, a throbbing pulse of excitement and love, could hardly believe itself. It had known this was coming—could have seen this a mile off—yet it still came as a shock. When your dreams finally turn to reality, they linger for a bit longer in the surreal before submitting themselves to you.
I had decided I would write.
Author, writer, novelist, blogger, journalist, poet, what have you, I was going to write. Let me tell you, friend, it was the most alive I had felt in a very, very long time. I stopped fighting the cacophony of You’ll never make it and You don’t even write everyday and You can’t change your course now and as soon as I did, they turned to strong, beautiful melodies of You will get there no matter what it takes and You have potential waiting to be churned up and You are free.
I was free to write into the night, clicking away at a keyboard, eyes closed after a 20 hour day. I was free to walk away from my homework, from exercise, from the outdoors, all to write and not feel guilty about wasting my time. I was free to share my work, for I knew the only way to become great was to become vulnerable. I was free to write poetry about nothing, nothing at all. I was free to join the ranks of the cliche Starbucks-goers, the everyday diarists, the Millennial intellectuals, the business bloggers, the ancient Near East scribes, the Romanticist poets, the Hollywood screenwriters, and Shakespeare. I was free to do so much, and I was free from so much.
Freedom is a funny thing. You don’t experience it the most on the 4th of July, where fireworks crack and boom, demanding your attention. It’s not really freedom that warms your heart on those summer nights, just the flames from the grill. Freedom happens in the small moments, and they normally don’t have a lot of fanfare.
A teenage girl, for instance, sitting on a slow-moving train in the middle of Iowa. She desperately needs to use the bathroom, but holds it just a bit longer because they’ll be there soon enough, they’re almost there, almost now. She closes her book and looks out the window to her left. An expanse of green and brown as far as the eye can see. All the way back until the sky caresses the land, turning the furthermost trees blue with suffocation. Someone had been speaking to her, but the adjacent seat remained empty. She smiled down at the book, peaceful and sleepy, thankful that sometimes the best counselors in life say no words, but are words.
How lovely it is not to have found your calling, but to have been called to be found.