I used to think happiness was doing the One Single Thing in this world that we’re called to do. I used to think that if that wasn’t possible, then happiness would just remain elusive.
This or that. Black or White. Either, Or.
Then, after I became a mother, I started to question and wonder about all of my dreams and callings. Suddenly, paralyzed with what I no longer had time for in life such as writing, my dreams got bigger and bigger. I soon realized that life isn’t about just one dream, or one calling. There’s enough space in life for all of it, including our swollen dreams.
I truly appreciate Daniel’s post about What Makes You Come Alive over at Metta Drum on this topic because I’ve been preaching that to my writing students for a while now. We can be writers AND something else entirely. In fact, as someone who’s been a writer to earn money and someone who’s just been a writer, I feel confident in saying that the latter is actually better for the love of the craft unless earning money is no issue for you. It’s OK to be more than one thing in life.
For me, it’s about Balance.
There’s no greater way to stop being a creative writer than writing to earn a living. Deadlines loom. We get tired of staring at the computer screen all day. We grow tired of thinking of the right words to use all day. So, at night, we resort to anything, everything that isn’t writing. Pretty sad way of life if all you ever wanted to be was a writer, as I have.
And yet, the funny thing is that as writers or creative types, we often need to interact with the outside world to refresh our ideas or to gather up new ideas. For some of us, the outside world is our muse.
I’m tired of falling prey to the evil This or That Syndrome. I’m tired of feeling like I have to be a mother all day and not a woman with dreams. I’m tired of being a fulltime worker all day and having to put away my mother hat even though my kids consume my every thought. I’m tired of having to choose one or the other, this or that.
I’m a working Mama by day and a writer the rest of the time. That’s who I am. All of it.
For the longest time, I tried to separate my many selves because of this societal pressure to be only one thing.
Through lots of reading and practice, I’m learning that the best place, the happiest place, is when all of our many selves collide into the one Authentic person we truly are in life. It’s a little bit of that humanist, freethinker, writer, mother and thought leader in me that led to this blog. I’m a writer but I”m so much more than that as well. I have dreams and ideas. I’m a mother but I”m much more than that, too.
So if you find yourself compartmentalizing your many, many selves take comfort: Open yourself up and find a way for them to all burst onto the scene. Be One with them All. That’s the only way to reach your authentic voice.
With proper balance and centering, we can wake up and find space for all of our dreams. At least, that is, if we want to be Real.