When’s the last time you sang? I hope it was today or just now. I can always tell something is amiss in my life when I don’t sing. Singing makes me incandescently happy. I haven’t been singing lately.
Weeks of travel coupled with many “to do’s” have left me serious and soul searching. As I’ve been reminded by friends, family, and society, I’m 28 going on 30. I figured out why turning 30 freaks me out. An unwritten rule in our society is as follows: your 20’s are for trying new things, figuring it out, exploring, challenging, questioning, resolving, etc. Your 30’s are for being focused on a career, on a family, on a relationship, on something.
When I was 16, I was an honor roll student at one of the top high schools in Atlanta, a Varsity athlete, a National Honor Society member, a peer support facilitator (along with several other extra curriculars), a part-time hostess at our local brunch place, and a babysitter. It has always been in my nature to stretch myself, to achieve, and to immerse myself with several activities. Honestly speaking, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be at 16. I knew I loved writing, and I knew that whatever I chose to do, I would have high expectations and standards for myself, and I always have. But, I thought I would figure it out at some point–my purpose.
On a side note, I’m listening to the main theme song from Schindler’s List right now on my Thomas Newman Pandora station. If you haven’t listened to that song, stop reading this moment, and listen. The violin is otherworldly.
I believe in serendipity. As I’m listening to this song, I realize I have always known my purpose. 9-years-old watching A River Runs Through It, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I went home that day and got my parents to buy me journals, so I could begin writing. Through every period in my life, I’ve always gone back to writing. It’s like breathing.
Being a writer is not always easy or glamorous. Knowing the right words to say, worrying that words might be misconstrued or rejected, or that what you wrote at one period in time (which may or may not reflect who you are later in life) is in print somewhere, forever tattooed. It takes incredible courage to expose yourself in every piece of writing, even if its an email or a Tweet.
In the words of Ernest Hemingway, “In order to write about life, first you must live it.” I’ve been upset with myself lately for not knowing my 5-year-plan or what’s next in the big sense. The type-A in me and my brain clamor for it desperately. When my mind settles down, my heart speaks softly. I have dreams. I want to create. I want to explore. I want peace. I want to live a life I’m proud of, and I want to be around those that also choose life.