Then my brother told me I had to listen to EOFire with John Lee Dumas, a podcast for entrepreneurs, and all the musings in my mind suddenly started making sense. There are ways that I want to contribute to the world that I had dismissed for so many reasons. There are things I think I'd like to do - I want to blog regularly. I want to create meaningful handbooks and guides. I want to have positive interactions with people all across the globe. I want to offer some suggestions of how I manage working and family, marriage and myself as well as hear the tips and tricks from others who are chasing simultaneous dreams, be that raising a family and creating art, running a local PTA chapter and teaching private music lessons, contributing to a community and keeping a zen-like balance within themselves.
Toward the end of last year, I had a realization about my progress. Real life, the inherent frustrations of a career that isn't as fulfilling as it used to be, frequent injuries over the last several years (I've had FOUR re-constructive surgeries since Oct. 2010) and the natural let downs of being human slowly pulled me into a hole, slowly closed in around me, and I found myself emerged in a kind of depression that was deeper and heavier than anything I've experienced before. When discussing this realization without knowing how to rectify it with a family member who is studying social work, she asked me this question:
Do you feel like you have a voice?
I started to reflect on what, during the last year or so, had brought me joy. I work with a local Suzuki organization - can accompany them for hours on the weekend and leave feeling fulfilled. I sit on a board that organizes and brings world-class entertainment to our small rural community, and I love the meetings, the logistics. I love learning, stretching, growing, developing my talents and my knowledge and ways to give to others, but for a multitude of reasons, I haven't been satisfied with a day job that asks me to pretty much do that.
And my family member's question kept lingering. Do you feel like you have a voice?
No. At least, not in that capacity.
And then I got thinking: If I am feeling like I don't have a voice, if I'm feeling stuck, how many
others might be in the same place? Whether it is a career choice that didn't turn out as desired, days filtering in and out without time to devote to what is really desired, that lingering hope to learn or improve a new skill, to try something wanted, or to deviate, even a little, from the seemingly continual conveyor belt of life, I realized that you and me and others around us?
I want to guide people of all walks of life to find their voice, to discover their passion, and then share it.
Of course, there are still the other dreams. I dream of my children having success and joy in their own self-discovery. I want to continually fall in love with my husband, to support him with the same encouragement he has shared with me.
And then there is the one in particular, the one I've been chasing for half a decade. I want to publish my novel. I want to sign with an agent who is excited and passionate about my work, who can't wait to share it with editors, who can't wait to help me get it published.
While I am a firm believer in a time and place for everything, I also strongly cling to the idea that there is something we can be doing on a daily basis that is fulfilling. There are chunks of time in our lives, probably in our every day, when we fill the time with something as an escape, but what we are escaping with doesn't allow us to feel satisfied. After all, Candy Crush bragging rights only go so far.
So I'm inviting you to come on this journey with me. I'm going to be open, candid and share the things that I'm learning, the times I've failed, things that go better than expected and everything in between. But throughout it all, this year, and the years to follow, I'm holding to the mantra of being deliberate and determined in the way I spend my days, in the way I chase my dreams, in the way I live my life.
And I invite you go journey with me, to share your ups and downs, to have a friend in your corner who wants you to succeed as much as you do.