I have recently become aware of yet another deficit in my life.
I am not living my passion.
I went to the library yesterday and I browsed the new release section. The library is one of my favorite places, because it is like shopping, but free! And since I have about the same chance of reading a book I buy vs. reading a book I check out from the library, it turns out that the library is a better option for my budget and all around mortgage-paying-ability.
Now to talk about my failures.
There were beautiful books, with jackets wrapped in shiny fresh plastic, all bearing the label of their release date. And it seemed that the books were nearly obsessed with explaining the secret of following your passion, unlocking your inner magic, going on retreats in the woods for a year without bug repellant as an exercise in finding out what really matters to you, eating only sap from a specific Cyprus tree to find your true calling.
I picked up each one, and I held it in my hand, and for a brief and fleeting moment I imagined what it would feel like to own each book. To have, in my own hands, all of the answers I have been searching for.
Because let’s be honest. A few hours after that trip to the library, it took a herculean effort to get my son’s shoes on so we could go out the door and get to Target. Which is, if you are not already aware, the place I go when I feel sad.
I could use a little bit more finding my passion and a little bit less finding my Cartwheel app.
Unfortunately I don’t think any of those books mentioned trips to Target as one of the steps toward finding your inner wisdom and true destiny.
I have spent the better part of this year reading these books. Because I so desperately want to know more about what it is that I was created to be. Every one of the amazing quotes about “be who you were created to be because what the world needs is you, being you” or variations on that theme make my heart say, “YES!”
Immediately followed by a little bit of panic, because I realize that, while the book was fascinating and the quote inspiring, I still don’t know what that one thing is.
But standing there in the library, holding the fifteenth book that deep down I knew I would never read, I made a decision. I am NOT going to go searching for my one passion.
I am over it.
I’m sick of feeling like I’ve missed the boat to success and that all of the opportunities are passing me by because I didn’t buy (or check out) the right book, didn’t apply for the right program, didn’t shake hands with the right person.
I have been running myself ragged toward a goal that I have not even set, a destination I have not charted.
I’ve had enough. I give up.
Trying to live my passion and find my magic has felt more like living my anxiety and finding my inner angst.
I’m giving it a rest. Or I’m going to try to.
And in the meantime, maybe there’s other things I want to do.
I want to live with gratitude. To get up in the morning thankful for another day with my eyes open. Even when some days that morning comes much more quickly than I want.
I want to live with awareness. To notice when I can’t seem to put my cell phone down to enjoy the fact that my son is holding up his art project. To forget the phone at home when we go outside to play.
I want to live with kindness. To take a deep breath when a friend is late for a meeting, knowing that I am far more often making others wait for me. To give without expecting a return.
And those three things alone seem like enough to fill a lifetime, one with or without passion.
Last weekend my family was in town for a visit. It was 90 degrees and our window air conditioners were losing the battle against the heat. In response, the adults sat around the twenty dollar inflatable pool that we’d purchased for the kids, and hung our feet in the water, drinking beer, while our children splashed and screamed and played.
I turned to my brother and said, “I feel like this is the most luxurious thing in the whole world.”
And it was. Family, together. Talking, laughter, play.
In that moment I had no more clarity about my passion than I had the moment before. But somehow it just didn’t matter.
It was enough.