For this month’s blessing, I wanted to reflect on the paths we take.
“Are you in the right race? Or have you accidentally drifted into a race that is mostly in vain? Are your best efforts going toward a race that results in fleeting applause? Or do you strive for material gain or passing pleasures?”
I stumbled over the answers to these questions for quite some time this week. No one ever wishes to dive into their inner selves and wonder if they’ve become vain or materialistic. I garner the thoughts that I’m not. That I don’t spend my days hoping people look at me through green eyes or who will praise me for, well, simply being me.
But do my actions say otherwise? Do my actions reveal the blatant lie I’ve managed to tell myself so many times that I just believe it as my truth? In reading these questions, two of my own came to mind.
Why do I workout? And why do I write?
I’ve long since come to the realization that I’ll never look as I did before I had children. Which, anymore, that’s really not what I wish for. Neither is perfection by way of some Hollywood or magazine tabloid standard or that of a woman trotting down a runway with wings of feathers strapped to my back.
Thirty-nine is just a bounce around the corner, and for the first time I’ve taken a step back, knowing that I chose to make myself a sweaty mess every day, not because I wish to live in the past life of my 20-something self, but because I want to take care of what I’ve been blessed with. We have but this one body and this one life—two temples and two gifts, that I only wish to treasure.
With the first question answered, it was time to look into my second.
As authors or writers we are all too familiar with the notion that our passion stems from the joy the written word give us. That we would go insane without the outlet. That we crave the challenge to open our minds in such a way that our imaginations are stretched and twisted, bending through a complex web that springs forth utter brilliance and wonder. Humans love to create beautiful creations and works of art. It’s why painters paint, it’s why chefs cook, it’s why teachers teach, it’s why writers write.
I shuttered to think this choice was for fleeting applause, material gain, or passing pleasures.
Kind words in reviews or emailed messages from fans surely make for all the hardships that go hand in hand with putting oneself out into the masses. Bad reviews sting less and seem to fade away until they are forgotten about most of the time. With that said, though, I don’t crave the standing ovations from others.
Nor do I publish them just for money. If I were to have done so or relied on this pennies-on-the-dollar-for-an-hour-of-work income, then my family would be living in a van down by the river eating dirt.
No, I believe that my call to write has been about passion. My own passion, the passion I wish to pass on to my kids, the passion to draw inspiration in others, the passion to entertain, and the passion to live fully in the life I’ve been created to live.