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Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I dreamed of writing. Writing for whoever might hear, whoever might care, or, for myself and the sheer enjoyment, nay, the absolute bliss of filling a page with words spilling from my mind like a torrent. (a torrent of what, we shall not debate!) Words have always been there, at the forefront of my every thought, waking or sleeping, dreaming or working. How many times I’ve been caught narrating what I’m doing by a quizzical onlooker I dare not admit (usually a family member, thank goodness, but not always). It’s rather like an obsession I cannot escape or break free of, and like an obsession, I do not care to break free, really.
I distinctly remember sitting in my fifth grade classroom, creating stories in my mind and scribbling them down for all I was worth rather than going out for recess (even when a rousing game of 4 square or kickball beckoned). How could I explain to other ten year olds that I would much rather immerse myself in the mystical places my imagination could take me, would take me, than run around in the dirt or swing from the playground monkey bars (which I never could reach anyway, being so diminutively statured).
OK, maybe that is just proof that I’m a little left of center. (You might enthusiastically agree) The dilithium crystals aren’t reaching full efficiency, Captain. I’m one clue short of a revelation, Sherlock. OR it may indicate that I was destined to unravel the complexities of life and love in lyrical, narrative fashion; who can tell (although more than likely it’s a bit of both, really). One thing is clear, though; I shall never escape the compelling temptation that is writing. I’m addicted, mind, body, soul.
Good thing, though, since it would seem this compulsion is my one true gift. (Yes, I do believe we all have at least one, some of us have more than one, though proving how quickly a bottle of Absolute can be absolutely obliterated or diving from train trusses with a spongy rope attached to the feet are not illustrations of a gift by any means) Where was I?
Good thing, yes, because I have found that once you allow yourself to become completely wound up in your True Gift the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment you achieve supersedes anything else, everything else. Of course, the trick is figuring out what your One True Gift is, which isn’t as simple as it seems. I should have known I was a writer, since words have been tumbling from my mind and spirit since I was old enough to speak. I spent a summer composing a collection of 100 poems, just as a challenge to myself and I’ve been writing one thing or another since I could hold a pencil (or crayon) (or lipstick). So why did it take me this long to sit down and take it seriously and to finally realize the ultimate joy in utilizing that one talent given to me alone (so to speak, since it was certainly given to you as well or we wouldn’t be here, but do humour me, as I’m making a point here) (I think/hope).
We walk along the path of life, meandering through the shaggy undergrowth and stopping often to investigate the curious or spectacular. We stumble over debris scattered in the avenue, sometimes we fall, tumble, roll and when we struggle to our feet the right way to go isn’t always clear. We point ourselves in a direction and trudge on. Often, we need to double back, realizing that we’ve chosen the wrong direction. The going can be difficult, uphill, over large stones and through loose gravel that slips underfoot; yet the light is always shining down on us, streaming through the lush canopy of green swaying in the wind over our heads. Nevertheless, we ultimately come to a place where we can go no farther unaided and we must make a deliberate choice. Turn around and stumble back the way we came, making no further progress and never reaching our goal(s) or reach for the walking stick waiting at our feet; accept the hand that is offered to help us continue on; allow ourselves to be carried through the brambles so we don’t fall or bleed anymore.
This isn’t a cop out, however. Nor is it taking the easy way out or cheating. In fact, it’s just the beginning. The start of a whole new journey; another path to walk along, another avenue to sojourn, though not alone, and when we walk this road, aided by the Light that is within us we will discover our purpose. A purpose that will fill us (oddly enough) with Purpose. A destiny that will lead us to our Destiny; and a gift, One True Gift, that will give us the greatest Gift of all.
Purpose and a Destiny.