Forget Who You Think You Should be and Focus on Who You Are

On my 30th birthday one of my oldest and dearest friends gave me a leather journal and said something along the lines of “For your writing if you still are and if you’re not, you should be.” It never ceases to amaze me what sticks with you over time.  This friends voice and these words have come back to haunt me numerous times since this event took place, until I finally really listened to the words, and followed her advice.

I used to write incessantly. I wrote letters to this friend when she moved away in seventh grade, until she returned to the states our sophomore year of high school. I had an uncanny ability to befriend people in some strange way, exchange addresses and then would write to them from across states and continents. I scribbled poetry in the margins of my notebooks in high school and college and on order taking tickets when I worked in restaurants. In college I could whip out a ten page paper the night before it was due (and still get an A.) Sometimes in my “real jobs” I would still find myself scribbling poetry in the margins of my work notes. . .

I don’t know where it all went wrong and I put down the pen and paper but somewhere along the lines I got caught up in other “stuff” and took a long hiatus from my writing (too long).  During this hiatus I wasn’t as happy as I had been in the past.  I didn’t feel quite whole and I found myself questioning too often who the person in the mirror was.

I think all too often we get caught up with what we think we should be in life and lose sight of who we truly are.  I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know that I function better when I write so I need to somehow incorporate writing into that equations.  I have been so much happier since I’ve been back to putting my thoughts to paper (er, um, computer screen).  So, my challenge to all of you out there is: to not lose sight of your dreams, however large or small.  Dreams should not be filed away for later, dreams should be pulled out constantly even if you are only able to chip away at them a tiny bit at a time.  Don’t lose who you are for who you think you should be or even worse who other people think you should be.

I’ll end with a quote by Dave Buchanan  “ I don’t need to be rich or have a fancy home. I just want to go to sleep at night knowing my labor had heart, I’ve loved fiercely and lived close enough to the edge that I can see the waves kiss the rocks.”  Live your life for you and your loved ones.  Not everyone else.  Incorporate your dreams into your life, find a way to do what you love (even if it’s only as a hobby)!

Cheers and Namaste!

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