Friday, February 7, 2014
How writing changes me
Sometimes I feel like that little girl in fifth grade who, when asked what she wanted to be when she grows up, once replied "Shamu's trainer at Sea World." I still don't feel I deserve the title of "grown up." And while it's getting a little easier to say "I want to write" when people ask what my job aspirations are, it not only feels as elusive as my fifth grade dream, it doesn't quite seem honest.
My 'job aspiration,' you see, is not writing. Writing is what I do because it fuels my tank; because the fire lighting up my insides has to have somewhere to go; because, without writing, I might as well walk around with my eyes shut. If one day I happen to find a way to make some money doing it, I will consider myself blessed, but no, this is not what I strive for.
The more I write my journey these past six years of blogging, the more I see: this is not about job aspiration. The truth is, I don't have job aspirations. The term, itself, sets my nerves on edge.
My vocabulary has changed.
I used to be driven by career aspirations, but at some milepost on this six year journey, I looked behind to see my old self wasn't moving with me. I used to say I lost my ambition. Now I see, the ambition is still there, it's merely morphed, the way river rapids eventually taper into softer flowing waters.
Writing has helped shape my vocabulary, given voice to my evolving priorities.
As long as I remain at my current job, I will continue to receive the questions, the raised eyebrows of "Why?" Why waste your talent, your education? Don't you want to advance your career? Perhaps I'll be writing this same thread until the most natural thing is for me to answer them honestly, without self doubt or criticism.
My aspirations have little to do with my job these years, and I'm edging slowly into acceptance of this truth.
Because, you see, I aspire to be a wife who loves her husband without keeping score; who forgives quickly, lets go completely, admits her faults readily; who gives the benefit of the doubt, bears all things, hopes all things, refuses to give up in the darkest of nights.
I aspire to be a friend who is true to her word; who gives sacrificially; who walks beside others for the long haul and helps them know they're not alone; who speaks hope and life, truth in love, and always grace.
I aspire to be a daughter who cherishes the time she has with her Mama, however long or short it is, because this, she knows, is one of life's greatest gifts.
I aspire to be a writer who is brave in vulnerability, with eyes turned not only at her own story, but outward and upward. A writer who seeks not her own glory, but the glory of the Author and Giver of words themselves, who dares to breathe on them and light the fire in her belly, to lay the trail across the pages of her life. A writer who helps others believe in beautiful redemption and hope, in the courageous living and telling of their stories.
These, you see, are my aspirations. And because I write them out, again and again, I know them in my knower more than I ever have.
One day, they will be a second skin.
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Find me - and a group of wonderful writers - over at Lisa Jo's place today for this beautiful Friday tradition called Five-minute friday (the rules, of which, I shamelessly break every week).