This passion to write is nothing new; it isn’t a sudden gust of inspiration or a sprinkling of Muse kisses – it’s just the way I was made. I am an introvert with a mad drive to express myself, an active thinker with ideas that spin one another into new and unexpected shapes, a visionary who sees and hears layers upon layers of images and sounds, an enthusiast for words and the process of assembling them into both structured forms and chaotic storms. Because of these qualities, I am first and foremost a writer. I have always known these things about myself, but only began to claim the truth after establishing myself in a career, only to opt out of it in the name of “saving my sanity”.
I believe that ultimately we all have to answer to the passions that are uniquely ours – those passions that make you hear your own heartbeat, the passions that keep your blood pumping. We all know this as children, though we may not know how to name them when we are so young. We are dreamers in the teen years and proclaim this wisdom to “follow your heart” with loud aplomb. Some of us keep that mantra close to our living even in our early adulthood, but little by little, the passions get relegated to the category of “hobby”; they get squelched down into our hearts where voices are silenced. Somehow we think such passions are merely childish dreams. Some of us learn to function quite well with passions packed away in bone marrow. We learn to manage because it seems to be the “right thing to do”. We are afraid of looking straight on at those passions because we can’t bear to face the pain of acknowledging that we have allowed them to dwindle so.
But I couldn’t look away. Insanity rose in strong defense of the soul when I ignored my passion. The passion to write keeps gripping me, pulling me away from the center of the world and forcing me into my own seclusion where I am compelled to write, driven to write, desperate to write. Feeding this passion welcomes the Muse who brings gifts. I know this now because I made a dramatic escape from my career and plummeted into depression where I was once again reunited with my voice.
When I found my voice I found myself, and when I found myself, I became honest. Honesty made me whole; not complete, but whole.
After two years of solitude and full time writing (it wasn’t all freedom because I wrote for others in order to make money), I have returned to the career. I can feel the hairs on my head popping and turning gray for the days are far too stressful. The circumstances of career demand conformity to a world where the passions are viewed as frivolous and childish. The voice of Satan rumbles in my head with a steady rise in intensity like an on-coming train: your passion must die; your passion must die. It threatens to drown out the sound of my own voice – the sound of truth.
The right thing to do is to draw a line at the end of each day and leave the work of the career in its own container. The right thing to do is to “follow my heart” and declare that truth with loud aplomb! The right thing to do is to feel the wind beneath my wings and say YES! to the shower of kisses from my Muse!
And so it is that I honor the truth that I know is right for me: the right thing to do is to write.