Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Staying true to oneself - simplifying life by identifying passions

Photo courtesy of S. Holland Smith
I have three favorite things in life, aside from my beautiful family - travel, art, and food.  Pretty much everything in my life revolves around these three things.  Today as I reflected on what I love most in life, where I've been, my accomplishments, my skills and abilities, I realized that everything I do in life is motivated by these three loves more than anything.

I've tried a million jobs, but the only ones that make me happy generally don't pay very well, and they involve using my creativity.  I cobble together work so I can afford to travel instead of buying nice clothes or furnishings.  I spend way too much on fancy groceries.  Honey goat cheese from Trader Joe's is amazing, by the way, especially with a nice fruity red.

Nothing is more of a soul-killer than worrying.  But I need to ground myself in reality, right?  How can I dream and plan and live out my bliss-filled future with all these worries?  Can other creatives relate?

Suggestions welcome.  Sort of.

For me, I have never been able to get too comfortable in one place. I start to worry and then I get depressed.  I fear the comfort will end, the money will run out.  I'm wracked with guilt about the fact that instead of enjoying all of life's blessings, I'm worrying that there might be something better I'm missing out on.  The fear creeps in.  I beat myself up for wanting more, wanting change, wanting to roam and pursue my loves.  Can I be a good mom if I bring my kids on the road?  Can I make art and enjoy cooking/eating/savoring if we're constantly traveling (won't I be tired?)?  Am I selfish?  What if it turns out to be the worst mistake I ever made?

I learned a hard lesson this year about staying true to myself.  I'm not willing to give up on myself or my dreams just yet.  I feel like the road is becoming clearer.

In my dreams, I am an achiever, an explorer.  My American Dream is engaging in opportunities that I create to better myself and enrich my life, even though it can be really hard work and at times seem really self-indulgent (and the pay is crap).  My dream is to do all this and still love myself for it.

I need to listen to my heart.  No more auto-pilot-survival-mode, no more "supposed to's" in life, just pursuing the fulfillment that comes from seeking new experiences that ignite my passions.  I want to teach this to my children and show them that enjoying life can be simple if you're brave enough to go after it.

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