Friday, February 3, 2012

My task

I had an interesting phone conversation this morning... One of my former students, who has since become a very beloved friend, was bemoaning the challenges he was encountering, trying to find internships in his chosen field--his unique pursuit of which field, I must say, is so amazing that it is clear that following this pursuit, in the road-less-traveled way that he and only he follows, is a miraculous blessing for the entire world; and it's a blessing that only keeps growing every time he bestows it through his artistry.

The long and the short of it was, basically, his concern that his "thing" is not what everybody else in his line of work/art form does, and he fears that sticking to "his thing" going to make it impossible to earn a living.

Well, I told him, you doing your thing as only you do it has paid off very well (he keeps winning awards and grants and fellowships and and and...), people who are underwriting these awards/grants/fellowships seem to think that your unique way is worth ponying up the dough—and if you were being "everybody else," they never would have even noticed you and you never would have won anything. So, bottom line is, uniqueness has paid off. So, I told him, stick to your guns. Follow your bliss. Clearly people have wanted it in the past; your job is not to remake yourself into someone you're not, it's to find the people who want you: a much easier problem than crushing yourself to become something you're not. Why not be what you are? It seems to have worked well in the past... why shouldn't it work now?

Even before I hung up I started thinking, "Now who are you talking to, really? The friend on the other end of the phone? Or yourself?" The "me" that I am now, is the "me" that I am now. Every time I didn't pay attention to the Universal Rule that "can" and "should" are different, and just because you "can" do something doesn't mean you "should" do something—especially when you should not be doing this particular something that you've convinced yourself that you "can" do.

I am what I am; I'm the person that I have become, neurological nonsense and everything. I still have a passion for touching lives, and as much as I miss walking and all that walking enables, I can still touch lives from a chair, simply by speaking truth from the heart with love, and meeting someone at their point of need with that truth and that love.

So my task is not to figure out "what I can do now that I'm disabled by M.S.", it's to find someone who wants me, neurological BS, physical disabilities, and all; who wants what only I can give. Which, I think, is a different problem.

And, I would like to think, a more doable one.

1 comment:

Muffie said...

You say it so beautifully. Would that we all could be so accepting!