Discover your divine assignment and you’ll have no reason to retreat. Discover your passion and you’ll laugh in the face of defeat. Indifferent to the pressures felt and you do not buckle like a belt. Declare today that you refuse to lose. Because you can either live your dreams,Or you can live your excuse!
I can remember the exact moment I stopped giving myself permission to dream big. All it took was one e-mail, I wasn’t getting the financial aid I had needed to attend my study abroad program in London.
I had picked classes, bought a plane ticket, I had done all the paperwork, planned sight-seeing, had made plans to meet my best friend (for the first time in 2 years) at Christmas, I had moved and put all my belongings except 2 suitcases in storage. My heart was already there, along the banks of the Thames. I had been buzzing with giddy anticipation for months and in the click of a mouse it was dead.
The e-mail was more than plans falling through, it was my gut being wrong for the first time.
It was my intuition, something I had always depended upon, not following through. It was the breach of trust with someone I had learned to trust the most.
I shrunk a little. I began to constantly second guess myself. I allowed myself to have small goals, I even went up for a few daring opportunities but I stopped listening to that part of myself, the part that yearned and truly dreamed for more.
I turned away from quiet callings in my heart, the ones that reached a little further towards the sunset and whispered: What if? The disconnect hurt and it took a year for me to realize I had done it at all. But, realizing what had happened didn’t instantly mend the gap I had created between myself and my own heart. Years of learning to listen to that part of me that just knew was gone.
Four years later and I’m still tending to the divide, a slow and tedious journey filled with little victories. It may seem silly that this all started from an e-mail but I don’t think it is. Sometimes things have to be broken. Sometimes things have to be reworked and rebuilt to truly appreciate them; learn from them. Unfortunately, we don’t usually get to decide the process or what gets broken.
I still don’t fully trust myself. I got really good at playing meek and living small. I’ve self-sabotaged, I’ve put other’s ideas before my own truth, I’ve taken the safe route, I’ve done what looks good, I’ve settled, I’ve shut-up and, on some occasions, shutdown.
This is not my continued wish for myself. This is not my wish for you. For anyone.
Kirk Nugent once performed a spoken word piece urging the importance of “pursuing your passion” if you want to live a life that is truly your own. I believe there’s truth to his words, to his message. We all have unique gifts, voices, and talents to impress upon our community and our world. If we were born with these beautiful ideas, callings, passions, why would they be meant to go unfulfilled, un-shared or unused? Who are we serving by staying small?