When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cartoonist. I am sure that in the annals of this nonsensical blog I have talked about that to some degree. I loved drawing, all over the place, but I really loved drawing weird faces. The problem there was that I didn’t draw bodies, or scenes, or even heads. Nope, just faces. And they weren’t really that great. See, I loved drawing, but I was no good at it.
When I was a teen and in love with movies, specifically horror movies I wanted to be a special effects make-up person. The idea of making the monsters that scared people and working in that industry was AMAZING. I knew how effects were made, in a round-about fashion. I understood how movies were made. I got the big ideas down but, well, I didn’t really do make-up. I had the stuff. I just…never did it. Heck, I even liked making movies with friends. Just never really…yeah.
As I neared adulthood I started to write and then got serious about it. I dunno that writing is something I have any adeptness for, but I love it. There’re so many ways to express yourself with words that it really speaks to me, this method for my madness. I can certainly say that I don’t make my living writing, but I have made some money that way and as I have gotten older I have realized that your dreams and passions don’t have to become careers. They don’t have to become anything other than a pastime. They don’t have to do anything but make you happy.
And that’s something that we don’t hear a lot as kids.
Or I didn’t.
The permission to be passionate.
Everything was about learning and tests and jobs and
There was no talk of BIG hobbies. Hobbies that compel and inspire you. Hobbies that burn in you.
Yeah, you can’t make that pro basketball team, but you can play in pick-up leagues and still enjoy yourself and express your passion.
So often, so, so often, you hear people talking about how we need to ‘grow up’ and be ‘adults’, which is code for settling into some sort of routine that doesn’t upset anyone and leads towards the same goal as everyone else. Only, not all of us HAVE the same goals. I realized years ago that I’ll never be rich, I’ll never be famous, and I won’t make much an impact on this big world. What I CAN do is pursue the things that make me happy, that I have a passion for, and in that leave the place a little better than it was when I got here. That is the hope, at least, to leave a legacy with the people that give a darn about me.
I can take inspiration from everything.
For me, many times I start with the story name before there’s a solid idea for the story itself. And the names and that germ of an idea come from everything and everywhere. I drove past a house out near where I grew up and it reminded me of a doll house. That became the beginnings of a story. That’s how inspiration works. Our brains are always working, on more levels than we can even fathom, and once in a while the cylinders that are turning click into place and a safe opens and out falls a gem. What you do with that gem is up to you.
For me, it can become a story, a blog, a podcast, a drawing, a painting, a photo, or a short film.
Which is not to say I am ADEPT at any of those pursuits but I can do them and do.
That’s another thing that stinks about getting older – the feeling that you need to FOCUS.
The idea that if you have TOO MANY pursuits that it’s a problem.
Good grief, what a problem to have!
I like TOO MANY THINGS!
It breaks my heart to see elderly people that poured their lives into jobs that, when they are over, leave a gaping wound that never heals. They worked SO MUCH that they didn’t give themselves time to find hobbies or pursuits outside of work.
And sure, some of those people were actively, passionately, in love with their work. It wasn’t a job, it was a career, and they loved it.
But even in that case you should have something else, something outside of that place. A place for you.
Work is the least important thing in my life, not because I hate it but because that’s not where my heart is.
And yeah, I may NOT be any good at the things I love to do, the things that make me, well, me, but I love them, and that’s enough. That love, MY love, is enough.
It’s all I ask of myself and all I expect.
I wanna get better. I will work to get better. More than anything though I will work to trust myself and my voice and where it takes me. And if I have one thing I am pretty OK at, it’s in trusting my ‘inner voice’. I know what I mean to do and say so it’s all a matter of letting myself ‘speak’.
And I really am no good at drawing, but I still love it.
I am no good at making movies, but I love it.
I am not a good painter, but I love it.
I don’t take memorable pictures, but I love it.
And I dunno that I will ever write something that will move people but I will still write, and trust my voice, and see where I end up.
And that’s it, in the end.
Finding your voice and listening.
Hearing what YOU love and are passionate about and pursuing it.
Not letting the Well, Buts get in the way.
Not letting the doubt stop you.
Sure, you may never go ‘pro’, as it were, but who cares when the most valuable thing you’ll get out of it is YOU.
Falling in love with yourself is the hardest thing to do because YOU know every flaw, every foible, and every mistake and if you can learn to love you knowing all that then that’ll get you closer to happiness than anything else can. And in order to get to THAT place you need to hear what you are telling yourself, you need to find the things that help you speak to yourself and to the world, and you need to make the time to pursue those things.
Damn what everyone else says.
If it isn’t harming someone, or the world we share, then find your passion, hear your voice, and start living and not just being alive.