Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. –Rumi
Recently, I’ve had this overwhelming sense of confirmation, and even heightened revelations about what it means to be called to do something. And although I struggle to literally explain how this calling may present itself to you, I imagine it’s something like this:
You’re in crowded space, let’s say at of one of your favorite restaurants on a Friday night at 8 PM. Tables hosting boisterous conversation, reunited souls, physical and spiritual communion surrounds you. You’re savoring every bite of your delectable meal, completely enthralled in friendly banter with your tribe, when all of a sudden, you become a little startled because you can swear someone just called your name. You look up, behind you, maybe even get out of your seat to scope the room.
Nothing. Not a person in sight, or even a sign that you’re close to locating the source of that distracting voice.
But, you’re SO sure someone called your name. It remains a mystery, the phantom voice doesn’t make its presence known, but you know, it was there.
(I never said I was a fictional writer guys, so deal with my elementary analogy).
When I was a child, I poured everything into writing. I started writing poetry in elementary school, had my first poem published when I was in the 5th grade (I was convinced I was going to give Shakespeare a run for his money), and from then on, poetry was my creative outlet. At one point in my childhood, I stopped writing for a few years and because I wasn’t used to exercising that creative muscle, I was verbally out of shape, but when that voice urged me to go to my room, take out a piece of paper and pen and sit on my bed, those words found a home. And only my parents and grandparents could confirm this number since they have every copy of my collection of poetry, but I think from about the age of 14 to graduating high school, I wrote over 50 poems (between being a displaced teenager who could never fit in, and my peers being criminally cruel, I had a lot to say when ironically, I couldn’t say anything at all).
How some kids liked to play sports, or play video games, or dance, writing was my equivalent. Words haunted me in all the right ways. When I was introduced to literary icons, my world changed. I felt so inferior to these creative geniuses yet so complete at the same time.
Artistic expression through words was everything.
So, this is where that awesome thing that Rumi refers to as the “silent pull” kind of thing got weird.
Reality reared its ugly head at me, and when I realized that only the 1% actually move to New York City, live in Greenwich Village and worked at coffee shops with their MacBooks and black coffee while creating a New York’s Time Bestseller, I gave up. I actually remember while in college sharing that vision with a fellow English major, she looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Yeah, I’ll be happy if I can score a job as an assistant editor, you realize that kind of success is rare?”…and it threw me off, I wasn’t prepared to accept that possibility, but I did.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever strayed away from that ever so subtle, but oh so powerful magnetic noise, but I have. And as much as I appreciate those years where I didn’t open up a notebook, not even to journal, I needed that very low period to remind me why I’m so completely obsessed with sharing with people why you must listen, why you must pursue, why you must even try to be led by your purpose. I’m living proof that when you refuse to listen to your calling, your calling will find you.
I realize how creepy that sounds, and in no way am I implying that your calling is something to be feared, but that voice does amplify, that restlessness within will eventually tire. This is when the most beautiful transition occurs because you’re surrendering to that higher power and trusting what you’re being called to do.
So, this is my journey. I honor that yours is different. I am a firm believer that we are all given very unique talents we’re destined to share with the world, and please know that in any setting you find yourself in, you can still tap into that creative space. As much as I think it would be so awesome if we all abandoned careers and jobs that aren’t serving us to live out our calling, I know it’s not financially possible or responsible, so I would encourage you to assess your environment and incorporate your gift into that role. I’m blessed to finally be in a role where writing is a huge and intricate instrument in my career, and although I’m not able to write creatively every single day, I’m still grateful to be able to communicate my expression even if its only through boring, monotonous case notes that are tedious and highly factual, but necessary to do in my field.
I hope you feel more empowered to listen to that quiet rhythm in midst of the noise, and trust that it’s leading you exactly where you’re meant to thrive.
Love and blessings!
Darryn K. Robinson, CWC