I think when I was in middle school I figured out the thing I loved doing the most. We had an open writing assignment. What I wrote was awful, but I loved coming up with an idea and having the freedom to write about anything I chose. In high school I loved English. By far my favorite subject. I’d devour the books as soon as we were given them instead of just reading the chapter assigned. I couldn’t wait. I’ve always loved communicating ideas and feelings using words. I’ve also always loved people. I like the complexities of all of us. The stories that help mold and shape us all. I love that behind every person are a thousand stories that have made them the person you see before you today. That’s part of the reason I’ve always loved books. They tell these stories. Somewhere along the way I didn’t hold onto this love. If I had gone on to college I surely would’ve chosen a career in psychology. The path to that seemed daunting though. I’m flighty and can easily get bored. No one really pushed me academically growing up. I took off the first semester of college and it hasn’t ended. I’m now 34. I never really found my path or passion and just kind of took me where life led me.
Where did it lead me? To Alabama of all places. My husband unlike myself did have a clear path and his desire to start his own business was going to come to fruition. As long as I was up to leaving our family and friends 2 months after we got married. I decided to follow my heart, and him, to Bama so he could start his business. I don’t regret my decision to support this amazing man for a second even though it was hard for me in the beginning. Less than a year later we were pregnant. After my first son was born I was desperate to hold onto things that made me ‘me’. I had debilitating anxiety along with depression after he was born though. Doesn’t make it easy. Not making it any easier? I still really didn’t have anything I just did for myself that I was passionate about. I started feeling better though and when he was almost a year and a half I decided we needed the final piece to our family puzzle. His brother was born a little over a year later and our family was complete. I even felt better mentally after he was born! Well, about 5 months after his birth I started getting my anxiety again. I started snapping at my precious boys over nothing and everything. I snapped at my husband over things that didn’t matter. I decided something had to give. That something was me. I needed to make myself whole for these boys. All three of them. The only person who could do the work was me. My path involved therapy, medication (I’ve had depression and anxiety since childhood. Hormones and huge life changes just brought them to a head.), and doing the opposite of what mothers are ‘suppose’ to do, focus on myself. I started doing guided meditation, reading, and trying to find something just for me. That’s when I began to realize the love for writing I’d shelved away. Something else I loved was helping other mothers. I’m a pretty open book. So I enjoyed being a resource for others. I wanted to find a way to blend the two.
Here’s where blogging came in. Blogging seemed perfect for me. I’ve talked about starting a blog on and off for a while. I even started this site during lent two years ago, telling no one that I had. Then did nothing with it. Again, I had shelved it away. During this past November my sister in law Julie told me I should start a blog. I told her about how I’d toyed around with the idea for a while. Julie then told me to tell my husband I needed a laptop. She then told me I needed to actually start this blog. I knew she was right, but it seemed scary. Christmas came along and under the tree I found a laptop. My husband was supporting this blog idea fully. He knows me better than anyone else and knows how important it was for me to find something I’m passionate about. So I decided on New Years I’d jump into blogging and finally realize a dream of mine. I still didn’t really admit to anyone else or myself that writing was my dream.
We recently visited family in Florida. While out to dinner with my family my sister in law Katie and I were discussing her newest ventures. Katie had started a blog about her passion which was starting a tea room that would incorporate her love of helping those with special needs. I find her so inspiring as she’s found her passion in life. I told her I hadn’t found mine. Yes, this is even after I’d started my blog. A few moments later I felt compelled to tell her that that wasn’t true. My passion was writing, had been since I was young, and that I wanted to use my love of writing to help other women. Especially moms. I had for the first time in my life owned and voiced out loud what my passion and dream was in life. The thing I was most excited about. So here I am, again saying it. Through writing of course.
Dana, this is a lovely story and all, but what does it have to do with me? Well, I think like myself, we all have a dream or passion. The problem is when we shelf it. It’s not practical. It could never happen. I won’t be good enough at it. That’s not true. Will you make a career of the thing you love most? Maybe not. Blogging certainly isn’t paying the bills over here. However the sense of self I now have makes it worth it. My hobby is my passion. That’s okay. If you love to sing, join a chorus. Sing in church. My older sister April has always loved photography and has finally starting following that passion. She even has her own site. Seeing the women around me realizing their dreams and what ignites them has inspired me in so many ways. If you’ve found your passion in life already, good for you! If it’s turned into your career, even better! I applaud you for following your passion. That takes strength and determination. If you’re more like me and have been shelving or fighting that passion, stop fighting! Find a way to do what you love. Even if it never develops past a hobby you have succeeded. It will help free you and make your heart happy. Other things in life will become better because you choose to be true to yourself. Life and others have led so many of us from our dreams and passions. Not necessarily on purpose. It’s just the way it goes. I’m challenging you to reclaim them. I’ll bet like myself you know what that passion or dream is, but it can seem scary and make you vulnerable sharing it with the world. All of the best things in my life have come from the scariest, most vulnerable moments. Take baby steps and I hope to see many other ladies following their dreams. If you’ve found or are realizing your dream or passion, let us know in the comments. You just may be the inspiration someone else needs to take their own jump.