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Monday, April 9, 2012

a silly little poem

on rainy nights like this
gads of snails line the walkway to my door
I feel bad when I squish them

the big lie my generation told me

I attribute my late silence to growing pains. When I'm processing heavy stuff, my words seem to leave me. It's like I need all of my brain power to stew on my thoughts until I can come to some sort of conclusion.

Thankfully, I've finally reached it:

My generation lied to me.

Perhaps lie is too strong a word because it implies a willful act. It means that someone, somewhere premeditated an action and determined to kill the truth. Or at least hide it.

I'm going to remain positive and believe that my generation is just mistaken. Misinformed.

All I know for sure is that whoever equated living a meaningful life with doing work that lights a fire in your belly really missed the point. Woefully missed the point.

I've finally uncovered that the path to a meaningful life is a varied as a snowflake.

For some, that means putting in eight hours at a workplace so you can provide a safe home for your family. For others, that means the life of a nomad, living on the road. And, yes, for others that means making a living writing or freelancing or owning a small business.

I don't have all the answers, but I do know this:

For me, finding a meaningful life begins with finding contentment.

I started this blog in a very discontented place. I believed that my life had no value because I wasn't living off my passion. I had let others convince me that I was renting out my mind and settling for something I didn't want. I lost sleep worrying about how to make money off my passion. I cried on my lunch breaks. I put an incredible amount of pressure on myself, believing that I wasn't worth anything unless I wrote for a living. I read blogs and felt like I could never measure up.

I forced myself into believing that I would be happy if I could just ____.

That was my error.

That was the lie I believed. That something needed to happen before I could embrace happiness.

In reality, happiness was sitting there waiting for me to grab her. To claim her for my own whatever the circumstance. I realized that the universe gifted me with unique talents in the field I'm currently in. I understood that trying to convert my passion for writing into a paycheck diluted it into a chore. Instead of letting my words flow and writing about what suited my fancy, I hawked my words to publications that dictated word counts and deadlines and topics that didn't interest me. In the meantime, I let beautiful time go to waste at a job that matters to me, my work that impacts lives.

For weeks now, I've embraced my current moment.

I've woken up excited to go to work. I've fallen in love with a new form of exercise. I've relaxed in the evening watching Downton Abby. I've stopped grinding my teeth in my sleep. I've reveled in sleeping in on Sunday mornings instead of punishing myself logging miles to keep up with the running Jones'.

At the same time, I'm still striving, still looking forward, still excited about the future. The difference is: I'm also perfectly content just where I'm at.

And that's the truth.

Belie' dat homie.