Friday, 7 September 2007

Finding Your Passion

Over the last two years I have given a lot of thought about where my life is going. I am a mother to three beautiful children. I love them dearly, but they don't need the constant attention and care they did when they were younger. I have a wonderful husband, but let's face it, he is pretty self-sufficient. I have my responsibilities in the church and responsibilities to my extended family. But more and more, I began thinking about what I wanted for me. I often prayed about where my life should go next. Every time I gave it any serious thought, my mind would clear except for one sentence. "You are supposed to write." So in the last year I have started to give a lot of attention to my passion - writing.

I have always loved the written word. I remember when I was a little girl and my parents would try to spell the things they didn't want me to know about. It didn't work very well for them because I could always follow the conversation. They couldn't leave anything around the house, because I would read it. As soon as I figured out how to hold a pencil, I started writing. As a child, I wrote a lot of poems and stories for my younger brothers and sisters. And I always said I would someday write a book.

So someday is here. I wrote a book. Now I have to reach for the next rung on the ladder and actually publish a book. But when I look back at the little girl I was, I wonder why it took me so long to get to this point. I went from writing everyday, to never writing at all. I guess life has a way of taking our dreams and pushing them aside.

But we are told in the scriptures that there is a time and a season for everything. I spent many years just trying to keep my head above water - working two jobs and being a single mom will do that to a person. Even now that I am married to a wonderful man and my kids are getting a little older, life still tries to push the dream aside. Sometimes I feel like I am in the bottom of a deep well, trying to get to the top, but people keep throwing things down at me and I have to deal with them before I can climb out to where I want to be.

I've been thinking about this because I have two younger sisters who have both talked to me in the last few weeks about finding their passion. One of my sisters just sent her youngest child to kindergarten and is now realizing that she has some time to herself. She went out and bought art supplies to pick up a talent she had before she was married. My other sister just had her fourth child and asks me sometimes, "How do you find your passion? I don't even think I know who I am anymore." We mothers tend to do this to ourselves. We devote our lives to our children and families at the cost of our own dreams and aspirations.

We have talked about this many times. I always tell them, "Learn everything you can about anything that interests you. Think about the things you loved as a kid and a young adult. Take the time to find yourself. And when the time is right, things will fall into place for you to pursue your dreams. Find your passion, pursue your goal, and set your sights upon the stars. God gave us talents and abilities. It is up to us to find out what they are and build upon them."

Meanwhile, I have found my passion. This whole business of writing is exciting to me. It feels like something I was meant to do. I have stopped wishing I were better at other things, because this is who I am. And now when people ask me what I do, I lift my head high and tell them, "I am a wife, a mother, and a writer."


Ajoy said...

Thank you for sharing this.

I needed to read your blog this morning. I am happy to have stumbled upon you today.

I really look forward to reading more of your thoughts!!

Tristi Pinkston said...

I think it's crucial for young mothers to keep plugged in to their talents and dreams. There are days when you're up to your elbows in diapers and dishes, and you need to have something to dream about to keep you moving forward. I know that if I don't get some "me" time every so often, I really am not the mother God intended me to be.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

ajoy, glad you enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing you around.

Tristi, If I don't get me time once in awhile, I start to feel a little crazier than usual. It is kind of like therapy.

Davis Bigelow said...

It is interesting, now that I consider it. When I was 15 years old, I took a photography course and fell in love with that particular medium of creation. I remember the day when I enthusiastically announced, to my wide-eyed parents, that I wanted to take photographs for a living. The notion was worthy and the potential within my grasp, yet they were disappointed with my announcement, and told me that it was not a good was to earn a living. I remember feeling devastated and frustrated. I had a good camera and a darkroom in the basement. I had the passion for the job, yet I thought too highly of my parent's opinion. That was in 1976, and the dream died a quick and painful death.
Now, fast forward to 2007. Surprise, surprise! I have been a part-time professional photographer since 1993, and I love it. While I haven't been successful at making the art my main source of income, I have had a great time along the way... And perhaps that is the point? Perhaps just doing something without trying to "get rich" is the best way to live. It seems to me that being passionate about something gives birth to a part of your soul that is not governed by monetary value. It is available for anyone who tries. It puts all of us human beings on equal grounds. After all, is there anything more peace-giving than gazing in wonder at the creation of your own hands and realizing that it is better than you thought you could do? Pursuing our passions and tracking down our talents are among the greatest events of mortal life!

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Good for you!

C. L. Beck said...

It's not easy to find your special talent when you don't know where to start. Your suggestions are really good, Stephanie. Maybe you should write a book about it?

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Davis - Glad you are able to do the thing you love. Making money is over-rated anyway. :) Sometimes our passion just needs to be that. When we have to make a living at it, sometimes it takes the joy out of it.

c.l. - You are right, it isn't easy, and some people never do it. But the journey can certainly be fascinating. Write a book about it? Hmmmm...I'll have to give that some thought.

Rick, formerly known as Stephanie's Passion said...

Darn...... I thought I was her passion.

ali said...

LOL Rick!!!

Stephanie, I whole-heartedly agree! There is so much more to me than motherhood and marriage. It's important of all of us to take the time to identify what makes us tick to and to build upon what we find.

Our passions are what make life wonderful and fun!

So glad you've found yours. It's a real gift!

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Rick, you make me blush ;)

Thanks, Ali. I think that is the real key...building upon what we find.

Michelle said...

I feel the same way, I wrote in high school and for a little time afterwards. But put it away as other things like children took precedence. But now that I have older children and more time I have pulled out the old writing and have used it to begin writing again. I'm glad for two things, first the break and fuffilment that writing brings to my life. Two the break. Because I am a much better writer today than 15 years ago.

Great post, and thanks for making me feel greatful for my talents.


Stephanie Humphreys said...

I agree that the break could have been a good things. I think I have more to say now and I say it better.

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