Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Our deepest fear.

I have a confession to make. I'm afraid. I am afraid that I may have found something to be passionate about. Admitting this exciting possibility is scary for me because it feels like the kiss of death. My past experiences have left me with the feeling that admitting my passion jinxes the possibility of success. This is stupid, I know. At best (or worst) this points to self-fulfilling prophesy. I say to myself, "I wanna do this!" and then the self-sabotage sets in. As soon as I commit some part of my mind or efforts to the pursuit of a goal, I start to imagine all the ways it can, and will, go wrong. I start to complain about how hard it will be, how many people are out there who are more talented, more beautiful, better qualified or connected. Blah blah blah. Excuses.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Marianne Williamson

Is this true? Is self-sabotage just our minds railing against the fear that we are "brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" (To read Williamson's full poem, click here). If so, then this is good news. When that mean little inner voice starts to talk you down from the cliff, then you know it's time to take the plunge.

I had an assignment in my Careers class to write the bio of my career life ten years in the future. The paper needed to include our "current" job, the things we "did" to get there, and (Dun Dun DUNNNN) our passion. Sooooooo not fair. I keep telling my teacher that I don't have a passion! Why was she making me do this!? For exactly that reason.

Hearing the word "passion" sends my body into a full-on anxiety attack. My heart starts racing, my palms sweat, my breath becomes ragged and shallow. I look like a cornered animal. Why? Maybe because I fear that I am "powerful beyond measure."

I did the assignment. It took me a little over two hours to write out my first draft, but I was surprised at how easily the ideas flowed. I started off safe, exploring my real past. I am a firm believer in the idea that our past has an influence on our future. Once I got into the realm of fiction though, the words still came fairly easily. Yes, the ideas were a little loose and poorly researched, but there was definitely an idea there. I created a passion (crazy, I know) and I really feel some resonation with the idea. I used my Dream Board to guide me a little bit, and I found some dormant interests rising to the surface.

In a nutshell, this is what I said: My passion? "Supporting the arts and my own creativity." My future career? Public Relations...person(?) for an art museum in London.

OK, so this is still a bit vague, but it's getting a lot closer to finding my path. I had a thought shortly after learning about study abroad that I might try and intern with one of the art museums in London at some point. Why? Because they're in London mainly. There's more to it than that, though. I like working with nonprofits, and even though I have abandoned musical performance as a career, I still love to participate in the arts. I also have some experience with education and a life-long love of museums. Seems like a good fit. Why public relations? Well, it fits with my major, and it balances behind-the-scenes work with the role of a public figure. I like that too.

The passion I have picked is also vague. At first I thought this was copping out, but the more I think about it, the more powerful this choice seems. By keeping my "passion" open, I'm allowing myself to interpret it in many ways. I can support the arts and my own creativity by working for a museum, or writing children's books, or opening a community theatre, or marrying some rich guy and working with charities...the point is, this passion is flexible, and I need that. I need to be able to reinvent and start over without feeling like doing so kills the person I was in order to become the person I want to be.

Thanks, Careers class, for forcing me out of my comfort zone and making me realize my power.


  1. I love this!
    I think you need to serve on a non-profit arts board while you finish school and get that perspective too. How about the Children's Chorale board? It's full of "young" arts supporters just like you!
    Think about it!

    1. That sounds like a great idea! I will follow up with you on that! Thanks again, Tina!