I’ve always been drawn to people who understand what is expected of them and yet choose to do what suits them best – those who answer the call of their soul. Regardless of how that fits with what they “should” do. If I’m feeling down, I’ll sit in the dark and watch “Wild”, tears streaming down my face and a bitter blend of envy and despair sitting in my stomach like a four course meal my body doesn’t know how to digest. Then when the end comes and the protagonist has emerged triumphant, and that weight in my stomach has morphed into more parts inspiration and less parts hesitation, I sit and plan. I mull over the things I wish I could do and I develop hair brained plans for making my crazy dreams come true. I talk to myself. I decide that this world is open, my life is free – I can make my life look like whatever I want it to. I go to bed feeling exhilarated. And then I wake up to the reality that is very pleasant, yet also quite containing.
So I’ll sit and watch lectures and Ted Talks until I’m quite convinced that the brave souls on stage and the open hearts in the audience really are the majority in the world and I’ll tell myself that I don’t have to live a life that feels plain and ordinary. That I can do something special, something transformative.
And then maybe I’ll check my email and upon signing out I’ll see the stories Yahoo is suggesting I’d like to read. Famous-for-being-famous celebrities posing topless while pregnant or a cat who can also type or a baby filmed making funny faces while innocently sitting at his kitchen table feeling safe with his mom not knowing that the world has just been granted a front row seat to his private life before he even knows how to speak. And then suddenly I’m the minority again. One of the ones who want to live a life free from distraction, devices and mindlessness: those practicing to be mind-full. But where do we go and what do we do? What can we do with the burning desire within us? What can we do with the need for real connection, the longing for conversation, the seed of an idea? Those of us with something to say but with no Ted audience to speak to. What can we do when our voice becomes so quiet we’re not even sure it’s making a sound?