This morning, I was moved to tears by this passage from a book I’m currently reading titiled, You Are A Badass.. :
Most people, however, wander through their lives giving the tasteful candle version of their gifts. You know– they don’t show up to the party empty-handed or anything; they present their somewhat flaccid gift to the world, receive a warm hug, and an “Oh, you shouldn’t have,” in return, but they don’t knock it out the park. For example, they get a job doing something that they either hate or that’s a bit of a yawn but is, you know, okay. It affords them a life that covers the basics as long as they don’t go too crazy. They do fun stuff but not as much as they’d like because they don’t have the money. Or the time. Or the belief that they deserve to. They have little victories here and there, they meet their sales quota and win the six-day cruise to the Bahamas or rack up enough miles to go stay with their aunt and see the Olympics or finally sit down and write an entire song that they may or may not ever record or perform, but they never truly go for it and create a life that really lights them up. They basically Big Snooze their life away.
I stopped reading because that struck my soul like a large bell. I was on a bus, during morning traffic, heading to a job that I’m good at but not my passion. I was Yankee Candling my life and my gifts and I wasn’t even sure how I had got here. Actually, I take that back. I do know how I got here. In the quest to re-piece my life back together from 2009, I got scared. I got afraid to lose everything again. Some part of me doesn’t want my foundation shook again. The ego got comfortable but disguised it as “living life my way” but was I really?
Then an hour after reading that passage, I learned of Dr. Angelou’s passing. As a writer and being familiar with her work early on in my life, hearing of her passing hurt me but I knew she was at peace. In interviews that I had seen of her, she was a fully recognized woman. She knew her worth. She knew of her contributions. Then I read into her life and how she lived it without judgement, without fear, and with a light and honesty that I had been striving for my whole life. She wasn’t ashamed of where she came from and didn’t let it keep her from being her authentic self. As a writer, she enjoyed the English language. It flowed for her. She appreciated it. So in the midst of my sadness, I found a comfort. I was moved by Dr. Angelou’s words all over again, from her own mouth. She had a rough life and kept going. She changed her career path SEVERAL times, and loved every step. If it was something she liked, she did it. If it didn’t serve her, she didn’t do it. So simple and yet, it was something I’ve struggled with.
I want to go on more vacations, but I’m afraid of taking off the time for work. I want to write more, but I’m afraid that I’m not good at it (and the other crippling fear that I didn’t officially go to school for it). But the biggest fear for me is not knowing where to start. Well, maybe I’m not suppose to know all of that. The only thing for me to do is get still, set my intention, and listen. Trust that where I am is where I’m suppose to be, but also know that I’m still moving towards my purpose. My gifts will open doors to me that I initially saw as “shut”. Don’t get caught up in the two-headed monster called “Criticism” and “Compliments”. Just infuse a little more Maya into your life until you know what it’s like to be Tiffany.
Stop bringing the candles to the party….because you’re pretty damn special!