Last week, one of my friends, a stay-at-home mother, told me she’s envious because I’ve found the thing I love, my calling in life outside my family. Writing.
I have found it, and I’m grateful for it. But this comment, said in such sweet sincerity, gave me cause for reflection. I haven’t always known writing is my calling. Without casting blame on my parents, I can openly admit that I was raised believing that I would grow up, get married, and become a mother. As a child—and even throughout my teens—it never occurred to me that I would ever need more than that.
But when my youngest child left babyhood behind, I discovered I really did need something else in life. Something that belonged to me, that I could love and nurture and be proud of, but that wasn’t a living breathing being. My husband had his dream career, my children had school and friends. But when I really thought about it, I didn’t do anything that was just for me. I needed something special that could be mine.
So I set out to find that special thing. Luckily, I’ve always loved reading, and had recently rediscovered this love as I worked with my children. As I read, I began to wonder if I could write a story as captivating as those I held in my hands and couldn’t put down. I’m not going to go into all the boring details, so I’ll just say my search snowballed, and I discovered a deep love of the written word and set out to learn the craft. That discovery was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given.
My point is not to tell you how I became a writer, but rather to share a secret with my readers: I believe everyone has a calling in life, and everyone has a special gift.
So how did I respond to my friend’s statement of envy? I told her this: You can do something special, something incredible. All you have to do is figure out what drives you, and then dive into it. You don’t have to wait until your youngest child is in school, or until your oldest graduates and goes off to college, or until your husband retires. You can make this discovery now, or whenever you most need it. And once you do, it will never leave you again.
So go ahead. Step out of your comfort zone. Apply yourself to something you’ve always wanted to do but never dared to try. Be brave. Discover your gift. You won’t be sorry.