What Makes Me Come Alive

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
–Howard Thurman

Today my two friends, Karin and Marcy, both told me I should be WORKING WITH TEENAGERS.

“You know how to talk to them.”
“They seem to really listen you.”
“That’s the future, you know. Teenagers. There are always teenagers.”

I have no idea why they said these things, where this came from, or on what grounds they base their observations. The whole conversation made me feel weird.

Which, I don’t really mind ‘cuz it got me thinking in that awkward space.

It did make me realize that I still don’t know exactly HOW the things I do well can manifest themselves in useful or meaningful (or abundant!) way in the universe.

Am I a teacher? A coach? A writer? What the hell SHOULD I be doing? And why, when everyone else seems to be doing it already, so well?

I continually vacillate between feeling confident in an new idea– one I am ready to commit to, to pour my energy into  —  AND the jettison of uncertainty that rides sidecar with “What’s That Useful For?”

And then, I can’t decide: What are TOOLS and what are DISTRACTION? Ning, Twitter, Facebook, Email, Olivetti, coffee. I have to admit: the murkiness of online world lends itself to my feeling even more unanchored. Very busy, yet untethered to any specific goal.

Yuck. I hate this blog post, and I am not sure why I am writing it. Except that the quote above came from my friend Tim, who has been DOING the business of being a musician for years. Tim makes his living playing piano! How awesome is that?

When I read the quote, I thought it was quite inspirational. But  then the murk set in and I could imagine  Tim (or his PR babe) going through the drudgery of writing the weekly email. And updating the website. And doing promotions. And not to mention having to play the same songs, over and over again.

I imagined what the “creative process” felt like when it transformed into “work.”

And I felt that familiar terror that I can’t define.  That one I always get when I peer over the cliff at the wild abyss of unlimited possibilities.

If I take my writing and make it “work,” what then?


This post is part of my “For Writers, By Writers” series.

What do you think? What topics would you like to hear about? Let me know!

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