I don't say that lightly.
And I realize the unlikeliness of such a claim when you take into account how uncertain my life has become, what with me lacking any guarantee of conventional stability the month after the next.
But if there's anything I've learned over the last three months of freelancing/self-employment/#funemployment... it's that we overvalue certainty and undervalue true self-expression.
We as humans assume an exaggerated positive correlation between our happiness and our career stability or income level. While this may hold true to a degree, I feel compelled to tell you, dear reader, that there's a deeper, juicier life waiting for you on the other side of courage and risk if you are willing to heed inspiration's gentle call.
If ever you've felt any whispering of temptation, any idea that struck your core that you brushed aside as caprice or impracticality, then I'd like to invite you to reconsider.
I will never, ever tell people they should leave their job or take some big, risky leap. And I prefer not to peddle in superlatives or silver bullets; that's just not my style. And I would be a fool to assume I know what makes you happy. The job you're in may be exactly where you should be. And in fact, maybe the path you thought was the inspired life, the design towards freedom, is what's shackling you, keeping you beholden to modern, trendier ideas of what's "passionate" or "entrepreneurial."
There's no one who can answer what the path of greatest alignment looks like for you except you and you alone.
But here's what I do know: that I myself grossly underrated just how much happiness living a life of true self-expression, inspiration and creativity would bring me. I had no inkling of how much love it would bring into my daily life, and couldn't predict the unexpected gratitude and joy I'd wake up to each morning.
I hear myself overflowing with enthusiasm about my daily life when friends I haven't seen in a while ask how I'm doing. I am so fulfilled with how I spend my time, the readings and the events and the projects I engage with every single day. And if I can softly prod just one person from being on the fence to taking even a tiny leap—a test leap, let's call it, with no downside but all upside in terms of discovery—towards the thing that feels most true to them, I would like to underline and highlight and italicize the discovery I have made, which is that expressing your passion, your gifts, and your truth fully will make you come alive.
Caveat emptor. Buyer beware—following these inspired tugs of curiosity is not for everyone. It's not for the faint of heart (I've myself had my fair share of panic and confusion, mainstays of this path I've transitioned to), and it's certainly irrelevant if you've already found the place where you feel whole.
If you are one of the passionate weirdos out there like me itching to make, to explore, to impact—and if you find yourself torn in some creative limbo where your outer world doesn't match the brilliance of the inner world waiting to be expressed, that rift will begin to weigh heavily on you.
If you're a wide open-hearted dreamer, a die-hard creative cursed with irrepressible passion, then first of all: bless you. It's going to be tough but worth it. And second? Know that your desires are not silly but vital to an ignited society, and your inspired joy has the potential to ignite those around you to their own true selves.
These are the words I wish someone had told me months ago. But now that I'm on the other side of this frankly terrifying leap into this pregnant world of creative and entrepreneurial possibility, of developing the business & marketing skills that feel true to my purpose (and yours may be very different indeed), I feel ridiculously fulfilled. I feel therefore charged with a responsibility to suggest that a truly good life is inseparable from living in creativity, inspiration and love, if they so beckon you.
So trust. Leap. Fly. You can't know how blissful the other side is until you begin to move towards it.
I leave you with a life-affirming quote by legendary dancer Martha Graham:
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.