[picture taken on the flight home from Venice]
I think back to all of the pivotal moments of my life - those moments during which I was sure that I was about to do something phenomenal. At my high school graduation, I was certain that my next step was going to be my moment. And it was. College was absolutely the greatest, most ineffably transformational period of my life. Then, at my college graduation, I was even more certain that my next step was going to be even better. Again, it was. Joining an organization like Teach for America was one of the best decisions I made. Now, here I am, about to "graduate" from the TFA program, and I sit with two prospective next steps and for once, I'm scared and uncertain that either of them are going to lead me to the end goal.
For once, I am being forced to really sit back and examine exactly what that end goal is. I am realizing that, through all these years, I've never had to choose one passion or one big goal. In college, it was okay to be passionate about a myriad of things. Joining TFA was supposed to provide me with the time I needed to really identify the one thing that I could really run after with the rest of my life or career. That hasn't happened yet.
I frequently listen to TED Talk Radio podcasts, and it has exposed this reality about myself more than ever. I hear a Ted Talk about communal gardening and how it's changing those communities, and I suddenly burst with excitement about sustainable development and eco-consciousness. I hear about a group riding bikes for AIDS research, and I'm convinced that I should go buy a bike right now and join them. Until now, I have always loved this about myself - that I had so much zeal for all aspects of social justice, and that the tiniest ounce of love that I have for a particular cause is enough to make me burst at the seams with eagerness to do something about it.
Now, though. Now, I realize that this has likely caused me more harm than good.
Now, there's so much noise.
There's so much indecisiveness.
This unruly passion of mine is causing me pain and confusion and frustration.
The sinew through all of these stories of successful philanthropists and entrepreneurs is that they had ONE big idea and ONE primary passion. Then, they dove in after it, without second-guessing themselves or their "purpose."
And so, I keep asking, "God, when will I discover mine? When will I know what I am supposed to dedicate my life to? Why are you taking so long to show me? Have you already shown me and all of the noise prevented me from hearing it?"
I know that I know that I know down to the very fibers of my being that God has called me to do something, to go somewhere, to fight for something, and to relentlessly pour love into something. I am so eager for Him to show me.
I have to let one of my prospective employers know by the end of this week what my decision is. It's time to start really listening.
This week, it's time to get away from the noise. It's time to stop dreaming, stop letting stories of the successes of others muddy my perception of what I am supposed to do, and really listen. I realize that I may not know what my life's purpose is by Friday, but I want to be 120% certain that, even if I don't know the end goal, I am headed in the right direction toward obtaining whatever that is. I want to be open and quiet enough to hear what it is when God reveals it to me. I want to be tuned in to His voice enough that when He does, there is no doubt that it is from Him.