I hear it all the time, “really get focused and figure out what you want your message to be. Find your passion and speak it out loud. Find the message that you were born to tell, and tell it.”
Sure, that took some years of testing my thoughts, my passions, my skills…and sure, I’m still learning daily.
However, I have found that it is far more crucial to find your persistence. To find the strength and stick-to-it-ness to keep sharing your message when you look around and realize no one is listening.
You may have to try changing the words, your platform for distributing your message, and you may have to try to find another audience. However, even when you make these changes you may find yourself speaking to a virtually empty auditorium.
Maybe your aunt or mother or sibling showed up out of a sense of duty and pity, so you keep speaking since someone is there, and you keep hoping someone else will walk through those doors.
That’s when you determine how much you believe in your message.
I believe in mine still, and the auditorium is empty.
Leaning against my wall in such a way, that even I was unsure if I was holding the wall up, or if it was holding me up, I struggled to clear my head. My heart fluttered in my chest, not like the heart of one falling in love, but like the one who has love to give but hasn’t found the way to do so. I let my head roll back, and gently thunk against the wall. How had it come to this?
How is it that I’m still here. RIGHT here. Right where I’ve spent my entire life. Why is it that when I want to talk to someone about one of my dreams, I decide against it. How is it that I feel like no one sees my ideas as serious enough to invest themselves into, for more than a “that’s nice, dear” sort of response?
I know you know the type of response. The type that is thinly masked pity, passed off as support. That’s nice dear. Nice. Nice… I laugh, thinking “you’ve never tasted passion, have you?”
I let my head roll further along the wall, until it is just above my shoulder. I let out a half laugh, wondering if I’ve some how become a teenager again. I remember so well the days in high school, where I wrote poems where I described the trapped feeling of having passion but no outlet. Of how I wanted to love the world, but had to sit through lessons that taught me nothing about how to love the world in a practical way. Lessons that kept me from doing what I was meant to do. Rules to live by that kept me from living.
I laughed, because you see, while these thoughts rolled through my head, I had written a poem that could easily have passed as word from that younger version of me, but then again, I suppose it is no surprise. As I’ve heard it said that the 16 year old version of ourself is the truest form of ourselves.
That 16 year old girl was raw with passion to love. That girl saw pain in people’s eyes, and would reach out and touch the pain, hoping to pour love into the wound. She was braver, perhaps, than the woman I’ve become. I found her tonight, as the lines of a somewhat sloppy poem poured out. I saw her and smiled, because she never left me…because she is me, and I am her, and I can say I respect her.
She may have been half my age, but she was twice as brave. I’m slowly growing up, catching up, with where she would have taken me, if I would have followed.
So, when that passion spills out, I have to listen. Even if makes me feel uncomfortable. Even if it means I bare a bit of my soul. So, these are the words I wrote;
I have ideas,
I have dreams,
and it isn’t what it seems,
I’m not lost,
I’m not blind,
With closed eyes
you are unseeing.
I’m headed to a better life,
a world full of ideas,
that hatch and grow,
and soon become reality.
I am restless,
hurt and frustrated,
What makes me so easy
I’m tired of living a little life,
I grow impatient with those
who are comfortable in theirs.
Show me your passion,
the raw vulnerability of
putting yourself out on the edge.
Show me the fear that flits in your eyes,
as you walk on the precipice
of this life.
You cannot sit back,
if you believe love and live
You have to stand up,
and try to be heard.
you know that right?
Life ends, you understand?
So while we live, we must love,
the war is won, but the battle is still on.
Why do you stand there, as if I’ve said nothing.
Can you not hear
or are you just ignoring me.
I said, “Join me. Come…. let’s go.”
But on your face not a single emotions shows.
Did you not hear me?
Must I just go forward and show you?
I’d much rather have you with me,
It would be easier for us both.
But if I must choose,
I choose to go.
I have a life to love,
and sitting here won’t get that done.
So [only] once more,
I will say the words…
Join me. Let’s go.
A Thousand Small Ways #1000smallways
Question: Who was your 16 year old self? What were they passionate about? Are there any dreams you left behind that you regret?
Don’t leave passion behind, it will help you find the ways that are uniquely you that you can reach the world.