Saturday, December 12, 2009

Joy & Gratitude

The older I get, the more I see a straight path where I want to go. If you’re going to hunt elephants, don’t get off the trail for a rabbit.-- T. Boone Pickens
I spent my undergraduate years in college with the firm belief that I needed to explore several majors before I came to a clear conclusion about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I plowed my way through English, art history, communications and then found humanities. What I loved about my humanities degree was that it did not force me to specialize in one field but allowed me to gain a breadth of knowledge in art, music, history, dance, architecture, English and languages. I was thirsty for beauty and that degree supplied me with many ways of looking at beauty.

While I'm happy with that decision, what I want now is one topic, one subject that I can pour my heart and soul into and not look back. One subject that I can dive into deeply and drink my fill. One specialization where I can hone my gifts so that I may utilize them well throughout my life.

I think I've found it.

I've had this niggling worry at the back of my mind since my first college years though that once I made a decision, I would be tied down, forced to work in one field, unable to explore other areas, hampered creatively and stifled by that decision. Now, I realize that fear was unfounded. As I have immersed myself in marriage and family therapy, I've found just the opposite: excitement, enthusiasm, greater creativity, motivation, inspiration and insight about this work that I want to do. I'm bearing many more burdens with this goal of mine and yet I'm not as emotionally taxed. I have far more on my plate but I'm making better use of my time. I have mountains of expectations and deadlines but I'm actually reaching them. All of this making for a journey that is equal parts terrifying and exhilarating.

I can't say enough about friends, mentors, advisors, teachers and family members who have helped me, blessed me, guided me in some way. From a kind neighbor/professor who edited my letter of intent just because she wanted to help me, to professors who have sat and discussed my professional goals with me, to loved ones who have prayed for me and to mentors who blew on the tiny embers of my dream and built a roaring fire of belief and confidence inside of me. I know it takes a village to raise a child but I'm coming to believe that it takes a village for a dream to reach fruition as well. What a great village!

I've ridden a roller coaster of emotions the last several weeks and hit some nose-bleed highs and some cavernous lows. And I'm having fun! I'm thinking it must be because now I'm out hunting elephants and I'm done getting sidetracked by rabbits.


Lori Sume said...

Way to go, Eden! And I love your little fire analogy. Very clever!

Mary Jane said...

So happy that you are so passionate about what you're doing! :) Just don't forget about all of us that LOVE to read your writings. (I know I shouldn't be selfish especially at Christmas, but I would hate you to stop writing!!) You are an amazing woman! Love to you xoxo

Eden said...

Lori--Thank you. :)

Aunt MJ--I likely have not been explicit enough about this, but writing to me is like breathing. I must do it or I die. (Is that a dramatic enough analogy?) Let me shout that from the rooftops: Writing is my DNA. What I love writing about are people, relationships, and teasing apart the complexities that make us divine and human. I feel that this vocation will only inform and improve what I love to write about.


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