Calling?

 

The above I found on a friend's social media.  I'm not sure who came up with it or who originally posted it, but I found it to be truthful, at least for me.  And it was somewhat comforting to find that I am NOT the only one who feels this way.

 I am in my 50s.  I'm not sure what my "calling" is.  Often, I think that I have more than one.  I feel compelled to write.  (Hence this blog which has been going on for just over 10- years now...perhaps that helps qualify it as a calling.)  Sometimes I'm compelled to speak on a topic that I am passionate about.  (Or I've been asked to speak, such as filling the pulpit when a pastor is away on vacation.)  I've had people tell me that I should write a book.  I'd love to, but I'm not sure what it would be.  A compilation of my thoughts; kind of like a hard copy of this blog?  It would have to be more than that.  I mean who would buy a book when the words are out there for "free."  Or would it be a piece of fiction?  I have started many stories, but rarely gotten very far with it.  Is it for lack of time, energy or ideas? Perhaps a combination of all of these.  Even if I did manage to put something together and amazingly get it published, it's NOT going to pay the bills.  (And there are ALWAYS a lot bills.)  Authors and writers rarely make the big bucks.  And while I would like to make big bucks  (who am I kidding, I'd LOVE it), I don't see it happening.  So I blog.

 I've been told I should be a public speaker.  I don't know how to go about that; I do make myself available to speak when someone is needed.  (I'm putting it out here...do you need my skills?)  However, I can't imagine loving that as a full-time paying job.  I never wanted to leave my family for extended periods of time and constant travel to new locations would probably make me anxious. (Who am I kidding; I KNOW it would make me anxious...I'm still anxious taking a bus to work several days a week.)  While I would enjoy getting up and speaking in front of people, the work that it would take to get me there consistently is daunting in my mind.  Once again it comes back to dollars and cents.  How much would I make?  Would it be enough to cover travel, lodging, meals, etc.?  What would be left over as a "salary".  How would I self-insure?  The questions keep coming and I don't have any answers.  However it seems to me that the cons would outweigh the pros.  As I said before, I'd love big bucks, but I'm NOT willing to make certain sacrifices for them.

 While writing and speaking might be a passion for me, they are NOT going to pay my bills.  I have a family to support. I HAVE to bring home a paycheck that will take care of our needs.  At least for me (or for me now as well as in the past), passion does not keep a roof over my head or put food on my table.

  As a result, I've worked many different jobs.  Some I've really liked.  Some I've...well, let's just say I didn't like them that much.  Most were okay.  While some of them might have come close to being a "dream job,"  most of them were not. (My first position out of college was for a small publishing house that focused on children's non-fiction.  Reading unpublished manuscripts and working with authors was great, but the company dynamic was not and after a year I was given the boot.)  Some of them had "parts" that were fun, but the other parts... Filling in and giving sales presentation to Medicare recipients when not being a salesperson so there was no pressure to make the sale.  Overseeing the production of cable television commercials.  Writing weekly one page company newsletters.  All these things were "fun," but there were other things that were NOT so fun.  Running reports that took forever to generate.  Trying to create a "brochure" but not getting any feedback or thoughts as to what was wanted or needed.  There were also the jobs where I felt like a fish out of water...one where I was the only person for whom English was their primary language or another where I was berated so harshly by the second in charge that I could barely remember my name.  I left those jobs of my own volition, but I didn't go until I had accepted another offer that was better for me and my family.

 If you are able to find your calling AND make a living in the same space, more power to you.  (As my son is currently in college, I hope he will be able to find both.)  If you hold down a job to support your passion, you're doing great. If your job is just a job...that's okay. It's always been okay.  You're being a responsible person, there's nothing wrong with that,  as a matter of fact you should be darned proud of yourself.

 Calling or no, there is no shame in taking care of yourself and/or your family.  If you can’t make a living from your passion; use your “living” to support your passion.  If you don’t have “a calling,” don’t beat yourself up.  Maybe you will find one some day.  Or maybe you won’t  It’s okay. 

 Wherever we happen to fall on this crazy scale of calling and position, it’s okay.  You are okay…and more.  Remember that.





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