Finding my calling: Part 1
There have been a couple of moments that confirmed what I think might be my calling. Both have to do with sucking at something.
One, was at my niece’s graduation from the Professional Children’s School, a high school in New York for children who are professional athletes, actors, dancers, musicians, mathematicians, computer scientists... yes, there are big companies employing these student geniuses.
Already professionals for 10+ years (over half their life), some shared stories of struggling with what most of us face much later: burn-out, curiosity about a new direction, guilt, for all the time, energy, and money already spent. Should they play it safe where they’re a proven pro or give the new thing a go? How could they let everyone down without any guarantee they'd make it?
With encouragement and a plan, a tennis player turned drummer, a ballerina turned bass player and more. It didn’t matter the direction, it was what they learned along the way. This, and the lump in my throat, brought clarity toward what might be my calling.
Each story had a common theme. They had faith in their uniqueness, chose empathy over jealousy, found courage to share, realized they didn’t have to choose between academia and creativity, that it’s okay to change your path mid-stream, and that being cast as outcast “out there” might be the thing that sets the stage for future greatness.
You could brush off their achievements as “talent,” but the truth is they are well-practiced in practicing. They have a buckle-down and believe mindset. They stick with something when they suck. They get help. No one mustered the courage to put it out there for them. They dug deep and did that themselves. It’s this faith and mindset that has made them pro.
With teary eyes, I turned to my also teary-eyed sister sitting next to me and said, I want to start a school like this.
I want everyone to know that the world doesn’t fall apart when you pick a different path, or are given a different path than you wanted. It won’t be easy, and there’s no guarantee, other than you’re probably gonna start off sucking.
I want everyone to feel their heart kinda soar from freedom and a sense of accomplishment. Especially the kind that comes from listening, then following, that nudge from within.
My online course, starting 2/5, is my start in the direction toward that school. It's four weeks of encouragement, taking a look at the story you're creating and getting clarity around how you'd like to be living.
We’ll study artists because artists are well-practiced in getting to the heart of who they are. Their livelihood depends on it. Mine doesn’t and yours might not either, but why not give what the pros do a go.
You might take big leaps or make small shifts, both will bring soul-soothing benefits.
P.S. I’ll share another “suck at something” moment in a few days.
P.P.S. For a daily nudge, follow me on Instagram @deneseb where I post a lesson from The Artist’s Way pretty much every day.