Kiss my grits, Kismet

April 19, 2013

Goodnight, HaroldI stopped believing in the idea of “soul mates” a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong — the romantic in me loves this concept, especially the old Platonic theory of split souls, but it’s just so . . . restrictive. How can there possibly be only one person in this world for you? There can’t be. And it’s probably statistically impossible that you’d ever find that one in seven billion you’re supposedly meant for. Mostly what I think we should all hope for is someone who gets us. Someone who really gets us.

So, that got me thinking about the idea of a special, singular purpose — the idea that each of us was put on this earth to do something unique with a particular “gift” or “talent.” People used to say to me, “God has give you a voice. That’s your gift to share with the world,” and in a way, I felt obligated to sing because I could. But careers are not made out of gifts. I have many, many friends (as I’m sure you do) with oodles more talent and heart than most of the people at the top of their respective fields. Careers are made out of hard work, a willingness to sell yourself, and never stopping. Some people just don’t want to play that game. And when people ask me what it is exactly that I’m meant to do, I honestly can’t answer the question because I don’t know. And I don’t know because I don’t think there’s just one thing that I’m meant to do in this life.

I think maybe this is why so many people are unhappy in their jobs and careers. That’s why there are self-help seminars and books, therapy, and professional life coaches who will help you find your “true” passion, your “true” calling. Well, what if you don’t have one? What if instead of trying to find the one and only thing you’re meant to do, you look around until you find something that you “get” and that seems to “get” you back? You’re probably thinking that this sounds like settling, and maybe it is, but let’s take some of the pressure off ourselves, friends. Yes, as Nick Carraway says, “Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all;” it’s comforting to take a singular focus, and if that’s working for you, awesome! But if it’s not working for you, if you can’t seem to find that perfect, true fit, maybe it’s time to break your date with Destiny and tell the Fates to eff off. I’m totally with you.

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