“My soul does not cry out for a promotion, or a Duke championship, or a ripe tomato.”
Scrolling through Facebook, pretending to work, I stumbled upon a deeply moving, beautifully written post from a guy I met my freshman year of college.
I mean it, this post belongs somewhere better than Facebook; it is insightful, wise, and thought provoking, far greater than any words this blog has ever seen. It was overall more philosophical than I believe I can really be, but that one phrase spoke out to me in such an exciting way.
So what does that statement mean?
At least what does it mean to me? Why am I telling you about it?
I have never been attached to things. When asked what object(s) I would save if my house were burning down, I have always struggled to find any answer at all. Yes, I like clothes and shoes and electronics and pictures and all the other things humans like, but none of them mean that much.
My soul does not cry out for my Birkenstocks or the jeans I pay too much for.
My soul does not need status or money.
My soul cries out for good days, sunshine on my skin, being surrounded by people I love, and most of all my soul cries out for that feeling of peace that makes you know this life is a great gift from God.
And that makes things so hard for me, which is why prior to reading this Facebook post, I didn’t know how to put it into words.
I am in constant battle of feeling the need to fit into the mold society has made for me, and feeling the need to be irrevocably, undeniably true to feeding my soul, being the truest form of myself. I believe if you’re lucky, you find a way to satisfy society and feed your soul; you find the right balance, but I am not sure I’ve yet found that. I’m actively searching though.
I’m at a point in my life where if you’re not getting married, people expect you to have some sort of career plans in place. It makes them feel better to know that your work life is at least going somewhere since your love life is not. I have none, and at times people make that feel like a really horrible thing. They want to know that I have some end game in mind. I do not have an end game. I am confused about why the end game must be a future plan. Why can’t my game plan just be to live today really well? Why must my game plan be ten pages long and completely set in stone? Why do we feel the need to latch onto career plans as if they are an identity?
I currently work part time as a nanny, but I am not identified by that; the title itself is not a part of me. What is a part of me, are the days of naivety and freedom I’ve gotten to take part in by spending so many hours with a four year old, the moments of victory I’ve experienced watching the little girl make a new friend on the playground, and the countless lessons in patience I have learned as a result of my time with her.
I have been a waitress, but in no way was, or is, that my identity. I learned a lot there. I learned that I could make friends more quickly when I let my guard down more easily. I learned how to be myself. I learned that most mistakes aren’t worth worrying too much over; they are just mistakes, I’ll make other ones. I learned that sometimes you can work really hard, and still be fussed at; not everyone is nice.
I work part time in college athletics in an office with just me and two men. I do not identify myself with this job that I admittedly abhor. I have however learned more lessons enduring a year at this job than I can even count. I’ve learned what sexism in the workplace feels like. I’ve learned that sexual harassment is alive and well. I have learned that most bosses cannot communicate with those below them, and I have learned that some people will be immature and close-minded their entire lives. I have learned to trust my instincts and my own creative vision. I have learned things I like and dislike, and those lessons are a part of me, but this job is not.
You are not your circumstances. You don’t have to be your job, or the place you live, or the people around you. You can be so much more.
You can be the excitement of seeing your favorite band live. You can be the comfort of spending the weekend with your family. You can be the clarity you feel sup boarding on the bay. You can be the brief moment of weightlessness you feel when running before the exhaustion and heavy breathing kick in. You can be the contentedness you feel after an evening with new friends. You can choose to be these thoughts and feelings rather than the tangible, quantifiable, monetary things our society is so wrapped up in identifying with, and in doing so you can find yourself. In doing so, you can find that the peace your soul craves has been in you all along. That it is merely fed by your spirit, the way you live in the moments rather than in the objects, that it is fed by living your life in your own way.
My soul cries out for good life, good days, good moments; and I have found those moments are not as hard to find as we make them out to be.
Let me hear what you guys think in the comments below. Questions and words of encouragement are welcome. Do you think our society puts too great of an emphasis on a person’s career or not? What other things do you think people identify with too greatly?
Photo Credits: 1