What do I really want to say?
Be warned: I am about to bare my soul…
I started this project because I wanted to find out if I could live really my calling. I believe everyone has a calling. We are put here for a divine purpose and it is our responsibility to find out what that purpose is and live it fully.
But on a deeper level, I had doubts. I doubted whether I deserved or was capable of living my calling. Those unconscious doubts were keeping me from living authentically.
For several years, through medical school and public health school, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was not living my calling. I was living a life based on expectations- some self-inflicted, others from well-meaning loved ones…
The questions were relentless. Why am I lying awake at night, heartbroken over unspoken, unacknowledged dreams? What is this yearning, gnawing at my soul? And why was I too ashamed to acknowledge it? Why aren’t I living my calling? Is it even okay to dream? Why am I so afraid of ridicule and rejection? Are these desires a waste of time? Why can’t I shake them?
See, my resume states that I am a doctor or medicine and a master of public health. Many would gladly sacrifice an arm to have any of those degrees. But at heart, I am also a musician, a reader, a writer, a coach, a teacher, a dancer and a traveler. I probably don’t do these very well because they are “hobbies” and I am self-taught – so they can’t possibly be my callings, right? Or can they? What gives? Which way do I go? Who is the real me?
I am also an immigrant, a third culture chick, a global citizen… For immigrants, the expectations and pressures to succeed as professionals are extremely high.
But the dreams never really go away, do they? I know physicians who become comedians, rock stars, chefs, hip-hop dancers, soccer players, dramaturges, astro-geeks, film directors when the white coats come off.
I have been told I have to be a physician to be taken seriously in the United States… I have been told I don’t have the right look for a rock singer/guitarist, that I don’t have what it takes to be a humanitarian, I am too ADD to succeed at anything and so on.
But My dreams have musically intricate soundtracks. I get energized when I motivate and encourage others to live their dreams… I am uber-ecletic… Like Janelle Monae says “Categorize me, I defy every label”.
So, what do you do, when you find your dreams don’t fit you or who you think you are?
This is why I am stepping out of my comfort zone and into the light. I choose to believe that you can live your true calling no matter where you come from or what you look like, American or international, professional or amateur, ADD or neurotypical, fat or slim, etc. These are all excuses designed to keep you small. And as Marianne Williamson says, “Your playing small does not serve the world”.
You matter. Your voice matters. Your dreams are valid and you deserve to live your true calling. You know the one, the one recurring dream that calls you in the middle of the night. I know it. I have found myself crying many times at 3 am (why at 3am, I have no idea!) I call it “the 3am muse – the Cry of Authenticity.”
Here’s what I believe: God has a calling for my life. I choose to show up every day and put my pen to paper. Let’s see what happens.