Aside from my fascination with words and writing, I’ve only ever felt one ‘vocational’ calling. But, it’s never been specific. As a child, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t. I only know what I want to do; I want to make things better. It doesn’t matter what ‘it’ is, I just want to improve upon it.
Perhaps this desire rises in part from my own sensitive nature. Everything is literally too much for me. Lights are too bright, sounds are too loud, odors too strong. I am in near constant need of restoration. So I look for better and better ways to make things work for me. In my case, solitude is the salve for overstimulated senses. But what works for me is seldom true for others.
In fact, I struggle with this drive to fix or improve things. I don’t know well how to do this for others, except maybe to listen when they need it. But I want to try. The only reference I have, though, is in trying to honor my own needs, and that can be challenging at times. How can I help others, how can I be a truly compassionate, understanding, and supportive person when I’m in constant need of solitude to maintain my own equilibrium?
And if I push myself to be what I’m not; if I don’t honor my own needs, then am I helping anyone in the end? Am I sacrificing authenticity for the sake of keeping the peace or making others happy in the short-term, and if so, isn’t that the exact opposite of the message I want to embody?
Where is that ideal middle ground, where we accept and love ourselves for all that we are while doing the exact same for everyone else? When do we choose to stop feeling guilty about ourselves, our shortcomings, our idiosyncrasies? Where is that stretch of terra firma where we can stand and admit we’re all our own sort of broken, and we’re all fucking beautiful and perfect, just as we are?