One of the things I have learned in organizing public programs is that you have to be willing to let go of your reasons for starting the project.
When I discovered there was some push back against one of my core reasons for starting this particular project, I was reminded of the lesson I learned in light of another project that I had started two years ago: it’s not about me.
That’s the nature of “public.” It can’t be about you.
I wouldn’t say my ego was hurt; I’ve kind of gotten used to it. But I suppose I was a bit dismayed. Maybe I look at things a bit too analytically. Maybe my experiences are just different from others. Maybe I am more willing to have uncomfortable conversations about this topic because I wrestle with it daily.
But, maybe just maybe, this was not the right audience for it.
I keep on searching for the right avenue for my yet-to-be-articulated raison d’être.
At first, I thought it was within academia (I haven’t fully given up on this yet, but I need to have a game plan if I’m going to make a second attempt). Then, I considered chaplaincy. And then, whatever it is I have been doing since I moved to Indy – a mixture of interfaith work, writing in its different forms.
But maybe that’s just how life will be for me. I made the decision long before I really realized what I was doing that I was not going to have a set path career-wise (but really I think in all aspects of life, since I live in such a career-driven society).
I keep hearing the word “vocation.” It’s a Christian concept that has permeated popular culture. And since I grew up in North America, I absorbed this kind of thinking: that what I do for a living dictates who I am as a person. And because what I did for most of my “professional” life felt less than what I have been acculturated to aspire for, I always felt like I was not living up to my “calling.”
But maybe it does not have to be that way. Why do I assume that I have to have a title that encapsulates all that I am? Even the people I admire are more than what they reveal to the world.
Not everything has to be a life-defining moment.
Why am I thinking about this now?
I guess that’s what happens when you are an anxious blogger who woke up earlier than necessary and can’t go back to sleep.
But as I have written before, even insomnia comes with its gifts. Although I feel this one is going to take a while to unwrap.