The last few years, I have spent many days thinking about my future. What am I going to do when I retire from my current day job? What am I going to be when I grow up? What path will I choose that allows me to use the right side of my brain, grow my hair long, become a hippie, and hang out all day in coffee shops? These thoughts have been the top requirements for my next career, and there are others. You can create a lot of stress when you tie this many requirements to one decision, and then have to find that perfect career that fits all of them, but still has to fulfill the main requirement of being something you enjoy, while at the same time providing an income. And the biggest question of all, does it even exist?
I read recently that if you want to know what God is calling you to do, you need only listen to your heart (paraphrased because I didn’t write down the exact quote at the time). I don’t believe in God in the conventional Christian sense, but this statement did make me reflect on my approach to the future. Listen to your heart. If I listen to my heart, I should find my passion. My heart should hold the map to things that mean the most to me, and reveal the path to my search for Truth. A quick look at the books I read, documentaries I watch, and my writings, clearly reveal a common theme – philosophy, religion, people, and the place where they intersect.
I enjoy studying religion, all religions. I enjoy studying cultures, and how they are influenced by belief systems. I enjoy studying people, especially how they allow their religion and beliefs to shape and determine their futures. This is probably why I enjoy the Unitarian Universalist church so much. It allows me to observe and experience various religions, and the people that practice them.
Armed with this insight, I can now boldly march into my future with all questions answered, right? Not even close. I have no idea how you turn this passion into a career. I’m not sure I should even worry about it at this point. It is a process, and it has a beginning. For me, that beginning is going back to school to study philosophy. This seems like the most logical direction for me today, but I am fully aware, and prepared to accept, that it could change course later.
Also, I am ready to start writing again. I have started writing a few books, but was never able to fully develop my intent for the book. I now recognize that I was taking the wrong approach. I was trying to write about abstract events and themes, which is not my passion. I have to take my book ideas to another level, where it intersects with my passion. I have to find my Truth in those stories, or they will never hold my attention long enough to complete. And I have to stop trying to remove myself from them. The stories I need to tell influenced me and are a part of my Truth. That alone makes them worthy to write.