20something profile: Kelsey
In May 2012, I graduated with a major in Environmental Studies, a minor in Peace Studies, and no clarity on what my Life’s Work would look like. I felt helplessly pinned between three of my strongest passions — sustainability, spirituality, and creative writing — and I didn’t believe there was a place in the world for a multi-passionate person like me.
I started working at an environmental nonprofit two months after graduation, which was technically my goal all along, but feelings of incompleteness nagged at me. Visions of normalness and business suits danced in my head. Did starting my career in a cubicle mean I was letting my other creative dreams rot within me?
Even though my job was fine, I flailed around emotionally during the first year after college. Confusion, loneliness, questioning why I was put on this planet to begin with…you may know the drill. But sluggishly, laboriously, at a pace so excruciatingly slow that I hardly realized I was moving, I broke through the turbulence.
I pieced together that I could create a bold and integrated life without having to choose one of my passions over the others. I declared that I want to embody radiance, creativity, and service — as a writer, as a spiritual seeker, as a tree-hugger. As all of me.
I admitted that we can barely control whether or not the bus shows up in the morning, let alone how each of our passions is supposed to fit into the long and mysterious arc of our lives. We have no idea where our talents are needed in this world until we show up, use them, and see where they take us.
I let go of my grip on how I thought my career should unfold, and in its place I found the bravery to take micro-steps towards my dreams. I started a blog so I could share my writing freely. I became a Reiki Master so I could heal others. I took a hula hoop class just because it sounded fun.
I stopped telling the story that I’m uselessly lost between my three passions. That story has no happy ending — that girl is always staring out the window wishing she was somewhere else, always watching opportunities crumble beneath her.
I tell a new story now: I decorated my cubicle with an “inspiration wall,” and my colleagues love my spiritual-creative-earthy self. My happiness is no longer dependent on whether my writing gets published, so I love the writing process even more. I am here, I am breathing, and I am grateful.
* * *
We must trust that our lives are unfolding for our highest good, in kaleidoscopic and miraculous ways that we can’t even picture yet. If you’re stuck, keep moving. Get honest about how you’re feeling, then take the tiniest reach you can towards feeling better. Find that sense of playfulness and spaciousness again. Moment to moment, one day at a time, glimmers of hope will emerge.
When you’re living in your authentic truth, stuckness and honesty and passion and all, opportunities will whirl and magnetize towards you. People will appear out of nowhere and ask you to speak, write, take leadership roles, and start crazy-sounding projects, and you will have no idea where these efforts will lead…but you will follow that sacred yes because it calls to you. And you will break through.
Step into the bigness of who you are. Stop withholding and start shining. Set the world ablaze with your light.