I am 24 years old.
I was very ambitious as a child, straight-A student, 1450 on SAT (when 1600 was the most you could score), certificates, town recognition for volunteering, constantly winning writing contests, painting, receiving the English Math and Science awards for my grade (high school), loving, helping and healing people. I was best friends with all the prettiest girls in school, and the not so pretty ones. I was known for being good and kind. I was 15 with $5,000 in my bank account. Something I earned on my own. For someone who came from nothing that was A LOT~
I was going places.
Then I turned seventeen. I’m not sure what died in me that year, but there was a definite shift. I started cutting school. I almost wasn’t allowed to graduate from high school for too many unexcused absences. I had to get each of my teacher’s approval before the principal would allow me to graduate. I had no problem with the academic teachers, but of course my gym teacher was a different story. Gym is one of the classes where all I had to do was show up and try. Since I wasn’t really showing up the teacher didn’t think it was fair to let me graduate without summer school.
My mother came in and had a talk with her. That was that. It is really hard to say no to my mother.
At 17 I became arrogant and cynical (ja! don’t we all!). I felt like I had this world all figured out, and I wasn’t impressed.
I went to college, but with no passion, vision, or plan. I went because it seemed like the natural next step for someone like me.
But I still did not find passion. It all looked the same to me. I could see the professors as students and the students as one-day teachers, and the system just did not, again, impress me.
These people weren’t being taught, or teaching to transcend and evolve. We were all learning and teaching to do the same things.
I couldn’t help but make a connection between us and the people in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.
When I didn’t prioritize school I would whisper to myself “tis better to become the poor man’s slave than the poor man’s master.”
I was desperate to find something or someone that would take me above ground and expose my eyes to real light. Someone who would then show me how things I once believed were concrete were only shadows and figments of my imagination.
I was desperately searching for truth. Not beliefs. Not judgments. Just truth. Authenticity. Something I didn’t have to see thru because it wasn’t hidden. Something eternal. Something real. Something beyond ego.
That’s around the time I found yoga and meditation and him. My spirit was awakened. I was captivated and amazed with life once more. It was like a bolt of energy was sent down my spine and my whole spirit was revived.
That’s the “long story short” of course.
At the rate I was going I was expected to have my college degree, be a published author, and at least own my own house by now~ or so they tell me.
For a long time I felt they were right. That’s the danger with outside voices. You pay them enough attention and they start to sound like your own. To the point where you stop being able to tell which one is yours and which isn’t.
It wasn’t until this evening that I realized I’m not as far behind as I thought, or really as I had been telling myself.
Some of my favorite authors waited until their late 30s or even later 50s to find their passion and purpose~ after years of research and writing women like Elizabeth Gilbert and Geneen Roth are finally being appreciated and admired for their work.
Maybe it’s not too late for any of us to go back towards living our destiny~
Perhaps we’re all right on time~
“Catherine Ingram tells a story in her book Passionate Presence about a young friend of hers who said, “Pretend you are surrounded by a thousand hungry tigers. What would you do?” Catherine said, “Wow, I don’t know what I would do. What would you do?” her young friend said, “I’d stop pretending!”
an excerpt from Geneen Roth’s Women Food and God