Last week I posted a Leon Russell song on facebook (courtesy of youtube). My friend Melina commented on it, noting that Leon is still making music at 67 years of age. Then she said, "You can't silence a voice that needs to sing." I found it rather ironic that she said that because I had had much the same thought as I watched a special featuring Sir Paul McCartney just the night before. There he was, 68 years old, belting out "Let It Be" for probably the millionth time, but you'd never know it. He sang it with all the passion of a new lover. Granted, his voice was showing some warbly signs of age, but he still hit the high notes, and he still "brought it" with all the fervor of 40 some odd years ago.
Fast forward to a few days later. I was reading my friend Matt's new blog, Meaningful Derangement (here). His use of poetic imagery completely swept me away to another place, another time... to a place I didn't belong, but to where he was kind enough to allow me to be a voyeur. I wrote to him, "You, my friend... you were meant to write."
I love seeing people do the things that they were meant to do. I love feeling the passion that comes with it, that tangible essence of who they are and what they love.
Until recently, I didn't really allow myself to do the things I was meant to do. I dabbled in some, but I wasn't passionate about any of it. I didn't allow myself because, partly, I didn't know I was meant to do these things. The other, bigger part of it was that I felt I needed to conform to the mold. I needed to stay in the box - the box that was clearly labeled, "Do this. Don't do that." Ugh. No wonder I was unhappy. No wonder I felt completely unfulfilled.
It's curious to me, but not entirely surprising any more, that as soon as I started following my passion a gathering formed. Suddenly I found myself surrounded by others who are equally passionate about what they're doing. It was unparalleled energy. I hadn't experienced it before in my life. It was like pouring gasoline on a fire. I ignited.
And one day I realized... It's not just that I want to do art, it's not just that I want to write. I was meant to do these things. For better or worse, I was meant to. It doesn't matter what becomes of it. It's the doing that signifies.
It only took me about 47 years, but like Melina says, "You can't silence a voice that needs to sing." Eventually, what you are meant to do will find you. All you have to do is open the door and bid it welcome.