Call Louder, Won’t You?

A photo showing the ears of a horse, pricked up as if listening to some soundAs regular followers of Sensitive Type will know, I’ve been struggling for a long time to find a path that worked for me. Along the way, I followed a bunch of blogs about making a living online and/or by blogging. For awhile, I did a lot of reading. Sometimes I wondered whether it was a good investment of my time, especially with the financial wolves howling at my door.

It seems like I only use about 1/10th of what I’ve read, but since I’m forging my path in introverted solitude, it’s worth all that less-useful reading when I find something that affirms my own experience. The post below is an example:

The Complicated But Beautiful Process of Finding Your Calling

While I agree 100% with the title of this post, my perspective differs from the author’s on several points. First, he doesn’t mention luck, which IMHO plays a huge role in the success of any endeavor. After reading numerous success stories, I noticed how often fortuitous timing was a major factor, a point not always noted by the writers themselves.

Aha!? Uh-uh.

Secondly, aha moments are over-rated. Even if you have one, the story doesn’t end there. I’ve had many. For example, when Facebook reminded me of the anniversary of a “life event” this morning, it turned out to be an announcement I made two years ago to my friends and family that I had decided to train for a particular profession. I had been researching the field and local schools for months, but I had just recognized myself as an HSP, and was beginning to explore what that meant. My announcement turned out to be more of a swan song than a professional milestone. Within a few weeks, I had realized that the profession I had in mind probably wasn’t a good match for an HSP introvert.

An ancient statue of the buddha with a serene facial expressionFor decades I’ve had a fantasy of finding the perfect career counselor. The fantasy goes like this: I tell her the story of my life. After listening intently, her face brimming with empathy and interest, she asks a couple of penetrating questions. Then she suggests a profession which never before crossed my mind, but which I instantly recognize is the one and only thing I was born to do. And I live happily ever after.

There are people who claim this happened to them. Maybe it did. I wasn’t there. But I suspect their story is more like the short version in the blogger’s post above, informed by hindsight and, for the sake of better storytelling, leaving out the multitude of diverse experiences, influences, and fits and starts that lead up to anything we do in life.

A life path is a process, not a destination, whether we like it or not. Just like a physical path, there are inclines and declines, spots with great views, switchbacks, and stretches where we have to pick our way through mud and stones. And then there are the many intersections, with highways, trails, and the faintest of deer tracks, where we have to make a decision which way to go.

Pick a path, any path. There are no wrong answers. Wherever you go, there you are.
A fork in a mountain with a sign that has arrows pointing in both directions, both of them labeled "right"

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