When I was in sixth grade, one of my biggest accomplishments—in my eyes, anyway—was typing at over 100 words per minute.
I know, I know. What kid is passionate about typing?
But I remember glowing that day in keyboarding class, smiling from ear to ear. I could get out so many letters, so many words, so quickly! I was absolutely ecstatic.
You see, a few months prior to that day, I had asked my parents to buy me the Mavis Beacon program we used in keyboarding class. After hearing my request, my mother had given me a somewhat strange look, but she complied. Soon, I was practicing every day after school, shooting down aliens by typing words in their general direction (the logic of Mavis Beacon is not to be questioned).
I constantly worked to hone my typing skills each and every day of that school year. I was like an aspiring Olympian – if there was ever an Olympics for typists.
At the time, if someone had asked me why I loved to type so much, I would have had absolutely no idea. Not even a clue.
I just knew how satisfying it felt to be able to get those words on a page as fast as I possibly could. With a pencil, my hand got in the way of my thoughts. I couldn’t get it all down quickly enough, and I was terrified of missing a single thought. But by learning to type so quickly, I could get my thoughts down almost immediately—before I lost them in their purest form, like smoke disappearing through my fingers.
At the time, I was planning on going into neuroscience. And if I hadn’t taken keyboarding, perhaps I would have continued along that route.
If I hadn’t met my junior year English teacher, the man who guided me toward writing for the school newspaper, I would have gone to med school instead of pursuing writing.
And if I hadn’t scoured the Internet for writing internships instead of accepting a public relations position that I knew deep down wasn’t right for me, I wouldn’t have a full-time position doing what I love.
I now look back on those days in keyboarding class and realize that my love for typing was an extension of my true, deep love for writing. It has guided me to where I am now: being satisfied with my work instead of working for satisfaction.
That little strange passion, that little gut feeling, was just my soul’s way of guiding me toward my true purpose. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s to start paying attention to my intuition. My gut knows what I need.
Last year, I broke up with my partner of three years. When trying to explain to a friend, I couldn’t seem to put it into words. There was no clear reason: He was attractive, kind, funny, and an overall amazing guy.
But the way I felt around him didn’t give me that feeling anymore. I didn’t feel that spark. I didn’t feel passion.
I didn’t feel like I was supposed to continue down the path with him.
In an age where we have any information we need available at our fingertips, we’re expected to be able to be logical about our choices. We’re expected to be able to explain and document everything we do. We’re expected to justify our decisions in order to make everyone else feel comfortable.
Here’s what we forget: Sometimes wanting to do it is reason enough. Whether that means changing your career path or leaving a relationship, you don’t always need to be able to put your reasoning into a neat little box. And you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone.
Typing may seem like a ridiculous thing to love. But ignoring my love for the (seemingly) little things would have been to ignore my soul’s calling. To ignore those little uncomfortable pangs telling me which direction to go would have been to ignore my intuition.
I don’t know what plans you made for this year. I don’t know what your intuition is telling you. But I bet it’s showing you where to go.
Clear your mind. I want you to envision the life you want to live. I want you to picture the person you want to be. And I want you to figure out how to go after those things with everything you have.
Shut out any voices telling you “What if?” or “What will people think?” The only voice that matters is yours. Listen to it.
This year is a clean slate. What are you waiting for?