Friday, September 17, 2010

Your are what you look like...apparently.

This is a remembrance post of a (sort of) defining moment in my life. It randomly popped into my head yesterday as I was driving home in the rain after my small group meeting. Not sure why it popped up, but I thought I'd share it with you.

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Let's go back to...well, I'm not sure if it was 2005 or 2006? It was in May of one of those two years. I was 14 or 15 at the time.

I was sitting on a lunch break at a round table full of volunteers. Volunteers? Yes. It was at our church's annual golf tournament tournament (we use it as a way to raise money for Merge Ahead's youth missions) and I had been on sandwich making, pot cleaning, floor vacuuming, table setting duty all day.  

(None of this has to do with any part of the defining moment, other than it was the setting. Keep following me.)

I'm sitting there with a couple other people who had been helping prepare for the awards ceremony and dinner all morning, munching on On the Boarder chips and salsa, and talking about school and we were doing/wanted to do with our lives.

A college-aged girl (who we will call "Teal" though that is not her name), who was pursuing an education in something to do with History, decided she wanted to go around the table and try and GUESS what the rest of us (just barely in high school) wanted to do when we "grew up."

So, Teal starts guessing peoples hopes and dreams. (Just to clarify: No, it wasn't a weird "oooh, I have psychic powers thing." She was just trying to guess to make some small talk amongst a group of awkward high school kids.) She was giving it a thoughtful effort but was wrong every time. People would then correct her wrongness and she'd move to the next person. But seriously, who could guess something like that? At least we were all laughing as we got to know each other a little better.

  My turn came last. She looked at me for a minute, trying to analyze and form a guess.  "You...look like a writer." she finally said.

I looked back at her for a couple moments. "Seriously?" I asked, more than a little surprised.

"Oh no! Is that totally and completely wrong?" she said, thinking maybe she had offended me (I must have made a weird face. I make a lot of such things. My eyebrows are expert communicators, or so they think.)


"No. That is totally and completely RIGHT." 

I was shocked. It was a very strange moment. It wasn't like I was wearing a t-shirt that said "Future Writers of America" (in fact, I can tell you exactly what I was wearing! For some reason all my vivid memories come accompanied by outfits and smells. It is weird but true. I had on a navy blue David Beckham hoodie I had bought in London, a black hat, and a pair of jeans.) or like I had been quoting Shakespeare at her all morning. I hadn't mentioned books, I wasn't correcting anyone's grammar, I hadn't written a single thing. Nothing. No clues whatsoever.

But yet she looked at me, sitting there in my hoodie, stuffing chips into my face, and had guessed I was a writer.

 Seriously weird.  

I don't believe in psychics.( Neither did she. I assure you this girl had no abnormal mind reading powers. That would just be demonic) But I also don't believe in coincidences.  

Shortly before that time I decided what I wanted to do with the rest of my life was WRITE. Previously (almost my whole childhood) I had planned on being a Veterinarian. But at 14 there was a moment when something *CLICKED* and I realized what I was born to do (read about it here.) It was probably the most out of the blue decision of my life. I don't like change and that was a CHANGE! The idea scared me, but I knew it was what I was made for. I was told many times (still am) that is wasn't a real occupation and that I would probably starve or be homeless. People were a little worried. But I stayed resolute. I had found out what I loved to do and I was going to do it.  

And hearing out of the mouth of a random church attendee, that I had never spoken to before, that didn't know me or even my family, on a random day in the month of May, was almost like confirmation. No, I do not base what I do off this moment. No, I don't write because "Teal" said I looked like I should. That moment was just a little piece of what God was working in me. I was His kid and he believed in me, even if if felt like no one else would. It was a little reminder that He had a plan and that when I surrendered my plan to Him cool stuff happened. ( Is happening. Will Happen!) 

I'm a writer. Apparently I look like one (uh...well, I sure do look like no one else with my artsy wardrobe of second hand/vintage things, mixed with hats, bold jewelry, converse high tops, pirate shirts and boys clothes...). And writers write. So I do. Because I simply cannot do anything else.

How about you? What do you do? Is it what you love? How did you come about doing it? I would love to hear your story! 

2 comments:

Amie said...

That story gave me goosebumps... weird.

Throughout my childhood I changed my mind constantly about what I wanted to do with my life. Teacher, missionary, nurse, veterinarian, chef, nanny, etc etc etc. So I became a mom. (Also a secretary, which isn't as awesome.) I get to be all of those things wrapped into one. In a day. And I'm exhausted. But happy!

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

This was an amazing story, what a great feeling to have the universe pretty much clarify that you're heading in the right direction :) I changed my mind continuously up until year 12, when I decided I wanted to be a social worker. And I kept thinking that until I got to my very last semester of a 4 year double degree.. and dropped it. After going out in the field for professional experience I realised I hated it. Really hated it. It was a terrible realisation. But I also got the opportunity to work with special needs children on prof. experience and so now I'm on my way to becoming a special needs teacher. And if I hadn't done social work I never would have realised what I really wanted to do. So I guess life does work in mysterious ways..

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