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A Drummer Comes Calling

Have you ever had one of those weeks that brings about a re-evaluation of who you are and what you’re doing with your time? I know, silly question. We all have those times, but when you’ve already determined your personal career destination, what do you do with that re-evaluation?

A writer friend of mine told me a few days ago of her own fork in the road. Like me, she’s had varied entertaining and profitable careers in diverse professions. Yet, she longs for what she had to give up as a result of her last move. She wants to return to it for that’s what her hind-brain is pulling for. Well, that and her heart.

What should a person do when a calling comes knocking and won’t go away? All of us have a secret yearning buried deep inside that takes up a drum every once in a while and pounds it with a hammer to get our attention. But how hard do we listen?

My drummer with its dictionary and thesaurus kept pounding at my door for decades before I truly took it seriously, even though I knew in my heart that that’s what I was supposed to be doing. Well, that and one other thing that I just won’t go into here. When I let it in, however, my life got more complicated and happier than it had been in many a year. For the first time in a decade I actually had a reason to get up in the morning without dread. I laughed at myself again, at least once in a while. The cloud of impending doom evaporated from my personal vicinity and moved on to plague someone else.

The one thing that I learned above all else during this rebirth, if you will, was that every time I made one of these leave-everything-else-behind sort of decisions my life became happier, lighter, and far more enjoyable. I could find the wonder in life again, see the many colors displayed for the enjoying, hear more sound than before, taste the sweetness of experience even when that experience wasn’t pleasant. I found gratitude and thankfulness again.

As I listened to my friend tell me why she couldn’t tolerate the thought of not doing what she was called to do, I knew that in some peculiar way, I was also listening to myself congratulate her. She’s always been an individual with many and varied talents, which have allowed her, in need, to take on professions outside her normal area of expertise and excel at them. Did I mention that she’s extraordinarily intellectually gifted?

I can applaud her determination to defend her calling and do whatever it takes to immerse herself in it once again. If I can help her find a way to do that, I will. It’s a matter of changing circumstances that block her path.

But then, that’s often the situation. Our heart calls out to us to make the change. We temporize, saying that we can’t possibly make a living at such a thing, we can’t raise a family on so little money, or whatever the excuse might be. That’s the normal response that the average person has. Nothing wrong with that. This isn’t a blame game.

For some, though, there’s a time limit that their hearts will allow, which is on a cosmic timer. When the bell goes off, they must reach for that heart’s destination without the normal, continual hesitation. For in that instant, the person realizes that to deny the heart any longer means the loss of something far more precious than a paycheck. It means a loss of part of themselves.

Historic explorers knew this, I think. I also believe that the great philosophers understood it, too. Everyone I’ve ever known is capable of playing the “What if?” game. Most of them, however, are not so good an answering the questions. Not because they aren’t capable, but because they’ve learned not to care what the answer might be. Yet, if their interest can be sparked, they can make a marvelous recovery.

At this point in history, there are very few explorers in the old sense. There seem to be very few adventurers of any kind. And those who exist are viewed as suffering a death wish or might just be a bit unstable mentally. But what if they are being guided by their hearts, their spirits, to know the experience for some later reason?

What if that little man down the street must use all of his resources to feed the needy or house unwanted pets, because his heart refuses to allow him to do anything else? Are these not also adventurers in their own way? He’s probably never had this experience before. He’s  never used his life his way before. Doesn’t that constitute exploration?

In a world where mapping is done via satellite down to a mere inches, the only real place a person can explore sometimes is their own lives. So my friend and I, and others like us, will explore a new kind of frontier. What kind of exploration do you do in your life? Do you learn new languages, take up a new hobby, visit museums and galleries? If so, that’s great. Learning new things of any kind of high adventure many times because of the uncertainty of one’s own abilities.

Look around and see what you discover about internal drummers. Listen very hard to determine if you have one whose efforts have hitherto gone unnoticed. You might be surprised at what you find. Enjoy the journey.

A bientot,

Claudsy

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