The Butterfly has Landed
I envy the person who discovers what they want to do early in life. They plan out their goals before they ever graduate high school. They know what college they want to go to. They know exactly what their ‘career’ is going to be. I wasn’t one of those people.
I had the attention span of a gnat, and the curiosity of a cat. I read voraciously, sometimes as many as a dozen books a week. I fluttered from project to project. My interests ran a wide gamut of ideas and knowledge.
Each new interest consumed me. Until I got to a point where I learned the process, or understood the philosophy, or became distracted by the next intriguing project. My life became littered with starts, and very few finishes.
This leads to clutter. Not just of my surroundings but also of my thought patterns. I’d taught myself to follow the flitting butterfly. A butterfly is a beautiful thing, but it’s fleeting and fragile. It’s not the way I wanted to live my life, no matter how intriguing that life was.
Somehow, I had to change. Part of me didn’t want to. There is a lure to learning new things. Going down new roads and discovering new adventures. But the reality is it led me nowhere useful. Living the life of the butterfly ate up huge amounts of time, and energy, and created a block to my creativity.
I felt life slipping away from me. I was running out of time. Somehow, I had to stop hopping from thing to thing, and find myself some solid footing. I no longer wanted to start projects. I wanted to finish them.
How does a person decide what they want out of life? How do they figure out what will make them happy? For me, I had to isolate the one thing that filled me with passion. That sounds so easy, but it’s surprisingly difficult. Especially for a person who flits. Everything excites my interest. For a little while.
What would it take to hold my interest for the long haul?
First, I knew that it would take something that didn’t come easy. I get bored if it’s easy.
Second, I knew that whatever path I chose, it would have to allow me room to learn. I am, first and foremost, a student. I like, actually need, to feed my brain new information on a regular basis.
Third, it had to be creative. I am an artist. I have to create. It’s a deep down, never ending need in me.
Last, I wanted a way to express myself.
I traveled back through my memories and reconnected with a little girl who demanded a library card on the day of her sixth birthday, a requirement of the library. I remembered that feeling of excitement when that card was placed in my hands.
The library became my treasure trove. And writing has become my passion. I wish it had come earlier but I lacked the life experiences that fuel my writing now. I’ve found my passion. The butterfly has landed.