For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this feeling that there has to be more. Not in a material girl kind of way, but in a reason for being on the planet way. I was raised by parents who always encouraged me to take a big bite out of life.
When we were small, it was as simple as suggesting that my brother and I create intricate mazes in our backyard woods, or get creative and build a treehouse with some supplied plywood and nails. As we got older, my mom always had us participating in some funky summer camp through the local community college; (Chisenbop, or Chinese Finger math springs to mind; another summer, it was an archeological dig in the hills of West Virginia.) Despite not growing up in a wealthy family, my parents scraped together funds to send me on a high school foreign exchange program in Salzburg. They helped to support me when I got a wild hair, and took a year off from college to move to Los Angeles to scratch an itch.
When I married and had my own children, my family became my everything, just as I had always dreamed they would be. Now, I’m watching my children grow into amazing young people, and I’m finding myself wanting to offer them the same experiences my parents offered me. Try theater! Sing! Play baseball, and experience travel and different cultures. Notice what makes people happy along the way, and try to find ways to contribute to that joy. I want them to be fulfilled. I want what they choose to do later in life not to be their job, but their passion. I hope that their careers might also afford them a way to help leave the planet a better place than they found it. I believe you have to try and sometimes fail at a lot of things to find your sweet spot.
Ah, the sweet spot.
We were at dinner recently with good friends; the kind of friends you can get deep with. The talk turned to finding the sweet spot in your life. Our friend mused that you know you’ve found it when you can feel yourself start to operate at a higher frequency. Everything becomes crystal clear, and there really isn’t time or space for anything that would hold you back.
That resonated with me. You see, I’ve been letting food hold me back. Since my mom died last fall, I’ve obviously felt a huge void in my life. She was my moral compass, and one of, if not my most sage teacher. I realize now that I’ve been trying to fill that hole with food. My body isn’t always hungry, but my soul was starving, so I ate to make it whole again. Instead of satisfaction, I felt numb as a result. I’d lost my way, and I knew I wasn’t living up to my potential any more.
I started writing my first novel in January. The first few pages flowed freely, but after a few weeks, I got scared. I started to overthink it, and finally had to put it away for a while. As much as there was a part of me that wanted to get back to it, I was terrified for some reason. I felt like people had expectations. I wanted to feel like I was writing something important, but what was pouring out was taking the shape of a love story. SO not what I had expected to write.
Finally, this past week I boarded a flight to spend a few days in Arizona with my husband while he was working in Scottsdale. I had downloaded several movies on my iPad, and planned to zone out during the three hour flight. But when I opened my device, Pages was staring right at me. A voice deep inside whispered, “begin again.” So I opened the document, and started from the beginning, retooling what I had already written, and then to my surprise, continuing on to write for the entire flight. For the remainder of my time in Arizona, the words poured out of me, and I got several chapters deep into the story. And you know what? It’s a love story. But I hope it will be a well written one, and how does the song go?
“What the world needs now, is love sweet love…it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
I’ll admit it now. I’m bringing sexy back. And it’s damned exhilarating.
A funny thing happened when the words started to flow. I could feel that something had shifted inside of me, something so small but so important. I’m home now, and the writing continues. I’ve noticed that I don’t want to fill the void with food anymore. My body is thanking me. I feel better now than I have in two years. I’ve found the sweet spot. Food is fuel for me now, not medication. Because I’ve found something much more soul satisfying.
I’ve found my purpose again. And it’s delicious.