A (public) note to myself on the “eve” of my 21st birthday

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As I sit in this chair I can’t help but think about how far I’ve come. I’m about to turn 21, officially in less than thirty minutes, and I’m already almost in tears. A friend just brought me a gift, a beautifully decorated container (pictured above…it has an owl!!!) and a card. In the card, along with her well wishes for my birthday was this sentence:

I know it seems like an empty little box, but believing in the obscure and unseen is what faith is all about.

My childhood was filled with adventure, hope, and endless possibilities…it wasn’t perfect, yet I had full faith I could achieve anything. My teens were filled with a lack of faith in myself, others, constant anxiety, and fear that I wouldn’t be prepared or good enough. My 20s, thus far, have also been filled with anxiety but of a different kind. The anxiety that comes with “stepping out on a limb” and creating a life for myself, one that does/will bring me joy and one I’ve been striving for regardless of how afraid of failure I am. In fact, I might argue that it’s my fears that have pushed me to once again have faith in myself.

I’m proud of myself, yet even more importantly I know my younger self, the girl who believed she could be anything she wanted if she worked hard at it, would be proud of me, too. That is something I don’t know I could’ve said and believed a few years ago.

Life is like writing a book. You should choose the life you want/have always wanted to live just like you should write the book you want/have always wanted to read. As I’ve come to realize, the beginning will always seem brighter and happier and easier while the middle is a murky swamp. However, in the end, it’ll be worth it. I have faith in that and in myself just as I have faith that my characters will iron out their problems and “get their shit together.” Maybe not the first time around and maybe not the fifth, as I’m also learning, but eventually I’ll get there and will forget about that murky swam. At that point, I’ll probably want to start all over so for now, I’ll just keep smelling the nonexistent roses.

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

P.S. Now it’s three minutes past my “official” time of birth so the title is no longer relevant yet I like the sound of it so it shall stay.

-Patrice

On the Importance of (Finding & Following) Your Passion

Hi Readers!

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend! I’m at Martha’s Vineyard with the fam for the weekend which makes it a little difficult to post (no/crappy-wifi). Since that’s the case I thought I’d share with you something I wrote for The Rountable, an online publication some of my friends at Wellesley run.

Hope it inspires you!
-Patrice


Why we rebel so much from our passion, I don’t exactly know. I would guess it has something to do with FEAR or as my dad likes to say, False Evidence Appearing Real.

Fear is contagious. If others are fearful, if they have let their passions fall to the wayside, I can almost promise you they will try and project their fear on you. This is why so many of our parents or older relatives prefer for us to become doctors and lawyers rather than artists. It’s not so much that one is “better” than the other but that one has a less direct, less “stable” (whatever that means) path. Frankly, I believe stability is the beginning of the end to passion while some believe instability is like a disease, a plague.

Everyone around us has stability and that one relative who doesn’t well, they’re the black sheep, we don’t really talk about them. So to be unstable, to live a free lifestyle, is to have something wrong with us, like we need to be treated or something.

To me, stability is the actual disease, and passion is the cure.

Life is hard. If you’re not passionate about what you want to do, you’re not going to make it. In fact, why even try if you’re not passionate about it, you might as well just take a desk job.

I rarely say this out loud (because naysayers always follow), but I’m a writer. Not an “aspiring writer”, a writer. My passion is writing, and reading because a great writer is an even better reader (it’s how we learn & improve our craft). I want to be published or nearly there by the time I graduate college, and a NYT bestselling author before I’m 25. It’s a little crazy, right, I mean it sounds crazy. My secret, I love the crazy.

Writing is my passion, therefore, I’m following it. Because it is my passion, even when I get frustrated I still love it because, honestly, I couldn’t live without doing it. I understand that writing, the ability to spend time writing, is a luxury, however for me, it’s a priority. Before the Physiological needs section of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is writing (seriously, I forget to eat, sleep, etc… while I’m writing all the time, not good, I know). While others my age are out partying or socializing, I’m outside or in my room, reading or writing. Even when I’m doing those things I’m most likely thinking about some book I’m reading or mentally writing a scene.

I often hear people saying there isn’t enough time for them to do the things they love, well in many cases my response is make time. I’m young, single, without children, and healthy…why should I wait until after I’m stable, after I’ve worked my butt off in a cubicle, to enjoy my life. I want to live, like really live, as a writer I build my stories off the world, I can’t/I don’t want to do that from a stuffy office.

There was once a time I thought all I wanted was to be rich and famous, now I’d be happy with a few awards on my shelf, the ability to get up and leave whenever I want, and dedicated group of people who love and understand my work just as much (or nearly) as I do.

Don’t leave your passion in the dust, trust me, in my 20 years I’ve done that and worse. It’s like you’re playing Monopoly, you’ve nearly bankrupted yourself, and just when you finally pass ‘Go’, you land on ‘Income Tax’. To say the least, it sucks.

So when people ask me why I’m so chill sometimes, this is why. I’m as happy as can be. Why wouldn’t I, I have friends, family, and I already have my life figured out. Not the details, I’m a pantser (writer talk, look it up) what fun would that be, but the heartstring stuff, the stuff that matters. I know I’m going to accomplish my goals, even on the bad days, there’s not a doubt in my mind about that. And to all of you who haven’t found your passion, don’t worry. You will find it. That is not the question. The question is if, when you do find it, will you be strong enough to follow it.

Whimsically Yours,
PnC

-Currently it’s posted on the Rountable FB page but it also be up on the full website within a few days. Thanks for letting me repost this, Annie!

What’s your passion, how did you find it? If you haven’t what are your dreams for your life?

🙂