Admit it: you have a gift

by Kim on November 16, 2011 · 14 comments

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine

freedom

Our trip, our new lifestyle, is so close that I can taste it.  Each day the what’s-to-come seems more and more real while the life we live now, the 9-to-5 in a cubicle life, feels like a charade. Our reality has shifted.  What was once a future of good enough is now one filled with possibility.

There’s no escaping the fact that the only reason Brian and I are here is because I made a choice to listen to my inner voice and Brian made a choice to support my decision.  My inner voice was telling me (screaming at me) that nothing would fulfill me the way that writing and seeing the world would.  My inner voice said: Kim, writing is your gift.  Use it.

It is scary for me to write that because I know that proclaiming to have a gift puts me in a smallish class of wingnuts and evangelists. Plus, I sound like an egomaniac.

But hear me out.

Isn’t it a gift to know what you love to do and have the ability to pursue it?  When I write, when I go someplace I have never been, I feel like myself.  How else can I describe it?  It feels like settling into my bones.  It is a gift to know what makes you come alive.

Here’s the other thing: I believe that everyone is born with a gift.  Everyone has something that makes them feel most like themselves, something that feels natural like breathing, something that thrills them and fascinates them and comes easy.  I believe this completely because I’ve seen it many times.  

When I speak with people about what Brian and I are about to do almost everyone admits their gift to me.  Some of them have followed it, most of them haven’t, but every single one of them knows what it is.

So what is your gift?

I just want to clarify: I don’t think I’m gifted.  No, that’s a different thing.  I’m bad at almost everything.  I’m horrible at math, at reading maps.  I can’t retell a story to save my life.  I’m an average athlete.  My vocabulary is lame.

The truth is that the only thing that I have ever been good at is feeling and then communicating that through writing and speaking.  And this narrow ability has always been okay with me because it’s the only thing that I have ever really wanted to do anyway.

Someone said (I don’t know who): I believe ardently that you should drop everything and run toward your true self.

I believe that too.  And after 30 years of running away, I feel like I am running towards my true self now.

I have no idea what the future holds now that I have decided to put my gift at the center of my life, but I guess no one is privy to that information.  There are people that choose the safe path and those that risk it all to pursue their dreams and neither knows how anything will turn out, because there are no guarantees.

Brian and I have already given up a lot to live this dream, and we haven’t even left to travel yet.  But there has not been one second that I have regretted the decision.  There are moments of fear and horror and what the hell are we doing? but even when I’m completely freaking out I still never feel like we are making the wrong decision. 

I think that’s how you know when you are honoring your gift.  If it feels absolutely right, even though it terrifies you, that’s probably because it is.

P.S. I want to give a shout-out to my blog friend Torre who honored her gift and wrote a terrific book that the universe stood up and noticed.  Seriously, read her story here, it’s as amazing as it is deserved.  

 

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia GW November 17, 2011 at 5:48 am

Kim, I totally understand what you’re saying. Running towards your true self – and just being you and following your own desires – can be terrifying but never the wrong choice. I think many of us deny ourselves so we can play that “safe” role, not realizing that “we don’t have to live our lives the way other people expect us to.” :)

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Kim November 20, 2011 at 9:42 am

Why is it so scary? I think it is the fear of failing at something that truly matters to us.

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Sarah Chamberlain November 17, 2011 at 6:07 am

Kim, thank you so much for saying what I am too scared to. The part about “dropping everything and running towards your true self”- Amen. The truth is, I’m still a little scared about declaring my gift, but at least I’m putting everything on the line to allow myself space to pursue it, whatever it may end up being. Who am I kidding, I want to write, and I want to travel! Awesome post- you write about this inner voice thing really well, maybe that’s your niche… Hmmm… :)

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Kim November 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Yaya! And you will do it too, Sarah. You are such a talented writer. It IS your gift!

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Sarah Chamberlain November 17, 2011 at 6:08 am

Sorry to take up so much comment space but OMG I just read about Torre’s success. I’m speechless! How wonderful for her, I’m so glad I read it first!

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Kim November 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm

No kidding, it’s a Cinderella story! And she deserves all of it!

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Sara November 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Kim, you *are* a great writer! I really enjoy your writing style. As for my gift, does beer drinking count?

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Kim November 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Haha, yes, it counts ;) Now that I think about it, I’m a pretty good beer drinker myself. Thanks for your kind words.

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Sueann November 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm

“The truth is that the only thing that I have ever been good at is feeling and then communicating that through writing and speaking.”

I’m with you on this – communicating my feelings has always been something I’m good at (and probably the only thing I’m good at, too). Personally I think it’s important to use our gifts and translate it through something which we adore and love. And what we love could be totally different altogether!

Perhaps as a writer you will realize that writing for things you don’t believe in makes you end up feeling jaded and without integrity, this is how I felt. It’s so crucial to write for something we believe in, if not, it kills the gift by causing us to not want to use it.

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Kim November 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I completely hear you on this. I have had a few writing “jobs” in the past that I’ve had to quit, even though they were real! jobs! because I just couldn’t use my skills as a writer to sell crap. This is a damn good point you’ve made, thanks for the reminder.

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Kjersti November 21, 2011 at 2:20 am

Hi Kim – and thank you for another great post! I am running towards an unknown future myself, and even if I have not found my gift yet, I am sure this trip will bring me closer to finding out what it is. You’re an inspiration!

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Kim November 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Hi Kjersti, thank you for your kind words. You and Brian are in the same boat. I have no idea but believe that if you stay open good things are bound to come to you. Good luck and congrats on the big trip.

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Victoria November 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Hi Kim,

I just came here from the Think Traffic “how many readers are you aiming at” page, and liked how you spoke about your goals back in March. I’m a little behind you in trying to work up the courage to write and travel — but I really like this post, and will be back to read some more. I keep waffling about what I think my ‘gift’ is, but it’s true, I do know what makes me myself. There are other things I’m good at, but it’s not the same. Thanks.

Victoria

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Kim November 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Hi Victoria. Thanks for stopping by. I went back and read my comment and I’m happy to say that I reached my goal (though not by the end of that month like I’d hoped). Good luck following your dreams, just be strong and try to ignore all the doubt in your head!!

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