Does it ever happen to you that you kind of know that you are at the most pivotal part of your life? I think it’s happening to me. Quitting my stable job as an art reporter and risking it all to become a freelance writer is the scariest decision that I’ve ever made, but, at the same time, I know that I needed to do it so that I can grow as a person and pursue what I truly love.
Although I am sure about my decision, I am still riddled with fears. I’m scared that I won’t hack it as a freelance writer. I’m scared that I’ll lose all my money. I’m scared of all the uncertainties that lies ahead. When I have such negative feelings, I usually turn to self-help books, but it was weird that I found solace in the words of American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. I was just reading the news when I stumbled upon an article by The Washington Post.
The article was about a town hall meeting that Hillary attended. At that event, she was asked about how she dealt with running for higher office with humility. The Washington Post quotes her answer:
This is hard for me. You know, I never thought I’d be standing on a stage here asking people to vote for me for president…
So I’m constantly trying to balance how do I assume the mantle of a position as essentially august as president of the United States not lose track of who I am, what I believe in and what I want to do to serve?
I have that dialogue at least, you know, once a day in some setting or another. And I don’t know that there is any ever absolute answer, like, okay, universe, here I am, watch me roar or oh my gosh, I can’t do it, it’s just overwhelming, I have to retreat…
And I read a, um, a treatment of the prodigal son parable by the Jesuit Henri Nouwen, who I think is a magnificent writer of spiritual and theological concerns. And I — I read that parable and there was a line in it that became just a lifeline for me. And it basically is practice the discipline of gratitude.
So regardless of how hard the days are, how difficult the decisions are, be grateful. Be grateful for being a human being, being part of the universe. Be grateful for your limitations. Know that you have to reach out to have more people be with you, to support you, to advise you, listen to your critics, answer the questions.
But at the end, be grateful. Practice the discipline of gratitude. And that has helped me enormously.
After reading that, I thought, even if Hillary loses the election, how many people can say they had the opportunity to run for such a prestigious position? Sometimes we are focused too much on the pinnacle that we do not appreciate how far we’ve climbed, and that is what I want to remember, always.
So whenever I feel scared, I feel grateful. I feel grateful that I have the privilege to rediscover my life. I feel grateful that my life has opened up to so many possibilities. I feel grateful for all the experiences I’ve had so far. I feel grateful that I am moving forward.
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