photo cred: A Well Traveled Woman

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” 
– Howard Thurman

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine last night about success. As a background: here is a man who works more than anyone I've ever met. He does quite well for himself, financially, but I have also talked to him about certain social sacrifices he's made in order to maintain his work ethic. And for no reason other than that I am way too curious and nosy for my own good, I asked him a question. "Why do you work so hard?" I asked him if it was about the money, or something more than that. I knew it couldn't have been about the money, if only in theory. So it intrigued me to find out what it is about driven people that creates their force and drive.

I wasn't raised in a family where "drive" was instilled in us. I know my parents work really hard at what they do- but I can't say I remember ever feeling like I was encouraged to make sacrifices for work or school. Which... I guess is sort of sad. The strange thing is that as I sit here and think about what I would sacrifice for- what I guess I have a drive for- it would be my relationships. My friend (sorry to spill this story, buddy) had told me about a time when he had the chance to see this girl, and he passed on it in order to stay in that weekend and work. I guess that's how I am, but the exact opposite scenario. I would pass on opportunities in order to sustain my valued relationships. It makes sense to me, now, to hear these stories of people giving up on something for what they value more. Like in a scenario where you're working on a work project and people are like, "Come on... just quit for the day already!" I can't tell you how many times I've felt that same way about friends and boyfriends where someone has, in so many words, told me to come on and quit already. It's funny to realize that now.

I digress. My friend's answer to my question was that what drove him was making a difference in the world. Which I'd never really considered and found fascinating. He felt that his latest project was one where the world would be a different place as a result of his talents. Pretty awesome, when you see it in that light. And it got me thinking about my own life and contributions. I do some, but not as much as I probably ought to. I used to be really involved in charity work, and environmental care. And I try to make sure I'm not a wasteful person. But wouldn't it be an incredible thing to feel that you were making a bigger difference in the world? I'm never going to be a scientist or a doctor. But words are powerful, and I consider them to be my gift- however small it may be. I don't know how many people read or actually absorb anything I say here, but I'd like to start making a plan to have my writing make more of a difference.

My writing projects have recently started to take off, and it's been exciting. And scary. My little corner of the blogoshpere has been getting some attention that I never thought it would. And it's been humbling and amazing (and scary). I expose myself quite a bit with my writing. But I feel like it's my best chance at letting people in, in order to assure them that they're okay in their OWN vulnerabilities. I'd like to think that some of these posts make a difference in five minutes of someone's day. I'd love to make some grand declaration that I am going to start pushing life-changing posts at you, but I wont. Like a New Year's Resolution that fails by February, I don't want to make grandiose claims to change your life in 5 weeks.

I changed the manner of my entries a few years ago, pretty much around the time of my surgery and then moreso after my sister's accident. My life changed, and the blog matured. I'd like to continue working toward that maturation. I'm not CNN. I'm not a life tactics adviser. I'm a girl who thinks too much, and has been through more than she lets on to people at first glance. I write my feelings more than I say them, and rarely tell people how I really feel in my heart. I've experienced some interesting things and I hope to experience even more. I'm hoping that my old readers will continue to follow my random ramblings on this crazy life, and my new ones will join in on the adventure with me. I'll grow and learn and, in turn, I promise to share that knowledge with you. Hopefully my (mis)adventures will inspire you, or at least make you laugh at my ridiculousness. I'm really looking forward to adding more drive to the next chapter of this Sweet Life.

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