Friday, September 14, 2012

Finding your calling, and then some

Be regular & orderly in your life, so that you may be violent & original in your work
- Gustave Flaubert

I love that quote, always have. I am just now starting to see, however, that there is a distinction made between "life" and "work", as if the two circles don't quite link together... and I'm not sure how I feel about that. That's beside the point, however, as I am here to share with you this amazingly wonderful news:

I think I've found my calling.
(I'll give you a couple seconds to get the laughter out.)

Go ahead. Take your time.
Have you heard of the term "clicktivism"? Basically, it's the idea that one engages in activism by sharing something online - so, every time you click 'Share' on a political photo on Facebook, you are, essentially, becoming a clicktivist. You could also argue that it's an example of slacktivism, and I wouldn't necessarily try to stop you. Before my inbox is flooded with hate-mail, note that I don't see anything inherently wrong with either of the cutesy-termed categories as, really, at least something is happening. Some message is being spread... just not enough to make an actual difference.

When cheering for a cause is cooler than serving the cause.
Then there's "creative activism", where the aim is to explore and encourage creativity as a means to promote citizen activism. A lot of times, it employs the same tactics as click-and-share methods or petition signing, but never does it stop there. Some of the objectives of a creative activist (and one group, specifically), include:
* Humanitarian Outreach
* Neighborhood Crime Watch
* Urban Exploration
* Empowerment and Awareness Outreach
* Specific Operations
* Law Enforcement Support
* Environmental Outreach
* Community Emergency Response

... notice a difference?
Going back to the quote for a minute, I think I see some room for interpretation. Remember how I wasn't too sure how I felt about the distinction between "life" and "work"? I think that's a true statement, that the two things are distinctly different and separate entities... until you find your calling. Your calling is that place where your regular, orderly life collides with the violent originality of your work, forming something so uniquely balanced that the merge between "life" and "work" is made without any effort on your part. That's how I'm feeling about what I've found.

Can it sound any more New Age, hippies-are-attacking-at-dawn, hide-your-patchoulie? Probably... but, even as-is, I don't care. After having bounced around in the career field, going to school, starting a family and dropping an entire human's-size of weight, I've found something that allows me to make a difference in a way that encourages me to be myself... that challenges me to improve, constantly, and without excuses... that connects me to people across the country... and that, yeah, may let me indulge my crazy writing/social networking/self-defense/badass obsession just a wee bit.

I don't know how this will shape up, other than me being drawn in more and more. I don't know what kind of impact this will have on my children, other than knowing it WILL have an impact on my children. 

I don't know how this will frame the rest of my life, only that I'm excited to let it do just that.

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