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August 12, 2013

Lisa Madras: Do you understand you?

NEW CASTLE — What do you understand today about your life that you did not understand a year ago?

A coworker and I had a conversation this morning about "true callings."  It sounds like sort of a wishy washy thing, especially since so many of us would say our true calling is winning the Powerball and spending the rest of our lives on a tropical island surrounded by luxury and beautiful people.

But when you get to the bare bones of the situation, there really is a true calling inside each and every one of us.  The problem is, many of us stopped looking for it around the time we graduated high school or college with whatever degree we happened to get.

I thought for most of my life that being a writer was my true calling.  It was something that I really enjoyed, something that I was fairly decent at, and something that came very easily to me.  But you see, the mistake that I made was assuming that just because something came naturally to me, it was by default my "true calling."

I wrote poetry in my earlier years, music-less lyrics that served no other purpose than allowing me to enjoy the taste and texture of a language I loved so dearly.  Later on, I wrote about being a mother.  Then I spent some time chronicling other people's stories.  I loved all of these things enough that I still enjoyed myself and it still came easily to me.

When I stated writing this blog, I wanted to find my way out of the black hole my life had become, and I wanted anyone else who was there to find their way out with me.

And it was then that I realized I would never again be happy unless I was helping someone else.  I didn't understand this until I'd actually done it.  Now I can't imagine my life's purpose being anything else.

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