“What in your life is calling you? When all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists laid aside, and the wild iris blooms by itself in the dark forest, what still pulls on your soul? In the silence between your heartbeats hides a summons, do you hear it? Name it, if you must, or leave it forever nameless, but why pretend it is not there?” — The Terma Collective

When all the noise is silenced. When distractions around you come to a halt. When you are laying awake at night at 3 AM thinking about your past, your future, the things you wish you would’ve done and the things you plan to do. When all the meetings adjourned. When your peers and family members and teachers stop telling you who you should be. When you decide for yourself who you truly are, instead of conforming to society’s standards and predispositions. When all the lists laid aside. When you push everything that you have to do today, or this week, or this year out of your mind. When you forget about the checklist of qualities or talents or beliefs you’re supposed to have. When the wild iris blooms by itself in the dark forest. When you decide to take your own path, follow your heart, make your own decisions, even if no one is holding your hand along the way. When you decide that it is okay to be “the only one” as long as you’re doing what you love.

What still pulls on your soul? When you look deep inside, past all of the things you’ve been told you need to do by someone else, and past everything you feel obligated to do because some overcritical, ignorant outside source tells you to. What do you see? Where does your deepest, burning passion lie?

Think about it.

But don’t just think about it. Embrace it like never before.

Joseph Campbell once said, “follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be” (The Power of Myth). Follow your bliss. Find what makes you happy and don’t let go of it because that is what is going to allow you to live your life to the fullest.

They say that if you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life, and I plan to hold that saying close to me as I continue my education and eventually find a full-time job. I have heard of way too many people hating their job, which they go to every day, saying that they dread waking up in the morning because they know they have to go to work again. Why would you put yourself through that? If you are unhappy with your job, you are unquestionably holding yourself back from being truly, completely happy. And isn’t that everyone’s goal in life? To be happy?

You have the power to do whatever you want with your life. You are in full control of every decision you make. You decide who you are, and what you do. So follow your bliss. Listen to your heart. Do what makes you happy because it’s the only way that you are truly going to be happy. And everyone deserves to be happy.

Sometimes it is hard to go against social norms. It’s hard to break through that wall that society builds between who you “should” be and who you want to be. But if your true passion lies on the other side of that wall, I believe that anyone can find the courage and strength to chase after it. It’s scary to be alone, but being brave and getting to do what you love and what you’re passionate about is incomparably better than conforming to society and getting stuck doing something you despise for the rest of your life.

So don’t let society tell you that you cannot be a doctor, or an artist, or a caretaker, or a chef. Don’t even let your parents tell you that you are destined to take over the family business if that is not where your passion lies. Create your own path, and associate yourself with people who will open doors for you, not close them. Don’t be afraid to be the wild iris, blooming by itself in the dark forest. Do what you love because you will be happy for it.

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