Prior to turning 40, I felt discontent with my life’s direction. These feelings prompted me to really examine what I want from life and to act accordingly. If it sounds kinda mid-life crisis-y, trust me it was/is.
Last year, I left my comfortable job for a job whose primary upside is that my really long commute affords me hours and hours of podcasts listening. Fortunately, I really love podcasts.
And, the podcast to rule all podcasts in my heart is The James Altucher Show. On a recent episode, James and author Steven Pressfield delve into the different aspects of figuring out your purpose and starting your own hero’s journey. I listened to this fantastic episode at least twice. The James Altucher Show – 441 – Steven Pressfield: It’s Not Too Late to Become the Hero of Your Journey.
Well into adulthood, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what I wanted to do with my life. The conventional advice is always to think back to what you loved as a child. Even after racking my brain, I could never remember anything.
While de-cluttering, I found a Slang Book in which my 12-year-old self listed what she wanted to be when she grew up. On line 5, I wrote that I wanted to be a lawyer or work in advertising. While these professions don’t sound similar, they are both story-tellers.
Ah-yes, I forgot about this time period and throughout high school when I spent hours and hours writing shitty poetry and journaling. That love of writing and story-telling was there waiting for me to re-discover it.
In the past year, here are some times in which I felt I was on the right path.
When I wrote:
- my Women in Tech Story blog post.
- that my “Diversity Super Power” was“telling my unique story and encouraging others to tell their stories” on a post-it note at MS Ignite Tour DC
- my “Blog Like No One is Reading” session for Grace Hopper Celebration 2019.
Add all of these things with the fact that I find myself getting powerful urges to write. Stop EVERYTHING urges.
Maybe all of this is hokey new-age bullshit, but I feel like I’m in the process of staring my own hero’s journey. If I follow my bliss, writing is a part of it. I also feel this strong connection to encouraging others. When I do these things, I feel in my heart that I’m on the right path.
In the above-mentioned James Altucher ep, Pressfield defines a mid-life crisis as the awakening of the desire for you to figure out who you are, why you are here, and begin your hero’s journey (if you haven’t already). Okay, yup, this pretty much applies to me. Mid-life crisis or the hero’s journey, I think I’m ready to answer the call.
Now that I’ve shared what I believe is the start of my own hero’s journey, I’ve gotta know do you think that everyone has a hero’s journey inside of them? If so, do you know what your journey looks like?
PS – Here are some resources if you are interested in learning more about the hero’s journey concept.
- What is the Hero’s Journey?: Pat Soloman at TEDxRockCreekPark – YouTube
- Joseph Campbell’s “Power of Myth“
- Steven Pressfield’s “War on Art“
2 thoughts on “Answering the Call?”
Consider reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alchemist_(novel) it’s a great book on the same topic.
Thanks for the suggestion! I read that book over the summer. I really enjoyed it.
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