Last Thursday was one of these days when I thought I can’t do it. Sitting in the hospital, waiting for my quarterly check-up, knowing that I won’t be able to work all day, again, I came to the conclusion that I need to cut at least one of my work-related activities. I can’t be a writer, a counselor, and a public speaker. One has to go, but which one?
It didn’t take me long to take a decision. Writing is my life. I can’t live without it. Even if I will never make much money with it, will never get published again, will have to force my friends to read what I have written, I’d still be writing. Writing can’t go, simple as that.
Counseling can’t go either. I fought fifteen months to get licensed. I have a Master in Psychology, which took way longer than fifteen months, and I always knew I want to help people. Giving up on that – no.
So there I was, only activity left was public speaking. For everyone who doesn’t know, public speaking requires a ton of marketing. Calls after calls. Searching the internet for speaking opportunities. Writing proposals. Writing your speech. Preparing slides, and the best of it, it doesn’t pay right away. You don’t make your first speech, and then walk off with a check in your hand. It takes many, many speeches before you get paid to speak. When I left the hospital, I had made my decision. I’m a writer, I’m a counselor, the end. I wasn’t happy about this decision, wasn’t even sure it’s the right one, but necessary.
Later that day I told my husband. Why I can’t do it all. Why I can’t do public speaking any longer. In return, he reminded me why I started all three of them. What made me believe in all three of them to begin with. Writing, you know, is my passion. And if something is your heart’s desire, if you’d work your butt off for this dream, would continue doing it even if no one would every pay you a dime for it, then this is the area you will eventual accomplish the most in.
Counseling is my profession. I went to university for this. I’m good at it. I love helping others, and I love making a difference in people’s lives.
And speaking, he reminded me, is where it all comes together. I speak to writers, tell them how to defeat self-doubt, because every writer struggles with it. Speaking connects me with my kind of people. Also, I speak about patient-centered care, because I know from counseling, and from my own experience how important it is, to involve the patient in his/her medical care. Only when I know why I take medication X, get treatment Y, or been poked with a needle every month, I will comply.
Three activities, three pillars, one dream = Doing what I love to do. Write, listen, speak. Sometimes it’s good to have someone by your side who reminds you of your why. Someone reminding you to just do today, and simply follow your dreams because they know the way.