The Call

If you’ve watched Moana, you’re familiar with the song “How Far I’ll Go.” If not, you should watch it, but in the meantime, I’ll summarize. The song is all about feeling this pull toward something (in Moana’s case, the sea and what lies beyond). This feeling is incredibly intense – enough so that she sings about it three times during the movie. I love the song, but when I watched the movie for the first time, I was sad that I’d never felt such an intense call to do something in my life.

And then I thought about it. I wondered what things are most important in my life. My family. My future husband. My writing. Why wasn’t I dancing around singing about how those things call to me? My boyfriend was the one who pointed out the answer to me, when he asked if I had ever felt “the call” with him. I said that of course I had, back when we had first started dating – but once we became serious, I didn’t have to want him, I already had him. And that answered my question – things did call to me, but I’d gotten so used to the call always being there that I no longer took notice of it. The call had become a part of me.

Writing calls to me. Other than brief stints wanting to be a teacher or an Olympic gymnast, I’ve always been telling stories and wanted to do that for a living, no matter how impossible it was. Even when I get discouraged, when book sales are down or an editor and I just aren’t on the same page, I keep coming back to writing. Sometimes I’ll go weeks without writing, but ideas for stories are constantly running around in my head. Even now, when I’m working on a series that should occupy me for the next two years, I keep thinking of other ideas. As I put them on the back burner, I tell them I’ll be back for them in two years. Even if I can never write full time, it’s what I really want to do. My 9-5 is just a 9-5.

I’ve come to realize that “the call” becomes such a normal part of our daily lives that there comes a time when we stop taking notice of it. It’s always there, so it doesn’t stand out to us anymore. It becomes a part of us. But if someone who didn’t know you took a look at your life, that’s what they would notice – that thing that calls to you.

If they made a movie about your life, “the call” is what it would be about.

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