Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Storyteller's Dilemma

I used to think I was good at everything. At least, everything I put my mind to and am passionate about. But I'm wondering if my passion for something doesn't necessarily mean I should pursue it. Professionally, especially, personally perhaps.

There's one thing I've always been good at, and that's storytelling. When I was a kid I "published" several "books" through our elementary school's "publishing house." One on ballet, another on my dog. I still have them somewhere. For some reason, I thought I had something to say, so I wrote it down and illustrated it.

My oldest diary starts in 1992, when I was 9 years old. Shockingly, it was a Precious Moments journal. We lived a few minutes from the location of the Precious Moments Chapel in Southern Missouri, so it was natural that I loved the stuff. Since 1992, I filled journal after journal. When I was in high school I did what I'll call "mixed media" journals. I took things I posted on my LiveJournal, things I cut out of magazines, and I put them together into an emotional explosion of my life as a teenager. In 2006, I started Just Call Me Chaviva to catalog my Jewish journey. Oddly enough, I didn't start the blog at the beginning of my journey to Judaism, but rather the moment I lept from the mikvah. That was the beginning of a chapter, if you will. At some point in college, I became the Kvetching Editor, and since then I've successfully branded myself, my vision, my story, in kind.

I tell stories. Mostly I tell stories that ooze out of my own experiences, and that's what I've always been good at. Maybe people like me aren't meant to exist in the real world, but rather in words and pages and compositions.

Of course, the question is, how do you monetize yourself?

Or, better yet, do you even want to monetize yourself? In a perfect world, I'd have millions of dollars in my pocket and I'd just write. And write. And write. Until my fingers curled from overuse.

I guess I'm not sure what I'm doing right now. Emotionally, I'm invested in finding a spouse and making cute little mini mes. Professionally, I guess I feel confused. I'm trying to figure out whether my personal passions translate into professional success. And if they don't, then where that leaves me.

I wish I could fall in line. Life would be easier that way. I don't know how I ended up this way, but for some reason all I have in me is letters and words and sentences and paragraphs and narratives.