Friday, March 22, 2013

When I Grow Up I Want to be a Mermaid!

I believe we all arrive on the earthly plane with a divine purpose. A few people seem to know from a young age what they are meant to do, and never waver from this course. However, most of us wander, searching into our 20's, 30's and even beyond, for our destiny in this lifetime. Looking back now, I can see that there were clues all along to who and what I would become, I just didn't recognize them at the time.

When I was 9 years old, my family visited the brand-new Disneyland in California. What a wonder of wonders! A truly magical place where fairy tales and my already-active imagination came to life. The highlight of this visit for me was "10,000 Leagues Under the Sea", a submarine ride through a large lagoon, with real-life mermaids swimming by the windows! From the monorail you could look down on these mythical creatures as they lay on the rocks, combing their hair, playing a harp or giggling with their friends while they waved at park-goers. That was it for me! From that day forward when asked "And what do you want to be when you grow up?" my answer was always "A mermaid!" I don't think the adults in my life took me very seriously, but to their credit they never disabused me of the idea, allowing me to continue to dream.

One of my favorite activities growing up was "playing store." I'd print "Sale!" signs in red block letters and tape them on my bedroom windows facing the street. I spent countless happy hours industriously putting price tags on everything I owned, carefully arranging and "merchandising" my toys and stuffed animals. I invited all my little friends to come over to "shop" and I would ring up their purchases on my shoe box "cash register."

The other thing I truly loved as a child was reading. My parents both enjoyed reading, and at a young age I can remember my father telling me "Books are our friends!" so I would treasure and take care of mine. (As I am writing this, there is a storage unit in California filled with boxes of books, waiting for me to come and get them!) My mom would often find me hiding under tablecloths, in closets, and under the covers with a flashlight, lost in some foreign land, living vicariously through the characters in my books. I think my love of books led me to want to write, to share my own stories with the world. In school I was introduced to one of my heroes, Henry David Thoreau. I learned to write poems, and channeled my love of nature and my child's view of spirituality, even having one published at the age of 12. Then I hit my hormone-fueled teenage years and wrote terrible, tormented love-poems, and tear-stained journals. Writing became both my passion and my solace.

Another of my favorite things was making up stories and plays for my friends to act out. I never wanted to be in the play, I just wanted to write the story, the lines for the actors to say, and to direct them in their roles. Somewhere I learned to say "Cut!" and "Back to one!" with great authority, rehearsing them tirelessly (well, I was tireless anyway!) until I deemed them "ready" for our big premiere for our families. (For which we charged 25 cents a head, and in true Broadway fashion, I shamelessly appropriated most of the profits!)

Looking back on all of this I can see that the clues to my life-path were there, my passions clearly defined all along. It's no surprise that for the first 20 years of my working life I managed retail stores, and loved being a "shop keeper." Then I fell into my current career in television and feature film production, loving the collaborative art of helping to bring "stories" to life. My poetry has given way to screenwriting, (who knows, maybe I'll direct some day?) blogging, and now a book series about my spiritual journey. And best of all, I now live in beautiful Hawaii, where I get to swim and play in turquoise waters at every opportunity. My mermaid dreams have finally come true! I know now that for most of my life I have instinctively followed my bliss, without really thinking about it. That is why I have always looked forward to going to work each day. What a blessing, and something that many people never find while working just a "job" that merely brings them money, but no joy! When you do what you love, you love what you do!

I believe that we are all born with our own unique talents, things we are meant to share with the world that make it a better place, gifts that only we can give. Your heart knows your destiny, it has always known, and your intuition is programmed to help you find your way. I think small clues to our destiny can be found in our early passions and interests. If you are still seeking your bliss, I encourage you to look back to the dreams of your childhood. Who knows, maybe you were meant to be a mermaid too? Or a pirate? Or elephant tamer, pilot, clown, or.....? Life is short, let your imagination run wild!

"Faith, trust, and pixie dust!"

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