My ambition appears to be AWOL right now. Not surprisingly in the absence of ambition, I’m finding it hard to feel stressed about this. I would probably be more worried about it, but it has done this before. My ambitious drive is somewhat similar to my childhood dog who would periodically escape our yard to wander for a bit. He always came home, just as I know that my drive to create and put myself forward professionally will come back to me. But in its absence I find myself reveling in the calm security of home things. And I wonder why on earth I wanted to struggle to write and then put myself through an emotional grinder to attempt to publish. I already have so many important and difficult things to do without that as well.
But in the back of my brain a quiet little voice whispers a that once I had a strong feeling that finishing my book is somehow important. The voice is a mere echo, soft and low. I hear it, but I’m not ready to rediscover that sense of importance. I’m not ready to do all the hard and scary things necessary to bring that project to completion. It has been so nice to vanish into my supportive roles, to be wife, mother, business manager, neighbor, sister, daughter, and friend; all roles where I am defined by how I relate to others. I even find scriptural and religious evidence that self-abnegation in the service of others is a good thing. I remember how a decade ago I used to picture myself as a sturdy, deep thread in the tapestry of life; the kind of thread that is almost invisible but makes the beautiful patterns possible. That is who my younger self believed I would be. I remember that then wonder from whence came the drive which has me stepping forward to attempt to weave a shiny pattern of my own? Religion and scripture answer me here as well. Yes, I am to serve others, but the primary point of my existence on earth is to learn, grow, and become. The service I give is to teach me as much as it is to bind me to others and assist them. Because all I will get to take with me when I go are the things in my head and the relationships I have formed.
So I am called to step forward, do hard things, be not afraid. I must follow the call, not for personal ambition or aggrandizement, but because I feel it is the right thing to do. The call is soft right now, like the distant bark of a dog headed home, but I know it is coming. Then it will be time to stop resting and work again. At the moment I don’t look forward to that, but I know when I get there I will find the work rewarding.