If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you know that I didn’t start out my career life as a writer. I earned a B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics then a post-graduate diploma in Communicative Disorders before finishing off my 8 year stint of post-secondary education with an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology. I worked as a speech-language pathologist in the school district and private practice full time for two years before having my first child and then part-time for another 4 years until I found myself at a crossroads.

Essentially, I had limited hours in the day – as do we all – and I had to decide what I would do with that time. Would I continue on in a career that wasn’t fulfilling me, or would I follow my heart into an abyss, not knowing what was to come…but certain that I had the potential to add more passion to my life?

Well, you know what I chose.

I have wrestled with a lot over these past few years, on my self-discovery journey. I’ve had to ask myself questions like, did I waste 8 years of my life ‘studying the wrong thing’? What about all that time and money and energy? What about the money I could be earning right now as a speech-language pathologist? If I worked full-time in private practice…whoa…very different ballgame here.

But it always comes down to this: Every day that I show up in this world as a professional writer – not a hobby writer, not a wish-I-was-a-writer, not a someday-in-the-future-writer – is a day that I show up authentically in the world. It’s a day that my soul rejoices and celebrates the fact that I know who I am and I’m acting on it.

I absolutely know that circumstances can dictate the amount of time we spend on the things that make our soul happy: sometimes they are hobbies and sometimes they are careers. Sometimes they are hobbies that transition into careers. And every circumstance is perfect as long as that *thing* that screams “This is ME!” is in our lives in one way or another. For me, it was an eyes closed, heart open, deep dive into the unknown. I am grateful every day for the support the Universe has provided me in this lifetime to be able to do this.

The writing and speaking work has ebbed and flowed in perfect time. Sometimes things come up unexpectedly: one article led to a radio interview which then led to two speaking engagements. It’s been exciting and unpredictable and a full-time learning experience. I’ve had to deal with my own ego and learn to be super patient with the Universe (and myself!). I’ve had to learn to go after opportunities or simply create them myself. If you’d have been a fly on my wall at any given moment over the last few years, you’d undoubtedly have found me crying on the kitchen floor at some point, wondering how I would grow my business and my family without going totally bonkers. Where would the time come from? And the energy? And why wasn’t I where I thought I should be at that point?

But I would never go back in time to that crossroads and opt for the other choice. I would never exchange my life over the past 4 years for anything else. Why?

Because I am moved by my own work. I am moved by the messages I share on my blog and in other publications. I’m moved by the thoughts that flow out of me on stage when I’m talking about love and kindness and building bridges. I’m awe-struck that the very deep, quiet thoughts I had as a child about the way we ought to live with each other on this planet are actually being published. And people are inviting me to share these thoughts with them. Most importantly, I’m grateful for every night I put my head on my pillow after a day of being who I truly am – and that I can share this part of me with my kids.

Being moved by my own work allows me to be a cheerleader to those around me who are also paving their own way. I strongly believe we each have messages to share with this world, even by simply being those messages, and I think it’s a crying shame when we suppress that part of ourselves. So when I see friends or strangers stepping into who they are, I feel a sense of relief for them.

Here’s a quote I love from Gabrielle Bernstein who sums this up, brilliantly:

Gabrielle Bernstein, moved by your work, success, definition of success, addicted to success, let me out creative, taslim jaffer, career change, writer, speech-language pathologist

I wrote about my definition of success last week and this really resonated with many of you. I think acting on our personal definitions will help us create more fulfilling lives.

I’m looking forward to seeing Gabrielle Bernstein speak in Vancouver on Saturday December 5, 2015. I always love being in the presence of someone who has made a living doing what they are passionate about, and I love the crowd that chooses to go to these events, too.

If you’re feeling like something is missing from your life, it’s probably your ‘ME’ factor. So, I encourage you to get back to the things you love doing, in whatever capacity, and make them a regular part of your life. Remember that everything ebbs and flows in perfect time, and your current circumstance won’t exist a year from now, or maybe even 6 months from now. Just do what you can with what you have, but let there be something in your life that screams, “This is ME!”