Follow Your Passion

event planner, event management, wedding planner, coastal carolina events, elaina avalos, oprah winfrey, passion and purpose, passion

In April, I wrote this post about dreaming about what comes next. In the months since – I started thinking about the future, dreaming, and applying for jobs. But, without any job offers and only one interview, I grew a little discouraged. At every turn I felt like I missed opportunities to move out of the area and into my next career. Beyond what I hope it means for my career – I also hope this change opens the door to meet someone. As in – someone to build a life with. The pickins’ are slim up in this joint (haha).

Now that I’m nearing the end of a work “project,” I truly have the full freedom to pursue a move out of state – or even the country – I’m nervous about taking the first steps. But I’m ready for something new. Have you ever felt that? Maybe I’d describe it as being certain that you need something new, but the path you’re taking to where you want to go, isn’t quite certain.

What I know for certain is that I no longer have a passion for what I’m doing. I once did. I probably still would. But with changes beyond my control, to the program I’ve given much of my adult life to, it’s not the same. But I’ve felt the pull to move on to something different, for some time. I found the dream in 2019. It was the right job, but the wrong place. That is what I dream of now – getting back to that place. I’m going to follow my passion. And while I don’t know exactly how all of this will come together, I do know the pieces will fall into place soon.

What has helped you gain clarity, when you’ve been on the precipice of major change? What advice have you been given or used, for planning major life change?

I listen to Being Well, a podcast by Dr. Rick Hanson and his son Forrest, often. Recently, they aired an episode that is helping form the foundation for how I will make decisions in the near future. I’ll be listening again this week. The title is, “How to Make a Big Decision.” If you are interested, you can find it here.

The Trouble With Wanting

“And if you never come back
If you never call
I say I’ll understand when I don’t at all

‘Cause the trouble with wanting is I want you
The trouble with wanting is I want you
The trouble with wanting is I want you
And I want you all the time”
– Joy Williams

I don’t understand. I don’t think I ever will. But I’m certain, somewhere in the quiet places, I’ll always miss you. Around dark corners, when the busy days grow quiet – I will wonder. I will think of you.

These days, when the day fades, in the quiet of these humid summer evenings, I wish to understand. But the artist in me knows that the beauty in life, is often found in the grey. In the hazy spaces, where things don’t make sense, is where life grows deeply vibrant. Pain turns to growth. We find truth, art, beauty. It’s sometimes buried deep – but by God – it’s there.

My greatest joy has always been born from pain.

I am not sure I’ll ever understand. But I’ve certainly learned, in a way that makes me a better version of me, from what I’ve lost or don’t understand. And you, the man I’d burn it all down for, are no different.

“There are more questions than answers. In the beauty of this wild thing, I long for you. What is and will not be follows me around like a coastal fog. Through the haze I see you. I don’t hold it against you – you can’t tame wild things.

I live here in this tension, with what will not be, settling into the cold, wild – alone.”

I don’t hold it against you.

But, I think somewhere in my heart, I will always miss you.

You Own Everything That Happened to You

Anne Lamott, You Own Everything That Happened to You, Elaina Avalos, Elaina M. Avalos

I’ve held back. I’ve held back personally, professionally, and in my writing. I’ve been quiet when I should have been loud. I’ve shrunk back from speaking the truth. More importantly, I’ve done that in my writing – in ways I hate to admit.

You own everything that happened to you. I own everything that happened to me. I won’t be holding back – in how I live, how I write, and what I write. Whether it’s the truth about the hurt (and who has hurt me), the love, or the great joys in life – it’s all fair game, going forward. I’ve lived in the shadow of other people’s expectations for too long.

I refuse to do so any longer.

Know When to Let Go

I’m waiting in a parking lot for my boss’s father in law to drop off some food we will be serving at upcoming events. Sounds weird without more context, I’m sure. But as I wait, I’m thinking a lot about the next month ahead. There will be more opportunities than I can count, to let go, practice mindfulness, and work on meditating my way through what will be some challenging circumstances. In these quiet few minutes while I wait, I wanted to share this podcast, which has helped me today, to know when to let go.

I listen to it often. This one hit in just the right spot. There are a number of things, people, and circumstances I need to let go of. What I appreciated about this particular episode was the way that they addressed the fact that there are absolutely times when we need to let go and walk away. And times when we do need to stick it out. But – our American mindset of never give up, can sometimes be unhealthy.

Navigating which is which could be tricky. But I think Dr. Hanson gave some great pointers for figuring out what could be yellow or red flags to help you determine when to let go, walk away, etc. The direct link is: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/being-well-with-dr-rick-hanson/id1120885936?i=1000528595921.

I hope you find it helpful. I did.

Don’t Should On Yourself

I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve wanted to – but it hasn’t been there. The words are jumbled in my head. I couldn’t quite get them to flow to my fingertips. There have been some tough things going on. If I didn’t work where I work, I might share. Maybe they’ll appear in a book someday (people who have been mean to me should watch out – haha). I haven’t been able to work on the novels, either. Last weekend, I got a stack of books at the library on our local military installation. I came home and read non-stop (except to sleep) the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday. It was glorious. I read more this week than I have in ages (after work). I come home and climb into bed to read. The TV hasn’t been on much. It has been restful in that sense.

The energy to work on the novels has been missing. The inspiration feels a little lost in the challenges of the day to day. In other news, my muse is being a real $%&* and doesn’t feel like coming out to play. But one thing I’ve learned lately is to accept what is in the moment. There’s so much freedom in that. I don’t feel much desire to coax it out of me. I’m dealing with a bunch of stuff I’d rather not. Why beat myself up if I don’t feel it right now?

That said, I’m making an attempt this evening, whilst making a cake and potato salad (haha), to do a little reading in my manuscript, with the hopes I can get the juices flowing again. But I will say that if it doesn’t happen, I’m not putting many “shoulds” on me going forward.

So I guess that’s what this little post is about – don’t should on yourself. There’s so much pressure around us to be and do things that others think we should do and be. We do it to ourselves, too. I can’t do that anymore. The pressure I’ve placed on myself is not pressure that needed to be placed on me.

So tonight, if I end up climbing in bed to read more of Beach Music, that’s the way it goes. A lot has happened. I don’t know what the future holds. I mean, I know what I want. What will actually be? No clue. I have carried more than I needed to. I’m certain others can relate. So I’m sharing here to encourage you to do the same – don’t should on yourself.

As for the song, I’m all over the place right now – uncertain about the future, missing what’s missing, and a little confused. But I have a high hope. Things don’t make sense now. But I’m certain they will. So while I’m waiting for the picture to be more clear, I’ll keep hoping and praying for what I’ve waited for, for so long.

“Know you’re coming from a bad place
Honey, I was there just yesterday
So I know the time it’s gonna take
For you to feel like you again

Wonder if you’re seeing colours yet
And if your spirit needs a tourniquet
‘Cause if it does I can hold you tight enough
Help you forget ’em for a minute, love
I know you got a heart of gold
You wear it like an olden rose

I’ve got a high, high, high, high hope
We can climb this burning rope
And I’ll be here if you need me
If you don’t, just know
I’ve got a high, high, high, high hope”