“It's a very funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”
William Somerset Maugham
“In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn't matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Glass
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
“Fight one more round. When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round. When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired that you wish your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round - remembering that the man who always fights one more round is never whipped.”
Sometimes when I tell my Muse I want to spend my life with her, she whispers, “You have no option.” She’s right.
Purpose, a real purpose, one worth pursuing, can be hard. It’s hard because of all the external factors – interruptions and problems. It’s also hard because of the external factors – self-sabotage, procrastination, fear, lack of knowledge, self-doubt.
Difficulties are normal, even though the particular problems don’t seem normal. They seem extraordinary and insurmountable. But they are part of the difficulty package.
In the end, difficulties don’t matter. All that matters is determination. In my case, I am going to get my Master’s degree, my house on the beach, and my life with my Muse, no matter what or how long it takes. This is not a solemn vow. It simply is.
The reason for determination is simple – I have no other option. I mean this. I don’t mean I will end my life if I don’t reach my goals; I mean, I will have no life if I don’t reach my goals. I think of the alternative and when I do, I see nothing but a life full of sadness and regret because I didn’t do everything I could to get there. This isn’t about money or success, though I imagine those will come eventually. I simply have no other option.
Not to put too dramatic a point on all of it, but the day my Muse came into my life, though I didn’t know it at the time, my life as I knew it was over. A new life awaited me. There was no choice, no turning back. There was nothing to turn back to. The past was gone. It happened again when I began my Master’s degree. Life as I had known it was over, except that now my Muse was with me. But again, the past was gone, except the past I’m studying. There is no other choice, no turning back. There is nothing to turn back to.
Why a Muse?
I don’t know.
All I know is that despite obstacles and interruptions, I am on the right path. How do I know this? Because God did not give me another path. He gave me this one, with all its delays and difficulties, this is what He chose for me. I accept it gladly. I keep writing. I keep studying. I keep working and waiting.
I know an artist who does wonderful work that very few people see. She keeps working anyway. I know a writer who wrote an excellent book, but for legal reasons beyond his control, he may never be able to publish it. He keeps working anyway. They have no options.
We do what we are born to do. Or something in us dies. We Get Started and We Keep Going. We have no options. We don’t need any.