I was sitting alone ready to read a book about making money. I’ve finished a Master’s degree in history and now it’s time to move on to the next phase of life. My biggest challenge is a lack of money. If I had significantly more money, I could change a lot of things. So I looked at the money books section of my bookshelf and picked one. As I started reading it, I realized that I really didn’t want to read it. It’s not that I don’t want to read or study or learn; it’s just that I didn’t want to read a book about money. It was making me tense. I sat quietly trying to understand what was happening and I realized I felt this feeling before. Years ago I was reading a book on teaching and I felt the same discomfort. I wanted to throw the book on the floor…hard. There was nothing wrong with the book or the subject; it just wasn’t what I wanted. Eventually, too many years later, despite reading several books on education I finally changed careers because it wasn’t what I wanted to do. It never had been.
Becoming an expert on money is not what I want to do either. I want to make money, of course. I want to be knowledgeable and wise and informed. What I do not want to do is spend the next several hours, days, and weeks reading on the subject.
I stayed quiet as I continued hearing my heart. Mariachi music was playing on a neighbor’s radio. Seagulls were squawking over the dumpsters. I barely heard any of that. All I could hear was the message of my heart. “Study U.S. Presidents. Read about what you love. Life is so precious and short. Do what you love. Be with the people you love. Read what you love. Learn what you love.”
Now I try to not be impulsive because that trait has often led me to make bad decisions. But this time I was impulsive and I went back to that bookshelf and took almost all of the money books about thinking like a millionaire and living like a millionaire and having the bank account of a millionaire and I put them in the closet. Then I filled the empty space with books on Watergate and the Nixon era. I did, however, leave a few money books there, because I’m not giving up the subject entirely. I’m just not giving it precedence.
Where will this all lead me? I still want enough wealth to send my kids and grandkids to college and I still want a house on the beach and I don’t know a lot of rich historians. But I’ve spent most of my life not following my heart and I caused myself and others a lot of pain. And on top of all that, I’m broke trying to undo the mess I’ve made by not following my heart. So I don’t know where this will lead me, but I know I immediately felt happier and lighter and more energetic and enthusiastic. I felt my Muse smiling approvingly. I feel like I’m ready to Get Started and Keep Going again. And I feel ready for history.