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Know Jack #393 A Question of Balance

“To learn as we grow old, The secrets of our soul…”

The Moody Blues

When I was in nursing school, I was asked by a classmate how I worked as a nurse aide all night and went to school all day. For a moment, I wasn’t sure how to answer. In a way, I really didn’t know. It turned out that I didn’t have to answer. One of my instructors was standing nearby and spoke up for me. “When you want something bad enough,” she said. “You do what you have to do.”

I admit there were those in class that thought I had bewitched the instructors. I don’t believe it, I’m not that charming. Blessed, yes. Charming, no. I think they valued daring. By that point in my life, I should have known better than volunteer—I didn’t. Rarely did I reach the double-dog level.

I still haven’t decided if I’m unafraid of failing (again) or just a fool. I lean toward the latter. That particular attribute often comes in handy. As a writer, there are times your want-to is put to the test. If you want to write badly enough, you just do whatever it takes. You stay up late and get up before dawn. You follow rules you don’t want to; you turn criticism into strength; and you exchange privacy for publicity.

The things that seem to satisfy our natural desires are not always the things that satisfy our souls. It is a shame that, too often, such knowledge comes with age. However, it does come. Attaining one’s dreams has more to do with listening to the soul and paying the cost than it does with talent or good fortune.


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