Yesterday we lost a great innovator. Someone who is most certainly the Edison of our generation. Upon hearing about the death of Steve Jobs I was immediately reminded of his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. As a former public speaker teacher I highly recommend checking out this speech as it is truly one of the finest examples of inspirational speaking. Like many others I decided to revisit that speech after hearing about Steve’s passing.While I always felt really connected to the part where he speaks of following your heart and finding something you love to do, yesterday I was struck most powerfully by the part of “connecting the dots.”
“…you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life” (Steve Jobs).
This got me thinking of my own life and where I am today. I wrote a couple months into my pregnancy about becoming a stay at home mom. While I wanted to be a mom for quite some time, I was occasionally ambivalent in my decision to not go back to work. Like most college graduates, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. So I went to graduate school, taught at the college level, quit to work a retail job, worked for my father, then back to teaching. I consistently beat myself up for not finding the career like so many of my peers. Why couldn’t I be happy with what I was currently doing? All the while I knew I wanted something more and I hadn’t found it yet. I trusted myself enough to know that.
Last night while I was rocking my baby to sleep, it was as if all the dots connected right before my very eyes. This is what I am meant to do. And it is true, I never could have predicted getting to the place I am today the way I did. All I know is that it is a happy place, a place filled with endless joy even in the most trying situations (I am looking at you colic). I am so proud to be Jackson’s mama. He makes me feel like anything is possible–for him and for me. My other career goals now feel more accessible, within reach. I want to teach. I want to write. I want to create things. I refuse to limit myself. But if I hadn’t done all of the other things in my life, I am not sure I could sit here in this place with such certainty. So here is to connecting the dots and living the life we dream about.