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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Finding Your Own New Soul

Taking a break from wrapping hamantaschen...

A dear friend wrote recently about her desire to throw in the towel on a writing project feeling as if she was banging her head against the wall way too much for it to be healthy and productive (hey, sweetie!). A small shift brought her to a different path--a happier path--and it reminded me of a quote I read on Yael Naim's website recently:
“It’s a dream I almost gave up on along the way,” says Yael Naim about her first album released by Tôt ou Tard. Without meeting the multi-instrumentalist David Donatien, to whom she dedicated two years and who illuminated the artist with his talents as arranger and director, it’s true that this project would have been forgotten at the back of a cupboard.
Of course, she is now known as the new MacBook Air girl with her single, "New Soul," serving as the background music as the new computer slips out of the envelope.

I am not the fan of ideologies that tell you to keep trying until you reach your dreams--I think there are times when the process is too unhealthy and not worth the end-goal--nor do I enjoy hearing someone preach that anything is possible. Because, we know all too well that some things are impossible. Or not realistically possible.

But I do believe in letting go of the specifics around a goal and accepting it in a new shape or form. There is beauty in all other choices too--but sometimes we are so focused on our original plan that we fail to notice the adornments around our own possible Plan Bs, even if we can recognize the beauty in that option for a person besides ourselves.

I believe in reshifting dreams until the end-goal is within reach and I think we often do that by stepping off of a current path and moving instead to one with equal but different obstacles. And sometimes that reshifting is all we need to achieve what we've been desiring, though we never know the success of the current shift until that goal is met. It is hard sometimes to see if the next path is working until it works; if it is worth waiting out or whether another shift would be a better use of time and emotional capital.

And I do like a good success story that comes from a person who has shifted several times to meet her end goal, especially one that includes an Israeli singer who is currently my background music as I paint and sew Purim costumes. In a bad bad week for the Jews with Mr. Spitzer and the Israeli pimp, it is nice to also create the counterbalance with Yael Naim.

So if you are craving a rebirth; needing a change; staring at the next path and wondering if it is a better path:

I'm a new soul,
I came to this strange world,
Hoping I could learn a bit about how to give and take.
But since I came here,
Felt the joy and the fear,
Finding myself making every possible mistake.


I'm a young soul,
In this very strange world,
Hoping I could learn a bit about what is true and fake.
But why all this hate?
Try to communicate.
Finding trust and love is not always easy to make.


This is a happy end,
'Cause you don't understand,
Everything you have done.
Why's everything so wrong?
This is a happy end,
Come and give me your hand,
I'll take your far away.

I'm a new soul,
I came to this strange world,
Hoping I could learn a bit about how to give and take.
But since I came here,
Felt the joy and the fear,
Finding myself making every possible mistake.
The new soul,
In this very strange world,
Possible mistakes, possible mistakes,
Every possible mistakes,
Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes,

To the writer who knows who she is--you made the right choice and I can't wait to see you shine on this new path.


Denise said...

Thanks for posting. I've been meaning to look up who this artist is-I love the song.

It must be great advertising when they pick a song like this and every time you hear it you think of that commercial. Not that I'm gonna go out and buy a Macbook Air, but I'm just sayin.

Jess said...

Beautiful post, Mel. Thoughts to the author, whoever she is.

SarahSews said...

A shift in focus can be so useful. It can be so rejuvinating to let go of one path and try another. Setting out on new paths has given me the best rewards.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Mel. This is so true. Often we are afraid to shift paths, but at some point that first path can become a treadmill.

Starfish said...

It's so true. And thanks so much for posting this. I do believe there comes a point where some dreams become fantasy, and it becomes unhealthy to keep holding on. As someone who did shift paths, I find myself wanting to tell everyone I know who is struggling that at least for me, the end of that new road held things so much more wonderful than I ever dreamed. And, I find myself applying this lesson to so many other things in my life that go wrong.

Fertilized said...

You are all too brilliant and versed. We had this discussion at lunch with a few fellow co-workers friday

loribeth said...

Thank you for this, Mel. : )

shinejil said...

Beautiful post, Mel.

Unfortunately, your first phrase has taken over my brain (i.e. the thought of delicious hamantaschen being wrapped). I can almost smell 'em!

Tara said...

Great post Mel. I think about this often and hope that I will have the strength and knowledge to know when it is time to shift paths.

annacyclopedia said...

Another one of your posts that just take my breath away with their brilliance.

I totally agree that we need to be open to the beauty of other paths than the one we are on or think we need to be on. And I think the shifting you are talking about often comes in the form of being receptive to possibilities as opposed to actively going in search of them.

Awesome post. And thanks for putting a name to that great song - I've been meaning to look her up, too. Off to check out her website.

JuliaS said...

I am a great one for beating my head against a wall.

Thanks for the reminder that sometimes it's okay to take another route around that wall and save my poor aching head.


beagle said...

I like the visual of altering your course instead of abandoning ship . . . if only I could remember it every time I feel like jumping!

Great post.

Lori said...

Know what's funny?

After about the 18th time I heard that commercial and it pleasantly stuck in my head (this was some time last week), I looked up the singer.

I checked out her webpage and thought, "I bet Mel would really like Yael Naim."


Pamela Jeanne said...

Shifting paths ...Leaving the comfort of what we thought and going somewhere new makes us vulnerable all over again. Jumping from one dream to formulate another, well it doesn't get much more terrifying and at the same time exhilarating than that! Thanks for this post, Mel.

Bea said...

Well said. Sometimes it's easy to get focussed on a particular concept and forget about the other directions you could take with the same "project".