While I'm not one to really fall for such "perfect match" thinking about life, I have to confess that I've been stirred several times this week to wonder - did I miss finding the real me?
The first moment was over fish tacos at the public market on Pike Street here in Seattle.
Surely, I thought, as I realized freshly caught Pacific cod is the real deal maker when it comes to piling stuff into a corn tortilla and calling it a fish taco...surely I was meant to be a traveling food writer. Oh, wouldn't that be the best job ever? I'm pretty sure sampling a local chocolate shop's unique delicacies would be on a traveling food writer's list of culinary explores, too...right?
Yep. Chocolate covered Twinkies.
And what about the sea of flowers, and the smiling faces of the people who spend the day bundling fragrance and color into water filled baggies for awestruck flower lovers to buy? Wouldn't there be unmitigated joy in sitting with beautiful flowers all day every day? Maybe I should have been a florist.
And the fresh produce...could there be anything more gratifying than growing tasty and nutritious foods from seed and dirt, and then offering those treasures to a hungry and appreciative public? Maybe I should have been a farmer.
And the glass...oh the art of glass and it's many poetic properties. Once designed and fired and shaped and engineered and lit - ah...it bathes the world in wonder and beauty and reflection, all the while screaming FRAGILE. I almost forgot my brief plunge into the world of glass bead making, as I began to wonder - should I have been an artist?
Not all professed callings in life are pretty, though, are they? Some are profound. Some are perverse.
What if you are called to learn to speak two languages - let's say, French and Arabic - and are invited by the State Department to be US ambassador to - let's say, Libya? What if you love the people of Libya and have come to be family with the other Americans who work alongside you? What if you believe it is your calling to make a difference in a desperate situation on a terrifying day? Should a real calling ever end this way?
What if you are an Israeli-American Jew who believes "Islam is a cancer, period," and you raise $5 million to make a movie that depicts the prophet of Islam - Muhammad - as a fool, philanderer, and religious fake? Is that, too, a calling? Does the calling feel more or less worthy if you have gone into hiding now, and fear for the safety of your family because your calling might have stirred this deadly attack at the US Consulate in Libya last night?
Do you ever feel like you completely missed your calling in life?
What about Chris Stevens?
Did they miss theirs?