The key to happiness is accepting yourself for all your limitations, and doing so in the face of what the world tells you is happiness.

I realize that family, friends, and spending time with those you love is exactly what life should be about, and yet I can’t help but find myself yearning for that quiet time when the world turns completely still. There’s this thing that happens to me when I hear the sound of pen scratching on paper that fills me with complete and utter joy – and this is a joy that can only come about by me shutting my doors, turning off my phones, and abandoning my computer.

Quite recently I found myself going through an identity-crisis, wondering who I’ve turned into and whether or not this is who I really want to be. I did the only logical thing (for me) to do, and that’s pray for the strength to see the time through so that I can know where my path is heading.

Sometimes I pray for the wrong things. The truth is, I’m not the kind of person who’s interested in knowing “where” the path is leading me. Joy is found in the journey, in simply knowing that the path is going somewhere, wherever that place may be. This is contradictory to all the messages I get from people around me. I’m at an age where I should be settled down, raising kids, supporting a family … and yet all I have is me, my dog, and the scribbles of words I write on recycled paper.

The world needs people who are settled. I mean, let’s face it. If it wasn’t for those people who settle down and start families we’d all be living the very real-life version of “Children of Men.” But I think the world needs people like me, too – those who live their lives fearlessly seeking to make our mark.

Every once in awhile I disappear from everyone, and then emerge months later expecting everyone to welcome me back from the abyss. When I emerge, I always do so with whatever I’ve been working on finished; the last time I disappeared I wrote Pyre. I feel that over the next few months I’m going to disappear again. This isn’t a choice of mine, but a reality that is as much a part of me as is some people’s need to host huge social gatherings. It’s this part of me, the recluse, that I’ve been conditioned to think is in err. The truth is, it’s this part of me that is what sets me apart and gives me something that I can offer back to the world – my writing.

I never know when this will happen, or how long it’ll go on for, or what it will look like. Maybe the work I do will be from home, or perhaps (most likely) I’ll venture out to find a cafe somewhere remote to which I return daily to write. This time I may even choose to leave the city altogether, and find that hidden spot that inspires my next novel.

This is the part of me that I’ve struggled with over the last little while. Right now as I type this I can tell you that my struggle is over, and that I’ve accepted this part of me completely. The friends I have who stay with me through my disappearances (the phone calls where I am constantly busy and unable to get together), those are my true friends. They are the ones that accept this side of me as a strength and not as a flaw.

I’d like to ask anyone reading this blog to dig deep within yourself and find that “thing” in your personality that makes you different. Have you accepted it? Is it something that allows you to offer the world something very special? Take a moment after reading this and find a way to be thankful for being made in a way that separates you from everyone else. Be thankful for having the gift of making this world a more colourful place.

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