I was a journalist in London in the 1990s, when I felt the call to give it all up and follow my soul’s path to find my voice. I remember walking like a zombie around the Financial Times, where I worked as a sub-editor, asking myself, “What am I doing here? What does this job have to do with who I really am? Why am I regurgitating facts and figures about the financial industry?”
A therapist suggested I needed to move back to the States and find the missing pieces of myself. I’d been abroad by then for a decade, Tokyo, SE Asia, and London. I’d had very little contact with my rural American family in the States. When I’d left, I’d only known this small farm area of mid-Missouri. I didn’t know the U.S. at all. Going back wasn’t really going home. The call was just too strong, though. The call overpowered the fear. I needed to find my voice as a writer, and later as a visual artist. I knew none of this specifically at the time. I just knew I could not be a journalist anymore. That it had nothing to do with me.
I moved to Seattle. It took me three years to understand what the heck was going on. I had severe depression. This is what happens when you are called to give up society’s rules and expectations. I was giving up the “system”, for me that meant my career in journalism that had spanned the globe. I was being called to listen to my own voice, to find my own truth. Even after I began writing fiction, there were still systems my soul wanted to avoid. I was accepted to the University of Washington Fiction MFA, and my soul cried, “No! Don’t go!” Even that institution would have tried to influence my voice, and my soul just wouldn’t have it. No matter how I tried to argue with it, that inner voice commanded I find my own path. I believe that whatever called me is calling so many people right now. Since I’ve been on this path for 20 years, I want to help people going through the same thing with all of the very hard-won knowledge I’ve garnered over the past two decades.
Today, I’ve written three of five novels, semi-autobiographical fiction that follows one protagonist as she travels the globe in search of self and purpose. My goal with the books is to show the trials and tribulations of my path, so that it might help others understand theirs. Fire, the third novel, was launched today.
I believe that this is what is happening now for many people. The old systems are falling apart. We are being faced with a revolution. No longer can we trust a job will last. We cannot trust banking institutions to be fair. With the #metoo movement, we cannot trust many Hollywood stars we used to admire, or governmental officials. For me, a recent turning point came with revelations of abuse in the Olympics, and all of the doping scandals. For some reason, I thought the Olympics was sacred.
We are now being told the truth about institutions we used to hold dear. We are being called to stop giving our power away to politicians, parents, men, corporations, governments. We’re being asked to find ourselves, find the truth behind all of the conditioning, to listen to ourselves, and to create alternative lives full of integrity, simpler lives that, in my opinion, are more earth-based and gentle.
Have you heard the call?
I’m a novelist, visual artist and book coach. Read more at carolineallen.com.