By Allison Stein
We spend years searching for the answers encoded in our own consciences. In the whirlwind and whiplash of busy lives—in the scream of preoccupied minds and hollow heartbeats—we forget to listen to the whispers.
I used to imagine the future as a black hole swallowing shooting stars, suppressing their iridescent beauty. I used to succumb to the poignant doubt that suffocates every dreamer: Success is never a promise. What if our work doesn’t resonate with others? What if the hope we’ve tied our spirits to disintegrates as we strive to make a difference? In such a precarious world, how can we be expected to develop polished plans?
Here’s what I’ve learned: We can’t.
Our responsibility is not to invent possibilities but to trust the potential our lives already hold—to embrace the futures already engraved on our souls.
This liberating faith first washed over me years ago at a cousin’s eighth-grade graduation Mass. I can still hear the priest’s voice reverberating over the congregation: “Be what God meant for you to be, and you will set the world on fire.” His message sounded so raw, so genuine. I asked myself a question I never knew I had: Why shouldn’t I be fearless when God was on my side?
A cascade of revelations poured through my veins. Why had I wasted so much time fantasizing about earning the faraway title “writer”? Didn’t I seek to bring dimension to the silhouettes of human lives, to illuminate the darkness of fear, to rekindle the fire of love? Didn’t that quest alone make me a writer?
It certainly did. It certainly does.
I am a writer because the joy of connecting words—and lives—makes me whole. Amplifying the whispers we overlook in the blurred mosaics of our superficial selves, I extend my outreach to strangers. The compassion at the core of every dream is a gift from God—and I, therefore, owe it to the world to capture each moment through the kaleidoscope of poetry.
No, I don’t need to devise a blueprint of my future; I just need to excavate the truths buried under my own skin. The only compass I depend on is the whisper in my heart.