Last night I went to hear hilarious, prolific author David Sedaris speak at an event at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. If you’re not familiar with his work, he’s a frequent contributor on NPR’s This American Life, and has written a ton of humor essay books including my personal favorite, Me Talk Pretty One Day.
Though I’d recognize his distinctive voice and storytelling delivery anywhere, I had never seen him perform live before, and the man was even more brilliant in front of an audience than on the radio. He captured the attention of all 2,500 audience members, as he stood simply behind a small, wooden podium, pencil in hand (he often reads from works in progress and edits on the fly) and a stack of essays to pull from.
As I listened to his comical, candid, sometimes inappropriate diary entries, I couldn’t help but be struck by how David Sedaris had created an amazing life for himself by doing what he loved and by being his pure, authentic, slightly twisted self. (I also laughed so hard I let a loud snort escape from my mouth, but that’s a whole other matter.)
There’s something incredibly inspirational about seeing someone so in the flow – his work and life and passion are melded together as one. He writes in his diary about what he sees and how he experiences situations and then shares his raw and honest observations with the rest of us. For this he is well-paid, well-respected, and well-loved.
And it made me wonder…what would happen if everyone followed their passion and natural gifts and that became the primary focus of their life…if earning a living and living a dream were one and the same?
I think it’s possible. Do you?