On May 21, 2012 Rising Lotus Founder Tracy Brandt was featured on the international blog Do What You Love. Tracy’s commentary was rather unconventional. But then again, pretty much everything Tracy does is unconventional. (It’s kind of the thing we love most about her around here). Take a peek at what she had to say about NOT loving what she does…
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For some, doing what they love is a simple straight-line process.
“I love to paint” + I find a way to paint = I do what I love.
For me, I honestly don’t love much of what I do.
I do what I do because I love the outcome.
Let me explain: for me, having a dream and doing what I love requires being inside the stringent and often corrupt parameters of a chaotic third world country. You see, in 2005, I founded a home for orphan children in Nepal, called Rising Lotus Children’s Village.
Although I realize nothing worthwhile in life ever comes easy, I have to say that nothing could be more difficult than trying to create and effectively run a program in a third world country when you live halfway around the globe. Every tiny step in this process is a lesson in frustration. There is never enough money. There is never enough time to get it all done. There is always some glitch or delay in every transaction. It’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out … to just give up! … to say “Screw this!! Let someone else do it. Let someone else care.”
And that’s when you remember: “Oh wait. I care!”
So I keep trudging forward. Why? Because though the work itself is anything but loveable, I love the possibility of changing the life of an orphan for the better. I love the possibility of helping a child escape the horrid cycle of abject poverty, to give that child a chance! Because an orphan child is as deserving of love and opportunity as any other child on the planet, including my own.
I don’t know when I first realized that I wanted to do this and/or that this work is what I love (even though I don’t love it: haha). I only know that the moment I first stepped foot in Nepal, I knew a part of me was meant to be there forever. And that when I saw the hundreds upon hundreds of orphan children literally discarded in the streets, I knew I had to do something to help.
Have I started a global powerhouse organization? No. Some revolutions are quiet ones. I founded a small, grassroots children’s home with a handful or orphans. Over the years, we’ve grown to 12 kids, then to 20. We have a waiting list of nearly 200. Those truly needing services, like ours, number in the thousands. It’s enough to knock you down the need is so great.
How did I make this a reality? I tempted fate. I told everyone who laughed at me to go to hell. I carried on. I continue to carry on. I refuse to give up.
I don’t know. My “Do What You Love” story isn’t very glamorous. It’s filled with a lot of stress and frustration and worry. It’s filled with no time for myself because managing this work, along with two boys, and a husband with his own complex company to run (who gets to his wits end with the time and energy running Rising Lotus takes from me) … there just never seems to ever be much time for me that’s just mine.
But, I carry on because in my soul I feel called back time and time again to Nepal: to these children and to the people there and to the country.
I don’t love it all. Does anyone ever love ALL of the aspects of doing what they love? Is it only worth loving when things go smoothly and right?
We do what we love because we love what comes out of our love. We love the product of our love.
For me, the product of my love is that a child that was entirely without one … now has a positive chance! Not a guarantee, but a chance! Now that’s powerful.
So, I’m sticking with it. Sometimes doing what you love means finding your rainbow and sliding down it. But for others (like me), doing what you love sometimes means staying true to your dream, come hell or high water.
The impossible only seems so … until you do it.[To learn more about the children of Rising Lotus, click here. To support Tracy’s work, donate here]