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What is Yoyr Your Life’s Calling?

Similar to my Smith Corona

Similar to my Smith Corona

Three decades ago, I received my first electric typewriter. It was a beautiful, used blue Smith Corona Coronomatic typewriter, permanently secured in a sturdy, hard-sided brown carrying case with a thick black handle. My parents purchased it for my birthday present. They knew I wanted to become a writer and helped set me on my path.

That Smith Corona was stationed on my desk for years, the rock in the middle of a sea of books, stacks of paper and countless writing utensils. The thick, white power cord extended to the nearest outlet. Each night as I closed the cover to help keep out the dust, I was careful not to crimp the cord in the lid of the case.

There has never been another gift I loved or used as much. As I created and constructed stories, characters and new worlds, I spent more time with that machine than any other toy I owned. There was nothing like turning on the baby-blue Smith Corona and hearing the comforting whirr of the motor as it patiently hummed. Or the click of the feed roller as it accepted a blank sheet of paper onto the platen. It was always ready whenever I wanted to bring someone to life.

Correction tapeAs I was organizing my desk in my office this week, I came across a small strip of white paper. When I picked it up, fine white dust appeared on the surface of my desk and fingertips. My breath caught for a moment. Somehow, this fragile, little simple correction strip, which I had used to correct typos and other errors so many years ago, had survived multiple moves, cities and states. One lone piece of correction paper.

In an instant, I was transported back to my childhood, seated at my desk under the sloping eave in my bedroom. For hours at a time, it was the safest place on earth where I created new worlds and people. I remember always being happy when I wrote. It was my words and my stories. All I wanted to do was entertain people.

I can’t remember exactly when I disposed of the typewriter and its case, but it was probably around the time I purchased my first computer and printer. Some people are good about holding on to mementos but, as technology advanced, I let the old go to make room for the new. This little strip of white correction paper that suddenly appeared though, will stay put in my desk, a reminder of the passion I feel for my craft.

I would like to know: what do you have that reminds you of your life’s calling?