I’ve Been Feeling a Little Lost Lately

How about you?

When I was little, my parents told me I could be anything I wanted to be. “Anything?” I would ask. “Anything!” They would answer, with big smiles and complete sincerity. As motivating and inspirational as that was for my five-year-old self, I recently began asking my 33-year-old self if that was ever true. Not whether or not I could be anything I wanted to be. I’m an adult; of course I know that’s not true. There was a six-month stint pre-Harry Potter when I wanted to be a witch, and no number of made-up spells or conversations with animals or squinting really hard was going to make that a reality.

Instead, I recently began wondering if my parents truly believed I could and should pursue the calling that was calling my name. Not just one of a smattering of callings that fit into their paradigm of what success looked like, but the one thing that would light me on fire and making my life worth living. Was that message included in the definition of “Anything”? I recently concluded that, no, it was not.

This introspection, among others, is the result of a life crisis. I’m too old for a quarter-life crisis (hopefully) and too young for a mid-life crisis (also hopefully), so it’s just a plain old crisis. It feels like I woke up in a strange, unfulfilling career path after being knocked out cold. I cannot not recall how I got here, but I know in my bones that I need to run in a different direction.

Thus, the journey. Every journey needs to start somewhere, doesn’t it? In embarking on my journey to figure out my life’s purpose–the vocation or calling or “dharma” that I am meant to dedicate myself to during my short time on Earth–I am relying on the familiar: codependence. I will not be going on this journey alone; I’m hoping you’ll join me.

As someone with multiple “useful” degrees, I went to school long enough to know the best place to start is in the past. So, I’ll be examining the paths of others whom I believe fought to leads lives of purpose. These are not people who “always knew they wanted to be a doctor” or were encouraged to follow their true heart’s calling from an early age, even if it was outside the norm. I want to find the stories that will help you and me in spite of us not having those things early on.

Each week, I will aspire to dissect a different purpose-driven life to find the gems of wisdom that I hope will lead me to finding my own purpose. Hopefully, these gems will help you fight to find yours as well.

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We’re All Here for a Reason

I just don’t know what mine is quite yet.

My name is Kelly, and I’m struggling. I’m struggling because I feel as though my entire life has been lived for others. Sure, I did eat that third slice of carrot cake for me, but I’m talking about what I’m dedicating most of my waking hours to–my career, my vocation, my calling, my purpose.

I hear that a purpose-driven life is fulfilling, rewarding, and challenging in ways that force you to grow and become the best version of yourself. I haven’t felt that way about my life in a long time, and I want to do something about it. I want to figure out what my purpose for being here is, and I want you to do the same with me.

I call this “fighting” to find your purpose because it hasn’t come easy for us. We didn’t grow up knowing we wanted to be a doctor or journalist or teacher and then receive positive reinforcement to pursue that path. Or, we might have had some inkling of the right path, but we were dissuaded because of practicality or lack of prestige. Either way, we know something is not right in our life, and we need to change it.

But what is the right direction? And how do you handle the naysayers or judgmental types? How do you block your own ego or that of your partner? How do you persevere in the face of these obstacles, chief among them wanting to please everyone else but yourself (up to now)?

The only way I know how to start finding answers to these and other questions is by looking to others who have successfully fought for their purpose-driven lives. In this blog, I will examine those aspirational stories and look for takeaways to apply in my life and in yours.

My hope is that by fighting together, we can each find our reason for being here.