Lately, I’ve been feeling happy but also quite lost. Positive, optimistic, and perplexed all at the same time. It is quite a strange feeling. I wake up very thankful and motivated for each new day, yet, somewhat unclear and anxious about where I am going. I’ve worked diligently at my career and accomplished many personal goals, but find that it’s time to tackle the many more that are left on my list. Simply, I am at a crossroads.
Being an analytic, imaginative, multi-talented person is in many ways a good thing. However at times, these traits often cause me to question what others around me rather ignore, fear and worry about things that are out of my control, dream about doing things that are seemingly unconventional, and the list goes on and on. Most recently, I have been feeling like I am in a box when maybe I’m supposed to be swinging from vines in the jungle in the sky. I always knew I could be free to do and be many things, but then what would my life purpose be if I did that? So, I chalked it up to being indecisive and settled on fulfilling my “purpose.”
From a young age, I’ve heard this word “purpose” more times than I would be able to count if I had hundreds of fingers on each hand. From books and magazines, messages from motivational speakers, sermons in church, or interviews on the afternoon talk shows, people were constantly saying that “finding your purpose” is the most important thing in life. I’m sure you’ve heard it many times… “you were created for a reason… to fulfill your purpose here on earth.”
You have no idea how exciting “having a purpose on this earth” makes me feeling and I still do believe each of us has one to fulfill. I was the person that meditated, prayed, read, and searched for my one “purpose.” I believed that there was ONE area, career, problem that I was supposed to solve, so I thoughtfully chose a career path, changed majors, dabbled in this and that and stayed open to the signs and confirmations that I was on the “right” path. In my search, I ran into a problem. I have many interests, many talents, and many passions, how do I know which one is my primary purpose and which is secondary? Add my analytic mind to complicate things and you have a recipe for many sleepless, stressful, anxious nights, and a whole lot of internal frustration, and at times sadness, because I have to find this ONE path that the universe wants me to take, and if I fail to find it, it might mean that I lived a life in vain.
So, after being on the path for a little while now, college, a Master’s degree, and many years of career, relationships, love, and fun behind me, I once again find myself trying to make sure my next “moves” are in line with my “purpose.” You see, my monkey-like, swinging from a vine in the jungle in the sky does not quite fit a standard black and white life path. I want success, money, purpose, and legacy just like the next person, but I can’t choose just ONE road to bring me all of that.
After talking with my Big-Brother-from-another-mother, he freed the little caged bird inside me and helped me find my PATH of PURPOSE. As we chatted about his life journey, he told me that contrary to what we both have been taught, he doesn’t believe we are meant to spend our entire life searching for this ONE purpose. Rather, we have MANY purposes along the ONE road of life. Many of us spend our life waiting for the one moment when we discover our purpose, and then when we find it, we spend the rest of our life doing that one thing, at that one place, with those same people. That very well may be someone’s purpose, but it’s not everyone’s. Purpose involves things great and small and may even entail different jobs, different states, and many things we may not be able to foresee. As we walk our ONE road, our purpose unfolds. Our purpose lies in taking EVERY step we are meant to take along the way. Who knows, maybe we even create our purpose by following the passions and ideas that have been birthed inside of us.
I really wish someone would have helped me frame my thinking on this a long time ago. Yes, they say not to be “the jack of all trades and master of none,” but maybe some of us are meant to be great at a few, because one is too limiting for us. Maybe your purpose is to show people like me that the sky is the limit, that true faith can make dreams come true, and that success can be painted by the stroke of our own hand.
These are the lessons life has taught me in the last three weeks. Our purpose last our entire lives, so how silly of me to think I could figure it all out before I’ve even really started to live.