I’m still don’t know me 100%. But I am getting close and it’s a daily experience.
I’m 33 and I still feel lost sometimes. Just like I did as a teenager. Just like I did as college student. Just as I did as a new wife and mother.
And I’m alright with that. It’s all about the journey right?
I was under the impression, as a teenager and young adult, that I would have the world figured out by the time I was 30. I was shocked when I woke on my 30th birthday and I hadn’t received life’s answers via my dreams the night before. I’m laughing as I type this but I did feel a bit different over the course of that day but no closer to my life’s purpose. I went on for the next couple of years latching on to a few ideas here and there thinking that I had found that one thing that I could call my “thing”. I did it through a number of hobbies and jobs but nothing made sense.
During my twenties I had the blessed experience of having children, getting married, owning a business that I did love, and even when the business folded, I worked in a nonprofit that allowed me to have instant gratification from seeing the work that the organization was doing in the community on a daily basis.
But something wasn’t right and I couldn’t put my finger on what that something was.
After moving to DC, I allowed myself to believe that I would be okay just because I’d left my hometown for a major city with a million things to do. When I made it to DC I took a job as an insurance adjuster just to have a job that paid well. I was killing that job but I ended up unhappy and burned out. Keep in mind, I was supporting myself, three kids, and two other adults (one was in school and the other was a family member that came along to help babysit). I was just happy to be living in the city that I had chosen as my “if I ever leave Birmingham” place. I wrestled with balancing my desire to have a comfortable lifestyle against my wish to really feel like I was living my true desires and dreams.
After quitting that job and getting a short period of mental rest, I entered into one of the most difficult financial periods I had ever faced in my life. I was involved with my post divorce rebound guy and I felt unsupported. I was on the brink of eviction, one of my mentors passed away and I hadn’t dealt with pain of her loss, I felt lonely, and I felt ashamed. I fell into a state of despair and beat myself up for not being more “prepared” and “failing” my kids. On top of all of this, I didn’t know what I was good at and I started applying for all types of random nonprofit jobs. That lasted for about three months. I kept a lot of it from my friends and family.
I finally took a job in a local nonprofit, but I knew I was overqualified, but at that point I needed the income so that I could stabilize financially. Honestly, I didn’t even want that job and I expected to not get it after I interviewed. But I did and I rolled with it.
It ended up being the beginning of me becoming clear about what I wanted. That job gave me the breathing room I needed to gain focus in my life. It was the job that let me know that I didn’t want to work for anyone else and that I was chasing knowledge of my higher self. I was finishing my work in about 3 hours and it left me with time to review. Even with all of this, I was still falling behind financially and becoming increasingly anxious about making it. I tore my mind apart trying to figure out how to make something happen. I was a mess mentally until one day I was talking to a friend and she said, without knowing the entire situation, “Ask for help. There are people who love you.” That rang in my head for a couple of days until I couldn’t ignore it. I forgot my pride and sent a mass Facebook message to some friends explaining what was going on. Within two hours I had received donations from ten people. Some I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. No one judged. No one lectured me. They all just said we love you. We want you to be okay.
Now that was the game changer for me. A group of people who were willing to be kindhearted in their supporting me in a difficult time, shined a light on the very thing that I needed to start intentionally looking for ways to reach the most evolved and fulfilled version of myself. The lesson: people thrive and reach their highest potential when they receive love and compassion.
And there it was, at least one component of my purpose. I’m a servant and purveyor of enlightenment and finding an ultimate calling. The Shy Peacock was born.
So here’s your heads up for what’s to come. Over the coming weeks I’ll share the methods that have helped me find balance and clarity about my life’s direction. There is no shame in being an adult and not being clear on the things that best serve you. Sometimes we just need a nudge and some guidance and I hope that I what I share about my personal experience helps you.
What are some of the things you’ve discovered about your purpose in life? Nothing’s too small or too large.