Finding Your Purpose?
Find your passion. Sometimes it seems impossible. Why is it so hard to find your passion? I think a lot of people struggle with finding their purpose. I would like to know, if this is like an American concept or an international one. I feel like the American dream places a strong emphasis on individualism, being unique, knowing your purpose, etc. There is a lot of pressure to find the ‘one’ because finding these things are supposed to make us complete. I think Christianity also places an emphasis on fulfilling a purpose, living for other instead of yourself, etc.
Too Much Pressure
It’s a lot pressure for some. Can you find your passion any easier? I don’t think so. It just comes when it comes. There’s no rhyme or reason. There’s a lot of major decision to be made and most of the time they have to be made before our purpose is really clear. College, for instance, can be a lot of pressure because if you know you’re purpose then you can choose classes to help you get there. Sometimes those classes help you find your passion, but if not, there might be a lot of anxiety, What if you pick the wrong major??? Then what if you have an opportunity to get married, but they won’t support your vision. What if you eat steak instead of chicken then you have mad cow disease then you miss the only opportunity you have to interview for your dream job???
That’s an exaggeration, but believe me I totally get it. I don’t think anyone was more obsessed with finding their purpose than I was. I didn’t even have a passion or thing I liked doing. That’s because I HATE wasting time. I’m serious when I say this, but when people are even five minutes late for a meeting I feel like I’m going to have a melt down. When people make small talk at a meeting, instead of getting right to the point, it makes me feel like I’m going to freak out. I never knew how to relax or have fun because anything that wasn’t accomplishing something made me anxious. I used to have more fun working than I ever had just hanging out with friends.
If you’re thinking that sounds crazy then you’re right. Absolutely right. The world is full of chit chat, willy nilly ways, and everything else. But I couldn’t handle it, my perfectionist self was obsessed in finding that thing, my purpose, so I wasted no time getting to it.
But boy, that getting right to it thing really didn’t work out so well. So again, I totally know the anxiety when you can’t find your passion or your purpose. I always felt I was wasting time because you don’t know what I was supposed to be doing. I’ve had to calm done A LOT to be able to handle the amount of time I’ve wasted trying to find my ‘purpose’. I’ve had to calm done A LOT just to learn how to handle day to day interactions. But guess what, I’m still alive and if you’re even half as crazy as I was a few years ago, I guarantee you’ll be fine.
I Used to Have a Plan
When I was younger, I wanted to be a vet. From the time I was 2 till I was like 18, I was obsessed with becoming a vet. Everything was planned out, where I was going to live, how many dogs I was going to have, all the other kinds of animals I was going to have, everything. Then I worked for one and it went down from there. After I quit I was lost. I had no plan B. I liked writing, but making a career out of that is difficult, so I decided I wanted to be a journalist. I interned for a paper and started classes for it. It was OK, but not nearly as awesome as my lifelong dream to be a vet.
When I was about 19, I was introduced to my all-consuming passion that is environmental issues and landfills overflowing with craft materials. I knew from then on that I wanted to educate people on those issues and potentials, but that’s all I knew and 5 years later, that’s all I know. It was never about making money, but I really wanted to help people and show the beauty in seeing purpose in the small things. How am I going to do it? I have no idea. I am now on plan E. Plan A lasted about 3 years and the rest I’ve gone through in the other 2. I seriously thought once I had my passion figured out, the rest would just fall into place. This is what I thought success would be like.
Boy was I wrong. I even got a job in a department that educated people on how to better deal with their trash. Perfect right? The job ended when I was no longer able to be a student assistant. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t make the right connections to continue that path. So fast forward, I graduate and have done a bunch of stuff to show my interest in environmental journalism. Only problem- I live in Oklahoma and no one cares. So I get a job at a thrift store. Oh yeah, I’m so on the path to a career where I can share my passion about the environment, right? Nope. I couldn’t stand it, I moved up and got a job as receptionist. It had nothing to do with anything I cared about, so I started this blog and my first documentary on how to reduce, reuse and recycle in Stillwater.
I also started multimedia work, hoping I could start out doing work related to my mission, then wiggle my way to using the work to focus more on my passion. Nope. I got fired from being a receptionist. It was a huge blow and I felt like a failure in all things. It was hard to work on what I was passionate about because I couldn’t handle the idea that I got fired. All my free time was devoted to finding a new job.
I started marketing for a manufacturing technology company. It was part time so I could focus on my other passions. It also gave me professional experience with graphics, videography and writing. It was great and I loved it. The company ran out of funding. I loved that job and I loved the people I worked with. It was the first time in a long time that I actually liked what I was doing and felt respected for what I did. I was angry and bitter for losing that.
So after I lost that, I took a couple of months, tried to make a serious go with freelancing because I had built my portfolio quite a bit over the last year. Again, no go. During the third month, I had a serious meltdown. Nothing made sense. I never quit working, I did everything they told me to do. I had a passion and I felt I had a purpose, but it seemed like no matter how hard I tried nothing worked. God had put such a fire in my heart and it was burning more than ever, but God seemed to have abandoned me. It was suffocating. Even my boyfriend at the time gave up on me after three years. That was another blow, but since that negativity is gone it has made room for more positive things. What can be more positive than a house full of cats?
What Comes After Plan Z?
SO, next step of the plan. Get a real job. I couldn’t rely on others to help me, so it was time to give up on those dreams and move on. I got a job as the part-time marketing and communications director at a church. Shocker with the experiences I’ve had with churches over the past few years.
The funny thing is though every single plan I had has been smashed to bits and everyone I tried to get to see my vision, with the exception of my family and a few others, has shut it down, I have never felt God’s love more. Seriously, every day, He shows me His love, sometimes subtly and sometimes just outright. Even on my days when I get angry (seriously angry and bitter and I wouldn’t blame God is struck me with lightening) because it’s not going the way I wanted, He still pats me on the shoulder and tells me He has it under control.
Life is a Ramble
Now this might seem like a rambling session and maybe you’re right, but that’s all life is. It never makes sense and it never gets to the point. Look at that picture. That’s not a straight forward picture. It’s a ramble. You’ll go every which way, but EVENTUALLY it’ll get you somewhere and you can laugh at how ridiculous you look when you see your picture after you’ve gotten off the roller coaster.
Even if you would have asked me this morning how I felt, I would have said blah. I would have given you some bitter response because I haven’t gotten my way, but honestly, this way is good too. I mean I’ve stopped writing this post like 5 times to belt out my favorite songs when they came on the radio. I mean what a waste of time and I’m perfectly fine with it. I’ve come so far in life. I’m by no means rich and I don’t know if anyone is going to read this very long ramble, but IT’S OK. There’s always tomorrow and the chance to try again.
Learning to Let Go
If I can just let go of how I thought my life was going to turn out then I would be perfectly fine. I have no idea, if I’m ever going to fulfill what I thought was my calling, but if God’s happy then I’m going to try to be too. Each time I let go of control, He blesses me. When I go a moment and don’t let fear control me, I am rewarded. There has also been times in the past that I felt like I let go of control then my life turned to crap, so don’t think too lowly of me if I come back next week and say the complete opposite. If that happens we’re just going to have a good ol’ laugh about it, OK? 😉 And if you’re like me, and can’t find your passion then stay tuned and we will learn to let go together.