Have you ever heard anyone refer to someone else’s path in life as them marching to the beat of their own drum? Isn’t everyone marching to the beat of their own drum? If not, who’s drum are/should we be marching to the beat of?
In today’s world it’s never been harder and easier to LITERALLY be anything you want to be;
We’re living in a world where it has never been easier to go to college and get a degree.
We’re living in a world where you can look up any piece of information that you want or need to for free.
We’re living in a world where it is socially acceptable for men to be women and women to be men.
You can even spend your days pretending that you’re a dog if you really wanted to.
The difficult part isn’t being what we want to be, we are able to do that just fine. The problem is in trying to figure out what we want to be. Without investing too much time into the wrong things.
I personally have struggled with this ALOT.
I feel like I’ve been looking under every rock like… Are you my purpose?
It’s been a long journey, but I think I’m finally on the right track and I’m thankful for the lessons that I’ve had to learn on the way.
Some Things I Had To Learn
IT’S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT.
Isn’t it ironic that I learned this lesson while running my first half marathon. When I was training I had to figure out how to pace myself; I couldn’t do everything all at once or give it my all right off the bat, I had to spread it out over the course of 13 miles.
The same is true in life. I had a full time job at 19, bought a house at 20, and got married at 21. I packed three major life events into three short years. Because I was impatient. I wanted to make sure I checked all of those things off the list so that I could start living. I was wrong. I found myself in this depression of what next? What would I look forward to now? All of my friends are just graduating college and getting engaged and I won’t have anything exciting happen to me again until I have kids! Which isn’t going to happen for a long time. Would I change it if I could redo it? NO. But from my experience, I can share with you that impatience and thinking you should be at a certain mile marker (when you’re really not) is unhealthy. Run your own race!!!
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO LOOK A CERTAIN WAY.
This was a really tough lesson for me. It took months of therapy, actually, to get my brain to look at this in a different light. I’m not sure where I picked up this idea that my life had to look like “THIS” but I’m crippled every. single. time. it doesn’t turn out like “THIS.”
For example, I worked my tail off to get into a really great college (because that’s what life should look like, right?) But after one semester I felt something telling me that this wasn’t what I should be doing.
Everyone saw college as a means to an end; something you just have to do in order to be successful. But for whatever reason, I couldn’t get myself to believe that for my life.
I had no idea what I wanted to pursue and I just couldn’t justify racking up out of state tuition to not be sure of which path I was going down.
I’m thankful for that decision now but at the time it was really hard.
I received a lot of crap for dropping out of school and not really having a plan. It was a really low point for me. I struggled with people’s judgements and opinions. I struggled with fear and doubt within myself. I had a hard time with comparing myself to other people. Everyone in my social circle was in college and I wasn’t. There was just a huge disconnect. I wasn’t sure if I’d regret my choice or not… But what was harder than leaving school, disappointing my family and handling the fear was trying to swallow the fact that I was going AGAINST the plan that I had for my life. But after some time and some “unpacking” with my therapist, I’ve come to a fact;
I’m a college dropout and I’m damn proud of it. It was a turning point in my story and it HAD to happen whether I liked how it looked to me or not. It opened up the gateways for the next phase of my life.
SELF AWARENESS IS KEY.
Fast forward 5 years post drop out… I’ve experienced nothing but God’s favor. I’ve never once lacked financially and I’ve never once felt like I was living “below the bar” because I’m “uneducated.”
I’ve received jobs purely by God’s grace. I’ve beat out other applicants (with a degree) time and time again. How? SELF AWARENESS. I know who I am and I know what I bring to the table. And I own it. Being “below the bar” humiliated me so much that I was forced to do some soul searching. Who the hell am I? What do I have to offer this world besides a college education, because that’s out.
Self awareness and self acceptance are super powers. They set you apart from every other person by taking that drum (self awareness) and your beat (self acceptance) and putting you center stage. If nothing else, you can truly master being yourself. And the best part is, you were born with every single thing that you need to excel at being you.
Coming to terms with who you are and who you’re not is monumental.
Who you’re not: It puts you on a pretty good path to finding your purpose because you can eliminate all of the things that you aren’t. I knew I wasn’t made for college education so that eliminated a lot of paths that I could have taken for my life. I can’t really be a doctor without an (extensive) college education so any desire to do something like that was OUT. And that is not a bad thing! Eliminating your options can only help you to narrow in on your purpose.
Who you are: While you’re eliminating things in your life that you’re simply not, you can also hone in on the things that you ARE. Journaling really helped me to figure this out. I would make lists of things that I’m thankful for, things that I love about myself, things that I enjoy doing, things that people complimented me on. I took notice of everything. I did it again and again and again. I then noticed trends. Hmmmm… I really like writing; it seems to help me sort out my thoughts and people seem to enjoy reading what I write. In fact, a lot of people tell me that I’m a great writer. What can I do that involves writing? Write a book? That’s ambitious… Let’s start with a blog. DONE. Then before you know it, one thing leads to another and you find yourself in exactly what you’re supposed to be doing right now.
Figure out your strengths, your talents, your desires, the little things that make you unique. Maybe it’s your laugh or your ability to draw or your math skills. WHATEVER it may be, write it ALL down.
Pay attention to what comes naturally to you.
You could even write it all down on individual sheets of paper and sit on the floor and try to piece things together like a puzzle.
How can all of these individual dimensions of me fit together to lead me to my purpose?
All of you was created on purpose. Every inch. Every interest, skill, weakness. It all fits together somehow, someway. And you have a divine mission to figure it out.