Writing has always been something that I enjoyed. I never knew that it was my thing or even could be my thing, until recently.
It had always seemed like writing was something that could only be a hobby (like painting and dancing are also for me), because I thought being a writer was self-indulgent. For me anyway. I never had that thought about other writers though.
Besides, who would ever want to read my writing? And how could I possibly ever share personal things that actually mattered with other people?
I’ve tried on so many different professions while trying to find my purpose, but I’ve always kind of felt like I was one of Cinderella’s stepsisters, trying to squeeze into her glass slippers. They didn’t fit; they just weren’t me.
I’ve had jobs as a secretary, a nanny, an instructional assistant, an office manager, a manager for a musician and band. I’ve been a freelance photographer and confectioner. I wanted to be a chef, run a bed and breakfast, be a hotel manager, a hairdresser, a preschool teacher, a caterer, and a party planner.
I started college intending to be an interior designer, then changed my major to liberal studies so I could be an elementary school teacher.
After getting my Associate of Arts degree and transferring to a university, I changed my major again, this time to history, and then to English so I could teach English at the college level.
When I graduated, however, I applied and was accepted to a Master’s program (which then led to a doctorate) in mythology because I wanted to teach mythology at a university. The insane tuition cost kept that one out of reach for me though, as well as obtaining a Master’s in library science because I also wanted to be a librarian.
I’m even certified to teach yoga. But I don’t do any of these things, because they aren’t my thing.
Recently though, I had some realizations that helped me to see that at 43, I’m finally on the right path.
When signing off of my last Elephant Academy class, I wasn’t relieved and thinking “Oh, thank God that’s finally over.” I was sad. Deeply sad.
I got so much from it and I didn’t want it to end. That’s never happened to me before.
When I finished college, yoga teacher training, all sorts of other trainings and classes, I was always so stressed and felt like it was so much work that I was just glad they were finally over and was ready to move on to the next thing.
But that didn’t happen this time. It was hard and it was work, but it was joyful work and purposeful work, and I loved it! And I was just genuinely sad that it was over.
Also, I actually helped someone with my writing.
I sent a fellow chronic illness warrior an article that I wrote on a sick day about sick days and how difficult they are to get through.
We’ve never met and I only know her on Instagram, but she said she was moved and inspired by my words. My words. They gave her something that she needed, inspiration to get through the day, and remember that it was just one day, not forever.
I didn’t know that I could do that. That I had that superpower and that my words could inspire people.
Suddenly, it hit me, “Holy sh*t! This is it! This is what I’m supposed to do! This is my purpose!” And it is.
For the first time in my life, I feel it. I feel that I have a purpose and I have no doubt. I’ve never felt that before.
Of course, I wish that I could have found it earlier, but I wouldn’t have known that it was really me if I hadn’t experienced everything else first.
But now, I’ve finally found that thing that truly fits. That is actually me.
I’m not trying to fit into someone else’s tiny glass slipper. I’m in my own well-worn flip-flops. Exactly where I’m supposed to be.