Now as a 30-year-old, I’m proud to say I’ve overcome (a good amount of) the insecurities I had from my teens and twenties. Sure, I still care about what other people think (more than I would like to sometimes) but the circle is much smaller and selective than before (and the amount of fucks given has decreased significantly, so I’d say that’s a win!). I still look for external validation every now and again (especially when I’m feeling vulnerable and insecure) but now, more often than not, I look inwards and to my trusted circle for comfort and support.
What I haven’t shaken since turning 30 is my burning desire to strive towards my purpose. If anything, the desire has manifested itself to impact other areas of my life, from career to dating to relationships with those closest to me to the one I have with myself (the most important relationship of them all!). I’ve grown to be more intentional with my time, energy, and investments in these areas of my life. I’ve learned to deepen my self-compassion, listen to my own needs and prioritize my well-being – mind, body, and soul.
A different kind of personal development
I’ve always been a personal development nerd. Not one who reads a hundred books a year (I collect more than I read) or constantly practicing productivity and body hacking (it all seems so intense) like my friends and the entrepreneurs I work with. But nonetheless, obsessed with self-actualization, mental health, and the impact we can make in our lifetime. I journaled a lot, indulged in deep conversations with anyone who was willing to open up, and questioned everything so I can learn more about people, myself, and how we all connect to one another.
Since my parent’s divorce when I was 12, I’ve been consumed with optimizing romantic relationships and healing from my childhood trauma, abandonment issues, people-pleasing, and perfectionism, to name a few. After being in a few toxic relationships myself, I (finally) acknowledged, HOLY SHIT, the problem is with me, the partners I chose (not just attract), and the trauma wounds they perceivably fulfilled. Therapy, a lot of self-reflection, and doing deep work have helped me understand myself better and consciously opt-out of old patterns, triggers, and behaviors that caused me so much heartache and burden.
Now, I’m at a good place where I can recognize self-sabotaging behaviors and advocate for my own self-worth, I realized I can fulfill those needs (I so quickly employ others) for myself. Some days are easier than others and I still have a way to go when it comes to healing those childhood traumas. That said, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest – this desire to hunt, search, and hope someone can complete me in order for me to be remotely happy. (If we’re being honest, it’s more like pressure to be in a relationship to feel “complete” or “whole” as if you can’t be happy unless you’re with someone…)
With this relief, I can reallocate my bandwidth to focus more than finding “the one” to love me and more on my “one” thing I really desire – to fulfill my purpose (or at least a purpose). Like many of us, I wonder what’s the meaning of life and how can I leave a legacy that is impactful and meaningful. Heck, how can I live a life I am proud of and feel joy every day (because damn it, I deserve it!).
The more I wondered what my purpose in life could be, questions started popping up:
- What is my purpose?
- How does one find one’s purpose?
- How do I know if I chose the right one? …is it something you choose or is it something which chooses me? (I’ve been watching a lot of superhero content lately lol)
- Is it a goal I can ultimately achieve in this lifetime? Or is it a mission I continue to strive towards and live by?
Then, our natural desire to compare ourselves to others kicks in.
- Do we all have a purpose in life?
- How do other people know their purpose?
- I’m sure there are people who don’t but there are some who make it seem very clear. Why does it seem so natural for them?
- How can I match their energy and strive towards my purpose like that?
Unpacking the hard stuff
I’ll be the first to admit, it’s a daunting subject. It feels heavy because it is (you are not alone if you feel this way)! How does one sum up the reason behind their existence in one mission statement?! The answer is you don’t have to.
We all have a purpose in life and it looks different for everyone as we are all different. And that’s a beautiful thing.
We all may exist for different reasons but we have this wonderful opportunity to co-exist, explore, and transcend together.
Do you know your purpose in life?
If so, how did you discover it?
And what does your purpose look like?
If you haven’t discovered yours yet, what do you think it could be?
What clues, inklings, or theories do you have about how we determine and strive towards a purpose?
Share your answers in the comments and let’s have a conversation about it!
I’m not sure what my purpose in life is yet. But I’m very excited to focus my energy on exploring it and this topic of purpose. Both, in the hopes of understanding my own purpose and to learn about others on their purpose journey as well.
Even though I’m not 100% sure what my purpose and this journey will look like, I look forward to diving deeper into what it could be in my next article. I hope you’ll join me on this exploration and this next chapter of Strive!
With so much love,