With the major changes that occurred in my life over the last few years, coupled with my new perspective, I have been left pondering if the things we thought we were supposed to do in life, are in actuality, not what our purpose is.
I invested a lot of time and money on education and training to pursue the career goals I wished to achieve. I achieved those but they didn’t bring me the satisfaction I wanted. Part of that, I realize now, was my own naivety. My goal was to always help people – specifically to give people a voice where they had none and couldn’t help themselves. It brought me great joy – but, in some form of naivety – I figured all individuals in my field and work place would have the same passion as myself. I forgot, or perhaps, chose not to face, that everything is a business. Everyone is a number. I quickly became burnt out through working and the feeling of always having to do more. I also realized that I had poor work/life balance, or more accurately described as, no work/life balance, and I suffered emotionally, physically, and mentally for that.
I made the decision that I could still work hard and help people but I didn’t need to become a martyr. I started to branch out into uncharted territory for myself such as theater acting and writing, including this blog. I’ve really taken to writing. I can’t believe, even to this day, how much joy it brings me. I could never have imagined how rewarding it would be to open myself up in aspects where I never would share – perhaps out of fear or insecurity. The sharing of my poetry and the immense feedback I have received from both this blog and outsiders brings me a satisfaction I had not felt before.
I’ve been nominated, and selected, to be a Peer at my place of employment. These individuals selected serve as a “de facto” counselor, as a collateral duty, to whom other employees can seek out to speak to confidentially about both work and non-work related issues in their lives. In my life, I often have people come to me for advice, a friendly face to bounce ideas off of, or are sometimes just in need of a a person to listen to them. Much like the writing, I couldn’t imagine the joy it would bring me to work with others. The feelings have nothing to do with me but instead are elicited from seeing someone reach their personal potential, move on a positive path in their journey, or achieve personal growth. It makes me feel great to use the negative personal experiences I have had as tools to let others know that there is light on the other side of the tunnel in difficult situations and that there are people whom understand and want to be supportive. By helping others, I’ve also helped myself to overcome obstacles in my life.
In a similar fashion, I’ve discovered a love for teaching and sharing the passion I have about certain subjects with others. I’ve done some low profile teaching while in college, mainly serving as a tutor. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the experience, and like the Peer experience at work, it brought me joy to see others excel. It became a challenge to have “the light bulb go off” for each student as individuals learn differently from one another.
I have seriously thought about pursuing these avenues in a more formal manner, including getting my license to provide personal training, but I’m still uncertain. I want to enjoy these things and perhaps doing them professionally, might limit that for me, where it would become a “business.” With that said, I shouldn’t focus solely on that and focus more on how I can achieve the things I want and make them work for me. A very wise man told me one time:
Don’t ask yourself “what should I do in life.” Ask yourself “how can I achieve the things I want in life.”
That is a phrase that has really stuck with me and inspired me to try to achieve the goals I want in life and follow my personal path, however many times it twist and turns. To where the path continues, only time will tell…