Do you wake up every morning excited to be alive, knowing that you are doing what you are meant to do?
I was in the classroom for about seven years and although there were aspects to what I was doing that I absolutely LOVED (primarily my peer-to-peer leadership class that I was teaching), I knew I was ready to do something else, to support youth in a different way, to not be dealing with pacing guides, benchmarks, parent teacher conferences and all the things we do as classroom teachers.
But I had NO idea what I wanted to do.
I had NO idea what I was “supposed” to do.
I had no idea what was possible and what was available to me.
I couldn’t really think outside the box, I just knew I wanted out of the one I was in.
And I was getting grumpy.
I thought if I could go to grad school I would find the answers I was looking for. I thought the skies would part and opportunities would magically appear and I would know exactly what I was meant to do in this life.
You see, I loved a lot of things but I just didn’t know how to piece them all together into a career that was totally satisfying and fulfilling - that made me feel like I was doing life on purpose and being who I was truly meant to be.
On one hand - I loved education, working with youth, program design and starting them from scratch, and empowering youth to be the leaders their peers needed them to be. And for me, that meant wrangling up all the kids that would never really go together otherwise, especially the ones that didn’t see themselves as “leaders” because they weren’t “good” kids.
On the other hand - I was insanely passionate about social justice, especially racial justice, peacemaking and how those two seemingly opposite things - peace and justice - go together.
I also loved yoga, music, camping, hiking, dancing, traveling the world and going on big adventures.
How would I piece all these pieces of me together in a profession that allowed me to be me, to be fully expressed as the whole me showing up in the world, to feel like I was fulfilling a calling and that would stop this itch to keep searching for the next thing that would take me closer to my destiny. (I mean, did I even believe in destiny?)
To be clear, at the time, I didn’t have that language awareness in my life yet - I asked myself much simpler (and vulgar) questions. The conversations went more like this:
“What the hell am I doing with my life? I’m pretty freakin miserable and I hate getting up every day doing a job that isn’t fulfilling to me anymore. I know I am supposed to be doing something different, something bigger - not better, just different. So wtf already? Why can’t I figure this sh*t out?”
I really beat myself up about it. Seemed like everyone else around me had it all figured out - there must be something wrong with me that I hadn’t figured it out yet.
I just knew I was unhappy and it was time to move on. It was also becoming clear to be that I would never be happy until I was doing what I was meant to do - whatever the hell that was.
So I went to grad school and felt pretty dang blessed as a newly single mom to be able to:
It was a beautiful combination of privilege, luck and the stars aligning. I took it as a sign - all my answers are coming! This is IT!!
I still had to go through the process though. I still had to embark on the journey. I still had to do the work.
So I developed a new mantra:
And I obsessed about it. I felt it in my bones, I talked about it daily (mostly to myself), and I was relentless about it.
And I left grad school even more confused. And ultra frustrated that I had to go back into the classroom.
But I kept at it. I kept it a priority. I stayed the course. I learned to trust that I was exactly where I was supposed to be at the moment and the answers would come if I stuck to it.
I didn’t understand at the time that I already had the answers. I had them. All of them. And I always had.
What I hadn’t had was trust and a deep connection with myself, my highest self. Because that’s where the answers were.
Once I surrendered to that (which for me happened mostly through mediation and a relentless dedication to personal growth), the answers began to reveal themselves.
They revealed themselves to me in the form of dreams, ideas that came to me in the middle of the night, and as visions in my meditations. They came to me through conversations with friends, peers at work, and family. They came to me through getting really uncomfortable, making mistakes, and being thrust into unexpected situations.
And I truly was where I needed to be (even though I resented it). Being in the classroom and having access to colleagues and students was what I needed to clarify my visions, talk out my concepts, and begin to build.
I never gave up. Sure, I screamed, I kicked, I cried, I moaned and felt sorry for myself, I made people around me miserable. That’s because I didn’t trust myself. I trusted my path, I just didn’t trust my ability to follow it. I trusted people around me, but I didn’t trust my own inner guidance.
And that takes me to part two in this three part series - tune in next week as I go into what was for me (and continues to be) the hardest part of this three-part party: giving myself permission to follow my soul’s journey.
**If uncovering and aligning your passion and purpose is something you are actively interested in but you just don’t know where to start and you’d like support, click here to book a free call with me. If I can’t help you, I will do my best to connect you to someone who can!**