I met someone today. She talked about a lot of things, but what caught my attention was when she started saying how she was a manager and majored in economics, only to find out her true happiness was in environmental advocacy and fighting for the rights of mangroves! Several years later, here she was, seated right across from me, in the opposite side of the world, with a proposal in her hand about mangroves conservation.
My guest with her captivating blue eyes is a brave woman indeed! She made her choice to leave everything behind in the peak of her career to pursue her passion! There was an instant bond formed between us inspired by our common stance. It was as if I was meeting a heroine of all young women trapped in unhappy careers and thinking of quitting to chase after their passions.
If you have been following my blogs, you would know that I have been unhappy in my job and have been thinking of jumping off of the boat of boredom that has become my job and into the sea of a meaningful and rewarding life doing stuff I enjoy. I had been standing on the edge of the dock thinking to jump or not to jump and meeting my friend today was the nudge I needed to make the jump!
I let my guest indulge me with her story. She said, “I knew early on that I wanted to become an environmental rights activist and work for Greenpeace, but my family was concerned about the fact that I would not make enough money or that if I did economics, my career would be more secure and promising.”
What a striking resemblance to my situation.I am not alone! I thought to myself.I remember when growing up, I knew I wanted to talk to people, to heal them and help them. This explains why I had a keen interest in human behavior and understanding why people act and behave the way they do. I would also read books on child psychology and discuss with my family how I think my childhood should have been during my development years, how I could trace the struggles I face today, all the way back to my childhood!
I come from a family that battles mental health problems and I never really understood why I had to grow up like that, when my friends had healthy childhood experiences with healthy normal family members!My childhood and environment caused me so much suffering not to mention the effects they had on my mental health. It becomes increasingly difficult when you don’t know what is wrong with you or your family, why you cannot maintain healthy relationships with others, why you find it difficult to fit in, why you cannot cope and why you spiral into depression and hopelessness way too easily, every time you encounter life problems.
Now I know why I had to go through all of that. If I look at it, everything makes sense. In order to understand the pain of others, I needed to have gone through the same pain. If I were to apply the theory that nothing in life is an accident and that all our lives are planned to serve our highest purpose, I would say that my purpose is standing out clearer than crystal right now, than it ever was before! It is my destiny to help others lead normal and healthy lives inspite of their mental health conditions.
My advice to anyone who is wondering what their purpose is in life, I urge you to pay close attention to your inclinations. Listen closely to your soul and observe your life journey, in all the confusion and the pain, you may just be lucky enough to find out the meaning behind it all. Your heart and mind already know what it is you came to contribute in this world, all you need to do is listen!
Granted, sometimes it might take us longer to realize our purpose in life. And sometimes, you have to suffer to get there. For me, it took depression, anxiety, panic attacks, inabiltiy to cope, overwhelming emotions and unhealthy relationships and a broken family for you it could be an accident, the passing of a loved one, an illness or a break up, take your pick, but in the end you will always find meaning behind all of the suffering you went through. And when that life-altering moment comes, just know you will have solved two of life’s biggest puzzles: One is now you know what your dream job should be about, and two, everything you have been through finally makes sense!