Super dramatic title, I know. I promise this post is equally as dramatic so with this 6 minute read you will definitely have your daily dose of unsolicited advice.
For most of us our careers are what supports our lifestyle, our hobbies are what we do, when and if we have time, our schedules are made up of to do lists and tasks and our goals usually fuel the desire to accomplish all of these things. Dreams and aspirations are usually fond memories and far from our daily life.
I literally cringed typing that because those few sentences were a huge portion of my life. It was my Monday through Sunday, what I breathed and lived. Or thought I was living? So at what point did I go in to autopilot and believe that my life had to be this routine that seemed so normal to me.
When I was a child I remember organizing a New Baby Item Drive; I believe at the age of 9. I had a goal of giving pregnant, under privileged women the essentials of what they needed for the first few weeks with their baby before they were back on the streets of Los Angeles. With two supportive parents, family friends funding my little vision and an idea that I thought could save the world, I was able to create packages for these women to take home with them from the hospital.
Fast forward a few years, when I was a teenager I was familiarizing myself with folks on the streets of Los Angeles on Humanitarian Day or volunteer soup kitchens. After having children I found myself serving food at the local food pantry, volunteering to help women and children at the local YWCA and donating extra items to foundations helping children and women get off the street and into stable housing, incomes and lives.
I would love to say I was giving back because I felt I needed to in my heart, and I am sure as a child that was where it stemmed from. Truth is as I got older and had children of my own I felt almost guilty. Moving out of my parents’ home at 18, 7 months pregnant with my first son, I was one of those women at some point in my life. Though the streets were not my home and safety was not an issue for me I shared more in common with many of those people than the person I strived to become. The only difference was I had a little bit of luck and far too many blessings that allowed me the chance to become successful in this world.
Though I made some poor decisions, the man upstairs (or the universe, friends of the big man, karma however you want to spin it) had a different plan for me. I was blessed with a few skills, talent and heart to keep pursuing my goals, giving my children and myself the life we want, nothing short of beautiful, adventurous and memorable. Once work and life became more routine I realized I was taking my blessings as a given, as if one day they couldn’t be taken away. I started to realize every year I lease my life but not truly living it to the fullest and making a difference.
About a year and a half ago after going through heartbreak I realized no one should break me. Not because I have taken nearly a decade to build myself, career, life and family but because I have more to give. I have more to offer and to break me would mean I could not pass my light. I knew I wanted to do something. Changing the world was a little out of the scale for me but changing someone’s world was not.
I decided to live with purpose; to change one person’s life outside of my children. After months and months of searching for how I can apply purpose to my life I decided I wanted to help people who were not always given the opportunity to ever find theirs. I decided at the beginning of this year to start writing in hopes of inspiring one person, maybe a tired mother or a heartbroken girl and then to create a chain of hope. With Jonathan cheering me on I created Austin Hope Squad. With every visit to Austin, I planned how I could mark my purpose when I moved here. And what almost felt an overnight change, I found my purpose in life.
Aside from this being a shameless plug for Austin Hope Squad. It is a slight nudge, asking you if you are living your purpose. Do you wake up to a routine? Do you ever think about a goal or dream you never really got to? Do you think about the day you take your last breath and where ever you go to next, if you left something behind worth remembering? Regardless of if you believe in a life after, do you feel like your time here has been worthwhile?
If the answer is no I encourage you to find your purpose. Of course this is coming from the girl behind this blog so take it as you will. Whether you are an artist with a story to tell, a teacher with an idea that will change the way your students look at their education, a doctor with a gift of healing to offer someone in need, a mother with the talent of comforting someone else’s child as well as your own or just someone who wants more of this beautiful life, find your purpose. And then live it.
Hope you all have a wonderful fourth of July holiday!