Circle of Purpose
Purpose. It may seem like such a small word typed on this page, but it contains the weight of a ton of thoughts, doubts, goals, promises, expectations, and questions. What is my purpose? Or more specifically: How can I live a life of purpose? What does that look like? How will I know that I am on the right track? These are questions that have been settling into my mind. There is a hunger and a deep aching need to satisfy the questions with a response.
I took a break from posting. Life took me on a whirlwind! New projects came and went. New loves also paid visit, and the heartbreaking inevitability of loss entered my life for the first time. Throughout all of these experiences I tried to post. I honestly have many half-finished posts lingering in my blog inbox. But each one did not fulfill my inner dialogue. I lost interest or the conversation became too mute to share. It scared me! I immediately thought, "Have I lost my inspiration! I am all dried up!" But the fear of losing myself would leave as soon as I spoke it into existence, and my light would spark again, and life would hand me another opportunity.
So why am I really here today? Why does my voice sound so different (which I am now noticing as I type this!)? I think it is because I have finally arrived. Before, in my previous posts, I was reflecting on a past and looking forward to the future. I was in the middle, excited for the journey, but still catching-up. My past was what I was letting go of and I was running towards growth and freedom. But this year has brought a settling to my soul. It has tested me in many ways, and has left me with the question: how are you going to live out your purpose?
To me in the present moment, purpose is not so much an answer but a feeling. I have no clue what my life will look like or what my end goal will be, but I know how it feels. I have felt it every time that I create, dive into a new project, ask my soul to look for understanding, and open my heart to what it means to be human. I feel it when I exercise vulnerable love, when I give without the certainty of getting. It is there when I hug my family and friends. I feel it in the sound of the waves that hit the stone seawall on my runs, and when I meet a goal that at one point seemed impossible to me. On the days where I hurt or feel sad, on the days where I ask myself what am I doing (despite the uncomfortable not knowing), I praise the one that made me for making me this way. Not everyone asks the question. Not everyone is so aware of their emotions. Not everyone tries to understand their neighbor, by the simple idea (that has been around for years) of walking in someone else’s shoes. And for that, for all the “not everyones” I come up against, I realize that I am on my path. Every day I walk towards my purpose, not necessarily knowing where it will lead. All I know is that I want understanding, openness, creativity, moments of wonder, thankfulness, and love. So much love.
Lately I have been thinking about life, time, and this purpose thing. And I have come to the realization that the more you learn the less you know. This might sound like a frightening thought, but for me it is freeing. This concept alleviates the pressure people put on themselves to have all the answers. So many (whether they are consciously aware or not) live life as if it were a test being graded. Personally, I hate tests (I was never any good at them!). But instead, if we look at life as a series of lessons where there is no right or wrong – just purely teaching moments – we can then give ourselves more patience when we “fail”. Which is something we all will do! Trust me! It is a never ending journey, and circle that dips down and rises to meet itself, starting the process again. We are constantly learning.
I recently trained with SITI Company and workshopped a production of The Bacchae. One of my biggest takeaways (THERE WERE MANY) was to embrace failure. Not only to embrace it, but to charge fearlessly into it. Throughout the month I started to realize that failure was not an ending but a beginning to something greater. And it felt so much better to fail epically than to tiptoe the edge. Among that epic sea of failure after failure (look how much I am embracing it by repeating it!) I discovered that this was not only a lesson for this moment or my artistry, but for my life. I think if we embrace this notion we might live life less fearfully, and in turn leave room to listen to what is happening around us. We might just discover that your unique purpose was standing right in front of you. Either way we could all use a little less fear, am I right!?
So, my Unique Beasts…Here is to all that you are and all that you will become! Here is to failing epically on the search to your purpose. Remember to practice grace and patience. Say "Thank you fear, but I got this!" Listen. Live in the moment and chase the feeling every day, every hour, every second. Because you are living now in your own unique way.
This piece is my introduction.
Not my past.
Not my future.
But my present.
My Unique Beast.
DP: Alys Dickerson
Editor: Kearstyn Keller
Song: Learn to Listen - Ben Sollee