Place or Purpose
For years now, scattered in a multitude of forgotten blogs, I have written about finding my place; about the feeling that I’ve never really belonged or at least never found the place I feel truly at home.
I’ve been searching for that place for the best part of a decade and am still yet to find it.
While I’m somewhat of a free spirit and move around a lot, inside I’ve also always dreamed of ‘settling down’ and I’ve spent years trying to find a place to do just that, although it never seems to work out and then I pack my bags and try my luck elsewhere.
When Covid-19 turned our worlds upside down, like most people, the lockdown and extra time on forced me into doing some much-needed deep thinking.
The increase in attention on the Black Lives Matter movement in March led me to start “doing the work” and un-learning everything I had been conditioned to believe about skin color and race. The more I started learning, the more I felt.
I’ve always been quite an empathetic person, but something felt different. When I went to work and not a single person spoke about this huge, important topic that was dominating headlines the world over, I felt taken aback. It felt so futile to sit in meetings and speak about t-shirts as if they were more important than black lives being taken in the streets. It was as if someone had instantly turned on the lights and I was seeing for the first time my job for what it was: a means to an end.
As the past few months have gone by I have become more and more disconnected from my work. The more I focus on what is happening in the world, the more futile my job becomes and the more I question my place.
As I started feeling lost at work, I started questioning why I’m even in the city I’m in. This sure doesn’t feel like my place. I am becoming disconnected by my surroundings; drowning in privilege.
And then I had a thought: all of this time I’ve been trying to find my place. Directing my energy to an outward source; to appearances, when actually what I really should be looking for is my purpose.
We’ve been long conditioned to follow a certain path: school, university, job, marriage, house, kids. We’re sold that as the dream. The ultimate aspiration.
Well, I’ve made it as far as job, and it certainly isn’t doing anything for me other than providing me enough money to make my life look nice for Instagram.
The thing we’re never taught is to focus our energy on what we feel. On what makes us happy. When we complain about our jobs and having to go to an unfulfilling office job we’re told “that’s just life”, but what if it isn’t? What happens if we don’t follow that path?
So I’m changing direction. Turning away from the ‘dream’ and down my own road of discovery. Instead of trying to find my place, I will focus on finding my purpose. I’m not entirely sure what it is yet, but I know I have to do more than shake my head at the news on the TV and cry from afar. It’s time to get involved.
I’ve been reading the phrase “be on the right side of history” a lot recently, and while I’m not yet exactly sure of my purpose, I know that the place I want to be is on the right side of history.
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