You Can't Plan Your Purpose


I didn’t plan to be at the place that I’m at today. Matter-of-fact, had you asked me two months ago I would’ve told you that I had no plans at all. I left the life I attempted to plan behind after realizing that everything I had tried to make happen on my own wasn’t what I really wanted for myself. I wanted more. And I knew that if I had stayed, I would’ve continued getting lost in the cycle of just working a 9 to 5 to stay alive instead of chasing what I really wanted out of life. So I had to let go all of my imperfectly plotted points and just go.

A few days ago I found myself standing beside someone whom I’ve admired for years, whose story I followed both on her personal blog and in magazine features, and who I had the pleasure of interviewing just two years prior. I was in New York at an exclusive launch party, not as a media rep or a fan, but as someone who shares a spot on the masthead. Even the journey getting there wasn’t easy. I didn’t really have the funds, but I made it happen anyway because I had set in mind that I wasn’t going to keep making excuses to not go after the things that aligned with my goals.

Thinking about it now it all feels so surreal, because two months ago I didn’t imagine that was where I was going to be. Two months ago I was brushing off questions as to what I was going to do, how long I would be displaced, and how I would bring in money. I didn’t know the answer to any of those questions, but I knew that God had it all figured it out; I just had to be patient and not move out of frustration.

Thinking back over my life, specifically the last three years, I made a lot of decisions out of fear. Fear of not having enough money to pay bills, fear of missing out on “opportunities” if I didn’t immediately jump at them, fear of not being as successful as I see myself becoming. I allowed my thoughts and my mentality to block me from my true purpose, and I paid for it in the form of failed relationships, periods of depression, and constant confusion. Those three years were such a dark period in my life. I did my best to keep smiling and to be social, but when you’re living a life far below your capabilities, the feeling of mediocrity turns into a nagging reminder that you can do better—that there’s more to life than what you’ve settled for.

I knew it.

I felt it.

I fought against it.

And thankfully, I lost.

I broke down one night, fell to my knees, and just prayed. I submitted my feelings of doubt and in return was given ones of determination. I knew at the moment I was going to have to take a leap of faith, so I set a firm date to quit my job and handed in my two-week notice so that I couldn’t back out.

And here I am, not exactly where I planned to be or necessarily in the position that I want to be, but where I need to be.

I tell this story because I hear from so many people who know that there’s more for them in life, and they’re just afraid to take that leap. I see so many fall into a routine of regret, and I can relate because I’ve been in that place, too. But one thing I’ve learned, even in this short period, is that you’ll never get all that life has to offer if you’re only half-living. Finding and moving in your purpose isn’t always about planning; it’s about living. Taking risks is the exciting part of the journey; the reward is the peace of mind of knowing that you gave it your all.