Whilst you sit around trying to find your purpose, you can very easily over analyse your life.
You look are where you are, where you thought you would be or where you “should” be.
That rolls into, what actually makes you happy? Do I want to change? Can I really design the life I want now that I have a clean slate?
Then you start to have a look at the people around you. Who is really important? Who is team Jess? Who will still be there after I decide what path I want to take?
Back when I lived in Brisbane I attended an evening talk with Dr John Demartini (author, researcher, an international educator and public speaker in human behavior among many other things). He explained that when you live according to your highest values you become inspired and awaken genius. When you live according to your lower values you require continuous outside motivation and you suppress your genius. Your present purpose or mission for life will reflect your present highest values.
So when I really started to tune into my values, to help find my purpose and what I am really passionate about, there were 2 stand outs: Family & Travelling.
And then my ability to over worry or try to control everything went into overdrive.
After (again) having too much time on my hands to overthink, I had literally convinced myself that the only choice I had was: my relationship or my family.
How did I get to there?
It really was a horrible place to be in, I was already missing them like crazy but on the other hand I had finally found someone who loved me exactly the way I was, who always had my back and who made me laugh every day. How could I choose between them?
But I did. I made up worse case scenarios and I upset myself irrevocably. I seriously considered leaving my partner. Family is the most important part of my life and always will be (yet I was missing that we were a family too, just him & I for now but eventually his kiddies would join us too).
As I considered my future, again I had convinced myself of the worst. That I wouldn’t live near family again. That I would miss out on everything. That my sister and my niece – my 2 favorite girls (and any other new babies that come along) wouldn’t know me. That they would grow up without me and it KILLED me. I had made up excuses that I was “stuck” in Qld because my partner had children who lived here or because his work was specific to the mines, which meant he would always work in certain remote areas. I didn’t stop there though. I delved deeper into my travel dreams. Could I still travel as freely as I wanted too whilst in a relationship? (this time, I was missing that being here actually gave me the opportunity to travel).
Side note: Isn’t it quite the little coincidence that I have to travel to see my family. Both of my values are covered there.
But whenever I thought about choosing one over the other, I was an utter mess. I would just cry and cry. Hmm, clearly I was looking at this the wrong way.
Here comes the funny part, the part where you know I really had over thought this. I was telling myself that the only way to find my purpose was to go on a solo journey around the world with all the cliché bells and whistles like yoga retreats & spiritual awakenings. Basically I had told myself I could only succeed in finding my purpose if I had an ‘Eat Pray Love’ story – oh lordy!
Then my little inner voice chimes in: Um… Hello Jess, you have no job and your bills are still in arrears – how are you funding this purpose finding journey? (gee thanks mate).
So I wallow about my financial situation and of course my answer is that I can literally go nowhere & do nothing, for a long time.
To make matters worse, I was riddled with guilt. How could I think like this – my family vs my relationship? Why was I thinking like this?
I have always wanted more and have always felt guilty for it. The world is always telling you not to be greedy or just to be grateful for what you have. Recently someone flipped that logic on its head for me and told me I was driven. You have passions, goals and dreams. You know what you want and you want to make it happen. This can collide with normality or social standards but you don’t need to feel guilty, there is nothing wrong with wanting to become a better person or making your world full of possibilities.
Finally I confided in my best friend and she was the first of many people to tell me I was being a bit silly (typical Jess). She said – the solution is simple, you can have both. Here’s an example, you want to find your purpose? Well you find a way to make money in doing so, and then you just need to work out a way to make enough of it to visit them more often or all the time. Hmm! She was very right.
So I then I finally was brave enough to tell Aaron but I ended up a mess! I was wailing and trying to explain at the same time and only getting out that blubbery cry talk – embarrassing actually. We had had this talk at the start of our relationship. The talk about what we wanted in life, I had explained I was a pretty free spirit with some big dreams. He nearly left me then and there that night. He didn’t want to hold me back. So the whole time I was trying to get everything out, I was thinking back to that night. I had worked myself up ridiculously (typical Jess again).
He gave me the same answer as my bestie; you are being a bit silly. He told me he would never stop me from anything I wanted and that he wasn’t going anywhere. Yes, I am in a shitty situation right now but it’s not forever. Life throws you curve balls and sometimes you cannot control what happens.
I breathed a sigh of relief… I didn’t have to choose.
And then a sigh of release.
It was like I had been waiting for some one to give me permission that it is ok, not to have your shit together. That it is ok, to not know how to achieve what I want in life yet.
Out of the storm of worry came a new perspective. Adaption was a skill I had always carried but unfortunately I lost her along the way. Luckily, she was now coming back! I was starting to see again that I could make the most out of every situation and that no matter where I ended up with life, I could mould my values around it. It didn’t matter where I lived, what job I had or even how much money was in my bank as long as I can stay true to my values because they will be the reason for my happiness – my family & my passion for travel.
The endless possibilities were suddenly clearer.
My life is always going to be an adventure, it is going to be out of my control, it is going to be one hell of a ride & I am ok with that!
*Part 14 coming soon*