What am I living for? What is my purpose? Have you ever felt lost and unfulfilled? Like you are going through the motions and just fulfilling the expectations of others? I have been there, my friend. It may have all looked perfect and fulfilling from the outside but it was anything but that. So, I decided it was time to change. You can't just wish for change, you have to make it happen! You have to reflect on what drives you and decide who you want to be. You have to decide what you want your days to be filled with. Then you have to commit to making that change happen!
If you know me personally or have even read some of my blog posts, you most likely know that 2017 was a traumatic time in my life. It's crazy to think that it's been almost 4 years since I received that phone call that forever changed my life. 2018 and 2019 were pretty difficult too because I continued to endure malicious acts related to the betrayal as well as dealing with constant slander and lies. Once you realize that your life as you had known it up to 40 years old was nothing but a big sham full of manipulation, you need some time to reflect and recourse your life. My biggest mistake during that season was constantly being held up in the WHY! Why did this happen? Why would people I love choose to hurt me this way? Why did I never see this when I was younger? I was going through the daily motions but I was not taking care of myself and I definitely wasn't my best self. I started keeping a terrible schedule, staying up too late and not getting enough sleep which caused me to feel bad. That turned into eating poorly and neglecting exercise. Of course that caused me to gain weight which made me feel even worse about myself and the cycle just goes on from there. In the fall of 2019, I started to get back on track. I remember going to Atlanta for the Apparel Market and, even though the market was a huge success, I just did not enjoy it. I realized right then that I was not fulfilled by what I was spending my days doing. My focus had been so pre-occupied that I had not even realized this. But what would fulfill me? That I needed to figure out. I returned home from the market and told my employees that I had decided I was going to try a new path with my life. This part was super hard because the two girls that worked for me were awesome. They stayed through the end of the year and helped me organize things to finish my commitments. Thankfully, they both landed doing great things! During that fall, we also had to make a huge decision about our home. Our home had a delayed major mold issue from Hurricane Florence and it was not healthy to continue living in it. The entire house needed to be ripped out and replaced. It was going to be a year plus project and we were unsure where we would live. Just as we were getting our heads wrapped around this process, our widower neighbor decided he was ready to downsize. We took it as a God sign and decided to buy the home and move. The craziest part is I had no idea how much I needed such a big restart! We moved in January 2020 and I began reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. This book was exactly what I needed during this time. It made me ask myself hard questions but also gain so much focus into what fulfills me and creates my purpose. As I was beginning my season of transition, the pandemic hit and the world shut down. It gave me the quiet I needed to reflect and assess. Shortly before the shutdown, I had approached my son's school about teaching a personal finance class in the high school. (My formal education is in finance and accounting and I am a CPA and spent nearly 20 years in corporate America.) They added it onto the curriculum offering for the 2020-2021 school year and I began organizing my class. I had something new to look forward to and shift my focus towards. I also began helping friends that reached out to me during the shutdown with financial and business questions. I enjoyed teaching people so much! I had no idea I would ever have enjoyed doing that! A thing I learned in The Purpose Driven life was that two of the main characteristics of serving others from the heart is when you are enthusiastic and effective without even trying to be. The joy is in the act because you are using your talents to serve and it is fulfilling when you see that you have helped someone's life for the better. For so long I had focused on the wrong things. I focused on fulfilling the expectations of others. I focused on the why of being hurt. I focused on continuing what I was already doing rather than growing as a person. When I stopped long enough to look at myself from the outside I realized how unfulfilled I was by maintaining the status quo. Now that I had finally figured that out, it was time to cultivate a new beginning by finding my purpose and living it. As I was starting to change my life and became motivated for more, I realized how much I had let myself go. My daily habits had made me an unhealthy person, both physically and mentally. I had a conversation with my husband one day about that and I simply said "I wonder when I will get back to my old self?" He responded "whenever you make the decision to." I immediately got up, went and put my sneakers on, and went for a long walk. As the book said, "We become whatever we are committed to....To change your life, you must change the way you think. Behind everything you do is a thought. Every behavior is motivated by a belief, and every action is prompted by an attitude." I haven't looked back since that day. I am living my best life. I am my best self and striving to be better. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I am the best version of me for my husband and son and that carries over into our family life. I look for new opportunities in each day that are meant to be a part of my story. I am grateful for new people I meet and new chapters that are opening. If you are at a crossroads in your life, if you are unfulfilled and unfocused, if you don't know what your purpose is and how you should be living it, I encourage you to make a life change today and start a new beginning. We are never too old to reinvent who we are and what our purpose is. If you can't answer "What am I living for?", it may be time to reflect and reassess and discover it. Decide to be the best version of you. Commit to being that best version of yourself. Change your habits, change your focus, you may even need to change who you surround yourself with. You have to make the change to change your life.