Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Purpose: What is mine?

I have spent so much of the past several years digging, soul searching, trying to find my purpose in life.  Yes, I'm a mother first, and that will always take precedence.  I will never try and pretend like that doesn't give me reason enough to feel like I am on this planet with a purpose, but what happens when I'm not mothering?  I'm never "off-duty", but as my children get older, I discover they don't need me as much as they did.  It used to be every moment of every single day, someone on my heels, someone in need, someone crying, someone celebrating, someone just wanting mom by their side, but now, I find myself alone, a lot.  And I hate it.

I had children young.  I left high school, joined the military and shortly thereafter became pregnant with my first.  I became a mom at 20, and had four children by the time I was 26.  I have NEVER ONCE regretted quitting work and coming home to be with them.  I have NEVER ONCE felt gypped of becoming a professional (although I honestly believed I would be an independent, working woman, perhaps, with no children, shortly before the universe decided otherwise. ;))  I have NEVER ONCE regretted the path I have taken.  But, I didn't really think about what I would do once my children became old enough to not need me every moment of every day.  I didn't have time to think about it.  I was teaching one child how to read while sewing cloth diapers for others, and still breast feeding the last.  There was no time in any part of my days or nights to think I would ever have enough time to actually want to do or be something besides "mom".

Until now.  Several years ago I felt the slip, the inevitable drift of my children as they grew older and more independent.  Even though we homeschool, my children are online learners and do 90% of their work on their computers without needing my help.  Sure, I'm here to help with math lessons, to read over confusing history or science information, but as time goes on, the "mom, I need help" has become less and less.  So I sit, and wonder, what do I do now?  Sure, we have plenty of dishes and laundry and dust and toilets needing cleaned to keep me busy for the rest of my life, but where do I find a sense of purpose in that?!  I've mastered my cleaning and cooking schedules, for the most part, the activity running, the doctors and dental appointments, it's all easy come easy go at this point.  So there is A.LOT.OF.TIME. where I'm doing a lot of nothing.

We purchased a larger piece of property and now I have a huge space to garden (close to a 1/4 acre just of garden space to be exact), but after my seeds are sprouting in the window sill, and my garden plan has been designed, the flower beds have been weeded, I find myself feeling a bit lost again.  I have painted the top 1400-ish square feet of our home, walls, woodwork, bathroom and kitchen cabinets, and more, and I still find myself feeling lost.  And I always come back to this same question...what is my purpose?

I have researched programs to begin and degrees to obtain, I've taken online workshops, and done a multitude of wellness programs.  Education is my obsession, I love to learn and I love to teach, but I seem to be a jack of all trades, a master of none.  I educate myself on so many topics, but I get bored and I move on.  I have become a blogger, a teacher, an artist, a photographer, a business owner, a seamstress, a cook, a baker, a milk and yogurt maker (non-dairy of course) ;), a gardener, a seed saver, a minimalist, a yogi, a wellness leader, the list goes on.  And I'm still searching for more.

Today, as I was sitting on my couch, staring into an empty, silent room, messaging with my husband and a dear friend of mine, discussing this feeling of being in a rut, I decided to go back to one of the first things I began doing when I first started finding time as my children were growing.  Writing.  But first, I decided to search for some motivation, and what better motivation than a Ted Talk (there is always one out there that says exactly what you need to hear).  I found this one, and I was in tears listening to her talk about me.  She, it seemed in my mind, had written every one of these words for and about me, and suddenly, I realized that I am not abnormal for doing so many things, I am not "lost" because I can't find the ONE thing that makes me feel fulfilled, that I am human, and I am not alone.  To embrace the fact that I have this amazing ability to keep on learning, to take on more and more, and to fill my heart and my brain with so much passion and information...that makes me incredible.

So I will no longer call myself a "jack of all trades but master of none".  I will now define myself (I despise labels but will proudly wear this one), as a "multipotentialite". =D  And I have super powers, three incredible ones to be exact:
  • Idea Synthesis (ability to combine ideas at the intersections to create new ideas)
  • Rapid Learning (intense and rapid learning of whatever it is that interests me)
  • Adaptability (always ready for something new, new situations, new ideas).    
And I will love me, for being me...a multipotentialite.

Here is the Ted Talk I was referring to.  It is beautifully spoken and I highly recommend it for anyone seeking their purpose.  This won't give you the answers to what or who you should become, but it will allow you to stop beating up on yourself for wanting to be everything.  <3

Emilie Wapnick: Why Some of Us Don't Have One True Calling

Have a beautiful day!  And to all of the women out there, keep on fighting!  Happy Women's Day!  xox



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