Recently something big happened. I found my purpose, or calling, in life. Here’s how it happened:
My Past Struggle-
When I was little, my answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was always changing. I wanted to be an actress, a professional soccer player, a teacher, a photographer, a coach, a director, an interior designer, a singer, etc. I guess I always wanted to do something that was significant. What I didn’t tell people (besides a few close friends and family), was that what I really wanted to do was help people. I didn’t want this because of fame or notoriety, I wanted to help others because it was the right thing to do and it brings me pain to see others suffer. I felt like that’s what I was put on this earth to do.
In high school, I started to forget that desire a bit. Perhaps because teenagers are naturally selfish, or perhaps it was because I thought I needed to make a ton of money first before I would be able to make a difference. Either way, I started to focus more on what my major would be in college and what career I expected to have later.
Unfortunately, no major or career ever felt right to me. In the first 3 years of college, I changed my major 5 times! I worked as a coach, a personal trainer, an organizer, a waitress, a teacher at a day care, and I did retail. Then I ended up getting married at 21 and having my first child shortly after turning 23. Finishing school was put on hold and, as a stay at home mom, I focused on educating myself in different areas to find what I truly wanted to do. I learned about finance, real estate investing, home improvement, woodworking, gardening, jewelry making, general crafts, fitness, and anything else that took my interest. I spent some of my time volunteering at a women’s shelter, but this was hard to do with toddlers at home. So I found other ways to serve.
For the past several years I have tried to serve my family and friends whenever possible. I’d babysit for them, teach them the things I’d learned to do, or help them with their home improvement projects. I convinced myself that this was my purpose in life. That maybe I wouldn’t help a ton of people or make a big difference in anyone’s life, but I would still be able to bless those around me. In fact, I started this blog with the intent of using these skills to help anyone who was willing to read it. But there was still always something missing.
It felt like there was a hole in my heart. I felt like I could do great things, but wouldn’t ever really do them. The way I helped my friends and family was great, but it wasn’t enough for me. I believe that everyone has a purpose and a calling in life and I still didn’t feel like I had found mine. . . until a few weeks ago.
Without going in to too much detail and making this an hour long read, let’s just say that the stars aligned and I came across a charity that sparked my interest. It helps refugees and low income families that have come to Las Vegas by donating food, clothing, furniture, hygiene products, and other items. It also helps refugees find jobs, learn English, and assimilate into our society through their mentoring program. The goal of the charity is to help refugees become self reliant so they don’t end up in our broken welfare system.
Refugee families have experienced horror and hardship that no person should ever have to go through. It brings tears to my eyes to think of the murder, rape, poverty and loss that these people have experienced. The worst part is that the largest group affected by these traumas are children.
I knew I wanted to help these people.
Like It Was All Meant To Be-
The day I met the founder of the charity, I had this feeling that I already knew her. Like she was an old friend. Later she told me that she had a similar feeling. I began working immediately by reorganizing the warehouse. The next day I told her that I loved what she was doing and the specific way she was running the charity. I also told her that I felt like I was supposed to be there and that I wanted to be a part of it. She said she felt like I was supposed to be there as well.
That same week, people started calling the charity and showing up at the office offering their help. These people were not ordinary volunteers. They were people that had very unique skills that could help the charity to become something GREAT. The founder also came up with a few big ideas that would grow the charity and help a lot more people. She’s asked me to head up those projects with her and since then we have been working hard to turn those ideas into reality.
The weird thing is that the jobs that I have worked and the things that I have learned throughout my life will now all suddenly be useful and needed in these new ventures (even the jewelry making. . . who knew?!).
I suddenly feel like I’ve found my calling in life. I feel whole. I am doing something that makes a difference, something that changes lives. I am using my mind in a way that is challenging and that I have been longing for my whole life. I have an amazing husband and family that supports me in this journey. And the best thing is that we can do this together. My whole family can be involved in service together and my children will be learning valuable lessons of empathy and love.
This is a great plot twist in my journey of personal growth.