I want to believe that I am not the only one that owns this feeling. As I begin my trek through my 40s, I have really begun to question my purpose. I moved through my 30s believing that I was on the right path. However, it was strange to see that even though I had been afforded a degree of success, I was still aching for something. Something just didn't seem right. I was absolutely sure when I stepped out of my career as a classroom teacher, that I was stepping into something that would satiate this thirst I had for fullfillment. However, it didn't happen. Part of the reason is when I stepped out of one role and into another, I was still holding on to the past. I knew that I needed to leave it all behind but the comfort was too strong to let it go. And honestly the fear of not knowing where I was going or what I was doing was terrifying. There are a few things that I am absolutely sure of:
1. I have to get honest - If you had asked me what I wanted to be as a teenager, I would have said something along the lines of, "I want to work for the State Department as a specialist on Near Eastern studies. Specifically, Iran." Ok now readers how many 15 year olds are that specific in clarity on what they wanted to be? I was also too keen to listen to the voices around me. The voices that told me that I needed a job with security. I needed to seek out a profession that would allow me the opportunity to be a mother (I still can't believe a college deen sat and told me this during a meeting). I never defined my own strength to follow my own path. So I wonder now in my 40s if I have it in me. It was never my intentions as a young woman to ever work with children or in education. I was manipulated into believing that was my path. Please understand that I am not saying that I didn't enjoy working with children or I didn't find some joy in the classroom. But what I loved was the dynamics of creating something meaningful and watching students embrace their strengths. I loved working with my colleagues to design amazing lessons. I loved pouring over data and seeing how I could craft my lessons to bring better results. I currently have a job that has kept my foot in education. It is my job not my passion. I keep on feeling like it should be. Like that is what others expect it to be. However, looking at what others expect is how I have sort of found myself in this place. I no longer wish to seek out the guidance that would limit my dreams and aspirations.
2. I am seeking outside of the box mentorship - I need to step out of my comfort zone and seek some mentorship from some creative sources. I honestly don't know what that means, but I am willing to take a journey to uncover it. One of the things that I know about myself is I am highly creative. I have just done a really good job of supressing it through the years.
3. I don't know how I will look a year from now - I am really ok with this statement. Sure it scares me because I think most of us want a plan. I think part of my struggle is not allowing myself the time to create a plan. I let others create it for me, and I moved along their time line.
4. I will begin to write again - I have dabbled in writing over the years but I have never let it be a sustained practice. There is something vulnerable and in the end insightful about the words we pen. For a person that didn't really want to own a sense of self, writing would have been too telling. I can't tell you how many times I sat down to read something I wrote and felt so disconnected from it.
I look forward to reading back over this post next year and see where the journey has taken me. I know the best version of myself is waiting to be discovered. The thought of cultivating me is something I very much look forward to.