PEACE! That’s what happens. Promise.
I once did a stint of therapy online with a 70 year old Texan woman. I wasn’t sure we would click, being from very different worlds and eras but I gave it a swirl.
She said happiness was having purpose. Something we’ve heard countless times. It’s not new. But it’s taking that idea and getting it from the “I understand” to the “I innerstand” and maybe even “I outerstand”.
When she said this, it resonated with me more so than usual.
Because I HAVE found my purpose. Working within Education.
How do I know this is my purpose?
Because gone are the days where I would spend hours and hours thinking of job ideas and researching career paths. One week I was adamant I was going to do this, next week I was so sure I would pursue something else. Between the ages of 18 and 24 I would spiral down the rabbit hole into an abyss of overthinking, worrying, questioning, feeling frustrated, out of control, crying, upset. So much time wasted on attempting to gain control in my life and trying to find something to hold on to and work towards because everything else was out of control around me.
I went to therapy before the online sessions. It was suggested I deliberately worked myself up into these stressful situations because it was familiar. That undoing these behaviours and becoming more mindful, calm and in the present would be too uncomfortable for me so I avoided actually helping myself. I agreed.
Initially, my degree in Events Management silenced the spiralling overthinking. It shushed the monkey mind because it was new and exciting and a world of possibilities. But then slowly that overwhelmed me and I didn’t know what to pursue after my degree so the monkey began to ramp up again.
Every day was a roller coaster, attempting to stay afloat in a mind that wanted to take it there. It wanted to get frustrated and question existence. Till the chest was filled with anxiety and I was all worked up. Over nothing.
I caught the travelling bug and was super keen to do a TEFL. After graduating I began working online teaching English. I loved teaching, meeting new people all day everyday. I was really happy with the work (despite poor management and terrible pay which inevitably ended that chapter). I then moved onto working in a school and loved that even more! Despite the days being tough and tiring.
70 year old Texan woman said happiness was having a purpose.
I said to my Mum the other day, I hadn’t even realised till now, but since starting working in Education I haven’t over thought the future like I used to. Because I have found my purpose.
In many ways it’s annoying I allowed myself to go through all those years with those behaviours. But circumstances were not great. An abusive Dad, then an abusive boyfriend takes it’s toll.
Perhaps finding my purpose was not the cure but actually the symptom of me pushing through the last 5/6 years after I managed to escape my Dad and that boyfriend. I really put in the work with therapy, self-help books, Ted Talks, Buddhist temple visits, you name it, I read it, I learned about it. I am still unpicking the damage but as time goes on things are just slotting into place, I believe, because I have put in the ground work to let good things come to me when I am ready.
70 year old Texan woman said happiness was having a purpose. And so do I.