From drifting aimlessly through life to not so aimlessly. My story of coming into a life of purpose.
There’s been times in my life when I’ve kinda felt as though I’d been drifting aimlessly through life. Ask me then what I did last week? I couldn’t answer that question. Ask me what my goals were for the future? Besides the obvious at the time (‘Can’t wait to finish uni/honours/get this new job’), life was kinda bland, or I was caught up in whatever relationship drama I was allowing to overtake my life. Life was monotonous and repetitive. So yawn-worthy.
Life’s preeeetty boring when there isn’t a sense of direction, something that you are working towards, without an anchor of meaning in the things that you do. It’s all just study/work, eat, sleep, exercise, party, and life admin. Perhaps you’ve felt like this before too, or feel it currently. I used to coin it ‘chronic dissatisfaction’ – my pervasive sense that everything was just blah.
I realised I gave a lot of my time away, to friends who were toxic and drained the life-force out of me, I had jobs that weren’t really going anywhere, relationships were a constant source of drama (and distraction) and I didn’t feel grounded. In fact, I constantly dreamt of being somewhere else (Bali to be exact), and I never felt the urge to commit to anything because I lived in limbo between life in Sydney and my imagined fairytale of living abroad.
But underneath it all, I did have some dreams – they just seemed so far away and unattainable – or maybe I held them at arms reach so I didn’t have to actually take any action. For whatever reason, I didn’t understand fully the power of harnessing meaning and purpose into my life. It took a lot of chronic dissatisfaction to kick my butt into gear, and I started the process of a life-reorganization and recalibration with much blood, sweat and tears.
Life’s different now. It took awhile, but I booted the shit friends and the created boundaries in my relationships so I had nourishing ones. I reviewed the moments that brought me real pleasure and happiness and I discovered what really mattered to me – my values and priorities. I also took a good look at my diaries and noticed that I did have dreams. Although they were in Bali, I realised that I could create them here in Sydney with The indigo project; that I didn’t have to keep running away from reality and commitment. I committed to my love of helping others, and realised that I had to love and value myself in the process too. That was a shit fight and a half, and it still is sometimes, but self-love has gotten easier with continued practice.
At the heart of it, I had to figure out what was REALLY important to me, what would get me out of bed every morning. I didn’t have all the answers straight away, but when I started moving on the path that was meaningful to me, more answers showed up.
It was weird and exciting. I say it all the time with everything that I do, but it’s a process. It’s a process of assessing what matters, dreaming and making visions of what you’d like to create, taking action, celebrating the little wins along the way, having shit hot friends around for the journey for moral support, and at times, recalibrating those dreams and visions as your values and priorities change through life. Is it easy? Definitely not, and I still catch myself sometimes when I’m tired, hangry and overworked and I wonder if it’s all worth it, and whether I should jump on that next flight to year-round sun in Indonesia. That’s where the good friends, the supportive boyfriend and the time to reflect on the good shit comes in. Those around me always set me straight and remind me of my purpose.
These days I’ve really acknowledged that my time and energy are limited and I can’t just be spreading it around willy-nilly. I choose who I see, what I do, what projects I take on, and how I spend my free time with manic control. This is where the ‘valuing the self’ stuff comes in. Not that other people’s needs aren’t important, it’s just that I’ve learnt how to develop a ‘healthy selfishness’ – and it has served me well to enforce it, as others (when they get to see me), get the best of me too. Everything and everyone that enters my life gets scrutinized to whether it aligns with my values and priorities. Totally unsexy I know, but I’m happy with the process and it’s saved me a shit ton of drama (and meetings that go nowhere).
So where does that leave me now? I’m proud to say that I feel the sense of purpose in my life. I have friends and a boyfriend that I adore, a jam-packed calendar (but one that every time–slot has been considered carefully). The indigo project is fulfilling some of my greatest dreams and I hope will continue to do so, AND I can always go to Bali for holidays if I want! It’s not easy-streets everyday, but that pervasive sense of ‘chronic dissatisfaction’ has definitely been eroded away to be taken over by a sense of quiet and comforting purpose.