Warning: This post is long and full of Game of Thrones references
I’m 43 years old and I’ve spent most of those years struggling to figure out what my purpose on this planet is. I’m not a lone wolf here. I get that most people struggle with this at some point in their lives. Bear with me.
As a kid, I wondered if my future purpose might be to grow up and be a wife and a mom.
As a teenager, I felt like my purpose was just to be a good student, to be a good person, and to make it to my 20s.
In my 20s, my purpose seemed to hover among be a good role model for my younger siblings, be a career woman, then figure out if I wanted marriage.
Into my 30s, my purpose seemed cemented: I was going to be the best damn parent and wife on the planet. Natural motherhood wasn’t in the stars for me, but I was a rockstar stepparent. And don’t get me starting on how awesome I was as a wife.
When I got divorced at 37, everything I thought I wanted came crumbling down around me. I spent a lot of my adulthood focused on filling a need to have my own family that it wound up being the very thing that nearly did me in. A family to call my own was the Red Keep to my Cersei.
Divorce did more than contractually end my marriage. It made me realize things about myself.
For one thing, I’m hella independent. I was an only child until I turned 18 so I knew how to be alone, but put me in situations where I have to handle things all by myself and get sh*t done as an adult? Mother of Dragons material right here. I bought my own car, road tripped cross-country, travelled internationally, lawyered up to fight an ex, did my own taxes, set my own budget, rented my own places, dealt with some pretty serious health issues…alone.
Yes, I had my best friends to keep me company and encourage me, but during the darkest parts of my darkest days, it was me and me alone that fell asleep with my thoughts. And it was me, myself, and I who were in the lawyer’s office, the doctor’s office, or the car dealership showroom making the decisions of how to move myself forward.
The independence also gave way to noticing how strong I was. Physically-speaking, I’m not running marathons, bench pressing my body weight, or becoming an Ayra-level assassin any time soon. I do, however, have a pretty impressive core, arm strength, and leg strength thanks to dancing lessons, pole fitness, aerial/zero-gravity yoga, and the training to become a second degree black belt in Karate. If you’ve ever trained for something physically painful, you’ll know how much physical and inner strength that requires.
Mentally-speaking, I have endured a sh*t ton in my life. That’s fodder for another conversation, but suffice it to say, when Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how strong women didn’t get that way because shit worked out, I count myself among the strong women. I deal with a lot of what life puts in my path by myself, without a knight, a champion, or a dependent to help take the load off (all praise Queen Sansa). Being strong is exhausting, but the rewards seem worth it.
And as many times as life has put something in my path that has knocked me down, I’ve always gotten back up, dusted myself off, and tried again. My resilience is something that didn’t become clear to me until recently. My happiness and sadness about what I’m doing and where I’m leaving my mark on this world ebbs and flows. I can be on top of the world with joy one day and then someone tells me I’m too ambitious, too direct, too energetic, too passionate, or too compassionate to match with them or their needs, and my ego and my self esteem can crumble to the ground for a hot minute. Consistently, though, I’ve never stayed down. I’ve always taken stock in my strengths, looked at where I need more work, then get back up and fought again.
In other words, when the Lord of Upsetting Sh*t has shown up in front of me, my response has always been, “Not Today.”
Queen of the North
All of the trials, tribulations, tears, strength, resilience, ambition, and independence have led up to what I think might be my purpose.
When I was a stepmom and ran a fairly successful online mini-empire for stepmoms, I heard a lot of women tell me that my stories and my honesty helped them feel less alone in their own situations. That they saw me doing something, or enduring something, and they knew at the very least, they had a companion they could ride along side with. That felt amazing to know that I could help people like that.
Since launching this blog and making it more public, I’ve had friends tell me to keep writing because it helps them feel less alone and/or more inspired. And I like knowing that I can help someone feel less alone. I think at our core, all of us have that little child inside of us that worries that no one likes us for who we really are. Most of us are too afraid to tell anyone else that, so we read, watch, or listen to those who are brave enough to share their stories.
Which all leads me to my purpose… I want to help people feel less alone. I want to write, I want to speak, I want to get up and do funny or embarrassing things to lighten the mood. I want to share stories.
Beyond the Wall
This doesn’t really change much for this blog other than I need to try to write on it more. If I want to write and speak and share, I need to do it more often than once a month.
I’ve been dealing with a few things in the last few months that have felt tremendously heavy and I haven’t wanted to talk about them very much. I know from past experiences that on some level I need to find a way to use it for good.
I want to invite people to reach out when they feel like they need a friend, a motivator, or just someone to listen to them.
I’m not sure I want to build a “Let me help you find your inner GoT Warrior” conglomerate, but I would like to do something that helps people go on about their lives feeling good about themselves.
Let me know, oh friendly wolf pack that you are, what can we do to help each other out?