On Purpose: How to Find Your Calling

Here’s what no one ever tells you about life when you’re in your 20’s:

Your purpose, like everything else in your life, is anything but permanent.

Unstable boyfriends, moving apartments every two years, shoes from Aldo that only last one season. Absolutely nothing is permanent.

Given the way that our educational system is laid out, and the way our parents talked to us over our entire childhood, you might assume that by age 20-25 you should know exactly what you want to do with your life. And if (when) you don’t, there is a small, irreconcilable amount of guilt that unavoidably occurs.

Here’s what no one ever tells you about life while you’re cancer fighting:

Your purpose, like everything else in your life, is anything but permanent.

I must have just naturally assumed that once I had won my battle with cancer and got my life back, a purpose would find me and I’d go down that path to a happy, successful ever after. When it didn’t, that same 20-something-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life guilt was magnified to the utmost.

For you, that fight could be anything – committing to losing weight, rebuilding your life after a painful breakup, or starting at the corporate ladder all over again. Just because you’re in the fight for your life doesn’t mean that once your done, a purpose will find you. Purpose doesn’t work that way; it isn’t a force that’s lying in wait, preparing to pounce. It isn’t an end goal. It doesn’t even stand still.

The truth that no one tells you is: we’re not meant to have a stagnant purpose. At 26, I’m only just beginning to realize we aren’t even supposed to have one purpose, but many. If we had one purpose that never changed, we would never accomplish anything new. Even if we stay in the same career field, genre, relationship, whatever it might be, things evolve. And we must evolve with them.

The composer must write music then move on to the next symphony, inspired by new muses.

The lover must learn new about her beloved, and seek more.

The poet, the painter, the basketball player, the dancer must all master one skill, and continue to expand and create more.

If we evolve with our passion and keep our purpose as an ongoing practice of ambition and evolution, we can achieve much more. The only constant in life is change.

So if you’re still waiting for ‘your calling’ or purpose in life, remember that the call isn’t one that rings your phone – it’s an outbound call. It’s one that you make after you get out there, learn, and expand. And it’s one you should keep making over and over again, to bright new paths ahead.

That must be the reason for the saying: “it’s your call.”


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