Discovering the Beauty in Chaos: Embracing Your Unique Purpose

A white table and window with a cup of coffee and pink tulips in a vase

In the grand tapestry of life, our paths often take unexpected twists and turns. We’ve all heard that life doesn’t go the way we planned, and that’s true. From a young age we’re told to follow a predefined path: go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, and so on. But what happens when your life doesn’t align with this predefined roadmap? It’s not always easy to chart your own path or do a bold about face when you realize that what you’ve been chasing actually doesn’t make you happy, even if it has made you optically successful. Often folks value stability over happiness and it’s easier to do what you’ve always done than to take a chance and make a switch, following a dream or desire that doesn’t have a guarantee. There’s an imposed set of directions, of things you need to do or boxes that your purpose needs to check off before we even begin to give ourselves permission to give it a go.

I get that it’s rarely appropriate to quit the job that sustains your livelihood to fulfill your purpose. But why does it have to be an all or nothing deal? Small steps still get you to the destination and contrary to popular belief, fulfilling your purpose is not an instant gratification situation. Hard work is worth it. Putting in the sweat equity for something that you love and will upgrade your level of happiness and fulfilment is worth it. I literally always say, if it’s easy to do, it’s just as easy not to do. Don’t waste your valuable time merely surviving, we were made to thrive.

But don’t expect your happiness to be handed to you on a platter. Like I mentioned earlier, our lives often veer off the anticipated chartered course and these twists can sometimes leave us feeling lost, questioning our decisions and ultimately, even our life choices. The notion of a “perfect” life can seem equal parts elusive and enticing, and the expectations we place on ourselves in addition to the pressures we face from family, friends, and even society can make it challenging to confidently pursue our purpose or, at the very least develop our passions while we’re trying to figure it out. Suddenly the ease of stability takes precedence over the desire to be who we were made to be. Excuses turn into a warm blanket that comfort us as we attempt to convince ourselves that we’ve grown up and dreams change and what we thought we wanted to do doesn’t really make sense at this stage in our life. Don’t let yourself bask in unhappiness, discussing your discontentment while firmly refusing to take a stand to make a change all in the name of stability.

We don’t necessarily wake up in the morning knowing what we want to do with our lives and it can totally change over time. But here’s the undeniable truth: What you want to do with your life, the pursuit of your purpose doesn’t require preapproval to hold significance. It doesn’t need to align with the expectations or make sense to anyone else for you to dive in. If it truly matters to you, it matters.

What I need you to hear from this is that each and every single one of us was made for a plan and a purpose. Equally important is that purpose is a concept that doesn’t always fit neatly into the boxes and expectations society places upon us. It’s not always a straightforward, linear journey, but rather a dynamic and ever-evolving one. Often, it unfolds in ways that we, and certainly others, might not anticipate. The road to discovering our true purpose is not always a straight path, and it’s rarely a well-paved one. It’s full of twists, turns, and unexpected detours. It can be a bit messy, confusing, and even intimidating at times.

It takes bravery and courage to dedicate the time and effort to know what you want to do with your life. And it takes sheer unwavering commitment to know that sometimes we’ll step into a number of roles and opportunities that are simply stepping stones on the way to where we’re going. I’ll be the first one to say that I usually only have a hazy idea of where I’m headed, but I’m willing to do the work to dive into each step along the way. My journey will be different than yours, and yours will be different than your neighbours and your friends and your sisters, and that doesn’t matter. Why? Well…

  • Because we’re all individuals, so can we stop comparing our calling to someone else’s? There are actually no insignificant callings, just significant disappointment in the lack of courage to try.
  • There are always going to be people who don’t get you, that challenge your desires and question your efforts. Don’t let their misunderstanding dissuade you from following your purpose. You want to be a working mom that cuts your children’s sandwiches into adorable shapes and leaves thoughtful sticky notes for them to find throughout the day? Cool. Do it. It doesn’t mean that you’re overcompensating for the mom guilt of working while raising a family. Maybe you want to work, maybe you need to work, but if you want your child’s ham and cheese to look like the milky way…you do you! You want to be the individual that walks away from the shiny corporate job to do your own thing, do it!! Let’s just acknowledge right here and right now that it’s likely people aren’t going to get you and will 100% attempt to label your actions to fit into their ideal of who you are.
  • You were made to stand out, not fit in, so stop trying to shove yourself into the shadow of someone else’s (or even your own) perception of an acceptable life. Clearly there are common sense things to consider, like can you pay rent and buy food, but even if you can’t do those things in this moment, DO NOT WRITE YOURSELF OFF! Life can throw some wicked curveballs that leave us gasping for air. Take the time you need to grieve and then make a plan or find someone to help you make a plan, but forge your path forward.

Throughout my life, I’ve embarked on journeys that often left both myself and others shaking our heads, wondering what on earth I was actually doing. For the record, I don’t thrive on change – I like for things to be known, no surprises. So when I start to feel the inkling for something new, I pay attention and lean into it, because those are the things that have propelled me ahead into discovering who I want to be and what I want to do. From uprooting our life by moving to a new city, to challenging societal norms by being a working mom when it wasn’t widely accepted (unless of course you needed to work), and even making career leaps from the non-profit sector to the corporate world, and ultimately walking away from it all to continue to pursue what I feel I was made to do.

But each step forward I took often felt lonely and isolated. While I don’t need a cheering squad, it’s nice to not have to explain every move you make. Looking back, I realize that so many of these pivotal moments pointed to Tulip Harbour. To creating that haven where you can begin to discern your purposes and dive deeper into the development of your identity without the sliding scale of how you’re doing at life based on your age, income, and level of success. I’m still on the journey and I’m really excited to share it with you.

The truth is, life is far from perfect, and setbacks are woven into the fabric of our existence. The pursuit of your unique purpose doesn’t promise an obstacle-free path. You will face failures, moments of doubt, and episodes of sheer chaos. But here’s the crucial part: these challenges aren’t a sign of inadequacy or a detour away from your purpose. Instead, they are essential components of your journey, helping you shape your identity and strengthening your resolve.

It’s amidst these tumultuous moments, when the road ahead seems uncertain, that you often discover your true strengths and resilience. You adapt, you keep moving forward, and you find rest in the heart of life’s unpredictability. So let’s dive in together and chase our dreams, discover our purpose and encourage each other as we aim to do the things we were made for rather than settling for the stability of what’s acceptable.

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