Your Life's Purpose
Originally published on 10-2-13
I knew I had some ability to write as young as 7. I received A’s on my essays, entered competitions; I was even in a UIL event called Ready Writing. My idea of fun was getting up early on a Saturday morning to enter a writing competition! This craziness should have tipped me off. I also entered national competitions and placed in a few. As the years flew by I focused more on excel sheets and less on prose, but as 2010 was rounding up , the notion that I needed to be a writer was too big to shun. So in early December 2010, this blog (formally named Anna Today) was born.
The frequency of my blogs ebbed and flowed for about three years. Deep down I knew that I had to give Anna a chance, but I also knew that it was a high risk proposition. What if I reached for success and didn’t find it? What if I laid my heart and words on the line and they were rejected? I was worried about the reception and so I kept Anna a bit under the radar. When folks would ask me what I did, I would mention Holiday or ACL and would fail to mention Anna. What would I say, “I write self-help?” Ah! But, as things that we love tend to do, Anna kept calling me back. As soon as I’d get just enough distance from writing, she’d knock on my door. “Hello, anyone home?” I knew I had to write, I was just really scared.
I knew I had ideas and observations, but I also knew my technique was poor. What would people say? I’d come up with any excuse under the sun not to write. “Oh I have to go the grocery; oh I have to pick up dog poop, Oh I have to pluck my eye brows.” But eventually, not writing created an imbalance in my life.
So for some time, 5 - 6 years at least, my inner voice has said, “You need to be a writer. Now. Go for it.” The small group of people who read Anna say, “Write more! You’ve changed my life, thank you for being so open and honest.” Curiously a lot of people respond to my blog in private, via private email or text or phone. I think there’s some stigma attached to reading a largely self-help blog.
Imagine the idea of Anna as one single snowflake and every interaction, compliment and criticism as additional snowflakes. The first year, Anna was a baseball sized snowball. The second year, Anna was a melon sized snowball, this year Anna has been a car sized snowball headed straight for me. There was no ignoring Anna anymore. My writing, Anna was yelling, “Attenzione, Catia! Attenzione!”
In addition, I had started incorporating God into my daily life. I was weary of threading God (not religion, I’m not a big fan of organized religion) into my blog for fear of alienating readers. I wanted to be more like Sandals, all inclusive. However, little by little I found a better life in God and I wanted to share it.
Well one day as the snowball was headed straight for me my preacher, Pastor Clark, asked the congregation, “Do you know what your purpose is?” I knew but said nothing. “Do you want to waste your gifts?” Again, I knew but instead of answering I looked at my shoes. “Are you chasing material things that disappear like vapor, or are you dedicating your time and efforts and mind space to things that matter?” “Agh!!! I surrender!” “Ok, I hear you! I will be a writer. Back off!”
This journey has been a lifetime in the making. It is possible that I would have set down this path earlier in life if I had left space to consider my purpose instead of considering what other people (mainly society) wanted for me. There are legions of people out there who will tell you, and be absolutely certain they know how your life should unfold. They know without a doubt what’s best for you, what car you should drive, who you should marry, what you should weigh and even what shoes are in season. It’s not their fault, they’ve been conditioned too. They’ve been conditioned to peruse the proverbial checking of the box, only to find that there are 1,785,546,348 more boxes check. Don’t waste your time chasing things you can never grab a hold of. Check the boxes you want to check because it sits well with you. You don’t add value to life by accumulation.
Want a Master’s degree? Go for it! Want to be a Cross Fit queen? Rock on! Want to be a stay at home Mom? Hooray! Want to start a blog in hopes of encouraging the world? Why not?! Seek that which it important to you. Aim to live a life poured out.
You are here for a reason, don’t squander the chance. To be afforded the opportunity to be a: teacher, husband, wife, brother, or sister, is so beautiful. Know that your life has a purpose and so do the lives of those around you. Seek out your purpose and inch toward fulfilling it.
When the day ends and the lights come down and you have a quiet moment to yourself, pay attention to the dim light that keeps calling you in the back of your thoughts, that’s where the answer is.