What is your purpose in life?
Some have it down to a science and already know their answer – from making a difference in lives to making the meanest veggie lasagna out there. To others, there is an infinite array of answers intertwined into elaborate contextual thoughts.
I never knew my answer. I’m not an analytical, philosophical thinker. Yet… sometimes all it takes is a little spark of inspiration.
In my last post, I raved about the free-spirited Infinite Satori, who is a positive influencer in her own special ways. After hours of poring through her site, admiring her photos and getting lost in her deep thoughts, my heart sensed I was unfulfilled. I knew that my worries, fears, and tense nature suffocated and overpowered the free-spirited, wanderlust part of myself. I reevaluated my life goals in this very moment.
Why did I want to travel in the first place? What did I yearn to accomplish? Where do I go from here? Should I have a clearer purpose in life?
I reflected upon the overly eager 22-yr. old girl daydreaming in a cubicle who was determined to live outside of her own comfort zone. Her drive. Her dreams. Her frustration with the “American dream” of a corporate life. Her reverse culture shock and intense unhappiness after she came back from her first trip abroad to Tokyo. Her fascination with the beauty of the world that was limited (at the time) to travel guides and the internet. Her perseverance. Her necessity for a sabbatical and new chapter in her dense novel of life.
The girl was clearly a risk-taker. Someone who craved extreme adventure. Someone who wasn’t happy with just being.
“If you don’t like where you’re headed, change your direction.”
I envisioned my travel dreams much differently than how I actually adapted here. I reassured myself that was okay. The past months have been a routine – a beautiful routine where rolling hills sit atop sparkling turquoise water – but nonetheless, still a routine. And it still involves a cubicle.
And then I was hit with this crazy epiphany. I think I’ve known it all along, but I let fear and excuses consume me rather than confront these truths.
I want to wander.
I want to throw caution to the wind.
I want to live a lifestyle that I may not be comfortable with at first.
I want to challenge myself beyond all physical, mental and emotional capacities.
I want to learn so much more than I would than if I continued my life “inside the box.”
I want a spontaneous, free life – something so different from my planned, controlled routines.
I want to set out on a journey that will truly open my eyes, break me, shake me and change me for the better.
Okay, now it’s time for my personal reality check…
I am free. I am free to live my life the way I wish.
I’ve felt so alive this week. So rejuvenated, so inspired, so excited. I can’t even explain it. It could be the music I constantly listen to, the amazing blogs I read daily, or my hiatus from social media.
I tiptoed around the edges of the walls that separated the ocean from the sidewalk, marveling in the beauty of the now. I sat on the large rocks outside my current “home” watching as the waves gently licked the mussel-laden edges and the breeze said hello to my face.
My wanderlust was reignited in a way it has never been before.
Travel is about the blissful feeling of the great unknown. Everyone travels differently, but I’ve come to accept the unknown as being inevitable when it comes to longer-term travel. And frankly, I want nothing more than to just let go and follow my heart. Some serious IDGAF mentality is in the works here… and I have a pretty good feeling about what my heart is telling me to do after my time in NZ comes to an end in October. I’m willing to sell, donate and throw belongings away in order to live freely and buy another one-way ticket somewhere… and it won’t be to my homeland. Not yet. I have too much I want to see, too much I want to do, too many people I want to meet in the rest of the world.
I’m not sure if this is a rite of passage that many other travelers experience, but it feels so refreshing. Thinking about living out of a backpack for an open-ended amount of time sparks a sensation in me I never thought I’d feel. This humors me to an extent, since I remember pouring out all my fears and anti-backpacking spiels a couple months ago. It just shows that anything is possible when you just let yourself be (never say never, right?).
So now, I ask myself again: What is my purpose in life?
I don’t think this is my only purpose, but for the time being, it stands as this:
My purpose in life is to help inspire others to turn their fears into bliss.
From hereon out, I aim to be inspirational in my posts. Yes, we all go through hiccups, setbacks, and hardships. But it’s possible to turn every single shortfall into something great – it’s all about perspective. Writing not only is something I love, but it helps me understand myself more, even when I feel so lost and confused at times. My hope is that it also inspires you, reading this right now, to follow your heart (not fears!), since each and every one of you deserves a life your heart points you toward.
I know firsthand from multiple life experiences that you are so much happier when you just let go of worrying and fearing all the time. Mom, please take a lesson from me and Dad when I say this, too. When you allow fear to win, it dominates your personality and life – sometimes even subconsciously. There are millions of articles out there that tear apart the excuses people hide behind when it comes to traveling or simply living the life of their dreams, whatever that may entail. Don’t give fear the power to be a part of your identity. If you do, it festers into something that could eventually be your downfall.
Instead, channel any hints of fear into things you love. Write. Read. Play music. Listen to music. Run. Play sports. Learn to dance with fire. Sing. Go out with friends. Drink (to an extent). Make a video. Do archery. Go paintballing. Eat. Take photographs. Throw yourself into your passions whole-heartedly and don’t allow negative thoughts to infiltrate your mind – life is too short for that.
And I still cannot stress this enough – make time for yourself. Meditate. Find a quiet place to just sit and take a break – a couple minutes or hours won’t set you back. You are never too busy for YOU. Also, I finally understand why so many travelers partake in yoga and meditation as part of their daily lifestyle. It’s something I’m interested in integrating into the rest of my time in New Zealand.
So, I ask you again: What is your purpose in life?
Whatever your purpose may be: start living that out NOW. Integrate your purpose, passions and pursuits into true happiness… and I guarantee that it will inspire you to stop dreaming and start being free.