A few weeks ago, I received a humbling, heart-warming and also totally surprising email. It was from a friend in her last semester of college, and she asked to interview me for class. About my blog, career and life.
What? Humbled of course, but really? You’re kidding, right? Thrilled and excited, of course, but This hodge-podge of things I do is interview-worthy?
And so we met yesterday afternoon over coffee. She asked thought-provoking questions, and like soup from a ladle I poured and poured. I found myself waxing poetic about this willy-nilly-silly-old career of mine and how I got here. In summary? This career of mine is a bunch of pieces and I try each day to put them all together like a jigsaw puzzle. (Only with grace do the pieces fit together.)
The timing of the interview could not have been better; I’d been thinking about careers and professions all weekend. I chatted with a dear friend on Saturday about deciding on majors, jobs and answering the big when-I-grow-up questions. We sat across from each other on a couch and I told her it’s okay and even good to not have all the answers. I said I’d give her until 35 (that’s 15-ish years for her). If she still hasn’t decided then, I said, I’d make her a grilled cheese sandwich and we could chat over lunch about maybe picking a few favorites and sticking with those.
Here’s the truth though: at 35 or 135, we don’t need to have our purpose figured out. Maybe we shouldn’t chase after our purpose, but our purposes instead.
We invest much time, energy, anxiety and effort into finding our life’s plan, our life’s passion, our life’s goal, our life’s mission. All fantastic. All important. All worth the time and energy we invest. But we can brainstorm and brainstorm and brainstorm some more, until we’ve thundered-and-lightning-ed ourselves to death and we still may not be able to figure it out. Exhausting, yes?
As we wrestle with what we’re going to with our lives, we often forget to make the answers plural.
Singular to plural and the choice no longer haunts. Singular to plural and the decision no longer cripples. Singular to plural and the anxiety doesn’t disappear, but it does gradually fade. We take a deep breath and another and, with grace, another.
We don’t all need to be jacks-of-all-trades. Focus can be beautiful. But in real life, seasons change. In real life, what we will do changes with them. What we’re going to do with our life is an important question to ask. And, in answering it, we owe ourselves the freedom that comes with multiples. We owe ourselves the freedom that comes with grace.
How have you seen multiple missions, purposes, jobs, dreams and goals manifest themselves in your life?
Excited to link up again this week with #commit2write.