As an almost empty nester, finding a purpose in my life has been gnawing at me more and more every day. As the calendar ticks off the days until my youngest daughter’s graduation, my emotions are scattered.
Feelings of anxiety, excitement, weary, panic and pride overcome me.
These emotions come as I realize that my purpose for the last 20 years has been to take care of our family. At the end of this summer, that will no longer be required of me. Although I’ve had other roles to fill such as a business owner and a volunteer to many organizations, my main role has always been the caretaker of the house.
Driving kids to school, baseball practice, gymnastics and birthday parties.
Preparing lunches, dinners, family vacations and budgets.
Organizing play dates, coupons, Christmas chaos, paperwork, teacher conferences and all the other million things that go into running a family.
Moving our household eleven times in twenty years. Yes, 11 times in 20 years. Purging, sorting, packing, planning, unpacking, purging more, decorating. Repeat 11 times.
That’s what I’ve done for the last 20 years. I’m a very lucky woman to have been able to stay home and be the family caretaker. I’m very fortunate that I have a husband that allows me to do pretty much anything my heart desires.
But here’s the thing…..now what do I do?
I’ve been searching for my life purpose for a few years now. You know, trying to find that one thing that defines me. That one thing that would make me jump out of bed and seize the day. I’ve been searching for something to build a legacy on. Something that will carve my name in history books.
I just need to find what my purpose is. I need to figure out who I really am and what my soul is asking to express to the world.
It’s like my soul is a puzzle, almost completed. Just needing one more piece – the center piece. It was probably vacuumed up or under the couch cushion, never to be recovered. I could try and fit a piece from another puzzle to make it complete, but it just doesn’t match. Or it fits wrong, making the whole puzzle looked flawed.
But then it happened. An epiphany.
My soul is like a puzzle, but it’s not a perfect completion of a beautiful landscape. Not at all.
I am a beautiful mess of pieces from all different kinds of puzzles. And each piece is a purpose in my life.
If I would stop trying to create a new purpose, I could see that each one of those pieces of the puzzle is my purpose. My purpose is to live in the present and enjoy each of the pieces of my life.
My purpose is to be me, Emily Graham, just the way I am.