It all came to a head in Denver.
I was surrounded by the most inspiring and motivating (and motivated) people I'd seen in one place before, at the esteemed #NLVDenver No Longer Virtual conference, headed by a North Star of a human, Sarah Elkins. During the first presentation, everyone had their puzzle pieces or their completed puzzle before them in succinct "I Am", "My Why", "My Purpose", "My Superpower" statements. I felt like a misassembled Rubik's cube. I took deep breaths, became a sponge, and lived in awe for one more day - then back to the grind, the snow, wind, and rain, the Maryland drivers, the routine.
Don't get me wrong, I love routine. I thrive off of a carefully balanced routine of productive and bleugh days. Yet as the routine crept in, the creativity, the motivation, the clear path forward seeped out. Suddenly, I felt powerless as to what my Why, Purpose, or Superpower could even be. How rude of it, to exist and not introduce itself?
I'm 27. I've lived enough -- in hostels, in strange cities with strange people. I've lived in poverty (that's supposed to build character, right?) and precarious middle class. I know what I want and need out of life, but I have no idea how to ask for it. I'm always grasping for that commonality, that wispy WHY that should serve as the common thread between my rambunctious career and desires. Human and animal psychology, romance languages, financial institutions, foreign economic policy, how computers work and how people work around computers -- all of it is awe-inspiring. I was hoping that finding this ubiquitous WHY would help me filter down and make something useful of the swilling questions in my head.
I was wrong.
The destination is great -- I'll find that WHY sooner or later. But the journey is so much richer than I previously thought. I thought that if I squinted my eyes and closed my ears, listening to my heartbeat would bring me those answers I seek (it just brought people asking if I was alright). Yet in speaking to these incredible, patient people -- my tribe -- it's really about the journey. I need to keep living life as self-aware and self-compassionate as I can, doing what feel right and good in my gut, and the path will show itself.
For a control freak, there should be no more trying circumstance, but I'm actually enjoying it. Doing corporate trainings, brushing up on my French, learning investment management, recording and editing training videos, all with that servant leadership mentality is what truly sets my inquisitive soul on fire.
I'm not quite where I want to be yet, but that's OK -- because I'm right where I need to be.