I don’t want to delve too deeply here. I’m not looking for the answer as to why we exist or anything, but if we don’t have a purpose then it’s all too easy to get lost in the fog of life. Clearly the Pandemic has had a negative effect on every one of us and although I am not blaming Covid-19 for my own wandering mind, what it has done is provide time to think about things, on all the long days when I’ve been at home.
So purpose- well I lost mine this year. Well and truly. I began to wonder who I was, what I was doing and where I was going. I’ve always worked. When my daughter was born I was a freelance makeup artist, so there was no maternity benefits for me. I only stopped for three months and then went back to work, although in truth, I rarely got a job more than three days in a week.
I’ve always been passionate and focused in my job and deeply involved with the people and the brands I’ve worked for. Then I stopped. It was my choice, but the word “retired” doesn’t exist in my vocabulary, so I needed to embark on my next journey.
I stopped because I realised I’d lost my passion and in doing so, myself. I’d spent my entire working life aiming to make people and brands look good, helping them become well known, but what I discovered, was in doing so, I’d ignored my own status. I felt I was an under-achiever, unsuccessful. I’d lost my way. To the outside world I seemed confident and sure, but inside I felt I wasn’t good enough. It was as if I’d achieved what I’d achieved by ‘imposter syndrome’.
I’ve spent a long time looking deeply into myself and though he would be devastated I’m saying this, I know it’s partly my father’s fault. He was overly strict, not a risk-taker by any means and inclined to say I wouldn’t ever be a success if I progressed my teenage dreams (in my case of becoming a fashion designer.) And for some reason I cannot explain, I went along with him.
I know I am not alone in behaving in this way. Far too many of us have under-achieved or not reached their dreams (at least in our own eyes,) because a parent has stopped them.
People have said to me, “Why don’t you do it now,become a fashion designer!” But for me, that moment had past. However, we are adults and it’s never too late to pursue our goals. What I’ve discovered is mine have changed, but the ambition is still there.
I believe we all need to think what we want, how we can get it, and then make plans and set goals. Now I’m not suggesting you set about ruling the world, it might be you want to support a charity, learn a new skill or sport or even set about improving your home or garden. It can be as small or as big as your vision.
What I will say is that it was only when I confessed my own lack of purpose and saw the reactions from others that I began to find it! Suddenly I felt great warmth and it opened up my thoughts and if you like, my creativity.
I realised I needed to open my arms to women and give them guidance, empathy and strength because I realised we could all find our purpose together. We could gain mutual benefits by sharing our knowledge and our experiences. So here I am, writing words I hope will resonate with you.