There is something that drives and motivates each of us in life. We may know what lies underneath our pull toward a purpose designed specifically for us or we may just make the conscious decision to chase after the pull on our lives – Knowing that it will lead us to the very things we want and need the most. Fulfillment.
The Let’s Build Futures Blog is very much about learning new and helpful things while in our chase. As young adults it is easy for us to listen to the loudness of the world. The sheer volume of opinions placed on us at birth makes it hard for us to hear our own callings. So when others can relate to this concept it’s truly special.
And as a blogger, something incredible happens when your words resonate with your readers after writing about chasing a purpose; you begin to believe in yourself that much more. This is what millennial blog Driftyness did for me when she commented on my post titled Chasing The Pull…
I was so excited that someone could not only read my words and be moved but understand my own personal experiences. I asked if she would take my hand in holy collaboration. A few months, deadlines and several emails later between two busy bloggers’ hectic schedules; we decided to do an interview styled blog post centered around finding our life purpose in chasing the pull. I was eager to hear about her experiences in chasing the pull and I know you guys will enjoy her responses as well. Let’s get into it…
What do you think is the best way for you to chase the Pull, knowing what you know about yourself and your responsibilities?
I feel like I’m kind of fragile right now. I’m still trying to piece together what I want. I’m praying, trying different things, praying again. But I still don’t know. I’m also at a point in my life where everything feels like it’s up in the air. I’ll be graduating in a year, I have loved ones who are sick. I recently lost someone. I want to move out soon. I’m dating. I don’t feel stable at all and I’m not at my best when I feel that way. I think adding more instability will make me dysfunctional. So right now, I think my best bet is to try doing things slowly, a little bit at a time instead of jumping in all at once. I’m doing little things on the side, like design groups, or design classes, or writing this blog. They’ll add up over time and they’re flexible enough that I can work more intensively on them when I’m willing and able.
The Pull makes us uncomfortable and removes us from uncertainty when we go on the chase to follow it. Where have you felt that discomfort? How are you working through it?
I feel uncomfortable pretty much every day. Trying to do things on the side means I have more things to do and I often wonder how I’m going to get everything done. Sometimes I just don’t . I was reading somewhere that we tend to get anxious when we’re going through changes and that’s definitely true for me. I’ve been really anxious lately, and it’s hard to function like that. And there’s the restlessness and frustration too. It’s hard working on things and being stuck waiting for results, or worse, not knowing when or how it’s going to pay off.
I think the good thing about being uncomfortable so much is that I get used to it. The first little while is awful, but after that, it’s like I have a higher tolerance for it. That’s helpful when it comes to working through the discomfort. I also find that sometimes I just need to make peace with myself and my situation.
If I was supposed to do something today but I didn’t, I try to accept the fact that I will have to work on it the next day. I used to spend a lot of time being frustrated with myself, and sometimes still do, but I’m realizing it’s a lot more helpful to think about what I can do than beating myself up. Gratitude helps me a lot too. I try to thank God for three things every morning, and when I go for my (almost) daily walks, I try to thank Him for things too, and just appreciate the beauty around me. It sounds cliché, but focusing on what I have, on the present, makes me feel calm, happy, and able to move forward.
How does your chase manifest itself? Do you job hop or follow some odd specialized path toward your purpose?
I don’t think I’ve been on the chase for long enough to say, but it seems like it’s a bit of both. I think I make some huge pivots, which are like hard tugs. And then in between, there are these gentle pulls that feel nice to follow, they bring change that doesn’t feel like it’s shaking up my life. I like to think that everything happens for a reason, like my life is a big, beautiful puzzle than I can’t see. So I think my chase is an odd specialized path, but in the moment, I never really understand how it’s all fitting together.
What difficulties do you find in chasing The Pull on your life?
I think the hardest thing for me right now is the feeling that I’m behind everyone else. I tend to be slow to make decisions and socially, I’m a late bloomer so I think I would have felt behind regardless. But in chasing the pull, I feel like I’m starting things way after everyone else. Being a student in my mid-twenties means I don’t have the financial abilities that my friends do. I want to go on trips, buy clothes, and move out, but it’s just slow. By the time I finish grad school, I’ll be on the other side of 25.
I’m not sure I want to work in my field of study, and if I don’t, I’ll be looking at entry level jobs while I’m not that far away from being 30. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever catch up, but then I realize that everybody has their own path to walk. At the end of the day, I’m grateful that I’m doing all these things now, in my 20s, when I don’t have major responsibilities.
Early on in my twenties, or maybe just before, I read something that said that our 20s are for building. That stuck with me for years. Even though I don’t feel like I’m reaping the rewards yet, I feel like I have been spending my 20s doing that, so I’m happy. And hopeful it will pay off one day.
What is some advice you would give to someone chasing The Pull?
I would say make sure you take care of yourself and also make sure that you don’t get so caught up in the future that you forget to ignore the present. For me, taking care of myself means making sure I’m doing okay spiritually and dealing with my emotions. Writing helps me with both of those things. I write down my prayers, my anxieties, my plans, my feelings. When it comes to enjoying the present, it’s doing things like finding 3 things to be thankful for each day, making time to hang out with my friends and family, helping others in a way that builds me into a community, doing fun things I enjoy, taking breaks, and just appreciating the beauty in the world around me.
Do others in your life understand the chase?
I love this question! I feel like my desire to please important people in my life can lead me away from the things I feel pulled toward. I really value my parents’ opinion and I want them to be proud of me. But I’ve always been a bit unconventional in the things I gravitated towards career-wise, and they haven’t always seen the value in that. My parents are immigrants and they know that life can be hard. I know they don’t want that for me. I don’t want that for myself either, but I think we have different approaches on how to avoid that. We all value education, but they wanted me to go for the Big Two: doctor or lawyer. Maybe I’ll change, but that’s not what I want to do right now. I’m not at a place where I feel like I’m secure enough to defend my interests, so I don’t really talk about them. I look forward to that changing.
What have you learned about yourself in chasing The Pull? About life? About People?
• I’m a bit of a control freak and I like to have things all figured out. It drives me crazy when I don’t.
• Progress can be slow, but doing a little bit every week adds up over time.
• Life is messy. We do what we can to get the outcomes we want, but we have to be able to roll with the punches we can’t control too.
• It’s important to make decisions sooner rather than later and stick with them. I think large part of the reason I feel like I’m playing catch up now is that I didn’t make decisions about what I wanted early.
• Self confidence is a life skill. By self-confidence, I mean trusting our abilities to do things, to handle failure, to engage with others, to seek counsel & make decisions. It’s really hard to move forward (and keep going) without that.
• The people who give you some of the biggest opportunities are people you might not even know very well (this is called the strength of weak ties).
• Having good, close relationships can keep you afloat during hard times. If we have to cut back on certain areas in our lives, I think these should probably be one of the last things to go.
Special thanks to Driftyness for her amazing cooperation and transparency. You can read my responses to her unique questions at her blog Driftyness in the post titled below.
Millennial Lesson: Stay open to new alliances because they can teach you so much about who you are and how you work.