As I read Richard Leiders “Are you deciding on Purpose”, one statement stood out to me. Leider stated, “An event will trigger a change, but instead of taking time for reflection, they go back out into the world. And what they find is …the same kind of situation that didn’t work for them before…and typically, you blame the world for these bad experiences, rather than doing self-reflection or finding some coaching to break the pattern.” (p.g 4 section #6) This statement is very much true and I’ve experienced this myself. Luckily, I realized this a few years ago and decided I would no longer be a passenger on my ride through my life. I wouldn’t let others dictate what I would or would not be able to do and how I would or wouldn’t be able to do it. I took back the the wheel of my life and decided to drive my own route. That’s why I’m here today, writing this paper.
I’m only 24, but I have a lot against me. I’m a young, low-income, African American, single (welfare) mother; the typical stereotype. The difference about me is that I refuse to allow myself to remain within that stereo-type. I was blessed with the ability to acquire, retain, and put forth knowledge in a way that is beneficial to myself and others. In other words, Im book and street smart and I know how to use it to the best of my abilities to improve myself/my life and others around me. It took the birth of my first daughter for me to realize that I was not headed down the path that I wanted to be on. I had to reflect on what was important to me and what I wanted in life.
At a young age, 21, I was lucky enough to realize my life was not going in the direction I had intended. I begun doing some self reflection after the birth of my first daughter and the end of my 6 year relationship. I thought about all that I had given up and what I envisioned my new life. A life full of infinite opportunities. With the birth of my daughter came the rebirth of me. I thought about what is important to me, and that is simple, my daughters and our happiness. What I feel will bring us happiness is comfortable living, minimal stress, financial stability and recreational time and money. Although those are broad terms, I like it that way. I’ve learned that specifics in life change over time as people age and situations change. Leider brought up a good question, how will we know when we have found what we are looking for? That question I have yet to find the answer to. I believe, like most things in my life, I will wake one morning with an epiphany and I’ll just know that I have finally made it. I don’t feel that you can time line and pin-point pure happiness. In my life quest I believe its important to remember these two points from Leiders essay, don’t sell yourself short (#9) and make your decisions the way senior citizens wish they had (#12).
I’ve set myself in a new direction, I’m ready to take risks, to take time for reflection as advised by the senior citizens and I refuse to sell myself short again. I believe when I’m old and grey, I will look back and be happy with the purpose I’ve chosen to follow.