Getting off my high horse and letting go of purpose.
Paula has an optimistic worldview and cares deeply about the earth and humanity but is unapologetic when it comes to living life on her own terms.
As a young, educated woman in my twenties, I felt that strong sense of responsibility to protect the world. Social and environmental injustice was impossible to ignore and my problem to solve. Protecting it felt like my purpose and responsibility. As if the world needed me or it would crumble.
Into my thirties, my attention to the big, wide world faded as my purpose shifted towards the role of wife, mother, and entrepreneur. I had to ensure financial and emotional stability in my new, much smaller world. Protecting it felt like my purpose and responsibility. As if this new smaller world needed me, or it would crumble.
In my forties, I finally got off my “high horse” and realized I am actually not so grand after all. If I was gone tomorrow, all these things that “needed me” would figure out how to continue. Turns out the world is resilient and isn’t going to crumble without me. Suddenly it seemed I had no purpose.
This may sound sad to some, but to me, it was a beautiful liberation to live a life under my terms, unapologetically. My biggest shift was learning how to support versus worry. Worrying about the world and injustice does not make it better, but our collective actions do. Sleepless nights worrying about my kids was wasted energy, but witnessing their individual growth and supporting them is a meaningful action. As a good wife, for years it was my role to preserve a “fragile” male ego when it came to money, sex, and career. Now I know he was always strong enough and only needed my support, not my protection. And my career shifted from ensuring others are happy to making myself happy, adding deeper satisfaction to my life.
I no longer let the world’s needs solely dictate my path. I am finding my true self and know I can nurture and give myself priority while still loving the world and those around me.
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