So here I sit in a Starbucks in Vancouver, BC Canada. It’s a Wednesday night almost 7 in the evening. I am at one of those little round Starbucks tables that’s barely big enough for my laptop, coffee and cell phone to rest on.

Across the small front area of the coffee shop an interesting European sounding couple talk about marriage plans. (Update- She just said she’s Cuban. That’s not Europe at all.) Straight across from me sits a very handsome silver haired man with reading glasses, a nice laptop and resting on his table is something I have never owned. Driving gloves.

I am working on a Pike Place and a wrap.

And trying to wrap my head around this task I have set out for myself. I want to discover my purpose. But how?

And where do I start this blog in order to get us back here to the start?

Well a few years ago I was drinking heavily and weighed over 350 pounds. Safe to say I wasn’t super happy. I think it must be pretty rare to say something along the lines of, “I am super happy so I drink a lot.” Possible I guess. But rare.

From 2010 until about two years ago I went on a wild ride of self-improvement. I lost weight and quit drinking and then I was still unhappy. So I worked on ending my depression.

I moved to BC where I grew up. I spent a tonne of time with my nephew (and the rest of my family who are important but not as important as my nephew). Obviously. I found a decent job. And one night I went to a concert alone and met the love of my life. We now live together and it’s wonderful. Truly wonderful.

We make each other laugh. We support each other. We work through any issues with communication and empathy. I’ve never been happier.

And then last night we watched a Documentary about Minimalism called, because it had to be called, Minimalism: A Documentary.

And it blew my mind. Grabbed it and shook it all over the place before putting it back in. But now it’s back in it’s cage in a different alignment than it had been before. (This is how much we enjoyed it. After about 30 minutes of watching this documentary my girlfriend and I were both in the same pose. Mouths agape. Forks in hand. Dinner untouched in a bowl in the other hand.)

We were shaken up. In a good way. So we went to bed and we talked about it. And my beautiful wonderful girlfriend Jen is lucky enough to have a sense of purpose. She knows what she loves to do. It fulfills her and even though it’s not perfect yet she knows and she’s working on it.

How nice would it be to know? Because I do not.

We recently went on a purge. A Pinterest idea that she loved and therefore we both took on. It worked like this: hold everything we own and if it doesn’t bring us joy we get rid of it. Simple.

Three trips to donate multiple boxes of stuff later? We have a lot less stuff. It feels great. Like not just our house is less cluttered (it wasn’t that cluttered to begin with as most of the stuff we have tends to be hidden away) but also our minds and hearts are less cluttered as well. A few days later we see a documentary about Minimalism and it hammers us? Coincidence? Maybe.

On the radio today I heard a man say his life is great because he prioritizes quality of life. Something I heard a few times in that documentary last night. (Confirmation bias? Probably. You hear something interesting and you are more likely to notice it the next time you hear it. It’s the Honda phenomenon. Buy a Honda and then you all of a sudden realize that almost every car on the road is a Honda. It’s wild.) It feels like the Universe sees that we are on the right path, purging and living a more simple life, and is sending us messages to continue on that path.

Which is something I believe does happen. Any time I have made a choice in life to try and do something that really felt right and trusted it would work out I have seen these kinds of signs. Maybe it’s my mind looking for reassurance. Maybe it’s the Universe, which we will never fully understand, working with me instead of against me.

I want to live a purposeful life. Prioritize quality of life over quantity. And take my happy levels to new heights. But how? I have a lot of questions and not a lot of answers.

So there we are last night lying in bed and Jen asks me what my purpose is or more exactly what I want to do. What do I want to do?

And the simple answer is I don’t know. Again, not a lot of answers.

I worked in the radio industry for about 9 years and I liked it. I thought it was my dream job. But it didn’t do what I really want. It didn’t inflame my passion.

So what will?

I don’t know. Which is to say I have ideas. I know I want a small house with a big yard. A family. A slower pace of life. And then I have vague ideas. I would like to work from home. I would like to help people. I enjoy writing. I enjoy making people laugh. I like walking and hiking and being outside. I like kayaking.

Vague ideas of things I might enjoy. Vague ideas of what my life might look like. But ultimately I kept coming back to that answer.

I don’t know.

Today I realized I need to figure out how to figure out my purpose. And I am going to blog about it at each step of the journey.

Here is the plan so far.

  1. Blog – Check. I love to write and I want something to which I am accountable.
  2. Write – I have written a book about my journey from fat, drunk and sad to happy. And it is now in the editing stage. I am working on a fiction novel right now. I don’t want to give that up. (Which is obviously a hint about what i love to do. Write.)
  3. Read More – It’s day one! I can’t do them all on day one! Self-help books. Books about topics that interest me. Books about purpose.
  4. Newspaper – I want to save articles that interest me and see if a theme develops.
  5. Yoga – Check (I have done Yoga 5 or 6 days in a row. I love the way it feels.)
  6. Meditate – I used to do it daily and I would love to get back to that. Shutting off the world and letting my brain ruminate will have huge benefits.
  7. Volunteer – Something I have wanted to do more of that will give me pleasure, a sense of fulfillment and maybe open my eyes to things I really love.
  8. Try New Things – Once a month I want to try something new that I have never done before. (I stole this idea from my friend Suzanne who did this a few years ago. I am not sure if that was when she developed her love of hiking or if that’s when she figured out how much she loved it. But it worked for her.)
  9. Listen – I plan to strike up random conversations with interesting looking people at least once a week. And really listen to what they are saying.

That’s the plan so far. I am sure some things will be added to it as time goes by and as this blog develops.

I hope I find a way to find what I want to do. I hope some people find this blog and find it useful. Or inspirational. Or just a nice distraction. Some light reading to help detox after a long day. Or before one. If you get anything from this blog, whatever form that takes, I will be pleased.

And now I come to this thought early in the process.

I think I want to be a writer.

Having written his blog post that’s the first thing that pops into my head. But is that what I want to do? Is that my purpose? Is it enough? Do my passions lie in some specific sort of writing? Or somewhere else entirely? I would never have an early inclination and run with it. I really need to research this and make sure I find what I want to do. What I am passionate about. And I guess in the end what I am MEANT to do.

Okay Universe. Over to you!

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