Letting Your Purpose Find You

I’ve been trying to find “my purpose” for my entire life… I mean, aren’t we all? Every now and then, I’ll have glimmers of clarity—my chest tightens and my heart feels like it swells with love and admiration. Lately, I’ve been working on being more honest with myself and in my writing—a funny thing happened: people started to tell me I inspire them.

I’ve always done my own thing, I have a strong streak of rebellion, and I’ve always had a tendency to make my own rules instead of following them. When I started writing for work, I thought I might actually start writing about myself sometimes too. I’ve always had a journal of some kind, but fell off the wagon when I got a “real job.” Writing has always been therapeutic for me—the cathartic release of the incessant chatter in my head turned into tangible words… those words are less frightening when they’re written down as opposed to swimming in the dark abyss of my mind. They’re even less scary when someone else says they feel that way too.

In the last two years, I’ve started to share the struggles I go through—with fibromyalgia, with anxiety, with lifelong depression; and with my career—I left my full-time salaried job for freelance to work from home.

Without getting into all kinds of details about physical illness, mental illness, injuries, car accidents, sexual assault, and domestic violence—let’s just say that life hasn’t ever really been “easy” for me, but I believe that life isn’t easy for anyone.

Somewhere between 140 characters and scrolling through Insta-perfect photography, we forget that life is really fucking hard.

For everyone.

All the time.

I’ve never been great at making or keeping friends. Historically, I’ve fallen out of love with people after I give them what I think is my best effort, or they just stop texting, or maybe I just run out of energy to try. Friendship has often felt like a one-way street—I give until I can’t anymore. The great thing about social media is that I can do exactly that from the comfort of my own home.

I thrive on positive feedback. Maybe it’s because I’m a “millennial” or maybe it’s just because I’m fucking human, but hearing nice things about myself feels good. Tonight, two wonderful women said some amazing things about me that reminded me why I write and why I’m active on social media.

Sam Szostak of pinkmylk.com wrote:

Becca has given me a lot of advice in regards to my future career as a graphic designer. She’s so helpful and insightful and I’m so glad to have found her through Palm! Her Instagram aesthetic is also on point 🖤🙌🏼

The original poster responded:

Becca Luna, that’s such an inspiration to hear (taking the leap to freelancing and then making double your salary). Total girl boss.

At this point, my inspirational insta-turned-IRL friend Tiffany Southworth of hippiesupply.com wrote:

Becca is such a boss IRL!! Probably one of the most resourceful and creative people I know ❤️

And then something hit me:

I want to inspire people.

Now I don’t have a “job” defining my identity or some insane fitness goal to work towards (Insanity, gym classes, personal training), I’ve been free to explore other aspects of my identity and to see where the current takes me, so to speak. I’ve been working on following my instincts and doing what feels natural to me—like writing, or styling photos; instead of trying to force something that isn’t me—like working for a tech recruiting company.

I realized that a lot of my self-worth was tied to trying to be successful at work, because I thought that’s what made me, me.

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

–e.e. cummings

In a way, Fibromyalgia (the chronic illness I suffer from) has been a blessing—it’s taught me to slow down and really think about what’s important to me because I have limited energy to use. Without the pressure of “trying to do it all,” I try to focus on what I want to do when no one is around or when I’m not on the clock—what makes me feel fulfilled?

Connecting and creating.

I connect with people on Instagram and Facebook. I write to find my voice. I style photos to find my aesthetic. I’m learning how to finally trust myself.

I don’t know where this journey will lead me but that’s okay—I stopped trying to set an unattainable long term goal. I think a lot of us are driven by the desire to leave a legacy—to leave our mark on the world so we’re remembered when we’re gone. Maybe that’s why we all wake up in the morning, driven to succeed.

If you’re given an opportunity to do what you love, instead of resisting out of fear, embrace it. Follow what your gut tells you to do—what you’re naturally good at—not what society or your mom tells you what you should do. Life is too short to wake up every day working at a miserable job. Trust yourself.

This thing we all have in common—life—is so fucking scary, so thanks for coming along on this ride with me. You’re not alone.

Author: Becca Risa Luna

Seattle-based fashion writer and personal essayist. Likes designer handbags, glaring openness, and subtle vulgarity.

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