Redefining My Purpose

todayMay 5, 2022 48

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By Lea Mercado
Web Content Assistant Manager

Have you ever felt like you were put on this earth to do something big? No one told you to or provided instruction, but the feeling persisted until reality stepped in the way or self-doubt crept in. I know that feeling, and while some may categorize that feeling differently, I call it purpose.

For the longest time, I thought that my purpose was to help promote social change through journalism. I came to Texas State absolutely determined to follow through on my goal and become the person I needed to be. However, in my third year of college, I had to admit that the deadlines and stress of the news industry was not for me. It was scary to admit that maybe I had made the wrong choice and for one of the first times, I felt genuinely lost.

Somewhere in all the planning and ideations of what my dream job would be, I lost consideration for my own complexities. Beyond being deeply invested in my academic performance, I struggled to maintain both my physical and mental health. My grades were validating, but I spent most of my sophomore and junior year isolated and depressed. It felt like I had failed my purpose and myself, but this feeling is what propelled me to join KTSW. Well, that and I was in dire need of friends. Thanks, quarantine.

To write on this platform with a great team of writers changed the way that I had viewed purpose. Like many others, I always thought that purpose was straightforward. You set your sight on something, follow through and change the world. Sure, it was unrealistic, but aren’t dreams supposed to be? However, over the course of publishing on this site, my perspective of purpose has shifted for the better.

People always say that our words are a reflection of who we are, but I also think that our words have the capacity to change who we are as well. The internet has changed how we present ourselves to the world, and it also provides an opportunity to find a community of people who can understand you or be open to new ideas and experiences. For me, my purpose was to connect with people through storytelling. Mental and physical wellness is becoming more recognized as a collective struggle amongst young adults, yet I struggled to find others who understood me and my experiences, but surely someone had to, it was just a matter of being open and a little vulnerable.

Honesty comes easy when it never fully clicks that someone would read your work. While it may seem odd, I was secretly hoping that no one would. What if it wasn’t good enough? What if it’s embarrassing or irrelevant? But eventually, with the help of some kind comments and the support of other writers, I dared to consider that I was possibly making an impact despite how scary it seemed.

Though I tried to tie it to social status, grades, or career goals, purpose is more than a single, rigid concept to aspire towards your entire life. It is necessary and effective to have goals, but purpose does not provide the what or how, but the why. Redefining my purpose allowed me to be able to use a platform to help others, though I often found myself writing to me. I came to accept that purpose changes with time, and as my time at Texas State is quickly coming to a close, it is time to redefine my purpose outside of being a student and blog writer. I used to resist the fear and instability that change brings, if it is anything like my time with KTSW, the excitement outweighs the fear.

On a personal note, I want to thank you, dear reader. Whether this is the first article you’ve seen of mine or another one for the archives, if there is a chance that a thought or an idea has resonated with you, then this time has been absolutely well spent. For someone like me, to be truly seen is to be affirmed. So, thank you for affirming my purpose, and I hope to have affirmed yours as well. If I could leave you with one last thought, it’s this: the world needs a lot more kindness, but it starts with being kind to yourself.

Featured Image by Lea Mercado

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