Two Purposes, One Life to Live

I talk about it all the time, but since November I quit my job working in Youth Development in Newark and it wasn’t because of the students. It was because of the administration and the entire environment just wasn’t conducive to employee and child growth. Some times I wish I could have stuck it out ONLY for the kids, because I’ve learned that all it takes is one person who shows they care a whole lot to make the difference in the child’s life. Sadly, it had to be through that organization.  So I had to go. After a few months of pursuing writing, making connections and building my network, I decided that I would work towards building the two: writing AND child development.

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Figuring out ways to balance the two has always been the monster. With freelancing, writing a book and working a steady job in youth development, there were a lot of sleepless nights, sleepy work days, missed deadlines, and I would find myself at work brainstorming pitch ideas and worrying about writing rather than focusing on work and vice versa. I would wake up extremely early, or go to bed extremely late working on my writings and trying to brainstorm what I’m going to do with my kids, the next day. I began to wonder what exactly is my purpose? Is it writing? Is it teaching? Whenever I found myself doing one, I missed the other, so I started to wonder, perhaps I could have two purposes? I love the freelance life. The freedom of producing my own content, writing from anywhere in the world as long as I have a working laptop and WiFi. I used to dream of working for a major publishing company, but I learned the power of pitching and being a contributing writer and I learned that I prefer that more. I loved being able to travel to different schools and small organizations to talk to the students about my life and experiences.

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I also love teaching though. I loved being inside a classroom, with my own children and sharing my love of literacy with them. I loved having those childish moments where I would have everyone drop everything for a dance break in the middle of class. I miss those days, so I decided to do something about it. As I sit on this Bolt Bus heading too Baltimore for a chance to speak to college students at Coppin State University, it’s also ironically the city that believed in me enough to welcome me into a teaching position that I’m considering.

I can recall the multiple conversations with friends about figuring out my life. The woe is me moments and the tears of being miserable and at times, jobless trying to figure out why all of this was happening to me, but then I received my morning devotional yesterday and it talked about how life and living life’s purpose isn’t about sitting around trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s about having faith and seeking God in everything that I do and only then will my questions be answered and my doubts cleared up.

This morning’s devotional was even more timely because it also talked about my steps being ordered. It told me to stop worrying and trust that everything will happen as God has planned it, so as I sit on this bus going to speak to the masses, as I travel to the city that might capture me and give me my first real salary since undergrad, I am scared, but I am hopeful and I know that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

I’ve learned that walking into my purpose isn’t about the wrestling I’ve been putting myself through trying to choose one or the other. It’s about taking the gifts I’ve been given and thinking about how these things can inspire and leave a lasting impact on those that I interact with. If I’ve taught you nothing at all, then I haven’t done my job.

Have you ever found yourself juggling multiple things and felt like you should be doing both?

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