The older we get, the more certain we get about who we are and what our purpose is. For me, a lot of it is still unknown, but as I make my way down my own path, I have begun to realize that there are indeed some inevitable truths that I know for sure. On your own blog, write a post that talks about "the one thing you know for sure."
This year has come with many life changes for me. Standing here in July 2011, I realize that I am fulfilling what is perhaps the one and only thing I have ever known for sure.
I have wanted to work in the medical field since I was a child though it wavered between veterinary medicine, medical school, and nursing. In high school I set my heart on being a nurse and went forward full steam to work towards that goal. When I was sixteen I saw myself in the future living in remote areas of the world using my knowledge as a nurse to help developing countries. I envisioned myself in small villages in Africa, or China or anywhere the world might take me. I knew of a nurse and her husband who travelled together for short periods of time and she really inspired me. One thing I knew for sure was that if I followed my dream of being a nurse, it couldn't end there. It couldn't stop in the community I was from, I couldn't keep it to myself. I knew that humanitarian work was in my future.
Then life happened. I graduated high school, got into the college I wanted, got accepted to the nursing program and finished in the quickest time frame possible. I landed what at some point became my dream job in a pediatric ICU in Orange County, moved and settled into life as a working adult. It seemed that my life was falling into place, a place I never really knew I wanted to be. I was heading down the path of a traditional American life and I had no problem with it. I had a boyfriend whom I loved dearly, we dreamt together of owning a home, having two little boys and growing old together. I'm not sure when it happened but I allowed the one thing I knew for sure to take a backseat in the grand scheme of my life dreams. Two years in, the one thing I knew started to re-surface in my every day thoughts. I remembered the NGO I now volunteer with and all of a sudden I had this unquenchable thirst to pursue working with them. I went forward and it took six months or more but I found myself in India for the first time back in February. Before I left, my life re-centered around the work I did there and I knew I had to make some big changes.
It all fell into place perfectly, two months later I moved and have never felt more content than I do now. I had to leave behind the traditional American life and accept the reality that who I truly am is the same as who I knew I was when I was sixteen. I felt like I was set free from the pursuit of things I wasn't sure of and replaced it the pursuit of the one thing I knew I wanted. Everyone knows that sixteen year old you will be infinitely different than twenty six year old you, but I have learned something incredibly valuable:
Sometimes your sixteen year old self has already realized the one thing you know for sure. Don't discount what you feel your life purpose is just because of your age. Most importantly, the endless pursuit of that thing is the best thing you will ever do for yourself. The path you choose is yours, own it and as they say, the truth will set you free.