The Cosbys don’t have jack on my family. I’m young, Black and very middle class. Plus, I have the three B’s — babies, bling (on the ring finger) and body (yep, still rocking a size 8). I’ve been happily married for almost a decade. I have the lovely house I’ve always imagined. I have a supportive church home. I have wonderful girlfriends. When I think about how much God has blessed me, I am truly overjoyed. But, when I think about managing it all one word comes to mind: overwhelmed. Yes, I’ve attained all of my goals and desires, but I missed one major thing on the journey: figuring out me. I’m 32 years old and I have a dirty little secret — I never took the time to determine what would truly make me happy. As ridiculous as it may sound, it is absolutely true. I went to college because society says successful people are educated. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Business because it’s an evergreen field. I got married because I loved my boyfriend and we’d dated for years. I had kids because I was a wife and my clock was ticking. I got a Master’s degree in Management Information Systems because my job — which I already knew I hated — paid for it. Do you get my drift? I epitomize that good ‘ole saying, “Do the right thing.” But what happens when Mrs. Perfect is ready to do what’s considered wrong? At night I lay awake in my bed and fantasize — in between late-night baby feedings, the now occasional bump ‘n grind with my hubby and creating a mental to-do list for the next day — what my life could be like if I pursued my passion… that is, if I knew what it was. I do know that it’s not toiling my life away and crunching numbers for a corporation. In three years I’ll be 35-years-old and I am scared. The little girl in me is smiling; you know the happy, infectious, toothy-grin that is only derived from sincere joy. I love my kids and my husband — I have to include that caveat before I get to this part. But she is, or was, naive. Sometimes, most times, no, a lot of the times… it’s all too much. The fairy tales and sitcoms never tell you that you don’t get commercial breaks in real life. I’m always on. Whether I’m in the office, in my living room, or in my bedroom, everyone wants, needs, asks for a piece of me. All I want is a little peace. I need time to think, no better yet, feel. This year I realized I’ve spent my whole life analyzing what I should be doing but never invested much time is figuring what I am meant to do. When I said I have one secret, I lied. Here’s the other: I am equal parts fearless and chicken-hearted. Maybe emotionally paralyzed is better? I can’t imagine asking my husband to let me take off time from work, or even quit — though we could likely more than afford it — to “find me.” Isn’t that for White rich kids? Furthermore, I have no idea what I’m meant to do. I just know I love helping people. I’ve pondered it all: working for a non-profit organization, event planning, even couples counseling. Today I’m trying to balance finding the time to learn my true purpose while existing in an ideal that’s no longer mine. I want to let go of preconceived notions of success (the picture of happiness and wealth) and redefine them on my terms. Moreover, I want to carve out the time to put my other titles aside — mommy, wife and employee — and focus the most important one, “me.” I just wish I knew where to begin. Finding your life’s purpose isn’t easy — especially when you have other responsibilities. Tell us where you are on that journey.
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