Finding My Purpose and Direction

May 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Guest Space

This week, we welcome Stephanie Crawford as our Guest Writer. More about Stephanie below.

Writing

Have you ever asked yourself what am I doing with my life? Where is my life going? What direction am I taking? What is my purpose in life? Am I in total control of my own destiny? Are external factors, influences, the people around me impacting the direction my journey in life is taking? These questions have crossed and challenged my mind at different times throughout my life.

As I approach forty these questions seem more relevant, weightier, and more significant to me than ever before. Why I wonder? Is it because I’ve experienced life? The ups and the downs.  Is it because my children have reached a significant milestone in their lives? They are both now attending primary school.  Is it a sign of maturity? Is it a stage in life of reflection? Is it an opportunity, a time, to refocus on my goals?

I am a mum to two gorgeous boys. It is only now that my youngest son has turned five years old and has started primary school that I feel a slight sense of control reentering my life. I am beginning to feel a sense of purpose. A sense of direction is gravitating towards me and my thoughts. It seems I am in a position to make choices for myself again. The holding pattern I have spent the last seven years travelling is beginning to change path for me.

I consciously made the decision to be a stay at home mum for the past seven years. I felt I would be unable to combine the demands of a corporate marketing career in the oil industry with the demands of my young family.  I wasn’t up for the challenge of juggling many balls.  I doubt I could have coped even with a very supportive family network. Influencing my decision was the fact my husband’s career involves shift work and is quite demanding in nature.  Often it is not family friendly.

I can’t explain the delight I have been fortunate to enjoy given my decision to exit a corporate career. Being at home with the boys has been rewarding beyond words. But there have been many times I have reflected on the joys and challenges of my twelve year career. At times a sense of wanting to reenter that world has crossed my mind. But then I remember the reasons why I chose not to live that life. My focus shifts quickly to my life here and now at home with two precious preschoolers.

While I was a stay at home mum part of me always sought to answer the question what am I doing with my life? What is my purpose in life? The day to day routines and challenges that present while caring for preschoolers allowed me to question and reflect deeply.

I maintain a strong philosophy that as parents our role is to nurture and guide our children to independence.  The ultimate goal being they grow into well adjusted adults who maintain the skills to face life and its challenges. This thinking leaves me comfortable with the thought that they will one day leave our nest. In accepting this outcome in turn I am left reflecting what will my purpose in life then be?

In the years to come my role as a mother will change in nature and profile. If I have done my job well I will become somewhat obsolete.  I don’t want to become obsolete without purpose and direction.  These thoughts have led me to challenge myself to answer the question where is my life going? Given my children are growing older and our stage of life as a family is changing and will continue to at a somewhat alarming rate I reflect deeply about the future.

It took me a few months of soul searching to realise my purpose in life now that my children are attending primary school. Second to my number one priority of family, I’ve realised I seek a career which allows me to pursue my passion to write.  For as long as those close to me can remember I have always wanted to study journalism.  Eighteen years ago my path took a different direction which led me to completing a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Fast forward to the year 2010, I am now a mature age student studying towards a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) degree through Open Universities Australia.  The internet allows me to study online via distance education.  My motivation and ultimate goal are a career as a freelance writer.

I’m challenging myself extensively to combine study with the commitments of a young family and part time work. It’s a satisfying challenge.  I simply love what I am doing and now feel a strong sense of purpose in my life.  I feel I am accomplishing plenty.  I’ve made the choice to take this step and it feels so right. I’ve realised my mind needs a constant challenge.

It took various life experiences to direct me to pursuing my lifelong dream. My dream to study journalism has been stirring inside of me for as long as I can remember.  I now visualise myself establishing a freelance writing career.  It is starting to happen.  I am at the beginning of a new and exciting stage of my life.

My decision to return to study has provided me with a strong sense of purpose and direction. I feel happier in myself. I now have some balance back in my life which allows me the opportunity to focus some time on me. I am excited beyond words to be doing what I love. I feel fortunate to have discovered my purpose in life and to be living, what for so many years was simply a dream. My ultimate goal is to raise my boys to independent and well adjusted adults and while doing so I am now pursuing my career aspirations. It’s taken me time to realise and accept my purpose in life is to both my family and myself.

ABOUT OUR GUEST WRITER

Stephanie CrawfordStephanie Crawford is a born and bred Melbourne girl, enjoying life in her thirties. She is a mum to two gorgeous boys.

She is back at University studying part time through Open Universities Australia.  She is focused on completing a second degree, a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism). Stephanie is finding there is plenty to learn about distance education and online learning.

She is excited to be pursuing her lifelong dream.  Her motivation and goal are a career as a freelance writer. She loves to share her opinions and has a passion for writing. She is actively seeking writing opportunities to further develop and strengthen her skills. She wishes she had more time to experiment in the kitchen and more time to harvest her own vegetable garden.

Comments

9 Responses to “Finding My Purpose and Direction”
  1. Melinda Frost says:

    It’s true that caring for children, particularly pre-schoolers, is a time absorbing and physically demanding role, but as Stephanie has experienced also a great opportunity for a breather in life, a chance to re-think our priorities, and spend some time working out what we really want for ourselves and our life.

    Go girl – you rock!

  2. Stephanie Crawford says:

    Hi Melinda!

    Many thanks Melinda for leaving a comment here!

    I’m so pleased I took the time to reflect deeply on what I want for myself personally in addition to my wonderful family. It’s far easier to maintain the status quo due to the demands of a busy life which accompanies a young family. I’m definitely stretching myself outside my comfort zone. I know I have found my purpose and direction in life. Ultimately I think I would have regretted not pursuing my goals.

    It’s a very exciting time for me.

  3. Dee says:

    Welcome Stephanie!

    I really admire you for realising the things that are most important to you in your life; and yet making sure you look after yourself for the days ahead when your babies leave the nest.

    I really enjoyed your article.

    Dee :)

  4. Stephanie Crawford says:

    Hello Dee!

    Thank you for your lovely comments.

    I feel a great sense of satisfaction with my life and the journey I am taking. It feels so right to be pursuing my passion. I love what I am doing!

    I am honoured to be writing at The Calm Space.

    All the very best :)

  5. Vitania says:

    Stephanie,
    A wonderful read. This is a new season for you. I think it’s great that you are going back to school and really chasing your career aspirations full force. I am personally terrified of going back to school, so I really have to say I admire your commitment.

    Vitania

  6. Stephanie Crawford says:

    Vitania,

    Thank you for your very encouraging words. I am enjoying myself and feel a great sense of satisfaction. I am pursuing my passion and am finding the journey brings me so much pleasure.

    Many thanks once again :)

  7. Rene says:

    I feel that I am just about reading about my life through your eyes. I too have two beautiful boys – one going to prep next year and the other is going to day-care. I am at a crossroad at the moment as I need to decide what I am doing with my life as my balance is way out of kilter. At the moment, the kids sleep over at the grandparents house so that I can go to work for two days a week and my kids aren’t always keen to go there as they want to be with me. However, I cannot always be in two places at once. I am trying to work out what to do that will be good for the boys as well as good for me as my stress levels are very high at the moment. I have always been hard on myself (which I have been told is a family trait) and now I have to find a way to simplify my life.

  8. Stephanie Crawford says:

    Hi Rene,

    There is great comfort in the understanding that we can relate to someone else and their experiences.

    As mothers our journey in life isn’t always clear nor does it always take the path we envisaged. Sometimes we are faced with tough and very difficult decisions. Take the time to think about the things which truly make you happy. Look after yourself and nurture yourself.

    It took time for me but I eventually realised the direction I wanted to take in life. I feel enormous content and satisfaction now that I am pursing my passion.

    Little boys are gorgeous and full of life when they are awake. Take the time for yourself once they are settled in the evening. Do something which you enjoy.

    Best wishes for the future Rene. I hope in time you realise your purpose and direction in life. It brings a wonderful feeling once it is realised :)

  9. Rene Schoenknecht says:

    Thank you and I will take that with me everyday. I am now starting to find my purpose, but now I just have to make it work.