Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Living a Life of Meaning and Connection

Twelve years ago I was 20-years old and realized that I had no idea what life was about, and neither did anyone around me. It seemed like everyone were busy living their lives in the way they felt obligated to live. I was studying towards a Master's degree in Education, having my own appartment, dating many different guys while I was looking for Mr. Right etc. I was doing all the normal stuff, all the things my own culture was telling me was the right way to live.

At 25-years old I had just graduated from university and moved abroad. It was a very exciting time in life and at the same time a confusing time. Living abroad opens up your perspective on life. I soon realized that many of the goals I was pursuing in life were goals my own culture had taught me to pursue. It was exciting to be exposed to many different cultures in Toronto which meant many different ways to live. The only problem with more options in life is that it makes everything even more confusing. "Who am I and what do I really want to focus on in life?" Questions like these we all ask ourselves during our twenties.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. On the other hand, I knew how I didn't want to live. I didn't want to get married one day and have my marriage fall apart like 50% of all marriages do today. I didn't want to jump on the wheel of normal big city life and become too busy and overbooked. I wanted to have enough time in my life to spend with my future husband, kids, friends and other family members. I knew I wanted to build a meaningful, healthy and balanced life for myself, but I had no idea what that could look like. It turned out I wasn't the only one in our society who was confused about how to create a life that leads to flourishing.

This year I'm turning 32-years old and I'm happier than I have ever been before in my life. I feel much more content and free today than I did a decade ago. My life is far from perfect and not all of my dreams have come true yet, but I still have a peace and joy in my life now that I longed for ten years ago. I'm no longer confused about my own identity and I know what my purpose is. I'm excited to spend the next 50 years or so living out my purpose. Every year I'm learning new things about myself, about other people and about God. I try new things, I succeed, fail and grow. The journey will continue through all the days of my life.

Another woman who has been on her own journey toward peace, purpose and balance in life is Shauna Niequist. Shauna's new book "Present Over Perfect" is one of the best books I've read this year! Here's a couple of quotes from Shauna's journey in the book Present Over Perfect:

"There we were, women in our thirties. Educated, married, mothers, women who have careers, who manage homes and oversee companies. And there we were, utterly resigned to lives that feel overly busy and pressurized, disconnected and exhausted.
But that's shifting the blame, right? Who's the boss, if not us? Who's forcing us to live this way? Or, possibly, do we not want to face the answer to that question, preferring to believe we can't possibly be held responsible for what we've done?"

"Some of being an adult, though, is about protecting and preserving what we discover to be the best parts of ourselves, and here's a hint: they're almost always the parts we've struggled against for years."

"I'm committed to a particular, limited amount of things in this season, and if what's being asked of me isn't one of those, then it stands in the way. That's why knowing your purpose and priorities for a given season is so valuable-because those commitments become the litmus test for all the decisions you face."

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