I was never one of those people that knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I have never felt like I was put on this earth to be anything specific – a teacher, astronaut, a politician… At a fairly young age, I remember my dad asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said, “I don’t know, I just want to take care of my family.”
So here I am quickly approaching 30 years old, and I have learned that I find my purpose in life outside of my Monday to Friday job. I am very thankful for the company I work for, and for the most part I enjoy the day to day of my job. But it doesn’t feed my soul and I don’t wake up in the morning excited and ready to make a difference in people’s lives while at work.
How I find my purpose is through volunteering. I believe that I was put on this earth to love people where they are, not where I want them to be. Over the past several years I have found that volunteering through my church and other outlets is where I find my purpose. Now I regularly get comments about how I never have down time and that one day I will regret always doing something. I have a secret to tell you: I won’t.
When it comes to my children, I want to show them by example that it is our job to give back to the community. I will never regret seeing the look of pure joy come across a teen’s face as they get to slam a whipped cream-filled pie in someone’s face. I will never regret hearing my 6-year-old daughter explain to her friend “it’s okay, that is what we are here for – to help people!” after seeing our friend ask a homeless woman to join us for lunch.
There are many organizations around us that are constantly looking for volunteers. I would like to encourage you if you are like me and your “regular” job doesn’t make your heart beat a little faster – look for places to serve! Find something you are passionate about and help that organization move forward! I promise you won’t regret it. As parents, our kids watch us and learn from our example. I want my kids to know that we are helpers, the ones making our community a little better. Maybe you can’t change the entire world, but I promise you can make a difference in the part of the community you choose to serve.
Maybe one day I will figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and my two paths of taking care of my family and serving the people in my community will come together. Until then, I will continue to give my time to people – to love and serve every day that I am able. I need to feed my soul just as much as I need to feed my stomach. There is a lot of need out there, but we can each do something that will make a huge difference to one person.
I encourage you if you are not already doing so to find your passion, your organization, your place to help love and serve the people in our community.