As of late, I’ve reflected on what I want my life to become. I come back to these moments whenever I have been drained by my work. I notice that I become more cynical about the world, more critical of others, and less inclined to believe that the work that I do matters. Whether you describe your connections to other people as spiritual, emotional, or something else, you may know the feeling of burnout… I’ve been tossing around the idea of living a “simple” life – Move abroad. Open up a small shop. Do that for the rest of my days after grad school. Simple is relative. So for me that would be simple, even with all the complexity that comes with that plan.
In August, I spoke with a great friend and mentor about my purpose – to help others build connections across differences (cultures, race, life experiences, gender, sex, diversity at large). Between then and now (April), I became lost in the work – unintentional about focusing on how my purposed informed my work and how my work created fulfillment for my. Trust me, this has happened more than I’d like. Developing resilience is a lifelong process. What comes to mind is the poem by which I live my life. Desiderata – a poem that has new wisdom to offer every time I read it, yet offers timeless nuggets of truth that ring true each day. “Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.” Nurturing that strength does not happen alone. It is the people around me who stand as lighthouses guiding me to shore, back to my purpose.
Though I will move abroad one day and open a haberdashery or a bread, cheese and wine shop in the south of Spain when I’m older, I intend to see my other goals to their end and live a life of purpose. The final line in Desiderata may be the most important, and that it a reminder of how special life can be and how beautiful the world is. “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”
A special thank you to the Dr. Paul Hernandez, Dan Gaken, Dr. Denny Roberts, and the Leadership Institute family for reinvigorating my passion for our work.