I have spent my most of the first 30 years of my life doing what others told me was my destiny. I got married and had a family. I bought my home when I was 19. I am from a very small area of Washington State. The most conservative section of the west side of the state. I was 40 miles from anything. Getting access to ideas outside of what your family gave you was difficult. Prior to the Internet, the huge dish was the only outside reach. My mother kept me isolated, sometimes I feel she did this on purpose.
I was raised in a pentecostal church. As an adult I took my children to church, in fact I tried so hard to fit in, volunteered for many positions, helped out when I could. The problem with fitting in, is that you never flourish, you simply exist. I lived like June Clever from Leave it to Beaver, except I had a full time job. When I wanted to go back to school my husband was decidedly against it. I saw it as an escape from my life. The only way to improve myself, if you can imagine the desire to better oneself. I had a drive so great I would sacrifice anything, even my marriage. I should stop to mention that my husband was so focused on ownership that he never really asked what my goals were. I didn’t know, but I can tell you the pressure of debt was not exactly high on my list. He wouldn’t allow me to have a bicycle, skates, go swimming or have mustard in the house. This all sounds bizarre now, but it was true. I could go swimming but he would have nothing to do with it. My dream at that time was for us to do things together.
He had no interest in anything that I enjoyed. He was a sports nut, and I have no interest in sports. This was my misery for almost 11 years. I was unhappy, I just had no realized it yet. So I delved deep into the church, my kids and school. I was always doing something. I think I naturally am a doer, but the need to keep busy to escape my misery was not exactly lost on me.
My entire life I have always felt that I was supposed to do something with myself. Something great, I am sure most people feel they have a purpose. As a young adult I would attend sermons by evangelists and missionaries and be fascinated with their adventures. On a few sermons the pastor would have us fill out questionnaires about our spiritual gifts. Mine always came back as a missionary and an evangelist. I had no idea how to follow that path, but I was certain that when members of the church turned on you and tried to get you into trouble, the current path was wrong. I have had pastor’s wives make up tales to tell my mother on me. I have had people push me to the edges and make me feel as unwelcome as it gets. Yet I kept trying to fit in.
For me, the final point was when I was told we never question people in authority. At that point I threw it all away. If we never question authority, that is how Hitler and the Third Reich came to power and pull off the atrocities that they did. Being told to never question made me question my faith all over again. That feeling of purpose was exchanged for rage and frustration. I walked away and I will never turn to the Church again. I understand that faith has more significance than just Church. For me my faith has been dissolved when I really began to question why I believed the way I did. I found that I believed in everything because I was told to believe in it. Most of my faith conflicted with the facts I know. Most of my deep faith conflicted with my whole being and for that I had to walk away. I cannot continue to be something I am not.
My marriage dissolved, my relationships with most of my family dissolved. I was left alone to care for two young children, then I lost my job, no child support and no state help coming in. When those things cascade upon a person they hold tight to things that are dear and let go of things less important. It was those times that I realized that my life was a sham. I was living a lie and I needed to live the truth. I am not some straight laced pretentious church person. I am a liberated female with strength right down to the core of me. I am a survivor, I am a fighter. Some people think I do not fight enough for things, but what I have found is some battles are not worth the fight. Winning a worthless battle hampers us with guilt and betrayal. I see those things and walk away.
I have found my purpose in life, and it is so simple. It is a relief to finally have found it. My purpose is to live life for friends and community, advocate for a better life system and share these ideas with people who need and want to hear them. It took me so long to find this, yet I have been doing it since my June Cleaver life fell apart. You cannot find happiness in a box or in someone else, you must find it within, the easiest way to do that is to really question your faith and values and rid yourself of those things that were forced upon you. Not everyone is meant to own a home, or have a bid family or be financially successful. Many of us are simply meant to be. And if you can find contentment in the fact that you live life on your terms then you have found your place, smile and advocate to the rest of the World that you are proud to just be you.