Now and then, I have those moments of existential pause. Turning 30 is one of them.
It had been a while, 5 years to be exact, since I took a vacation from work. So with the support and encouragement of my peers and colleagues, I set out this July to fill my cup before my much anticipated milestone.
In true “in the clouds” fashion, I began the journey with no roadmap minus the travel itinerary; simply a dream to connect to my higher self. Venturing from Manhattan to Southern California and back to my roots in Cape Cod, I set an intention from the start:
To seek clarity on my higher purpose by doing what feels right.
Flash forward: 3 weeks and 40,000 emails later, I am full to the brim with joy, with passion, with purpose. I am refueled, ready to jump back into the game of work life with a meaningful shift in mindset.
What happened between now and then?
I’d like to believe a lot happened that got me to a place of knowing. The reality is: it didn’t require much at all. I didn’t meditate. I didn’t investigate. I didn’t do more than simply gravitate toward the people, the places, and the things that give me an innate feeling of connectedness. And timing was everything…
Reflection. Time to look inward to ask key questions.
Recharging. Time to detach from technology to find my natural rhythm.
Rediscovery. Time to explore my old self through new experiences.
Reconnection. Time to be and to share with friends and family.
Recycling. Time to uncover the answers that I’ve always known within me.
There were special moments, including dining in Santa Rosa with my 77 year old cousin; climbing the Santa Monica stairs solo in routine laps each morning; brainstorming with my friend Sari at The Beverly Hills Hotel about social impact initiatives for her resort in Belize; celebrating the life of a high school classmate whose battle with addiction took him too soon; and attending a continuing education program with like-minded coaches dedicated toward global contribution.
Perhaps the most powerful moment happened late in the evening down the Cape. A group of friends gathered around the cottage’s dining room table, perusing through Medway High School’s Class of 2006 Yearbook. While most of us had graduated together, one friend had not… and she turned to the centerfold as if on queue to activate my purpose.
The valedictory address, written with the wisdom of my highest self had I only turned to it sooner. Ringing with affirmations like
“Be the change we wish to see in the world.” -Ghandi
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
My 17 year-old self was addressing my soon-to-be 30 year-old self. I had to excuse myself from the table in a flood of emotion.
Some lead their lives believing in coincidences. I take a stance that we attract what we need. I needed that reminder. The validation that I’m being the change I wish to see in the world.
For the past decade, I have devoted myself to my work wholeheartedly, work that is in all forms the vocation of social good. As challenging as it can be to delve into social politics on the daily, I live and breathe my purpose to make a change in the world. I lead with love, kindness, and curiosity to seek within others the passion to do the same good.
To anyone turning 30, celebrate your milestone. Who we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going… we all play into each other in perfect synchronicity.
Connect with Julia at Higher Playbook to reconnect with your purpose.