How Grief Turned My Pain Into Purpose
It was the 3rd of September (2012)….The day i’ll always remember…..because that was the day my Daddy died. One of the most defining lyrics from The Temptations but had so much truth to my new reality. This new journey I was on you can never really prepare for and boy did it send me on a rollercoaster. Just see for yourself:
I felt pretty much numb but mainly stayed busy because I was trying to appear as if I was “okay”. First holiday’s are brutal without loved ones. It was hard to watch basketball for a while and to just “be” because I didn’t know what that was anymore.
I was a zombie and just trying to survive. Lost a lot of weight. I woke up everyday just trying to make it through. Started a new job, Dad’s first birthday without him being here, applying and getting accept to grad school. Total zombie.
Dad’s first death anniversary really threw me for a loop. Tried to keep it together during that week but it wasn’t easy. My first semester of my MBA program at Georgia Tech had begun. Found another job and moved into a new place. All I kept remembering was “i’m tired” and I just want to “disappear”.
Weight gain was massive. Did great my first semester grade wise. Second Semester came and gone (did well there too). International Residency to Beijing and Shanghai was great experience but all I kept thinking was “when I get back, I have got to get real about my STUFF”. Started working out but wasn’t consistent. Started grief counseling because I had reached my breaking point.
Dad’s 2 year death anniversary and I definitely felt it. Final semester for grad school was stressful as hell. Continued grief counseling because at this point i’m totally a mess (mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally) although many didn’t know it. Seriously thinking about my next move. Graduated in December. I looked at some photos from my China trip. I realized I needed a major reset for 2015.
Birthday came around and I wasn’t in a good space although it seemed that way by my comedic nature. Seriously took some time to reset from everything and everyone. I looked in the mirror for a few days straight. I didn’t like what I saw mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It was time to take accountability for everything and this time I was definitely ready.
Current Day: Summer 2015
The above timeline looks absolute bat s$%& crazy I know but it took me through so many experiences in my journey that I wouldn’t trade it for a thing. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my Dad every single day but this process has lead me to my purpose. Here’s how:
Point #1: I let go of all the people, places, and things that no longer served me
I realized in order to get closer to my purpose that I had to let go of all of these things. At the end of the day, it wasn’t about them it was about ME! My healing was important. My realization to heal was important. None of these previous experiences (people/places/things) served my greater good so why would I keep them around if it would affect my purpose? Yeah, they had to go!
Point #2: Self-care is the BEST care and you deserve to take care of YOU!
Throughout these last (almost) 3 years, I was not taking care of myself. I was being a FAT vegan (eating a lot of breads, pasta, tofu, etc), not working out, drinking and just not in a good place. I wasn’t dealing with my reality and it just wasn’t a good look for me. Not taking care of myself hindered me from connecting to my purpose. I was stuck because I didn’t want to deal with my “stuff”. The “stuff” was the key to unlocking my purpose but I failed to realize it.
and the final point
Point #3: My purpose begins when I share my story!
I’m a very private person but sharing my story has begun to resonate with people who might be going through a similar situation. It also has allowed me to see pieces of my purpose. I understand on a daily basis even more why I was created and why my purpose (and story) is important to share. I could be helping or saving someone’s life and I wouldn’t know it if I wasn’t transparent enough to share. Your gifts will make room for you once you open the door to vulnerability and sharing your story.
Once again don’t get me wrong, I miss my Dad every single day but I’m learning to manage my feelings and cope with things much better. I know that I have more goals to reach but I am also recognizing that this is apart of my process towards my purpose. I’m on a new mission to inspire young and middle aged-adults that if I can turn my pain into purpose from grief you can do the same.